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Published: Apr 13, 2011

The Cat Fancier's Association recently released its list of the top 10 most popular breeds for feline pet owners.

Topping the list was the Persian cat, which the organization claims was an animal depicted in hieroglyphics as early as 1684 B.C. Their long coats and gentle demeanor may be what pushed them to the top of this year's ranking.

Maine Coon cats took second place this year. The state of Maine favored these felines for their mouse-catching abilities, but the cats are also beloved for their bushy tails and love of children.

"Although they lost favor and were conspicuously absent from shows for quite a long time, we are now seeing large classes of these beauties in most cat shows and it is not unusual for a Maine Coon to be named 'Best Cat.'"

Rounding out the rest of the list are Exotic, Ragdoll, Sphynx, Siamese, Abyssinian, American Shorthair, Cornish Rex and Birman cats. Each of these felines make excellent companions for their own unique reasons.

Cat adoptions are an excellent alternative for those who would like to help rescue an animal in need of a home. Shelters often carry mix-breed cats that could combine the best quality of two or more breeds.