The 20 Most Popular Pedigreed Cat Breeds in America

iStock.com/Arx0nt
iStock.com/Arx0nt

The flat-faced, wide-eyed Exotic has been named America’s most popular pedigreed cat breed. This round-up of the country’s most coveted kitties comes from The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), which operates the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats. The list was created based on cats that registered with the association over the course of a year—and what better day to share their findings than today, National Cat Day? (An even better way to celebrate the occasion? Head to your nearest pet shelter and adopt a fuzzy feline of your own.)

With a name like Exotic, it’s perhaps no surprise that this feline is in such demand. They’re still a fairly new breed, having emerged in the 1950s or 1960s, when breeders mated American Shorthair cats with silver, green-eyed Persians.

Although they look similar to Persians, they’re not quite as high-maintenance. Their fur doesn't shed as much, and they only require a weekly brushing. “The Exotic is bred to meet the Persian standard in every way with one very special exception: the coat,” the CFA says. “The thick, plush, short coat gives the Exotic a soft, rounded, teddy bear look.”

Ragdolls, which also emerged in the ‘60s, are the second most beloved breed among cat connoisseurs. These lap cats are known for their friendly personalities, brilliant blue eyes, large size, and silky fur. They’re also incredibly docile, and were supposedly named for the way their bodies go limp—like a rag doll—when they’re picked up.

Third on the list is the British Shorthair, which has been around far longer than the previously mentioned breeds. In fact, they’re one of the world’s oldest cat breeds, having descended from felines that were brought to Rome via ancient Egypt. They were worshipped by ancient civilizations, and continue to be worshipped by modern-day fur parents.

Does your fancy feline make the list? Check out the top 20 breeds below, courtesy of the CFA.

1. Exotic
2. Ragdoll
3. British Shorthair
4. Persian
5. Maine Coon
6. American Shorthair
7. Scottish Fold
8. Sphynx
9. Devon Rex
10. Abyssinian
11. Oriental
12. Siamese
13. Cornish Rex
14. Norwegian Forest
15. Siberian
16. Birman
17. Russian Blue
18. Bengal
19. Tonkinese
20. Burmese

100 Dachshunds Competed in Cincinnati’s Annual ‘Running of the Wieners’

NORRIE3699/iStock via Getty Images
NORRIE3699/iStock via Getty Images

Every year, to kick off Cincinnati’s Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, 100 dachshunds compete in heats to decide who the fastest dachshund in the Midwest is. This year marks the 43rd annual Oktoberfest—one of the biggest Oktoberfest celebrations outside of Germany (more than 500,000 people attend the three-day event).

On the afternoon of Thursday, September 19, 100 wiener dogs (and their owners and handlers) gathered in downtown Cincinnati for the 2019 "Running of the Wieners." The dogs, dressed in hot dog costumes, ran 10 heats, which lasted 75 feet or five seconds each. The winner of each heat advanced to the final round, where the top three finishers were decided.

Maple, a long-haired, one-year-old dachshund, ran his way into first place—and into our hearts.

Maple’s owner, Jake Sander, told WCPO that Maple is one of five dachshunds in the family, and that he learned to run fast by chasing his brother around. Leo and Bucky, two other doxies, placed second and third, respectively.

Besides the Running of the Wieners, Zinzinnati also hosts the World’s Largest Chicken Dance. However, the wiener dogs are more fun to watch.

Photographer Captures Polka-Dotted Zebra Foal in Kenya

Frank Liu
Frank Liu

Zebras are known for their eye-catching patterns, but this polka-dotted foal recently photographed in Kenya's Masai Mara National Reserve really stands out from the herd. As National Geographic reports, the zebra baby likely has pseudomelanism, a rare pigment condition that's been observed in the wild just a handful of times.

Nature photographer Frank Liu saw the zebra foal while looking for rhinos in the savannah wilderness preserve. After initially confusing the specimen for a different type of animal, he realized upon closer inspection that it was actually a plains zebra born with spots instead of stripes. The newborn foal was named Tira after the Maasai guide Antony Tira who first pointed him out.

Zebra foal with spots walking with mother.
Frank Liu

Zebra foal with spots.
Frank Liu

A typical zebra pattern is the result of pigment cells called melanocytes, which are responsible for the black base coat, and melanin, which gives the animal its white stripes. (So if you've ever wondered if zebras are white with black stripes or black with white stripes, the answer is the latter). In Tira and other zebras with pseudomelanism, the melanocytes are fully expressed, but a genetic mutation causes the melanin to appear as dots rather than unbroken stripes.


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Frank Liu (@frankliuphotography) on

Though rare, this isn't the only time a zebra with pseudomelanism has been documented in nature. Pseudomelanistic zebras have also been spotted in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, but Liu believes this could be the first time one was found in the Masai Mara preserve.

Zebra stripes aren't just for decoration. The distinct pattern may act as camouflage, bug repellant, and a built-in temperature regulation system. Without these evolutionary benefits, Tira has a lower chance of making it to adulthood: Pseudomelanistic zebra adults are rarely observed for this reason. But as Liu's photographs show, the foal has the protection and acceptance of his herd on his side.

[h/t National Geographic]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER