8 Cat Breeds That Get Stolen Most Often

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By Lucie Turkel, Reader's Digest


Here kitty, kitty, kitty!

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Do you own one of these highly desirable feline friends? If so, it's important to note that these eight cats are likely to get stolen at higher rates than some of their fellow cat breeds. And why, might you ask? Because the most popular cats are also the ones that are most valuable to breeders and resellers. "Valuable cats can, of course, produce even more money for the thief during breeding. But there are those who simply resell the stolen cat, and that could be a faster way to make money for these people," says Peter Laskay, a pet health blogger at petworshiper.com. Make sure you check to see if your purrfect pet is on this list and if so, keep them a little closer to your side.

Bengal

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The Bengal was the name most noted by experts when asked which breeds are most likely to be stolen. The Bengal's popularity and unique fur are the main reasons for this pedigreed felony. "This is likely because of its beautiful and, I hate to say it, 'Instagramable' fur that stands out with an almost tiger-like print," explains Charli Burbidge, co-founder of Petz. "Because of this, people know that they can sell it at a much higher rate than regularly seen domesticated cats, and can also attempt to breed and cross-breed for even further money-making opportunities." Bengals get their uncommon fur markings from the Asian leopard cat which was bred with domestic cats to create the beautiful Bengal. So despite their roots, don't let these cats out into the wild too much for fear that somebody else may snatch them up.

Siamese

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The Siamese cat is a constant favorite of cat owners. Originally hailing from Thailand, the lithe and muscular cat is known for its "points," which are the darker colorations on its ear, face, tail, legs, and feet. The Siamese is considered one of the first pedigreed cats after being officially recognized by the Cat Fanciers' Association in 1906. Unfortunately, the prestige of the Siamese doesn't just make it a wanted feline by cat owners, but also by cat thieves. "They're great indoor cats, very sociable, and have low health risks. They don't require much grooming as well, so they're perfect pets for busy people," Mollie Newton, founder of Pet Me Twice, explains in regard to why Siamese cats are so desirable. "Siamese cats are also one of the most popular breeds owned in the United States, so it's easy to find a buyer if a person steals for breeding purposes." Think about this twist on the old saying: Keep your friends close, but your Siamese closer!


Russian Blue

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It may seem unlikely for a cat to be more elegant than a human, but this can sometimes be the case for the Russian Blue. These cats, known for their shimmering blue-gray coats and stunning green eyes, are thought to be possible descendants of the pets of Russian czars (now does their elegance and poise make sense?). In 1912, these royal felines were officially acknowledged as a breed, only six years after the Siamese. Not only are they beautiful, but their temperament makes them amazing household pets. "[The Russian Blue] is calm, with a sweet temper, and gives their owner undivided attention. This cat loves to be groomed and shown affection but it is not affected by the owner's extended absence from the house," says Blake Trooy, proprietor at Pugsquest.com. However, their friendly demeanor and striking looks make them a major target for cat theft. Russian Blues are also notorious hunters, known for straying far away from their home, Trooy points out, which makes them even easier targets. This is one cat you shouldn't let out of the bag.


Ragdoll

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Ranked as the fifth most popular cat breed by the Cat Fanciers' Association, the Ragdoll gets its name from its relaxed attitude and floppy movements when picked up. These cool cats (pun completely intended) have large blue eyes and a silky soft coat. Originating from California in the 1960s, the Ragdoll breed was created by the mating of a white Persian cat queen and a Birman (or Birman-type) tom. Like the other felines on this list, the Ragdoll's popularity is the main reason it is one of the most stolen cat breeds. These valuable cats can make a (literal!) cat burglar a ton of money whether they decide to breed with the pet or just resell it.


Maine Coon

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The Maine Coon brings a whole new definition to the phrase "big cat." These felines are the biggest domesticated cat breed, with one record-breaking cat stretching out to over four feet long. However, the Maine Coon is a gentle giant, with a good-natured and playful personality. These cats are also skilled mousers and hunters. Unfortunately, all of the unique characteristics that make them stand out as perfect pets also make them susceptible to cat thieves. "The rare and unique looking breeds tend to get stolen the most," Nicole Ellis, a certified dog trainer at Rover, explains. "People either think they're more valuable or they see something unique and want it for themselves." So while the Maine Coon may love a good game of cat and mouse, make sure that your friendly feline doesn't end up playing the role of the captured mouse to a thief's cat.


Sphynx

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The Sphynx is one cat breed that surely stands out: They're one of only a few naturally hairless cat breeds worldwide. However, not all Sphynxes are completely hairless; there are varying degrees of hairlessness on this friendly feline. And they're pretty friendly—the Sphynx is one of the most high energy cat breeds, sometimes even garnering comparison to dogs. They enjoy being around humans, dogs, and other cats. Their lovable personality and lack of hair (perfect for anyone wanting a purrfect pet but that is allergic to fur) make it clear why they're one of the most popular cat breeds today. However, just a quick Google search shows that like the other popular cat breeds on this list, the Sphynx is likely to get stolen. Keeping your hairless friend indoors, both for their health and their safety, is a prize-winning move.


Scottish Fold

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Looking into the face of a Scottish Fold may make it seem like the cat's got your tongue—but no, it's just the breed's too-cute-for-words features. One of the most special things about the Scottish Fold cat is the way in which their ears fold down, giving them the impression of a pixie, owl, or teddy bear (and also just sheer adorableness!). Some of their ears fold down at around three or four weeks of age, but some don't. Since the fold is due to a genetic mutation, it's fairly random which Scottish Fold cats get the trait that they're named after. It's these cats with the unique fold that are the most desired by cat owners, show breeders, and cat thieves alike.


Domestic Shorthair

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The Domestic Shorthair cat is a bit different from the other cats on this list: Rather than being desired for their purebred and unusual characteristics, these cats actually offer quite the opposite. Instead, the Domestic Shorthair is a cat of mixed ancestry, thus not belonging to any particular recognized breed. Instead, they're known for their short coats and purr-fect pet qualities, earning them the nickname of "house cats." So why are these cats also likely to be stolen? "The Domestic Shorthair is also one of the cat breeds most often reported stolen, likely because it accounts for 55 percent of the cat population," says Alexandra Rodriguez, a veterinary technician and vet consultant at CatPet.club. So even if you may not own a prize-winning pet, it's important to stay vigilant and look after your cat, no matter what breed they may be.

See more at: Reader's Digest

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