Cats have had followers all over the world for thousands of years. Canada is no exception: In 2022, there were over 8.5 million1 feline companions in the country.
From the majestic Maine Coon to the regal Persian, Canada’s most popular cat breeds have something for everyone. Every breed has their own unique personality, characteristics, and care requirements, so you’ll want to research each one to find the best fit for your lifestyle.
Without further ado, here’s an overview of the 10 breeds of cats that have captured the hearts of Canadians across the country!
The 10 Most Popular Cat Breeds in Canada
1. Maine Coon
Originally from the state of Maine in the United States, the Maine Coon cat is one of the most popular breeds in the world and tops the rankings in many countries, including Canada. The Maine Coon is easily recognized by their long and powerful body, splendid mane, and adorable ear tufts.
Despite their impressive appearance, the Maine Coon is a gentle giant that makes a great companion for families, even those with young children. However, this big cat is not that athletic and does not necessarily like to climb everywhere. They can be quite playful but also ruthless with small animals such as rodents. Keep this in mind if you want to acquire a Maine Coon but already have small pets at home!
Everyone knows the fabulous Persian, recognizable for their cute scowling face and long silky fur! Unsurprisingly, this beautiful breed with multiple colors and patterns is one of the most popular cats in Canada.
In addition to being gorgeous, the Persian has an affectionate, gentle, and easy-going temperament. This cat is more of the couch-potato type but can also be playful at times. That said, this unathletic cat does not tolerate loneliness well and will always want to snuggle up on your lap after your long day at work. Persians also require significant grooming to keep their long coat looking their best. Unfortunately, these lovely beasts are prone to a variety of ailments, including heart, eye, kidney, respiratory, and bladder issues, so you’ll want to keep a close eye on your furry friend.
3. Exotic Shorthair
The Exotic Shorthair, a result of crossing the Persian and the American Shorthair, is a less-known but nevertheless popular breed in Canada. Physically similar to the Persian, the Exotic Shorthair has a long, stocky body, short legs, and a small, snub nose. Their coat, however, is short and dense, unlike the Persian’s abundant fur.
In terms of temperament, the Exotic Shorthair is naturally calm and composed, which makes them great indoor cats. They are also smart, curious, and playful. However, remember to leave them something to distract themselves with when you leave the house (like another feline playmate!) because they may get lonely and bored without their human family.
The Sphynx is a cat with a singular appearance due to their bare and wrinkled skin, long triangular ears, and expressive eyes.
Interestingly, the Sphynx is one of the few breeds native to Canada, so it’s no wonder that they have remained popular here. That said, their hairless body (apart from a fine down) does not seem at all adapted to the harsh winters of North America. Still, their skin is thicker than that of their relatives, which may enable them to resist the cold a bit more. These friendly and cuddly cats make wonderful companions because they get along well with everyone, whether they have two legs or four!
5. British Shorthair
British Shorthair cats have made their way into the hearts of Canadians with their mesmerizing orange eyes and shiny gray fur.
Their playful nature makes the British Shorthair an excellent companion: They are calm, loyal, cuddly, and patient. Unlike many apartment breeds, they have no problem keeping themselves busy when alone. However, since they are intelligent and love to solve puzzles, you should still leave them with interactive toys and other types of enrichment while you are away!
6. Scottish Fold
Scottish Folds, distinguished by their folded ears and loving gaze, are cats that many describe as “Zen.” Indeed, they are gentle, friendly, and easy-going, which makes them excellent pets. However, Scottish Folds can be prone to a genetic health condition called congenital osteodystrophy, which is often linked to faulty breeding.
Still, Scottish Folds are incredibly popular in Canada, even more so than in their native country, Scotland.
7. Oriental Shorthair
The Oriental Shorthair is the result of crossbreeding Siamese cats and other breeds. Like many Asian cats, they have slender bodies, short coats, and almost no undercoat.
The Oriental Shorthair is, like the Siamese, a loving and vocal breed that needs a great deal of contact and attention to be happy. They get along well with everyone, including children, but they often have a favorite person whom they follow around the house to show their exuberant affection.
Burmese are beautiful cats with expressive round eyes, originating from Burma (Myanmar). They are confident, agile, energetic, and exceptional hunters. If you live in the countryside, these cats will be happy to hunt all the small animals within their reach, and they will bring you these small gifts when they return from their adventures!
They are great companion animals that form strong bonds with their owner and get along well with other cats and dogs. They love to play interactive games, and their high intelligence enables them to learn tricks easily.
For all these reasons, Burmese are among the most popular cats in Canada (and around the world!) and are ideal companions for the whole family.
9. Devon Rex
Devon Rex cats have an atypical and captivating appearance. Their bodies are slender but muscular, with a prominent thorax. Their small triangular heads are adorned with huge ears and large, well-set oval eyes, which give them the appearance of pixies.
These cats are also extremely affectionate, active, and gentle with everyone, even small pets! However, the Devon Rex being in the top 10 of the most popular cats in Canada is a bit surprising because this breed is relatively unknown on a global scale.
It’s no wonder that the stunning Himalayan is on the list of the most popular and beloved cats of Canadians! Playful, sociable, affectionate, yet selective, these beautiful blue-eyed cats love to be pampered but will be most at ease in quiet, serene environments where they can reign as they please.
There are several popular cat breeds in Canada that are also found in the rankings of many other countries. However, these superb animals are usually expensive, hence the interest of Canadians in other feline companions not considered purebreds, namely domestic shorthaired and longhaired cats.
But purebred or not, cats hold a special place in the hearts of Canadians, and that won’t change anytime soon!
Featured Image Credit: Georgy Dzyura, Shutterstock