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.
Did you find this article useful and interesting? Can it be improved? Please tell me in a comment. I am always keen to improve the site for animal welfare and reader enjoyment.