If you’re a fellow cat lover, you’re probably pretty familiar with the most popular cat breeds. You might own an Abyssinian or two and have probably watched several YouTube videos of a Scottish Fold jumping in a box. But what about the cat breeds that perhaps aren’t as popular as they used to be? We looked at breed registration rankings from the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) from 2004 to 2014 to see if there were any popularity trends. (It’s important to keep in mind that breed rankings from CFA are based on registration numbers and not everybody registers their cats.) While many cat breeds’ rankings stayed relatively consistent over the past decade, there were a few that noticeably dropped in ranking. Some of these cat breeds you may not have been very familiar with anyway, but others used to be in the top 10.
Known for her gorgeous sapphire blue eyes and white-gloved feet, the Birman is still in the top 20 breeds as ranked by
the CFA, but she hasn’t been in the top 10 for the past few years. In 2004, she
ranked 7th in total breed registrations, but in 2014 she came in at
15th. Besides her good looks, the Birman tends to have a great
personality: She’s typically a calm and affectionate breed who gets
along with kids and other pets.
You’ve probably heard of the Abyssinian, but you may
not be as familiar with her long-haired sibling, the Somali. Like the Aby, the
Somali tends to be active and intelligent. The Somali was in the top 25 most
registered breeds from 2004 to 2011, but in 2012, the breed dropped to 32. That
being said, he could be seeing a bit of resurgence: In 2013 and 2014 he climbed
to the No. 29 position.
Developed by crossing Siamese with Burmese, the Tonkinese
stands out for his striking eyes and generally outgoing personality. In
2004, the cat was the 10th most popular breed registered with the CFA, but he has been steadily declining in numbers ever since. In 2014, the Tonks fell to the No. 18
Thanks in part to his generally outgoing personality and a
coat that comes in more than 300 colors and patterns, the Oriental is still a
pretty popular breed. But his ranking has declined a bit in the past 10 years. In
2004, the Oriental was the 8th most popular breed registered with the CFA, but he’s
gradually fallen to No.13.
A typically sweet and charming lap cat with a silky coat, the
Burmese’s decline in CFA ranking isn’t as dramatic as some of the other breeds. In
2004 and 2005, the breed was ranked 12th. Then in 2006, the Burmese
dropped to the 16th spot and has pretty much stayed there
(plus or minus a spot or two) ever since.