Cat Cold War: Russian Versus American Cats


American cat breeds versus Russian cat breeds

American pedigree, purebred cats knock Russian cats into a cocked hat! In other words, there are more American pedigree cats than Russian pedigree cats and, in addition, the American cat breeds are more popular than the Russian cats. That is my overall assessment. Both countries have quite an active cat fancy (the breeding and showing of pedigree purebred cats). The Russians like their cats but you might not know it because there is little information coming out of Russia about the showing of cats.

A discussion about a cold war is currently very appropriate bearing in mind Russia’s invasion of Crimea and the response by America and Europe. The beginning of a new cold war?

Also, there are several American cat associations, two of which are the biggest in the world, namely, the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) and The International Cat Association (TICA). Russian pedigree cats are registered with the World Cat Federation. That association is, as far as I’m aware, the most used cat association for Russian breeders.


America has some extremely popular cat breeds.  You have to start with the Maine Coon; probably the most popular cat breed. The most highly registered cat breed is the contemporary Persian. This breed is supported admirably by the CFA. We have to say, therefore, that the Persian is also very a popular cat. As America is the biggest purebred cat marketplace you have to say that the Persian is still one of the world’s most popular purebred cats. As it happens, the Persian is popular in India and other parts of Asia. This is probably because it is an extremely long-standing cat breed and perhaps the best known of all breeds.

Another popular cat breed is the Exotic Shorthair, which, I’m sure you are aware, is a short haired version of the Persian. I have to mention, as well, the Himalayan which is a pointed Persian. The Himalayan is a popular cat in its own right although some would say that it should not be a different breed from the Persian.

Another popular American breed is the Ragdoll which was created in America from random bred cats. The Ragdoll is in the top 10 most popular Breeds as is the Maine Coon and the Persian.

We cannot forget the ever popular wild cat hybrid, the Bengal cat, which is another American creation. There was a spate of new cat breeds created in the middle and latter part of the 20th century.  The Bengal cat is in the top 10 most popular cat breeds.

Another American purebred, pedigree cat, also in the top 10 most popular breeds is the American Shorthair.

Although, both the Turkish Van and the Turkish Angora had been transformed into “American style cats”, they are not actually American cats because the originals are in Turkey where they are nothing like the American versions.

The Siamese cat is not an American cat, strictly speaking and is excluded from this discussion. However, the Oriental Shorthair (OSH) is an American creation despite being a Siamese cat, really (but in a different coat). The OSH is popular in America. There are other Siamese-family cats but they are less popular (i.e. Javanese).

There are a number of other cat breeds that are genuinely “made in America” but I would not consider them popular enough to itemize them in this article.


As for the Russian cat breeds, there are far fewer. I would state that the most popular Russian purebred pedigree cat is the Russian Blue, which, in my opinion is in the top 10 most popular cat breeds.

The next most popular Russian cat breed would be the Siberian. This is an all Russian cat breed. I say that because both the Maine Coon and American Shorthair are imports into America from Europe, probably about 400 years ago, whereas the Siberian cat was probably first imported into Russia thousands of years ago. If I’m correct that makes the Siberian cat more of a native cat to Russia than the Maine Coon and American Shorthair are to America.

Russian cat breeds such as the Donsky, Kurlian Bobtail and Peterbald are relatively rare and unknown to many people and therefore I cannot seriously include them in this discussion because they don’t really compete against the American breeds.

Please note that the hairless cat, the Sphynx was created in Canada. There are numerous dwarf cats, the most popular of which is the Munchkin. I could include the Munchkin in the list of American cat breeds  because it is actually quite popular.

As you can see, when it comes to the number and popularity of cat breeds America far outstrips Russia proving once again that America has the most dynamic cat fancy in the world.

You can see pictures and descriptions of all these cats and many more on this website. Please use the search box at the top of this article or start by clicking on this link. Thank you.

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Cat Cold War: Russian Versus American Cats — 8 Comments

  1. Hi Michael- fascinating article.

    I have lived with Russian Blues and they are the most amazing kitties- so loving- so sweet. I love their little voices and how strongly they express their affection for their guardians.

    I love their coat texture too- so soft- with that silver tipping- they are just magnficent with their deep green eyes.

    But what blew me away many many years ago, was when I was going over the pedigree of a blue-point Siamese that came to live with us-(my sweet little blue-point kitten that I cherished)- I found Russian Blues (From the CFA registration number) in the line. I imagine that is how the breeders got the “blue” color for the points.

    But these sweet little kitties under the “wrong” conditions can become really aggressive when they are frightened. Just knowing the cat and what to expect is really important.

    Thanks again for a fascinating read.

    • yea russia blues are lovely i had a freind once that had two very loving ones. great article by the way. im trying to write and jasmin trying to get on keyboard lol.

      • The Russian Blue is a very popular cat in the United States. The cat comes from a city called Archangel in the north of Russia. That any is the story. You will find, though, that all the cats that are living in archangel including the grey ones will look very little like the Russian Blue that is bred in America.

  2. After the second world war – when America dropped the only two nuclear weapons ever to be used on innocent civilians – perhaps one of the most brutal acts of agression in modern history – the Russian argued that the world would be a much better and safer place WITHOUT nuclear weapons BUT it was the USA which REFUSED to destroy it’s nuclear weapons and hence the nuclear arms race that followed leading to the cold war.

    History we are taught is so often propoganda. Its like saying the US won the 2nd world war – a total lie yet fact to so many.

    History is where I should keep my mouth shut on PoC 🙂

    • well at least one good thing about nz we are nuclear free, have been for 30 yrs Its prob why nz wasnt on the securty map.

  3. I rescued (literally off the street) a Russian Blue and he indeed is characteristic of Jo Singer’s description. He is VERY affectionate, attentive, active (loves to run all out around the yard) and he will come running immediately when I call him, makes very weird sounds like squeaks, horns, and barely audible sounds as if he’s talking to himself, but he talks to me ALL the time. He nudges me, seeks my hand, grabs it as I walk by, rolls over and loves to be pet all over, is in my lap all the time and yes, seeks me and our household for security. He learned to wave hi in all of two attempts. He’s a great candidate for tricks but I’ve always resisted them with cats. Hard to explain. His fur is very smooth and he’s completely gray. I don’t know a lot about pedigrees but I think he is, but he was not cared for nor sought when lost. He was quite a find.

    • He is definitely quite a find as you say. He sounds like a fascinating cat. He appears to be “different”. If you know what I mean. The question is why? He could be a Russian Blue for all anyone knows. Some people do abandon pedigree purebred cats. It is strange but people are able to do strange things 😉

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