If you are planning on buying a cat, you might be feeling nervous or curious to know which treasured felines are the most stolen cat breeds.
Unfortunately, pet theft has increased over the past few years, and many owners want to know what they can do to protect their furry family members.
Bengals are the most likely to be stolen. Domestic shorthairs and longhairs are also common targets for theft because there are significantly more of them than purebreds. However, purebred cats are considered more rare and valuable, so breeds like the Maine Coon, Persian, and Ragdoll are at a higher risk for theft, as well.
We all want our pets to live long, safe lives with us, but the dangers of pet theft can leave many pet parents anxious for their cats’ well-being.
Read on to learn more about why pet theft occurs, and what you can do to prevent it from happening to your cat.
10 Most Stolen Cat Breeds
More than two million cats go missing in the United States each year and are reported as stolen.
In the United Kingdom, there are as many as 360,000 reports of catnapping a year.
Since the coronavirus lockdown, pet theft has increased, possibly due to several reasons:
The demand for pets went up significantly during the lockdown, despite many people facing poverty and homelessness because of the pandemic.
Catteries Unable To Deliver
The most desirable cat breeds like Bengals or Maine Coons were in such high demand that catteries have been unable to deal with the flood of applications.
As a result, some people may have resorted to theft to get the cat breed of their dreams.
Way To Make Money
Some people also consider pet theft as an easy way to make money, as stolen pets can be sold for a higher price or used for breeding or even bait in dog fights.
So, what cat breeds get stolen the most?
Below is a list of cat breeds that are most likely to get stolen:
The Bengal is the most stolen purebred cat, and also one of the most expensive cat breeds in the world!
|Height||8 – 10 inches|
|Length||14 – 18 inches|
|Weight||8 – 15 pounds|
This breed has a marbled coat that makes them look like some kind of wildcat.
Bengals are known for being:
- Highly Intelligent
Their distinctive appearance also makes them stand out compared to most cats.
2. Domestic Shorthair And Longhair
Domestic shorthairs and longhairs are cats that do not have a breed.
They are the most common kind of cat, as only about 1% to 3% of cats in the world are purebred.
& Longhair Cats
|Purchase Price||Free to $150|
|Height||8 – 10 inches|
|Length||12 – 15 inches|
|Weight||10 – 15 pounds|
These cats are most likely to be stolen since they make up the vast majority of the cat population.
However, domestic shorthairs and longhairs are less coveted than luxury cat breeds (source 1).
3. Maine Coon
|Maine Coon Cat||Details|
|Height||8 – 16 inches|
|Length||12 – 40 inches|
|Weight||12 – 22 pounds|
If you have heard of this magnificent and large cat breed you might want to know do Maine Coon cats get stolen?
Sadly, this breed is the second most likely purebred cat to get stolen.
These cats have increased drastically in popularity over the last few years, so the theft of this breed will likely continue to rise.
4. British Shorthair
The British Shorthair is a cobby breed that comes in a variety of colors and patterns, though they are most commonly blue with brilliant golden eyes.
|Height||12 to 14 inches|
|Length||22 to 25 inches|
|Weight||7 to 17 pounds|
This is a mellow cat breed that would much rather spend time cuddling with their family than running around and playing.
The Ragdoll is, perhaps, the cuddliest of all cat breeds!
Their name comes from their unique tendency to go limp in their owners’ arms once they are picked up.
|Height||9 – 11 inches|
|Length||17 – 21 inches|
|Weight||10 – 20 pounds|
Ragdolls are big, soft creatures that love to snuggle and spend as much time with their owners as possible!
The Persian cat has long been considered a luxurious and fashionable cat breed.
While the peke-faced Persian is known for having severe breathing problems, doll-faced Persians are much healthier.
|Height||8 – 10 inches|
|Length||14.5 – 17.5 inches|
|Weight||7 – 12 pounds|
The Persian cat is one of the most expensive cat breeds in the world.
Siamese cats are famous for their:
- Pointed Coats
- Tendency To Vocalize
Since they look so different from regular cats, though, they are a common target of cat theft.
|Height||8 – 10 inches|
|Length||11.5 – 14 inches|
|Weight||8 – 10 pounds|
The Siamese is an active breed that shows its devotion to its family members by performing all sorts of tricks!
The Burmese is a beautiful cat breed whose coat comes in all sorts of rare colors such as lilac or chocolate.
|Height||10 – 12 inches|
|Length||15 – 18 inches|
|Weight||6 – 14 pounds|
These are loving and devoted cats who need to spend lots of time with their owners.
The Sphynx is a bizarre cat breed that is almost entirely hairless except for a thin layer of fuzz throughout the body.
