Cat Breeds
most common cat breeds uk

Most Common Cat Breeds UK - Charting the Feline Elite

Written by Steph McCulloch


In the diverse landscape of cat breeds, the UK holds a unique position, reflecting both its rich history and contemporary preferences.
A maine coon cat playing in the grass


As cat lovers across the UK continue to open their homes to these charming companions, it's intriguing to delve into which breeds reign supreme in this island nation.

With a plethora of options available, ranging from the exotic Bengal to the regal British Shorthair, understanding the nuances behind each breed unveils a fascinating tapestry of feline companionship.

Diving into the realm of cat breeds, we embark on a journey to uncover the top contenders for most popular cat breeds in the UK's feline hierarchy.

As we traverse through the list of the most common cat breeds in the UK, we'll unravel the stories behind these beloved companions, shedding light on their origins, temperaments, and why they've captured the hearts of cat enthusiasts nationwide.

Join us as we celebrate the diversity and allure of the UK's most cherished feline companions.

While exploring the diversity of cat breeds, it's also fascinating to delve into their behaviours, such as why cats eat grass, which adds another layer of intrigue to our understanding of these beloved pets.

a bengal cat playing with a toy mouse

The top 10 most popular cat breeds in the UK:

1. Bengal: Bengal cats are known for their stunning appearance, which resembles small wild cats like leopards and ocelots. Their distinctive coat features striking rosettes or marbling patterns, giving them a unique and exotic look, making them the most popular breed.

Bengals are highly active and intelligent cats that thrive on interaction and mental stimulation. They are often described as adventurous and playful, enjoying games of fetch and exploring their environment. Despite their wild appearance, Bengals typically have friendly and affectionate personalities, forming strong bonds with their human companions, making them a true feline friend.

a siberian cat laying down

2. Siberian: Siberian cats are a robust and athletic breed known for their thick, triple-layered fur that helps them withstand harsh winter climates. Originating from the forests of Russia, Siberians are well-adapted to cold environments and have a water-repellent coat that keeps them warm and dry.

Owners of such robust breeds as the Siberian should be aware of common health issues, including how to spot and treat a cat ear infection, ensuring their well-being.

Despite their large size and muscular build, Siberian cats are surprisingly gentle and affectionate. They are known for their social nature and often enjoy spending time with their families, including children and other pets. Siberians are also known as one of the more intelligent breeds with great learning and problem-solving abilities, making them engaging companions for interactive play and training activities.

a british shorthair cat under a sofa

3. British Shorthair: British Shorthair cats are renowned for their robust build and dense, plush coats, which come in a variety of colours and patterns. Their round faces, coupled with large, expressive eyes, give them an endearing and teddy bear-like appearance.

Known for their calm and laid-back demeanour, British Shorthairs are ideal companions for families and individuals alike.

Their gentle nature and affectionate disposition make them excellent pets for households with children and other pets. With their independent streak and playful tendencies, British Shorthairs strike a perfect balance between companionship and autonomy, making them a cherished breed among cat lovers worldwide.

British Shorthairs often show their affection through various behaviours. One of the interesting questions owners often wonder about is discussed in our expert guide ‘why does my cat lick me?’.

a ragdoll cat sitting on the grass

4. Ragdoll: Ragdoll cats are an attractive breed, celebrated for their striking blue eyes and semi-longhaired, silky coats that come in a spectrum of colours and patterns. True to their name, Ragdolls often go limp when picked up, earning them a reputation as "floppy" cats.

This trait, combined with their gentle and affectionate nature, makes Ragdolls particularly well-suited for households seeking a cuddly and laid-back companion. Ragdolls thrive on human interaction and are known for their loyalty and devotion to their owners.

Their sociable disposition and willingness to be involved in family activities make them beloved members of any household lucky enough to welcome them into their midst.

For those interested in the size aspect of cat breeds, discovering the biggest domestic cats provides fascinating insights into how Ragdoll Cats compare in terms of size and stature.

a himalayan cat in a tree

5. Himalayan: Himalayan cats, a cross between Persian and Siamese breeds, boast striking blue eyes and luxurious, long coats in various colour points.

Renowned for their elegance and regal bearing, Himalayans are affectionate and loving companions, often forming strong bonds with their owners. While they may have a reputation for being more reserved than some breeds, Himalayans are nonetheless deeply devoted and enjoy spending time with their human family members.

Their calm and gentle nature makes them well-suited for indoor living, where they can bask in the comfort of their home environment while receiving plenty of attention and affection from their loved ones.

a close up of a desert lynx cat

6. Desert Lynx: Desert Lynx cats are distinctive for their wild appearance, featuring tufted ears and a muscular build reminiscent of their wild ancestors.

These cats are known for their playful and outgoing personalities, often delighting their owners with their energetic antics and adventurous spirit.

Despite their rugged exterior, Desert Lynx cats are affectionate and sociable creatures, forming strong bonds with their human companions.

They thrive in environments where they have ample space to explore and play, making them well-suited for households that can accommodate their active lifestyles. With their striking looks and spirited personalities, Desert Lynx cats bring a touch of the exotic to any home they inhabit, captivating their owners with their charm and charisma.

a maine coon cat relaxing in the grass

7. Maine Coon: Maine Coon cats, often referred to as the "gentle giants" of the feline world, are renowned for their large size, tufted ears, and bushy tails - a truly beautiful animal with a gorgeous coat.

Given their impressive fur, Maine Coon owners might benefit from this comprehensive cat grooming guide with tips.

Originating from the northeastern United States, Maine Coons have a rugged and majestic appearance, making them stand out among other domestic breeds. Despite their imposing size, Maine Coons are affectionate, friendly and sociable cats that enjoy the company of their human family members.

They are known for their intelligence and playful nature, often engaging in interactive games and activities with their owners. Maine Coons are also highly adaptable, thriving in various living environments, from spacious rural homes to cosy urban apartments, as long as they receive adequate love, attention, and stimulation.

a european shorthair cat sitting near plant pots

8. European Shorthair: European Shorthair cats are a beloved and versatile breed that has been a cherished companion to families across Europe for centuries.

While their appearance may vary, European Shorthairs are typically characterised by their sleek coats, expressive eyes and sturdy build. Known for their independent and resilient nature, these cats are well-suited for households seeking a low-maintenance pet that can adapt to different lifestyles and environments.

European Shorthairs are affectionate and loyal companions, forming strong bonds with their owners and enjoying interactive play and affectionate cuddles. With their easygoing temperament and adaptable nature, European Shorthairs make wonderful pets for individuals and families looking for a friendly and reliable feline companion.

an american shorthair cat looking at the camera

9. American Shorthair: American Shorthair cats are a quintessential breed in the United States, known for their robust health, easygoing temperament, and classic good looks.

With their sleek coats and expressive eyes, American Shorthairs come in a wide range of colours and patterns, reflecting their diverse genetic heritage. These cats are known for their laid-back and sociable nature, getting along well with children, other pets, and even strangers.

American Shorthairs are independent yet affectionate, enjoying both interactive play and quiet moments of companionship with their owners.

Their adaptable nature makes them well-suited for various living environments, from bustling households to serene apartments. With their winning combination of charm, intelligence and amiability, American Shorthairs have rightfully earned their place as one of the most beloved cat breeds in the country.

a ragamuffin cat stretched out on a blanket

10. Ragamuffin: Ragamuffin cats, with their plush fur, expressive eyes, and sweet temperament, are beloved for their gentle and affectionate nature. Descended from Ragdoll cats, Ragamuffins share many of the same endearing traits, including their tendency to go limp when held and their love for human companionship.

Ragamuffins are known for their laid-back and easygoing personalities, making them excellent pets for families, seniors and individuals alike. They enjoy being part of household activities and are often found following their owners from room to room, eager to be involved in whatever is going on.

Ragamuffins thrive on attention and affection, forming strong bonds with their human family members and showering them with love in return. With their charming disposition and unwavering devotion, Ragamuffins bring joy and warmth to any home lucky enough to welcome them into the fold.


As we wrap up our exploration of the most common cat breeds in the UK, it's evident that this nation of cat lovers embraces a diverse array of feline companions. From the majestic Bengal to the gentle Ragamuffin, each breed offers its own unique blend of charm, temperament and beauty. Whether you're drawn to the calm temperaments of pedigree cats like the Persian or the playful nature of domestic breeds like the Ragdoll, there's a perfect cat breed waiting to become your furry friend.


What health issues should cat owners be aware of?

While cats are generally resilient animals, certain breeds may be predisposed to specific health conditions. It's essential for cat owners to stay informed about common health issues in their chosen breed and schedule regular veterinary check-ups to ensure their furry companions remain in optimal health. All Waggel members get free, 24/7 online vet care with Joii - it’s just one of many perks you’ll receive when joining.

Are there any breed-specific considerations for cat insurance?

When selecting insurance coverage for your beloved feline friend, it's important to consider any breed-specific risks or health concerns. Understanding the health issues specific to certain cat breeds is crucial, as is finding the right insurance coverage; our cat insurance guide can help you navigate these considerations.

Which breed of cat is known for its loving nature and gentle personality?

Cat owners seeking an affectionate breed with a gentle disposition might find the British Shorthair to be an ideal choice. Renowned for their lovable temperament and distinctive appearance, British Shorthairs make wonderful companions for individuals and families alike.

What is the largest breed of cat?

For cat owners who appreciate sizable feline companions, the Maine Coon holds the title as one of the largest domestic cat breeds. Despite their impressive stature, Maine Coons are cherished for their friendly demeanour and playful nature, making them an ideal family pet.

Do fluffy-coated breeds require special grooming?

Breeds like the Siberian and Ragdoll, known for their luxurious and fluffy coats, may require regular grooming to maintain their beautiful appearance and prevent matting. Cat owners should be prepared to invest time in brushing and grooming to keep their furry friends looking their best.

Waggel Pet Insurance

Need more help? You're in luck if you're a Waggel Pet Insurance member. Along with our excellent coverage, we offer access to a 24/7 online vet to answer all your sticky questions, especially if you need grooming assistance.

Not a member? Why not get a quote now and cover your furry friend for a range of illnesses, all while enjoying our amazing perks and rewards.

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