Let’s face it, most kitties loved in families don’t have documented lineages. Many much loved kitties are born in litters found under porches or in garages, or born in a cow milking barn.
Some lucky kitties have mothers taken in before they’re born and get to be brought into this world in the comfort of a warm and loving home until they’re old enough to find homes of their own.
With the plethora of easy to get and even easier to love mutt kitties out there, it’s hard to imagine that purposeful breeds of cats are being developed and finding homes. But they are- much like carefully bred dogs, cats are also bred with the same attention to detail and with the same amount of pride in lineages.
These carefully bred specimens are not only unique and beautiful; they also have histories, purposes, and fantastic personalities. Here are the top ten cat breeds in 2014 that deserve as much recognition as we can give them!
This beautiful star of the old hit Homeward Bound has made itself comfy in many, many homes. It’s also the base blood for other breeds, some of which are fairly popular. This is because of its colorful personality and of course, uniquely good looks in color pattern. There are many variants, and all are very beautiful. Some of these variants include a darker cat overall with dark brown/black points known as “seal”. The “flame” or “red” Siamese include cream, red, and apricot points and are very lovely, rarely seen. There are other variants making this cat one of the prettiest.
California Spangled Cat
This new-ish breed hasn’t made a lot of lists, but its gaining extreme popularity as being a good mix of exotic looks that everyone wants right now with a still very domesticated kitty personality. The Spangled is a larger kitty, but not overly large. The coat sports exotic leopard-like spots, and comes in three types of colors: The regular spangled coat that’s almost tabby-like in appearance, the snow leopard with light background, vivid spots, and blue eyes- and the king which is said to resemble the king cheetah. This kitty, while kind, is still full of energy and needs athletic stimulation to remain happy.
This little unique wonder and ball of energy bridges the gap between cat lovers and dog lovers, although it’s still a cat. The Abyssinian is not only great looking in a compact and strong body with facial features that aren’t extreme but unique to itself. Its beautiful coloring, known as having an “agouti ticked coat” with sleek and shiny short hair gives it a very wild appearance. This cat isn’t really a lap cat, but wants to be with its loved ones all the time in every capacity doing everything its loved ones do. This breed tends to fall in love with older people more-so than children, but it does make a good pet cat for an older active family.
This extremely old breed emerging out of Thailand is taking the world by storm. There are four great cat breeds that have come out of Thailand, this being one of them. The more familiar Siamese and Burmese are two others, with the Korat rounding out the four. Bred by royalty in Thailand documented since the 1300’s, this is one of the oldest documented breeds today. Khao Manee means “White Gem” in Thai, and this kitty certainly fits that bill. With a completely white and short coat, it also sports two different colored eyes- usually one yellow and one blue. There are some variants with this breed, and being very old and stable genetic phenotypes are pretty expected with each litter to be predominantly all white, sometimes with patches that vanish after a certain age. This kitty is gentle, kind, and very sweet in personality.
This is also an ancient breed that’s rare yet very popular and highly sought after, and with its easy and loving personality is going to gain a lot of traction in 2014. Most famously known for its love of water, in its native region its love for water has earned it the name of “the Swimming Cats”. For cat breeders, the VanCat is a genetic treasure, bringing in a rare and sought after piebald gene giving beautifully patched coats over white that are so famous in the Turkish Van. A favorite look with medium long hair, white body, and red tabby tail and ear patches mark the Turkish Van and give it the classic look it’s known for. But even more beautiful are the copper eyes- with some variants. The coat is both luxurious and soft, but does not need regular grooming as it does not mat up- making this a luxe and rare beauty that requires minimal care.
