Cat aficionados can name a million reasons why they fancy their feline friends, but certain breeds possess personality traits that make them particularly popular. So we decided to take a close look at Vetstreet's 2011 birth record data to find out just which pedigreed cat breeds are most coveted in the U.S. today.
List, photos and captions courtesy of Vetstreet
Rounding out the list at No. 10 is the <a href="http://www.vetstreet.com/cats/sphynx" target="_hplink">Sphynx</a>. A suede-like coat is the Sphynx's most unmistakable feature, but he's also curious, smart and a clown who craves applause for his antics. In fact, he loves attention so much that you may want to consider getting him a fellow Sphynx playmate.
9. Russian Blue
The <a href="http://www.vetstreet.com/cats/russian-blue-nebelung" target="_hplink">Russian Blue</a> is quiet, intelligent and easy to love -- all traits that have secured him the No. 9 slot on our list. Although he's likely less demanding than many other felines, the Russian Blue is delightfully affectionate toward family members.
He's best known for his lack of a tail, but the smart <a href="http://www.vetstreet.com/cats/manx" target="_hplink">Manx</a> also sports a gentle, playful disposition. Translation: He's happy to play fetch or carry on a conversation in his trilling voice. Some Manx will lavish all of their affection on a single member of the family, while others like to spread the love. Either way, we can see why he's made the top 10.
7. American Shorthair
The <a href="http://www.vetstreet.com/cats/american-shorthair" target="_hplink">American Shorthair</a> is the pedigreed version of the domestic shorthair -- and the seventh most popular pedigreed cat in the U.S. He's easygoing, tolerant and enjoys affection and interactive play. And as long as he's well socialized as a kitten, he tends to get along well with guests and other pets.
The <a href="http://www.vetstreet.com/cats/himalayan" target="_hplink">Himalayan</a> is a colorpoint version of the Persian, created by crossing Persians and Siamese, but some registries consider the Himalayan a stand-alone breed. The Himmy, who nabs the No. 6 spot, is the total package: He has the Persian's sedate personality and the inquisitive nature of a Siamese.
Athletic, intelligent, active and independent. These are just some of the words commonly used to describe the <a href="http://www.vetstreet.com/cats/bengal" target="_hplink">Bengal</a>, who comes in at No. 5. He's not as cuddly as many of the other cats on our list, but he still demands attention -- he may even go for walks on a leash!
Coming in at No. 4 is the sweet-natured <a href="http://www.vetstreet.com/cats/ragdoll" target="_hplink">Ragdoll</a>. You'll probably fall for those big, blue eyes in an instant, but his gentle disposition and ability to make friends with ease mean he's a good feline fit for many types of families.
3. Maine Coon
The <a href="http://www.vetstreet.com/cats/maine-coon" target="_hplink">Maine Coon</a>, ranking third on our list, is a true gentle giant. He generally gets along with everyone -- even dogs! -- and is known for following his family members from room to room. And you won't miss him when he does: This big-boned breed can weigh between 9 and 18 pounds!
The glamorous <a href="http://www.vetstreet.com/cats/persian" target="_hplink">Persian</a> was the second most popular pedigreed cat breed in America last year -- and for good reason. He's gentle, quiet and expressive. Plus, just look at that face! His lush coat requires a good deal of grooming, but owners are quick to point out that it's a worthy sacrifice.
With his stunning blue eyes, it's little wonder that the <a href="http://www.vetstreet.com/cats/siamese" target="_hplink">Siamese</a> ranked as the most popular pedigreed cat breed in 2011. But beautiful as he is, it's his personality that really dazzles -- the Siamese will chat with you all day (and night!), and his innate curiosity is the stuff of legends.
Cute Kitten Scared by Hoover
A vacuum cleaner has turned this cute kitten into a nervous wreck as it backs away terrified by the sound of the hoover approaching.