Which breed of cat is right for you?

Find the right cat for you and insure your pet

By Peter Carr Wednesday 7 February 2018
 

Many people assume that, because cats are all basically the same size, the breed you choose is less important than it is for dogs, which come in a much wider variety of shapes and sizes.

Cat lounging on the sofa

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Inquisitive and independent, cats are one of the UK’s favourite domestic pets. Each breed presents its own set of unique demands, making it important for you to choose the right one for your household. With MoneySuperMarket’s in-depth guide, you can learn more about the costs, behaviours and surprises that the UK’s top breeds have to offer.

UK's top ten cat breeds

MoneySuperMarket data, correct as of November 2017

Things to consider before you buy

Although cats display many similar characteristics, there are subtle differences between breeds that are important to factor into your decision:

  • Energy. While Persians prefer to relax in style, Bengals are live-wires who are always looking to play. Make sure that you’re comfortable with the energy level your new cat is going to bring to your household.
  • Child-friendliness. Some cats, like Birmans, were bred specifically for their tolerant, easy-going nature, making them perfect playmates for youngsters. Other breeds are much more aloof.
  • Grooming. While this isn’t as significant an issue as it is with dogs, grooming should still come into your decision when choosing which breed of cat to get. Persians – with their long, flowing coats – require more maintenance than Siamese cats, for example.

Which breeds are most expensive?

Sphynx cats are by far the UK’s most expensive breed, with average costs of just under £680. Because this type of cat can develop health problems if bred incorrectly, there are a wide variety of expenses throughout the breeding process, which increases the amount that you can expect to pay. 

Most expensive cat breeds

MoneySuperMarket data, correct as of November 2017

 

Moggies are the UK’s most affordable cat. Since they’re mixed breeds, they’re much more common and therefore far less expensive than pedigree breeds.

Most affordable cat breeds

MoneySuperMarket data, correct as of November 2017

What’s the most affordable breed in my location?

Moggies are the most affordable breed in many areas of the country, although there are some notable regional variations when it comes to cost. They are most affordable in Northern Ireland – costing just £55 – while Moggies in Scotland cost almost double that amount. In the North West, the short-haired variant of Moggies, the Domestic Shorthair, is the least expensive breed. 

Most affordable cat breeds by region

MoneySuperMarket data, correct as of November 2017

How much will I have to pay for cat insurance?

Another important cost to consider is cat insurance. The five most expensive breeds to insure are: 

No.

Breed

Annual Insurance Premium

1

Sphynx

£330

2

Oriental

£320

3

Siamese Chocolate Point

£287

4

Siamese Seal Point

£282

5

Exotic Shorthair

£258

 

While the five least expensive breeds are:

No.

Breed

Annual Insurance Premium

1

Domestic Shorthair

£106

2

British Shorthair

£143

3

Ragdoll

£156

4

Bengal

£157

5

Moggie

£180

MoneySuperMarket data, correct as of November 2017

 

However, it’s important to remember that breed isn’t the only thing that influences the cost of your insurance. While age and health is important, it’s also good to remember that your premiums can vary from place to place because of different vet costs. This means that Londoners will generally pay more for annual pet insurance premiums than people from Northern Ireland or Scotland, for example.

Which types of cats go missing most often

Most common lost and stolen cat breeds

DirectLine Group data, correct as of August 2017

 

One of the perils of having an in-demand breed of cat is that their high selling-costs can make them an attractive prospect for thieves. The four breeds which are most often reported stolen are Bengal, Domestic Shorthair, Russian Blue and Siamese cats. If you’re thinking about getting a pedigree breed, this may be something to consider, particularly when it comes to your cat’s safety.

Guide to the UK’s top 6 cat breeds

When choosing your new cat, it’s important that you pick a breed which suits your lifestyle. We’ll take you through the crucial information you need to know about the UK’s top breeds.

Moggie / Domestic Shorthair

Average cost

Moggie: £84

Domestic Shorthair: £152

Annual insurance premiums

 

Moggie: £180

 

Domestic Shorthair: £106

Grooming

As most Moggies have short coats, grooming is relatively easy. Brush their hair every week, and make sure that their claws are also clipped regularly.

Diet

A combination of canned and dry food is perfect for keeping your Moggy healthy.

 

Moggies are the UK’s most popular breed and come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colours. Due to their genetic variation, Moggies are often reported to be healthier and live longer than pedigree cats, while many people claim that they’re also more intelligent. They’re often outgoing, although not particularly vocal, and make for excellent outdoor cats. In addition, they adapt well to living indoors, making them fantastic domestic pets.

