If you think cats are the epitome of cuteness, you’re certainly not alone. The Internet is alive with photos of the world’s cutest cat breeds.
In 2019, YouTube users searched for ‘cat videos’ 55 million times. In 2020, a pretty silver tabby named Nala (nala_cat) made the Guinness Book of World Records for achieving the most followers for a cat on Instagram (4,361,519). It seems we can’t get enough of cute cats, both online and in our lives.
There are several theories for why we find cats so cute. One is that their faces, with big, wide eyes and small noses, mimic those of human babies. Another is that we find an affectionate cat satisfactorily purring on our lap therapeutic. Whatever the reason, we’ve been finding cats cute for a very long time – the earliest evidence of feline domestication dates back to 10,000BC!
We’ve rounded up the furriest felines, the cutest kitties and the most charming cats in our list of the cutest cat breeds.
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PetsRadar's guide to the cutest cat breeds
1. Maine Coon
Did you know that Maine has an official state cat? That’s right, it’s the Maine Coon. This beautiful-looking cat has a thick ruff of hair, fluffy pants and a huge, tufted tail that he can wrap around himself for warmth.
Maines are also famous for being probably the oldest native breed of cat in America. Their long, silky hair makes them eminently strokable. They also happen to be one of the largest cat breeds in the world, weighing between 9 and 18 pounds, if you fancy both a large and lovable companion in your life!
Persians are the most popular pedigree cat in America, and we can see why. Persians have a calm personality and beautiful, flowing coats which do need a bit of looking after! Grumpy cat, one of the most famous online cats, is thought to be part Persian.
3. Scottish Fold
In 1961, a shepherd in Scotland found a cat with an unusual trait - she had ears that folded forwards. This original cat, named Susie, was the ancestor of the breed known today as Scottish Fold (or Highland Fold for the long-haired variety). Their drop ears give them a quizzical, super-appealing quality. If you own a Scottish Fold, you’ll know they are almost impossible to resist!
4. Russian Blue
Russian Blues are beautiful, elegant cats with unusual coloring. They have a double coat with inner hairs of dark gray and outer hairs tipped with silver, which really does give them a blue-gray appearance. They have intelligent, triangular faces and green eyes which make them very attractive.
You could say that Bengals are stunning rather than cute! Their coats have ‘leopard spots’ which can come in a variety of patterns and colors. They’re bright, intelligent and often love water – unsuspecting owners have often found themselves inadvertently sharing a bath!
Birman cats look similar to their Thai cousins the Siamese, but they’re stockier and have a bushier tail. Their eyes are a striking clear sapphire blue, and it’s easy to see why they were once worshipped as idols in temples! They’re friendly, sociable cats and love to curl up in any available lap.
Vocal, athletic and outgoing, Burmese cats are natural entertainers and will soon capture your heart. Their traditional coloring is a beautiful, rich, dark brown known as sable, but they can also have lighter coats. They love company and you’ll soon find yourself planning your activities around them.
8. Devon Rex
The Devon Rex has the whole package – unusual looks, a mischievous personality and a cheerful disposition. Devon Rexs originate from Devon, UK, in the 1960s and are related to the Cornish Rex. They have unusual, short, curly coats and a triangular, pixie-like face which captures their cheeky nature.
Laidback and chilled, the gorgeous Ragdoll got his name from the way he goes limp with pleasure when picked up. He’ll also purr fit to knock you over! They’re big cats, weighing between 10 and 20 pounds, and very affectionate – they can even get on with dogs. Their medium to long, silky coats are just made for stroking.
10. Turkish Van
Turkish Vans are nicknamed ‘the swimming cat’ for their love of water, and occasionally ‘the cashmere cat’ for their incredibly soft coats. They tend to be white, with sometimes some color on the head and tail. Their dense coats make stroking them enjoyable, but as they’ve very lively and energetic you might not often get the chance!
Korats aren’t just cute, they’re lucky as well. In his native Thailand, the Korat is a symbol of prosperity and especially brings happiness to brides. He likes to run the house his own way, and you won’t be able to resist those sparkling green eyes. Prepare to spend all your time pandering to him!
12. Norwegian Forest Cat
‘Wegies’, as they’re affectionately known, are also ‘official’ cats. Instead of being the official cat of a state, though, they’re the official cats of a whole country – Norway. They look similar to Maine Coons and may be distantly related. They have long, silk coats and a great love of climbing, so remember to keep your closet doors closed!
13. Selkirk Rex
A comparatively recent breed, the Selkirk Rex is named for the Selkirk Mountains. In 1987 a breeder in Montana found a feral kitten with a distinctive curly coat and managed to breed cats which shared the same characteristics. These furry fluffballs love to cuddle.
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Sara is a freelance journalist and copywriter of many years’ experience with a lifelong love of animals. She’s written for a range of magazines and websites on subjects varying from pet care to travel. A horse rider since the age of five, she’s currently a full time pet slave to horse Blue and gorgeous, goofy English Springer Spaniel Olly. Adorable Olly has a huge sense of adventure and no sense of direction, keeping Sara on her toes.