Most Popular Cat Breeds Today
According to the most recent statistics, the number of pet cats in the US is around 90 million; only 4% are pure breeds, and the official lists recognize around 40 breeds.
Most people are fine with any cat; however, those pure breed cat lovers are always looking for a breed that resembles them: simple or sophisticated, quiet or outgoing, puffy or sleek etc. There are cats for every personality and every look.
All statistics about cat breeds in the US typically list the same few breeds that are the most popular.
? Number one, since records are kept, is the Persian.
Affectionate and beautiful, with lovely eyes and curious face, the Persian originates from Iran (known as Persia, in the past). It is a great choice for indoor environments. The Persian`s long fur requires daily grooming and frequent baths.
? The Maine Coon.
This is a very gentle and friendly breed, although its large size may be a bit intimidating. Its origin is mysterious but it is the official cat in the state of Maine. The Maine Coon is a survivor of rough winters in the area, has excellent hunting instincts and, unlike most other cats, is very fond to water. Although the breed is known for its long fur, it does not require so much grooming as the Persian.
? The Siamese
This breed is known for its particular voice, familiar to the large public since `The AristoCats`. They like to "chat", are loyal, very affectionate and develop nice relations with humans and other pets. This athletic breed is famous for its beautiful blue eyes and was brought from Thailand (previously known as Siam), in 1878.
? The American Shorthair
This is a quiet breed, with excellent hunting skills, a great and tolerant pet, handsome and healthy. It can live 15 years and requires low maintenance.
? The Exotic Shorthair
This breed is similar to the Persian, but as its name indicates, it has short hair that requires only occasional brushing. It is an affectionate breed that gets along well with humans and other pets.
? The Ragdoll
This breed is very cute and goes limp ? like a ragdoll - in your arms, is very docile and must be protected and kept indoors, as it is unlikely to be able to defend itself outside. The Ragdoll is known for its bright blue eyes and its tendency to follow its owner everywhere.
? The Abyssinian
This is one of the sophisticated looking cats. Elegant and thin, log limbs and large ears, it resembles the cats of Ancient Egypt. The breed was brought from Abyssinia (Ethiopia today), but genetic researches links it with the coast of the Indian Ocean. This breed is curious, friendly, playful and does not necessarily enjoy sitting in the lap.
? The Sphynx
This is another unique looking breed, quite eccentric actually due to its apparent lack of fur, caused by a natural genetic mutation. The Sphynx is active and athletic, loving and playful. It requires regular bathing otherwise its hairless skin becomes oily.
Best Cat Breeds for People with Allergies
There are people who would love to have a pet, but they do not adopt due to their allergies caused by spending time around animals. Other people already have a pet when their allergy strikes and they are forced to consider other options. Either way, it is important to know that there are options in deed, and staying away of pets or giving away your pet should be the last solution.
Which are the causes for cat allergies?
People often assume that it is always the cat's fur and dander to blame for triggering allergies, but this is not true. Actually, the cat's hair usually only distributes the allergenic compounds which are typically secreted by the sebaceous glands of the skin and also by a protein present in the cat's saliva.
The allergic reactions can be triggered by direct contact with your pet, or being within a house or in an area where a cat lives or has been previously.
Symptoms of cat allergies include from sneezing, sore throat, itchy eyes and skin, to asthma attacks, in the most sensitive people.
Having a hypoallergenic cat
The first things people try are taking antihistamines and installing air filters in their homes. In some cases, they work, but in others pet owners need different solutions.
There is a lot of talking among animal lovers about hypoallergenic cats and non-shedding dogs, which are considered the best choice for allergic people. However, the thing is that technically, there are no genuinely hypoallergenic cats; there are only breeds that produce or secret fewer allergens than others, being less likely to trigger allergies in sensitive people. It is also proven that female cats trigger less allergies than males and neutered males produce less allergenic compounds than unneutered ones.
Typically, hairless cats are the ones responsible for the myth of hypoallergenic cats, because there is less fur in the house to spread the allergenic compounds. The allergens will still be present on the cats' bodies and will be transferred to some objects that they touch, but not so widely. Also, cats with curly hair have fewer chances to distribute allergenic compounds around the house, so the reactions to them are minimized or even absent.
One of the first breeds that allergic people consider is the Sphynx cat, because it is a hairless breed. However, it is important to know that the Sphynx can actually produce severe reactions because the allergenic compounds are still produced only they are concentrated on the skin.
The best breeds for allergic persons include: Siamese, Russian Blue, Siberian Cat, Devon Rex, Cornish Rex, Bengal, Balinese Cat, LaPerm, Javanese, Oriental Shorthair and Abyssinian Cat. All these breeds, regardless the length of their hair, produce less Fel d 1 protein, thus it is less likely to trigger allergic reactions.
There is no magic formula to ensure that a cat will not cause allergic reactions, however in most cases these reactions are not severe, they are more of a nuisance than a health threat.