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20 Popular Cat Breeds in India: Pictures & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

seal point siamese lying on a velvet clothe

Welcome, feline aficionados! This article is here to satiate your curiosity about India’s widely loved and cherished cat breeds. We’re not just talking about the ordinary house cat – we’re venturing into the exotic, the charming and the utterly captivating.

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How Does Cat Ownership Differ in India?

Cat ownership in India has its own unique aspects due to various cultural, societal, and personal preferences. While dogs are traditionally the most common pets in India, cats have been gaining popularity in recent years.

Some people in India view cats as more independent and requiring a balanced relationship with their owners, compared to dogs which are often seen as offering unconditional companionship. This perspective might make some potential pet owners think twice before choosing a cat.

However, there’s a growing trend towards owning cats in India. Cats are now the second most popular type of pet in the country. They are often seen as easier to care for than dogs, especially in the urban areas where apartment living is becoming more prevalent. The understanding and perception of cats are also evolving, leading to a shift in attitudes and an increase in acceptance of cats as household pets.

When it comes to expenses, cat owners usually spend the most on food, vet care, and toys. However, the responsibilities and costs of pet ownership can greatly vary depending on the specific needs of the pet and the resources available to the owner.

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The 20 Most Popular Cat Breeds in India

1. Persian Cat

blue grey white fluffy persian cat
Image Credit: Marten_house, Shutterstock
Origin: Persia (modern-day Iran)
Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
Weight: 7 to 12 pounds

The Persian cat is one of the oldest and most popular cat breeds in the world. Known for their long, luxurious fur and sweet personalities, these cats are a favorite among Indian pet owners. They have a unique face with a squashed nose, large round eyes that can be any color, and small ears. Persian cats are gentle, quiet, and make great indoor pets.


2. Maine Coon

gray fluffy maine coon cat sitting on the grass outdoors
Image Credit: Utekhina Anna, Shutterstock
Origin: United States
Lifespan: 9 to 15 years
Weight: 8 to 18 pounds

Maine Coons are known for their size, friendly nature, and luxurious fur. They have muscular bodies, tufted ears, and a bushy tail. These cats are great companions and are known for their playful and affectionate nature.


3. Siamese Cat

siamese cat sitting on the floor
Image Credit: BearFotos, Shutterstock
Origin: Thailand
Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
Weight: 8 to 10 pounds

Siamese cats are one of the oldest recognized cat breeds. They are known for their striking blue almond-shaped eyes, short coat, and distinctive color points on their ears, face, paws, and tail. Siamese cats are social, intelligent, and very vocal.


4. Bengal Cat

bengal cat sitting on a branch
Image Credit: Seregraff, Shutterstock
Origin: United States
Lifespan: 10 to 16 years
Weight: 8 to 15 pounds

Bengal cats are a breed developed to look like exotic jungle cats such as leopards, ocelots, and margays. They are known for their wild appearance and playful, active nature. Bengal cats have a short, soft coat that can be spotted or marbled, in a variety of colors.


5. British Shorthair

golden british shorthair cat lying on the floor
Image Credit: SunRay BRI Cattery RU, Shutterstock
Origin: United Kingdom
Lifespan: 12 to 20 years
Weight: 7 to 17 pounds

British Shorthairs are known for their dense coat, broad face, and sturdy body. They come in many colors and patterns but are most famous in blue. These cats are easygoing, making them a good choice for families.


6. Ragdoll

Sealpoint Ragdoll on blue background
Image Credit: Linn Currie, Shutterstock
Origin: United States
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Weight: 8 to 20 pounds

Ragdolls are one of the largest breeds of domestic cats. They are known for their striking blue eyes, semi-longhair coat, and placid temperament. Ragdolls are often referred to as “dog-like cats” because of their tendency to follow people around, their ease at being physically handled, and their relative lack of aggression.


7. Sphynx

tortoiseshell Sphynx cat
Image Credit: Tina_photo, Shutterstock
Origin: Canada
Lifespan: 8 to 14 years
Weight: 6 to 12 pounds

The Sphynx is a unique breed known for its lack of a coat. They have a distinct appearance with large ears, lemon-shaped eyes, and a muscular body. Despite their lack of fur, Sphynx cats are known for being very warm to the touch and love to be close to their owners.


8. Russian Blue

Russian Blue sitting on the rocks
Image Credit: Review News, Shutterstock
Origin: Russia
Lifespan: 10 to 20 years
Weight: 7 to 12 pounds

Russian Blues are known for their short, dense coat of bluish-gray fur. They have a sweet-tempered and playful nature, making them great companions. Russian Blues are intelligent, curious, and tranquil animals.


9. Scottish Fold

white scottish fold cat sitting
Image Credit: Oleksandr Volchanskyi, Shutterstock
Origin: Scotland
Lifespan: 11 to 14 years
Weight: 6 to 13 pounds

Scottish Folds are distinctive for their unique ear folding, which gives the cat an “owl-like” appearance. They have a medium-sized body, round face, and large eyes. Scottish Folds are known for their gentle and calm personality.


10. Abyssinian

Abyssinian cat standing on white surface
Image Credit: Osetrik, Shutterstock
Origin: Ethiopia (formerly Abyssinia)
Lifespan: 9 to 15 years
Weight: 6 to 10 pounds

Abyssinians are one of the oldest known cat breeds. They have a short, ticked coat, almond-shaped eyes, and a slender body. Abyssinians are known for their playful, active nature, and they love to climb and explore their surroundings.


