Most Common Cat Breeds in the UK

Most Common Cat Breeds in the UK

Like many of our other favourite pets, cats come in all shapes and sizes – large and small, fluffy and smooth. For some, cats might come second to dogs, but this shouldn’t be the case. Cats make great companions!

And, with so much variety in cat breeds, there will surely be a cat out there for you. The number of cat breeds registered in the UK and globally varies; due to crossbreeding and unknown lineages, some familiar furry faces aren’t included in the registry.

Of course, good old-fashioned moggies are often considered the most common cat in the UK, but what about cat breeds? We will list the most common cat breeds in the UK by looking at the pedigree cat breeds. However, let’s consider why pet cats are popular in the UK.

Why Do Cats Make Popular Pets?

Although dogs take first prize in the pet popularity competition, cats come in second. It is thought that roughly 28% of households in the UK own a pet cat, as reported by Statista in 2022. There’s no need to question their favour.

But what qualities make them Britain’s second most-owned pet? Some of the reasons have been provided below:

Cats are Independent

Unlike dogs, cats are quite happy to be left alone. Their easygoing nature often means they will groom themselves, exercise and play alone, and go to the litter tray when the need arises. By being low maintenance, cats are great pets for people with little time to spare.

Cats are also less likely to cause guilt when leaving them home alone, as many of them enjoy some time without their humans in the house.

Most Homes are Cat-Suitable

No matter if your home is a tiny apartment with no garden access, chances are you still have enough room for a cat. Most cats are well known for their ability to adapt to most environments, and many even thrive in smaller spaces.

If a cat has access to plenty of toys, a scratching post, and a window ledge to watch the world go by, they should be content.

Cats are Clean

Cats are fastidious creatures who take great pride in keeping their fur clean. Not only do they groom themselves, but they also have a litter tray that they use to do their business. This makes them much easier to look after than other pet choices, as there is no need for regular walks or muddy paws traipsing through the house.

Many cat breeds are quiet and rarely make loud noises. This makes them ideal for people who live in apartments or have close-by neighbours. Of course, some breeds are noisier; Bengal cats are known to be rather talkative at times.

What are the Most Common Cat Breeds in the UK?

By understanding why cats are popular pets, it is easier to see why some breeds are more common than others. These breeds often meet the requirements of their owners, whether that’s a low-maintenance lifestyle or an affectionate nature.

Below are ten of the most common cat breeds kept as pets in the UK:

British Shorthair Cat

One of the most common cat breeds in the UK is the British Shorthair Cat

British Shorthair cats, sometimes known as British Blue cats, are one of the most popular cat breeds in the UK; they have been the most popular breed since 2001. It is the oldest recorded cat in England, and its popularity hasn’t shrunk.

Although they can come in various colours, British Shorthairs are best known for their large, orange eyes and blue coat. With their adorable rounded appearance, it is thought that the British Shorthair inspired Lewis Carroll’s smiling Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland.

These cats can be intelligent and affectionate, making them great for anyone looking for a companion. They are also relatively easy-going, which is why the British Shorthair can be a popular cat for homes with children.

Bengal Cat

Bengal Cat

The Bengal cat has become more popular with an almost wild appearance. This breed’s affectionate and social nature pairs nicely with its playful and active side, allowing pet owners to have the best of both worlds.

Bengals can be quite vocal, so another cat breed might be a better option if you do not want a chatty cat. However, these cats can be trained, so consider their intelligence before passing up the opportunity to be feline friends with a Bengal cat.

Siamese Cat

Siamese Cat

The Siamese cat is one of the most recognisable breeds, with a lean build and unique colouring. They are active and clever cats, which need regular entertainment and exercise, but can adapt well to family life.

Siamese cats have a “pointed pattern” colouring. This is due to an enzyme mutation involved in melanin production, meaning it is heat-sensitive. The mutated enzyme activates at lower temperatures on body extremities, such as ears, tail, and legs. This is why the fur on these areas of Siamese cats develop into darker shades. You can read more on this at

There are two types of Siamese cats. The more traditional type is rounded with an almost apple-shared head, and the modern version is much sleeker.

Maine Coon Cat

Maine Coon Cat

As one of the largest cats on this list, the Maine Coon is a favourite of feline fans. They have an athletic and solid build, so these cats must be physically and mentally active to ensure a happy pet. And yet, they are an excellent choice for first-time owners, as long as you don’t mind a rather chatty cat.

Keeping with their size, Maine Coons have large ears and long, brush-like tails, which is thought to be part of the cause of their name – after the raccoon. Due to their ancestry, the Main Coon has a dense coat with tufts of fur on its ears and paws. This means regular grooming is crucial to avoid matted fur.

Although the most common colour for Maine Coon cats is brown tabby, there are roughly 64 different colours and markings.

Ragdoll Cat

Ragdoll Cat

Ragdoll cats are one of the best-known domestic cats in the country. Named as they tend to go limp when held, the Ragdoll cat is often affectionate and gentle with its owners.

One reason why Ragdolls are one of the most popular cats in the UK could be their angelic appearance; most of the cats in this breed have large, blue eyes and soft, white fur. Plus, their long legs and fluffy tail can appear like wings about to take flight.

Being very intelligent, a Ragdoll cat can be taught to do tricks, such as fetching small items. They are very social cats, too, so prepare for your Ragdoll shadowing you.

Persian Cat

Persian Cat

The Persian cat is another popular pedigree cat breed and one of the most common in the UK. Some of this breed’s popularity might stem from its success in the film industry, like Snowbell in Stuart Little, Mr. Tinkles in Cats & Dogs, and Duchess in Babe.

These cats are typically known to be lap cats, craving love and attention from their owners. This goes hand-in-hand with their calm and gentle nature. Also, this cat is quieter than other breeds, which is often a blessing for cat owners.

Due to their long and thick coat, Persians require grooming; this can make them high-maintenance cats. If you do not have the time to brush regularly, the Persian cat might not be the best choice. These cats also need their faces cleaned to prevent eye infections.

Russian Blue Cat

Russian Blue Cat

The Russian Blue often appears larger than reality due to its double coat; this coat is said to shed less than other popular breeds, which could be a perfect option for allergy sufferers. They have a rather regal appearance, with a broad forehead and straight nose.

This breed has a sweet temperament, preferring to spend time with its owners than go exploring. This isn’t to say that they won’t be playful; Russian Blues love to keep active with games. They like some alone time, so it would be good to prepare a space that is only accessible to them, especially if you have a young family.

Scottish Fold Cat

Scottish Fold Cat

As their name would suggest, the Scottish Fold does have folded ears. These cats are sturdy and compact with thick, short coats. Their appearance stems from being farm cats. This ruggedness also appears in their personality, as Scottish Fold cats are unlikely to spook easily.

This breed’s ears have been a topic of discussion for breeders and vets alike; they are said to be undesirable deformities that may hinder a cat’s ability to clean its own ears. This breed must not be bred by a folded ear pairing as this can lead to other health problems, such as spine and hind legs deformities. For more information on Scottish Fold’s ears, read this post.

Savannah Cat

Savannah Cat

Due to their exotic look, it is obvious the Savannah cat is a hybrid breed, commonly a mix of the domestic Siamese cat and the wild Serval cat. They can be spotted, marbled, or their coats can take on a more classic pattern. With large eyes and upright ears, their appearance seems very alert.

Owning a Savannah cat requires early socialisation as a kitten, due to its high hunting drive. It is advised to avoid owning other small pets as they will be perceived as prey. The keen ability to hunt is not a negative trait; it means this cat requires a lot of play and is best suited to an experienced cat owner.

Sphynx Cat

Sphynx Cat

Most people know the Sphynx cat as it is completely hairless, which is perfect for those who want to avoid shedding fur. Sphynx cats have a wiry, muscular build and wrinkly skin; as their name suggests, they resemble ancient Egyptian cats.

However, these cats still require grooming and maintenance. As it is completely exposed, its skin can become dry and flaky sometimes and even develop acne. This means knowing how to care for the skin of your Sphynx cat is crucial, so research should be done beforehand.

To Sum Up

Cats have been popular pets for hundreds of years due to their independence and cleanliness. Various cat breeds are registered in the UK, but the most common ones have been outlined above.

Before buying or adopting a pet cat, it is important to research the requirements of the specific breed. As shown throughout this post, some breeds require more grooming care than others, while other cats must be kept active throughout the day. Knowing these aspects can help you choose which cat breed is better suited to you and your lifestyle.

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