The Cat Fanciers’ Association Announces Most Popular Breeds for 2022
March 24, 2023
While the internet abounds with lists of popular cat breeds, the most reliable source of information on cat breed popularity is the organization that knows cats the best, the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA). The world’s oldest and largest registry of pedigreed cats publishes an annual list of the most popular cat breeds, based on registrations. This year’s top ten list speaks to the enduring popularity of breeds such as the Ragdoll and Maine Coon, but also includes a relative newcomer, the Siberian. Focused on preserving the unique attributes of each cat breed since 1906, CFA now registers 46 pedigreed breeds. Because this not-for-profit organization is dedicated to the welfare of all cats, it also registers non-pedigreed and non-standard feline friends under its Companion Cat World program and considers them an integral part of the cat fancy.
For the fourth year in a row, the Ragdoll, a blue-eyed, longhaired cat known for its mellow disposition, is holding its claws tight on the top spot.
Ragdolls come in three distinctive patterns, and are most popular in China, where large classes of them often dominate cat shows. A hybrid breed, the Ragdoll was selectively bred from non-pedigreed cats in the 1960s and has been recognized by CFA since 1998.
One of the oldest breeds to originate in the United States, the Maine Coon Cat remains firmly in second place. This shaggy-coated feline has a history that dates back to Civil War days.
Maine Coons Cats are the largest of all pedigreed cats, with some weighing in at close to 30 pounds. No wonder they are known as “gentle giants!”
The Devon Rex climbed into third place this year and is now CFA’s most popular shorthair breed. With their enormous, expressive eyes and huge batwing ears, these cuddly creatures have the look of little furry pixies, along with a unique, softly waved coat comparable to no other breed.
Devons are easy-care, wash-and-wear companions who want to be part of every aspect of “their” peoples’ lives.
The Exotic is now ranked fourth. Originally developed as an easier-care alternative for lovers of the Persian look, Exotics typically have a shorter coat that is plush, dense, and full of life.
Despite their coat length, they are judged in CFA as a longhaired breed since their structure is virtually identical to the Persian.
Speaking of Persians, this year they finished in fifth place based on registrations. However, the breed is still such a substantial part of CFA shows that it has been broken down into seven competitive divisions.
With their luxuriously long coats, expressive round eyes and refined features, Persians are often considered the epitome of feline beauty.
Known for its incredibly dense coat, sweet expression and gentle, laid-back personality, the robust, muscular British Shorthair is number six.
Once known as the “British Blue,” Brits are now shown and loved in a wide variety of other colors.
One of CFA’s oldest recognized breeds, the Abyssinian, is ranked seventh. These colorful, agile shorthairs are among the most interactive of all breeds.
Often compared to the hunting cats of ancient Egypt, they have a unique wild look reminiscent of a miniature cougar.
The Scottish Fold, whose folded ears, rounded head and dramatic round eyes give it an owl-like expression, is 2022’s eighth most popular pedigreed cat.
Scottish cat registration numbers also includes the straight-eared variety, which is the key to a healthy Fold breeding program. Both folded and straight-ear cats are available in longhair and shorthair versions.
The hairless Sphynx, originating from a natural mutation, has moved up to ninth-place pedigreed breed.
Years of careful outcrossing to normal-coated cats and back to hairless cats have produced healthy, outgoing cats who adapt easily to wearing clothes and costumes—this helps them stay warm without a natural fur coat!
New to the popularity list is the Siberian, a Russian import first brought to the U.S. in 1990. Ranked #15 in 2020, the Siberian jumped to eleventh place in 2021 and is now in the number 10 spot.
With a lush, thick triple coat, these cats typically need regular grooming but reward owners with their intelligent, affectionate natures, seasoned with a dash of mischief!
Although non-pedigreed, domestic shorthair and longhair cats are not intentionally bred and therefore not a named “breed”, their popularity in CFA is impressive. If ranked alongside our pedigree breeds, the Companion Cats which are mostly rescued community cats, come in between 7th and 8th place just slightly ahead of Scottish Folds and Scottish Straights.
Companion Cats compete in their own classes at CFA shows, where they draw a great deal of attention from the public. They also earn their own titles, regional and national wins.
Look to the CFA web page, Facebook page and official Facebook group and Instagram for more information on popularity trends in the world of cats, in-depth information on specific breeds, how to find a CFA cat show near you, and lots more. When it comes to the last word on our feline friends, CFA knows cats!
The Cat Fanciers’ Association, Inc.™ – We Know Cats
Founded in 1906, this not-for-profit association of worldwide member clubs is the world’s oldest and largest registry of pedigreed cats.