11. American Shorthair

white American shorthair
Image Credit: Oleksandr Volchanskyi, Shutterstock
Origin: North America
Lifespan: 15 to 20 years
Weight: 10 to 15 pounds

American Shorthairs are known for their round face, full cheeks, and robust muscular body. They have a dense coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns. These cats are friendly, easy-going, and make excellent family pets.


12. Himalayan Cat

Chocolate point doll-faced himalayan cat
Image Credit: Anne Richard, Shutterstock
Origin: United States
Lifespan: 9 to 15 years
Weight: 7 to 12 pounds

The Himalayan cat is a crossbreed between a Persian cat and a Siamese cat. They are known for their blue almond-shaped eyes, long fur, and color points like the Siamese. Himalayans are calm, gentle, and love to be pampered.


13. Turkish Angora

Turkish Angora - white
Image Credit: Aymara Herrera, Shutterstock
Origin: Turkey
Lifespan: 12 to 18 years
Weight: 5 to 9 pounds

Turkish Angoras are one of the oldest cat breeds, known for their long, silky fur, slender body, and plumed tail. They have almond-shaped eyes that can be blue, green, amber, or heterochromatic (each eye a different color). Turkish Angoras are playful, intelligent, and love to be the center of attention.


14. Bombay Cat

bombay cat sitting on grass outdoor
Image Credit: Viktor Sergeevich, Shutterstock
Origin: United States
Lifespan: 12 to 16 years
Weight: 8 to 15 pounds

Bombay cats are medium-sized cats with a muscular build, known for their jet-black coat, copper or golden eyes, and sweet, gentle disposition. They are often referred to as “parlor panthers” because of their striking resemblance to black panthers.


15. Birman

Birman cat on the floor
Image Credit: Daydream Photographie, Shutterstock
Origin: Burma (modern-day Myanmar)
Lifespan: 12 to 16 years
Weight: 8 to 12 pounds

Hailing from Burma (now known as Myanmar), the Birman is a cat breed that exudes elegance and charm. With a lifespan of 12 to 16 years and weighing between 8 to 12 pounds, Birmans are recognized by their silky medium-length coat, deep-set blue eyes, distinctive white “gloves” on each paw, and a robust physique. They are not only visually captivating but are also renowned for their affectionate demeanor and intellect, making them excellent companions.


16. Egyptian Mau

Egyptian Mau cat in gray background
Image Credit: MDavidova, Shutterstock
Origin: Egypt
Lifespan: 13 to 16 years
Weight: 6 to 14 pounds

The Egyptian Mau, indigenous to Egypt, is among the few domesticated cat breeds that naturally sport spots. These cats typically live for 13 to 16 years and weigh anywhere between 6 to 14 pounds. Their remarkable spots, vibrant gooseberry green eyes, and agile, muscular bodies set them apart. Egyptian Maus are energetic, intelligent, and possess a keen hunting instinct.


17. Exotic Shorthair

exotic shorthair cat sitting on grass
Image Credit: Ewa Studio, Shutterstock
Origin: United States
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Weight: 7 to 12 pounds

The Exotic Shorthair, with its origin in the United States, was bred to be a short-haired version of the Persian cat. They share the Persian’s round body and head shape, but their coat is plush, dense, and short. Exotic Shorthairs are known for their calm, gentle temperament, but they also display a playful side.


18. Norwegian Forest Cat

beautiful norwegian forest cat tortoiseshell sitting in garden in a summer evening
Image Credit: ElisaPutti, Shutterstock
Origin: Norway
Lifespan: 14 to 16 years
Weight: 8 to 16 pounds

Originating from Norway, the Norwegian Forest Cat, or ‘Wegie’, is a large breed. These cats are distinguished by their thick, water-resistant coats, bushy tails, and solid, sturdy bodies. Norwegian Forest Cats boast a friendly disposition, high intelligence, and have a strong instinct for climbing.


19. Oriental Shorthair

Ebony Oriental Shorthair in the grass
Image Credit: jojosmb, Shutterstock
Origin: United States
Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
Weight: 5 to 10 pounds

The Oriental Shorthair, a breed developed in the United States from Siamese cats, is known for its sleek, elegant body, almond-shaped eyes, and pronounced ears. Oriental Shorthairs are sociable, intelligent, and particularly vocal, often exhibiting a personality reminiscent of the Siamese.


20. Siberian Cat

Cute siberian cat walking on the snow
Image Credit: vvvita, Shutterstock
Origin: Russia
Lifespan: 11 to 15 years
Weight: 8 to 17 pounds

The Siberian Cat, a breed native to Russia, is a large, powerful cat. They are recognized by their long, dense fur, tufted ears, and fluffy tails. Siberians are friendly, intelligent, and have a pronounced hunting instinct. Their powerful hind legs give them an impressive jumping ability.

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Final Thoughts

The landscape of pet ownership in India is evolving with changing lifestyles and perceptions. Cats, with their independent yet affectionate nature, have found a unique place in the hearts of Indian pet owners. As understanding and awareness around pet care continue to grow, it’s likely that cats will become even more integral members of households across the country.


Featured Image Credit: slowmotiongli, Shutterstock

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