When compiling a list of the top 10 most popular cat breeds in the Philippines, it doesn’t take long to make an important distinction.
Many breeds in the Philippines are imported from elsewhere- or at least they were in years. Let’s have a look at some of the most popular breeds within the Philippines, as well as the world.
10. American Curl
American Curl cats have a distinctive feature that sets them apart from all other breeds. The tips of their nearly rounded-topped ears curl back about 45 degrees, hence the “Curl” in their name.
This breed is generally considered a medium-sized cat, often weighing no more than 10 pounds. The breed can live up to or beyond 13 years on average.
American Curls are friendly, affectionate, and easily bond with owners. However, they’re not typically spoken of as lap cats or snugglers. They are content with being close by and often enjoy the presence of their families whenever possible, rather than being all over their owners.
American Curl History
The American Curl cats’ history only spans a few decades, surprisingly enough. Breeders in the early ’80s stumbled on the distinct curl of the cat’s ears quite by accident. A couple took in a stray with the specific feature of the Curls, which became prominent in corresponding litters.
9. British Shorthair
The British Shorthair is the official name for what was once referred to as the British Domestic Cat. They’re most commonly recognized for their wide face and short-blue coat. Though their blue coat is popular and common, this breed enjoys about eight different colors.
These fuzzy fellows stand up to 14 inches tall and can weigh up to 17 pounds. As the weight and size suggest, this breed is a large breed of domesticated cats.
The British Shorthair has a wide and muscular frame, with legs that are a bit stout compared to other breeds of the same size and weight. Another trademark feature of this breed is its deep orange set of eyes and medium-sized tail.
British Shorthair History
Where the Romans failed, the British Shorthair succeeded. When Rome attempted to overtake the British Isles, the Roman soldiers often brought their cats to keep food supplies safe from pesky varmints.
Though the Romans eventually abandoned their efforts in Britain and set for home, the cats stayed behind and have continued occupancy to this day. Since nearly being starved out throughout World War II, they’ve bounced back in grand fashion and have become an extremely popular breed- particularly in the Philippines.
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8. Bengal Cat
Though the Bengal cat appears to be a hybrid of wild spotted cats, it’s actually a combination of other domesticated breeds. The Egyptian Mau and the Abyssinian are the two most relevant breeds used in the original mix.
Their strong and muscular body is considered average to large due to their long, lean, and athletic physique. They often stand about 10 inches tall and weigh about 15 pounds.
The Bengal is widely renowned for its colorfully spotted, short coat, which has been deemed more hypoallergenic than other breeds- and also separates them from all other breeds in this list.
Though they might share the appearance of a wild cat, their temperament is often sweet-natured, loving, and sociable, but they can behave boldly at times. Between their great temperaments and stunning appearances, it’s no surprise that this has become a favorite among Filipinos.
Bengal Cat History
Though there are records of similar breeds being concocted in the mid-to-late 1800s, the breed we recognize today wasn’t fully developed until the 1980s. The breeding program was spearheaded by Jean S. Mills back in 1963.
7. Exotic Shorthair
The Exotic Shorthair is a breed meant to become a shorthaired rendition of a Persian Cat. Because of its lineage, this breed shares distinct features often attributed to the Persian.
Among which is the wide head with the pushed-in look about the snout, and also eyes that don’t have the typical “cat eyes” shape but a more rounded appearance. Exotic Shorthairs stand up to 12 inches tall and can weigh up to 12 pounds.
The similarities aren’t only in appearance to the Persian, but share many of the same temperamental qualities typical with the breed. They are overly friendly in a kitten or puppy kind of way, affectionate, but do demand plenty of alone time as most cat breeds do.
Exotic Shorthair History
At some point in the 1950s, American Shorthair breeders began to breed Persians, Russian Blues, and Burmese into their American Shorthair Breeds to capture the Persians’ popularity with a new breed.
According to the Cat Fanciers Association, this breed’s popularity has surpassed all other breeds, except the Purebred Persian. In short, what breeders set themselves to do in the 50s has reaped the benefits with amazing success.
6. American Shorthair
The most distinguishing feature that makes the American Shorthair cats different from other breeds is their “picture-perfect” facial structure. What I mean is, when you think of a housecat, this medium to large breed will most likely come to mind.
The biggest difference between a common domestic shorthair and an American Shorthair is that the American Shorthair will yield kittens that share its same distinct appearance every time. Common domestic shorthairs won’t.
This breed stands about 10 inches at the shoulder and weighs up to 15 pounds. Its coat is consistently short but tends to thicken toward cooler months.
American Shorthair History
Despite the “American” name, these cats originated from Europe and came along with settlers as a means to protect their stored foods from small critters. The first official breeding program to yield a standardized purebred American Shorthair occurred in 1904 and has become a wildly popular breed worldwide.
