Making the decision to become a cat owner can be incredibly rewarding. Intelligent creatures with complex personalities, cats provide authentic emotional companionship and are fantastic additions to most families. However, it can be hard to know which breed of cat would be the best for you. Each breed has its particular character traits, but these will also vary slightly between individuals too; it is important that you select a breed that fits well with your lifestyle and family. Here, James Wellbeloved explore the advantages of some of the UK’s most popular cat breeds, to help you make an informed choice and feel confident about bringing your new cat home.
The most popular cats in the UK are these non-pedigree felines. Divided into ‘Domestic Longhair’ and ‘Domestic Shorthair,’ moggies are cats whose ancestry is unknown and usually mixed, meaning they have no specific breed. Due to the wide gene pool of domestic moggies, characteristics and appearances can vary greatly. This means that Domestic cats have different body structures, colours and patterns, with size tending to vary between medium and large. Shorthairs tend to be slightly more common than Longhairs, due the gene for long hair being a recessive one. Furthermore, the personality of these cats can differ considerably. The majority of Domestic Longhairs and Shorthairs tend to be social, being playful, intelligent or sweet in nature. However, some can be very shy or even aloof. Despite the variability of their personalities, Domestic cats are generally loyal companions to their owners. Although the variance of Domestic Longhair and Shorthair cats’ personalities may seem risky, the wideness of their gene pool reduces the risk of them having unusual health complications. It also means that they tend to be good hunters and low maintenance pets. Domestic Longhair and Shorthair cats also tend to be a much less expensive option than pedigree cats. There are many of these beautiful cats in rescue homes around the UK and you could give them the loving home they deserve, without paying large sums of money. The average life expectancy of Domestic Longhair and Shorthair cats is between 15 and 20 years.
Consistently one of the most popular cat breeds in the UK, British Shorthair cats have a solid build and luxuriously plush fur, making them lovely to admire and pet. British Shorthairs tend to possess a calm temperament, which means they will generally live harmoniously with the rest of the family and, if introduced properly, other pets. They are intelligent cats who like to be involved in family life and love to explore their environment. However, British Shorthairs are not particularly energetic and so are best suited to more peaceful homes. The average life expectancy of a British Shorthair is 14 to 20 years.
Only accepted as a breed in the UK in 1997, Bengal cats have quickly become one of the most sought-after breeds. A hybrid of Asian leopard cats and domestic tabbies, they are a medium-sized breed and possess beautiful and distinctive fur patterns. What’s more, Bengals are high-spirited and intelligent cats, who remain playful well into their old age. This makes them a great fit for energetic owners who want a cat they can play with often. Whilst generally friendly and playful with everybody, Bengals will often bond particularly strongly with one person, meaning they are wonderful companions. When cared for correctly, Bengals tend to live between 12 and 16 years.
An extremely old breed, it is believed that Maine Coons originated as a result of long-haired cats emigrating to North America and mating with native short-haired cats. The resulting hybrid breed is one of the largest domestic cat breeds by height and weight. They have medium-length hair that needs to be groomed relatively often to prevent knotting. Maine Coons tend to be quite docile in nature, sleeping more than other breeds and being relatively gentle. However, they also love to explore and are very good hunters. This means they may be a good choice of cat breed for those hoping to get some help with pest control. Maine Coons tend to live between 9 and 15 years.
Boasting one of the sweetest natures of any breed, Ragdoll cats are sometimes also known as ‘floppy cats’. These gentle cats enjoy being cuddled and got their nickname because they tend to be extremely relaxed whilst being held. This makes them one of the best cat breeds for families, as they will generally play well with children. Furthermore, Ragdolls are beautiful cats, with fluffy white fur and dazzling blue eyes. However, potential Ragdoll owners should remember that this long fluffy hair does require regular and thorough grooming. The average life expectancy of Ragdoll cats is 15 to 20 years. So, when choosing which cat to bring home with you, remember to think carefully about which breed of this beautiful animal you are best placed to care for. Always consider adopting a cat from a rescue home, rather than buying one. If you are unsure, you can always ask a vet or expert for advice.