The term ‘Domestic Shorthair’ is often used interchangeably with ‘Moggie.’ In fact, Domestic Shorthair is a specific type of Moggie which, as its name suggests, has short hair. In terms of their health and temperament, there is virtually no difference between the two.

Moggies are generally free from genetic or hereditary diseases. However, they can be affected by overeating, which in turn can cause kidney, joint, liver and back problems.

 

Moggie/Domestic Shorthair

Ragdoll

Average cost

£272

Annual insurance premiums

 

£156

Grooming

Once or twice weekly combing sessions will keep your Ragdoll’s coat sleek and soft.

Diet

High-quality dry or wet food is perfect for Ragdolls, while the occasional treat of tinned fish or raw minced beef will go down well.

 

For a sweet and relaxed breed that loves attention, Ragdolls are a solid choice. Because of their docile and tolerant nature, they’re ideal for families with small children – they’ll put up with quite a lot and would rather leave the room than scratch or bite. While they don’t have especially high energy levels, they enjoy playing games now and again, although they tend to get the most enjoyment from following their owners around the house.

Ragdolls can suffer from a range of health problems:

  • Hypertropic cardiomyopathy
  • Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney diseas

Ragdoll

Bengal

Average cost

£271

Annual insurance premiums

 

£158

Grooming

A Bengal’s soft coat can be easily maintained by weekly grooming sessions.

Diet

Bengals enjoy a mix of dry and wet food, while raw meats such as fresh turkey can be a great supplement to their everyday diet.

 

Displaying a friendliness that belies their wild appearance, Bengals are an inquisitive, cheeky breed with bags of energy. They are often said to be more like dogs than cats because of the affectionate attitude that they display towards their owners, and most of the time they’ll want to be exactly where you are! Bengals love exploring their home environment, both high and low, and while they’re happy to curl up on your lap, playtime is their main passion.

Bengals can suffer from hereditary health issues such as:

  • Flat Chested Kitten Syndrome
  • Patellar luxation
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Pyruvate kinase deficiency
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)

In some cases, cataracts can be treated surgically, while PRA – which causes progressive blindness – does not yet have a treatment.

 

Bengal

British Shorthair

Average cost

£253

Annual insurance premiums

 

£143

Grooming

By brushing once a week, you can keep your British Shorthair’s coat free of dead fur and tangles.

Diet

Because of their relatively sedate nature, it’s important that you don’t let them gain too much weight. They aren’t fussy eaters and are happy to eat both wet and dry food.

 

Easy-going and attentive, the British Shorthair is one breed that’s perfect for family life. They’re not particularly loud, but their friendly, playful disposition makes them one of the most affectionate cats around. They’re happy to follow you and settle down for a cuddle, and, as long as they’re treated with respect, they’ll get along well with children.

British Shorthairs are one of the healthiest types of cat, although they are still affected by a couple of different health issues, including:

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)
  • Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease

British shorthair

Maine Coon

Average cost

£374

Annual insurance premiums

 

£255

Grooming

Their long, rugged coats are probably their most distinctive feature. It requires a couple of grooming sessions every week to keep it looking fresh, and they shed relatively heavily during the spring.

Diet

Maine Coons are very energetic, so they need lots of high-quality dry food, mixed with wet food a couple of times a week.

 

Large, affectionate and people-orientated, Maine Coons are wonderful companions that can often seem more like dogs than cats. They are happiest when they’re hanging out with their owners, but they aren’t the type of cat to pester you for attention. They get along with everybody, from kids to dogs, and have a kittenish disposition that means that they’re lots of fun to have around the house.

Like other pedigree cat breeds, Maine Coons can be affected by feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, while they’re also prone to hip dysplasia.

 

Maine coon

British Blue

Average cost

£403

Annual insurance premiums

 

£185

Grooming

British Blues have a beautiful, bluish-grey coat that’s relatively easy to maintain, since it doesn’t tangle. They need to be brushed a couple of times a week.

Diet

British Blues are happy to eat dry or wet meat, and thrive from a diet of high protein and low fat.

 

The British Blue is the most common British Shorthair variant. They’re just as friendly and affectionate as other variants of the breed, and while they love human interaction, they’re more than capable of amusing themselves while they wait for you to get home.

Since they’re a type of British Shorthair, the British Blue can suffer from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, while Haemophilia B – a type of bleeding disorder – has also been known to affect the breed.

 

British

 

Average breed cost and premium data from MoneySuperMarket, November 2017.

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