Although dogs are currently at the top of the list as the most popular pet in the UK, cats are a close second with a population size of 12 million1. Within that large population, there are many different cat breeds with different temperaments, features, coat lengths, and life expectancies. Each cat breed is unique, and one breed may suit your family better than another.
Before welcoming a cat into your home, make sure you’ve researched the breed you’re bringing into your life to ensure that you can meet their exercise, dietary, and grooming needs. As cuddly and affectionate as some cats are, they can also be highly active and up for any challenge. Below are the 11 most popular cat breeds in the UK.
11 Most Popular Cat Breeds in the UK
1. British Shorthair
|Life Expectancy:||15 years|
|Coat Length:||Short, medium|
The British Shorthair is one of the top cat breeds in the UK, as well as being one of the oldest. This medium-sized breed is intelligent, playful, and placid. They make excellent pets for single people due to their affection and loyalty to their owners. However, they get on well with children and other pets when socialized properly and can happily be part of a family.
Their coat length is short to medium, with common colors of white, blue, black, brown, red, and cream. It’s thick and grows quite lengthy during winter. These stocky cats can gain weight quickly if they’re not highly active, and a controlled diet can sometimes be necessary.
|Life Expectancy:||10–16 years|
Bengal cats are another much-loved cat breed in the UK but are slightly less popular than the British Shorthair because they’re not ideal in busy, younger family homes. Although friendly, this breed appreciates their space and a calm environment—but don’t expect the same from them!
Bengal cats are highly demanding and require a lot of interaction, as well as daily mental and physical activity. Puzzle games are a great way to entertain these intelligent minds and allowing your Bengal to play outside in your yard or swim with you in the pool will help them burn off a lot of their energy.
This breed looks wild with their similar appearance to the Bengal tiger, but they’re completely domesticated. They’re spotted, but they can have a silver, snow, or brown coat.
|Life Expectancy:||10–12 years|
These grumpy-faced cats are actually very loving and easygoing. If you live in an apartment, this breed isn’t going to cause you any problems with your neighbors because they’re quiet and calm. They’re happy to stay at home alone all day as long as they can stay indoors in a calm environment. As sweet as they are, they’re not ideal cats to have around children due to the noise and energy kids can bring.
These beautiful cats require a lot of work and need to be groomed every day due to their long, fluffy coats and inability to groom themselves properly. Although often seen in cream, they also come in smoke, black, tabby, chocolate, blue, lilac, and tortoiseshell.
|Life Expectancy:||12–17 years|
|Coat Length:||Semi-long to long|
If you’re looking for a friend in a cat, the Ragdoll will be just that for you. These social and friendly cats do well with single people or families as long as they can be around people. They’re so easygoing that they are a great option for first-time cat owners who don’t have much experience.
Like Persians, Ragdolls are happy to be left alone at home all day, but they do enjoy being inside as well as outside as they’re playful and enjoy a bit of exploring. Due to their long coats, daily grooming is necessary. They’re a large, muscular breed of cat with a lot of fluff around their legs, neck, and tail.
|Life Expectancy:||8–15 years|
This elegant and lean breed is chatty, outgoing, and demanding. They love attention and crave constant entertainment. They love families with young children that they can play with but don’t do well on their own all day. They love being outdoors and exploring their environment.
They have beautiful blue eyes and come in many colors. However, they stand out for the darker coloring on their face, legs, ears, and tails. They don’t tend to shed much and only need to be groomed around once a week. This is the breed of choice for those looking to cuddle with their cat, as they’re very loving.
6. Maine Coon
|Life Expectancy:||9–15 years|
Maine Coons are exceptional cats that are massive in size. They’re one of the biggest domesticated cat breeds, with their large personalities matching their physical size. They have large ears with tufts as well as on their paws. They come in 64 different colors and markings and have a tail that is as long as their body. Due to their long coats, they do require daily grooming, but bath time shouldn’t be a problem because they love water.
This breed is intelligent and interactive. They love busy homes with many family members and pets and will include themselves in all the family activities. They also appreciate time outside to run, jump, and climb as they’re highly active. These big babies are friendly and chatty and are a great option for first-time cat owners.
7. Russian Blue
|Life Expectancy:||10–15 years|
On a smaller scale with an average build, is the Russian Blue cat breed. These stunning cats have no patterns and are known for their silver coats and green eyes. They’re graceful and calm but can be quite social. They’re the type of cat that is dependent on their owners and will follow you as you move from room to room. However, they’re happy to curl up and relax in a quiet spot while you’re at work during the day.
This breed is affectionate and will share their love with anyone interested in reciprocating it. They’re vocal, enjoy conversation, and aren’t shy to let you know when they’re unhappy about something.
8. Scottish Fold
|Life Expectancy:||11–14 years|
|Coat Length:||Short and long|
The Scottish Fold has rocketed in popularity in the UK due to their fame on social media, thanks to a few well-known celebrities posting about them. They’re known for their folded ears, which many people want in their cats because of how cute they look.
Surprisingly, not all Scottish folds have this feature, and efforts to breed the gene out completely are underway because of the pain and problems it causes the afflicted cats. Their folded ears aren’t the only adorable thing about these cats, though, as their personalities shine bright. They’re easygoing, love attention, and are always up for a cuddle session.
They typically have short coats, but there is a longhair variety too. They’re commonly seen in blue, red, cream, black, and white colors.
|Life Expectancy:||10–16 years|
Burmese cats are charming and extroverted. They easily fit right into family households due to their friendliness, love of socializing, and adaptability. They’re not only impressive in their intelligence but in their physical abilities, as they are excellent climbers and jumpers. They enjoy being perched high up, so cat shelves, wall-mounted beds, and cat trees are a must for inside your home. When outside, they’ll be up a tree in no time.
These athletic cats come in various colors, such as red, lilac, chocolate, brown, blue, and cream, as well as two-toned. They don’t shed much and require little grooming.
10. Savannah Cat
|Life Expectancy:||15–20 years|
Savannah cats are a lot of fun and have a dog-like personality that is easily trainable. They can quickly learn to walk on a leash and play fetch and have a love for water (which isn’t a common interest for most cat breeds). They get along with other pets when socialized as kittens and don’t mind children. However, they’re not the easiest cat breed to care for and aren’t recommended for first-time owners.
This breed can live up to 20 years when cared for properly and given a high-quality diet. They’re one of the largest domestic cats and are the result of crossing a Siamese and Serval together. Like a Serval, Savannah cats also boast a spotted coat and large ears.
|Life Expectancy:||8–14 years|
|Coat Length:||Nearly hairless|
Most people can identify a Sphynx with ease because there aren’t too many hairless cat breeds around. However, like many of the cat breeds we’ve listed above, they’re intelligent and very affectionate. Sphynx cats will happily cuddle up on your lap or climb into bed with you, partially to get a little extra warmth. Apart from getting cold easily, they’re also prone to getting sunburnt. So, outdoor living isn’t an option.
Despite their lack of hair, they do come in various colors and patterns. They won’t require brushing, but frequent baths are necessary to prevent oily skin. As majestic as this breed looks, they do crave attention and will get in the way of your tasks in an effort to involve themselves.
Cats are a wonderful addition to any home and are the second most popular pet in the UK. There are several popular cat breeds that the nation favors, such as the British Shorthair, Bengal, Persian, and Ragdoll. Before getting a cat, educate yourself on the breed’s needs to find the type that will adapt best to your home and lifestyle, as some do better with single people, and others enjoy the busyness of a home with children and other pets.