Take a tour of the world with our top 10 cat breeds from countries across different continents and their characteristic qualities.
Abyssinian from Ethiopia, Africa
The loving cats are recognised by their large ears and wide eyes, almost resembling the African wild cat. Abyssinian cats are playful and love to be in the company of us humans, but will enjoy some alone time, too.
Egyptian Mau from Egypt, Africa
Egyptian Mau cats are a very old breed, featuring in historic murals dating back over 4,000 years ago which depict the cats being worshipped and adored by Egyptian pharaohs.
Burmese from Burma, Asia
The Burmese cat has large and lustrous golden yellow eyes paired with a stocky body and is often heavier than they look. They’re sometimes said to have a dog-like personality by wanting to know exactly what their owners are up to. Burmese are attention lovers.
Japanese Bobtail from Japan, Asia
Japanese Bobtail cats have a very unique tail, which is short, furry and looks like a pompom or as if it belongs on a bunny. You might recognise these cats from statues of the Maneki-neko, the common Japanese figure which are often believed to bring good luck!
Russian Blue from Russia, Asia
These smart and slender cats are quiet but loyal felines who love to play, climb and race around. Their emerald green eyes really stand out against their sleek silvery-blue coats. They can also be spotted showing off black or white coats, despite their name.
Maine Coon from Maine, North America
Maine Coons are very, very big cats and don’t reach their full size until they are three to five years old. That’s a lot of growing. Mrs Norris from the Harry Potter films was a Maine Coon, accompanying Argus Filch around the school on his care-taking duties.
Sphynx from Canada, North America
Sphynx cats are immediately recognisable because of their lack of fur. They are very warm to touch and make great sofa companions, but they very much appreciate central heating or log fires.
Norwegian Forest Cat from Norway, Europe
The Norwegian Forest Cat is a hunter at heart but can make a fantastic companion. Like the Maine Coon, the Norwegian Forest Cat is quite big and will need space to run and play.
British Shorthair from United Kingdom, Europe
These cats not only look like cuddly teddy bears, but they’re as laid back as one, too! You might see British Shorthairs in a variety of colours including silver tabby, blue, chocolate and lilac.
Cornish Rex from United Kingdom, Europe
A Cornish Rex has a distinctive crimped coat that usually also affects their whiskers. They are quite intelligent cats with a mischievous streak that are also compared to our canine friends. They love checking on their owners, playing with plenty of toys, and climbing.
Our feline friends are being celebrated at the British Library in London in a free exhibition all about cats that have prowled the pages of books. There, you will be able to meet cats from around the world with the chance to explore other exhibition features, like the reading corner and a family trail.