If it wasn’t for breeders through time working on creating breeds of cat and dog specifically designed to fit desires and needs of the current demand, we wouldn’t have all of the interesting breeds of cat and dog that we have today. New breeds, like the Minskin, are one example of continued careful breeding in an effort to develop cats that fit into the modern lives that demand them- and are becoming very popular. The Minskin is an improvement on the hairless cat, out of a need for hypoallergenic animals. There’s a short fur covering on the Minskin that’s minute, yet definitely felt- almost like touching satin. The skin is close enough still to the surface that like with total hairless cats, you can feel the warmth of the body when you touch them, making them a soothing body to cuddle with. The legs of the Minskin have been bred to be extra short, like the Munchkin breed. This reduces the athletic ability of the cat overall in terms of jumping on things in a small home, but this cat is still full of energy and needs exercise like all cats do. You just don’t have to worry as much about the cat bringing its cat-litter feet all over your kitchen counter surfaces. This kitty comes in all colors and has a kind and friendly demeanor.
The manly man cat of manly cats. Well, sort of. This kitty is a large, hardy, furry, wild-like tailless wonder that makes you wonder if they’re related to the wild bobcat in some way. Actually, not all purposefully bred Manx are tailless, but they are all equally as much like a dog as any dog could be all wrapped up in a kitty body. Most people assume that Manx are the long haired giants, but the long haired tailess Manx-like cats are called Cymric cats, but are technically identical to the Manx. Manx are technically short hair, but eh, who’s keeping track? They both come from the same place (Isle of Man) and are the same otherwise other than hair length. What makes these kitties really stellar is, they’re loyal home protectors. They’ll not only hunt out vermin, but they’ve been known to chase off intruding bear, coyote, raccoon, dogs, and any other unwanted critter with no fear. They’re smart enough to know not to kill household chickens or livestock too. A giant, kind, smart, gentle, intelligent, useful and cute companion will be found in the Manx.
If you’re looking for someone who’ll practically take showers with you every day and help you brush your teeth, look no further than the popular copper cat wonder- the Burmese. This calm little stinker of a cat will get into everything, want to be with you at all times, watch you constantly, and will be happy to tell you about it all along the way. To say that this breed lacks in anything in the personality department would be making a very obvious mistake. This isn’t a slinky slight cat- in fact, in this deceivingly compact body lies a body of well-toned muscle hard as rock, with short and finely smooth fur covering their hard muscled body. Their faces are large, angular, and they always seem to be sort of looking straight into you with their giant eyeballs. There are many colors that come with the Burmese, but all are rich and saturated and beautiful. Expect a game of fetch or two with the Burmese too.
This is an old standard cat in form and personality. Everyone wants a Persian. Their flat faces make them irresistible. Their long and thick coats make them luxe. Thee colors they come in are varied, wide and there’s something for every taste. Their very calm, quiet, and sweet personality makes them easy to live with. They’re great with kids, famously allowing children to dress them up in doll’s clothes and push them around in kid carriages. They allow this, all while saving their words and purrs for the one or two people that they love most when everything settles down in the house and they can be themselves. The Persian suffers from many facial ailments because of the flatness bred into their faces, suffering from breathing problems, infections, dental problems, and sensitivity to extreme temperatures. They also suffer from eye problems.
What sort of top breed kitty list would not have the famous Bengal? This breed has sort of set the standard in everyone’s mind about what a wildcat should be. They’re large, extremely athletic, beautifully and wildly patterned, and exhibit many behaviors that you won’t find in other domestic breeds of cat- making them a much scaled down version of their very wild counterparts. Extremely intelligent, due care has to be taken to give a Bengal cat the happy and healthy home it needs outside of its physical needs (which are extreme for a domesticated cat). This cat won’t need grooming, but it will need a home where it can be allowed to be itself- mentally and physically. And for a cat in this respect, it’s highly demanding. But you’re rewarded with a loyal, entertaining, and beautiful companion for many, many years, as this breed is long lived.
Preferences in cats follow old traditions and also have new requirements keeping breeders busy today. From the small, compact, calm, and adorable baby faced kitty breeds to the large and wild breeds, there’s something for everyone in a pedigree cat. But, there’s not much that can compare to the rescue kitten with no lineage, that will love you and entertain you as well as any pedigree can- and although nothing is certain (it never is even with carefully bred cats either), you’re still guaranteed the same love and attention that all domestic cats offer their owners. But having a kitty with genetic royal history is special, brag worthy, and for some people the right choice. Whatever you choose, cats are delightful and wonderful companions!