Not only do these cats look weird, but they also behave weirdly, too!
|Height||8 to 10 inches|
|Length||13 to 15 inches|
|Weight||10 to 12 pounds|
10 Scottish Fold
The Scottish Fold is easy to recognize due to its folded ears.
|Scottish Fold Cat||Details|
|Height||8 – 10 inches|
|Length||14 – 16 inches|
|Weight||9 – 13 pounds|
The Scottish Fold cat is considered to be a very kid-friendly breed.
How Common Is Cat Theft?
Unfortunately, research shows that cat theft has increased over time.
However, part of the reason for this increase is that owners are more likely to report animal theft than before.
In 2017, domestic shorthairs were more common targets of theft than any purebred cat, but as of 2020, the Bengal was the most stolen cat breed in the United Kingdom.
The most valuable cats are more likely to be the target of thieves because they can be sold at a high price or used for breeding in kitty mills.
Where Are Stolen Cats Sold?
In many cases, cats are stolen because the owner is unwilling or unable to pay for a cat of their own.
However, one of the main reasons cats are stolen is for profit.
Here are some of the ways pet thieves intend to use cats for profit:
Some people steal intact cats to sell to breeders or to use in breeding themselves.
Purchasing a purebred cat is already expensive, but purchasing a cat with breeding rights is even more difficult.
This is especially true for people who plan to breed animals too often or in poor conditions.
Popular cat breeds like Maine Coons and Bengals are also incredibly expensive.
Some people steal purebred cats or cats that look purebred and sell them in newspaper ads or on sites like Craigslist or Facebook.
Whilst not all adverts shown on Craigslist or Facebook are a scam, buyers would be better off purchasing a Maine Coon kitten from a Registered Maine Coon Cat Breeder.
Some people steal beloved pets just to claim the reward money once the owner offers one.
While some owners are hesitant to offer a reward for this very reason, sometimes it is the only way a stolen cat can be recovered.
Tragically, some people steal cats to use as bait in dogfighting.
Even though this activity has long since been made illegal, it is still a popular sport that people end up making a lot of money from (source 1).
What To Do If Someone Steals Your Cat
If your cat has gone missing and you suspect it has been stolen, you will need to be proactive and persistent.
Here are some steps you can take to find a stolen cat:
1. Contact Animal Control and Local Shelters
Call around local shelters and animal control with a description of your lost pet.
You may need to call more than once to see if your animal has been surrendered to the shelter.
Animal control can help you file a report if you suspect your pet has been stolen.
2. Make Flyers
It is a good idea to make flyers including:
- Pictures of your pet
- Your contact information
- A thorough description of the pet you have lost
You can post flyers outdoors on phone poles. You can also ask local businesses to hang some of your flyers in their window, as well.
Another helpful tip is to mention that your pet requires medical attention. This will make people in your community more likely to keep a close lookout for the pet.
If somebody has stolen your pet, they may be more likely to release it if they see the pet needs medical care, as they are less likely to profit off of it.
3. Look At Local Ads And Websites
Comb newspapers, fliers, and ads on sites like Craigslist or Facebook. Keep an eye out for descriptions or images that are similar to your pet.
Many people who steal purebred cats intend to sell them to make some quick cash.
4. Request Backup
If you think you know or saw someone stealing, or in possession of your stolen cat, do not confront them.
Instead, contact animal control for help.
If you confront the person alone, they can easily deny your claim and relocate your pet before you have a chance to get them back (source 1).
Keeping Cats Safe Outside
The only way you can truly keep your cat safe is to keep your cat indoors.
Indoor cats have a life expectancy of about 17 years, while outdoor cats have an average life expectancy of 2 to 5 years.
No matter what steps you take, your cat is significantly more likely to die or get stolen if you let it outside.
If you already have an outdoor cat, there is not much you can do to keep it safe, but here are a few steps you can take that might extend your outdoor cat’s lifespan a little bit:
1. Harness And Leash
Training your cat to walk on a harness and leash is one of the best ways to let your cat enjoy the outdoors safely.
Cats can get bored staying cooped up in the same house every day, so going for a walk outside is perfect for exercise and allowing your cat to experience new sights, sounds, and smells.
While they can be expensive and time-consuming to build, an enclosed patio is one of the best ways you can provide outdoor enrichment for your cat!
For a cheaper option, you can let your cats use an outdoor kennel designed for dogs.
Microchipping your cat will allow people to find your information even if your cat does not have a collar on.
However, many people neglect to check for microchips when taking cats off the streets.
Cats need to be vaccinated against a variety of diseases including:
- Feline Distemper
- Feline Leukemia
Make sure you are always up to date on your vaccinations, as some must be renewed every year.
5. Collar And Tags
A common reason cats are stolen is because people either assume an outdoor cat is unowned, or because they would rather the cat live safely indoors.
Sadly, cat theft has increased since the coronavirus lockdown, so it is more important than ever to keep your pets:
The most stolen cat breeds are typically the most popular cats such as Maine Coons, Bengals, Ragdolls, and Persians, but cats of any breed can become a target for thieves.