Cat lovers can name a thousand reasons why their furry friend trumps all others. From bengals to sphinxes, Long Islanders love their feline companions, but which one is the most searched? Newsday asked Google for the top 10 cat breed searches from Nassau and Suffolk to find out which cat reigns supreme.
10. Munchkin cat
The Munchkin cat is characterized by short legs caused by a genetic mutation. The breed gained popularity in 1995 when one appeared on the cover of the Wall Street Journal.
9. Scottish Fold
Scottish Folds are recognized by their folded ears caused by a mutation that affects cartilage and bones throughout the body. The first breed was discovered in 1961 in Scotland and many believe the cat resembles an owl.
8. Russian Blue
Originally from Russia, the breed is identified by its large green eyes and dense gray coat.
7. Savannah cat
Savannahs are the largest domestic cat breed and have an amazing ability to jump extremely high. The breed was created in 1986 by crossing a serval cat native to Africa and a domestic cat. They have become controversial over the years, with some states not recognizing them as a domestic breed, and are illegal to own in some areas.
6. Persian cat
During the 17th century, European explorers smuggled Persian cats and other valuable items out of Persia and the breed was known to be the pets of royalty.
Ragdolls got their name for its tendency for going limp when you pick them up. Some may recognize this breed for their piercing, oval-shaped blue eyes and soft fur.
4. Siamese cat
Native to Thailand, Siamese cats are known for their blue almond-shaped eyes and pointed ears. In ancient Thailand, the Siamese cat was considered sacred, and only royalty and Buddhist monks were allowed to own them.
3. Bengal cat
The Bengal was developed through selective breeding from hybrids of the Asian leopard cat and a domestic shorthair. One of the most popular breeds, Bengals have a unique meow almost sounding like a raspy bark. According to Animal Planet, one condition that sets these cats apart from other breeds is their immunity to feline leukemia. Due to this resistance, Bengals are being studied at the National Cancer Institute.
2. Sphynx cat
The first attempt at breeding Sphinx was in 1966 in Toronto. A black and white domestic shorthair queen gave birth to a hairless kitten. The cat was later bred with others to recreate the unique appearance. The hairlessness is a recessive gene, resulting in some kittens being born with and without hair. The kittens were known as Canadian Hairless Cats, while some referred to them as Sphinx cats due to their similarities to the Egyptian cat sculpture called the Sphinx.
1. Maine Coon
One of the oldest natural breeds in North America, native to Maine, these cats are known for their hunting skills and good-natured personalities.