5. Russian Blue
Its short, straight, and dense coat is the Russian Blue’s hallmark feature. Most often, the coat is glossy silver or a deeper, dark gray silver-tipped. Both coat colors give the breed a blue-like appearance.
This breed commonly grows up to 10 inches tall and weighs about 15 pounds. Their temperament is affectionate yet reserved and extremely intelligent. One outstanding trait of the breed is its longevity. Russian Blues can live up to and beyond 20 years old.
Russian Blue History
It’s understood that the origins of the Russian Blue are traced back to the port of Arkhangelsk in Russia. However, much of the development of this breed took place in England and Scandinavia throughout the late 1800s through to the early 1900s.
4. Himalayan Cat
The Himalayan (otherwise known as the Colorpoint Longhair in Britain) is a recognizable breed with many features of a Persian but a coat heavily influenced by Siamese cats.
Himalayans are large-boned and often appear much larger than they are due to their long fur and wide head. These playful cats can grow to be 12 inches tall and weigh about 12 pounds.
Most of the time, the Himalayan has a pushed-in facial structure akin to the Persian but can sometimes have a more pronounced or lengthened snout. Adult Himalayans are generally calm but enjoy playing if the toy is right. They make great companion cats with a coat that impresses any onlooker.
Himalayan Cat History
In the early 1900s, cats that bore similar markings to the Siamese cat became en vogue. Persians were crossbred with Siamese cats to create a breed that bore such markings.
However, their intentions were not to create a new cat breed but to create a Persian capable of achieving such a coat coloration. Eventually, after the conclusion of WWII, the first successful Himalayan was created. “Successful” means that the cat maintained the Persian appearance but a long-haired variation of a Siamese-type coat.
3. Siamese Cat
Instantly, when seeing a Siamese cat or even just hearing the name, you would associate them with their Asian beginnings. Some breeds might leave you up in the air wondering where they started- not the Siamese.
This breed stands about 10 inches tall and can weigh up to 10 pounds. When you see a Siamese cat, they are instantly recognizable due to their world-famous pointed fur types. With the popularity of the Siamese, it’s no surprise that this breed is one of the most popular breeds to be found resting in homes across the Philippines and other parts of Asia.
Siamese Cat History
Originally, the Siamese cat hails from Thailand and is considered to be among the oldest cat breeds in all of Asia. Once upon a time, the Thailand area was called “Siam,” which gives more purpose to the “Siamese” name. The “Siamese” enjoyed a stellar reputation and was often referred to as “The Royal Cats of Siam.”
2. Persian Cat
Persians have always been instantly recognizable due to their pushed-in shout, large round head, long thick fur, and seemingly oversized eyes. Some tout the Persian as the most popular cat breed out there, which creates little surprise that it falls at number 2 on our list of the most popular cat breeds in the Philippines.
Being a large breed, the Persian can stand up to 15 inches tall and weigh up to 12 pounds. This docile, calm, and friendly breed enjoys being an affectionate lap cat. This breed has been the focal point for many an offshoot breed, many of which appear in this list.
Persian Cat History
As the name denotes, the Persians came from Persia, then known as Mesopotamia, now known as Iran.
The first longhaired cats from Persia were brought into Europe in the early 17th century. Standards for the breed were difficult to pin down as the centuries passed but were finally bred into standardization, giving us the current breed we all know today.
1. Philippine Shorthair (Puspin)
This is the most common household cat you’ll find in the Philippines. Not just in the home, though, but also roaming the streets, enjoying all the attention they can get as they play or hunt.
The name Puspin is short for Pusang Pinoy or Pinoy Cat, and they have no specific origin or breed standards. Due to the mongrel nature of the Puspin, there aren’t any average heights and weights, as it varies from cat to cat. They can also have a variety of coat colors but generally keep their short hair- which is among the only standards to be found within the group of cats.
There is growing interest within the Philippines to deem this a specific breed rather than an “other” category, though purists continue to resist.
Puspin Cat History
Unlike every other breed on this list, there is no recorded history concerning this breed. That is likely due to the complex nature of the various combinations of the cat, always changing yet slowly becoming normalized to a certain extent.
Whether it’s due to being cheaper than other, more popular “purebred” breeds or it’s due to the charm and personality of the Puspin category of cats, these are the most popular among Philippine residents.
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Many cat breeds in the Philippines were imported into the country, except for two wild varieties of indigenous cats.
They are the Palawan Leopard and the Visayan Leopard cats. Though these are roughly the size of a large housecat, they don’t usually make good pets as their wild instincts remain very close to the surface.
There you have it- The most popular cat breeds in the Philippines!
Thanks for reading! 😊