The Cat Fanciers’ Association Announces Most Popular Breeds for 2019
February 9, 2020
The Cat Fanciers’ Association, Inc. (CFA)—the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats—has recently announced the most popular cat breeds for 2019, according to the number of cats that were registered throughout the year.
CFA, the world’s gold standard of feline registries has been preserving, protecting and celebrating cats since 1906.
CFA officially recognizes 45 pedigree breeds and companion / household “non-pedigree” cats.
Rounding out the top three is the British Shorthair which CFA officially recognized in 1980.
One of the oldest English breeds, the British Shorthair can trace its ancestry back to the domestic cats of Rome. This breed was first prized for its physical strength and hunting ability.
While Persians are the most popular breed within the United States, they come in fourth place worldwide again this year.
Persians are one of CFA’s first breeds, recognized in 1906, and are known for their luxurious, long coats and big, expressive eyes. The breed was named for their “country of origin”, but hieroglyphic reference as early as 1684 B.C. shroud their exact beginnings.
The fifth most popular breed, the Maine Coon Cat, is CFA’s “gentle giant,” weighing from 10 to 20 pounds (or more). It is known for its sturdy, rugged appearance which includes a shaggy coat and a long, well-furnished tail.
The Maine Coon Cat evolved through nature’s own breeding program developing characteristics by following a “survival of the fittest” evolution
With an increase of over 50% in registration from 2018, the delightfully silly, curly-coated, Devon Rex comes in sixth place.
Man had no hand in developing this natural mutation discovered in Devonshire, England in the 1950’s – but man did step in and make it possible for the breed to survive and flourish. This fun-loving breed was recognized by CFA in 1983.
Another of CFA’s “original six” breeds, the American Shorthair, comes in seventh place. The breed originated from cats following settlers from Europe to North America. Records indicate that even the Mayflower carried several cats to hunt the ship’s rats.
Breeders selectively bred these cats by acquiring the finest examples to preserve the all-around working cat’s structure and to refine the beautiful face, the easygoing disposition, and the striking colors present in today’s breed.
The Abyssinian, one of the world’s oldest known domestic cat breeds, resembling paintings and sculptures of ancient Egyptian cats, comes in as the eighth most popular breed.
Recent studies by geneticists show that the most convincing origin of the breed is from the coast of the Indian Ocean and parts of Southeast Asia. Abyssinians were imported to North America from England in the early 1900’s and were also one of CFA’s “original six” in 1906.
As the ninth most popular breed this year, Sphynx are still considered to be exceedingly rare and unusual. The foundation of this breed, found worldwide, are naturally hairless cats produced by Mother Nature.
Breeders in North America and Europe have bred the Sphynx to normal coated cats and back to hairless cats for over thirty years. The purpose of this is to create a genetically sound cat with a large gene pool and hybrid vigor.
The tenth most popular cat breed is the Scottish Fold, whose lineage can be traced back to one common ancestor, “Susie,” a folded-ear barn cat found on the McRae farm at Coupar Angus in the Tayside Region of Scotland, Northwest of Dundee.
The Scottish Fold was recognized by CFA in 1978, but due to the rarity of the fold, and since not every kitten is born with folded ears, it is very hard for the supply to keep up with the demand.
The Cat Fanciers’ Association, Inc.™
The Cat Fanciers’ Association, Inc., a not-for-profit association of member clubs and the world’s most influential registry of pedigreed cats has been preserving, celebrating and protecting cats since 1906. CFA’s mission is to preserve and promote the pedigreed breeds of cats and to enhance the well-being of ALL cats. CFA promotes education, responsible cat ownership and proper care to the owners of millions of cats worldwide. CFA and its affiliate clubs work nationally with local shelters to help humanely reduce homeless and feral cat populations and to encourage voluntary neuter/spay of pet cats. To learn more about the Cat Fanciers’ Association or to find the nearest CFA cat show, visit https://www.cfa.org.