The Exotic, for the second year in a row, is the most popular cat breed in America, according to the Cat Fanciers’ Association registry of pedigreed cats. In 2014, the Exotic knocked the Persian off its long-time perch as top cat.
Despite the breed’s popularity, few outside the ‘cat world’ even know what the Exotic is. Think ‘Persian look.’ The Exotic is bred to meet the Persian standard in every way, with one special exception: the coat. Exotics have much shorter hair, though plush, giving them a rounded, teddy bear looks.
While estimates vary on the total number of purebred or pedigree dogs and cats in America, out of the nearly 70 million pet dogs, about 35 to 40 percent are purebred. Of the 74 million cats, fewer than 10 percent are pedigreed.
Historically, dogs were bred for function — and sometimes still are — while few cats are bred to herd sheep or guard property. Good looks and temperament count in felines. Just as dogs ranging from St. Bernard’s to the Miniature Schnauzers tend to have their own temperaments, the same is true for cat breeds.
Here’s the CFA list of America’s top-8 pedigreed cats: