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Top 10 cat breeds

Vladimir is a regular contributor to PetMD, the largest global source of pet health information. PetMD's content is created by veterinary professionals and covers 9 different species.

Are you a cat person?

For every type of person in the world, there is a breed of cat that will suit his or her tastes and lifestyle. Active or laid back, fluffy or lean, massive or petite, there are so many cats to choose from that even "dog people” will find a cat that fits. There are several suitable breeds that will make your heart purr.

The Siamese

Don't let the bad kitties in the film The Aristocats leave you with a bad image of this beauty. Yes, they can be verbally demanding in wanting attention, but it's also a very loving, social and affectionate cat. The Siamese can be sensitive and nervous and is a creature of habit and routine--so if you're an international jet-setter that needs a cat that can travel, this is probably not the one for you. The Siamese comes in a number of colors, but the points--the dark patches on the face, ears, paws and tail--are integral to the breed.

The Abyssinian

One of the oldest breeds of cat, the Abyssinian resembles an ancient Egyptian cat with its lithe build, large pointy ears, and slender legs. This is a wilful, smart, and extroverted cat that loves to explore and play. Its love of games is only matched by its love of water, so watch out for unsolicited bath partners in the tub! Despite its curious nature, the Abyssinian is generally shy and timid around strangers--if you are in search of a show cat, this breed is probably not the best choice. The Aby is most comfortable in a home environment that best suits its loyal and people-loving nature.

The Exotic Shorthair

This is the short-haired version of the Persian. With its squashed face and rounded ears, the Exotic Shorthair looks more like a cuddly teddy bear than a cat. While having a similar temperament to its long-haired cousin, this cat is a bit more lively and inquisitive, but still very much calm and laid back. The Exotic Shorthair is a great choice for someone who wants a Persian but doesn't have the time or desire to devote to grooming.

The Maine Coon

This beautiful cat is a native to Maine and also the largest of the domestic cat breeds. It looks very feline and takes three to four years to reach full physical maturity. It has very thick fur with a waterproof layer, large wide paws that act like snow shoes for walking easily across snow, and a long, thick tail used to wrap about its face during harsh weather. The Maine Coon is not only a popular breed because of its temperament, but it's also a great mouser. Plus, it's also healthy and hardy, and is great with kids and other animal, including dogs.

The Persian

Everyone knows the Persian cat. Renowned for its long, silky fur, expressive eyes, and squashed face, the Persian is also one of the oldest cat breeds. Calm and sweetly affectionate, this cat loves habit and serene environments. Persians are the quintessential indoor cats; it is best to keep this breed exclusively indoors. The Persian does require regular baths and daily grooming, as its fur is too long for it to self-groom thoroughly and it is prone to matting. For Persian fanciers, grooming is but one of the many pleasures of having this cat as a companion.

So there you have the top 10 cat breeds. Of course, please don't share any of this information with your cat. It probably thinks it is most special cat in the world and the only one worth talking about. But, isn't that all of them?

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