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The Top 9 Friendliest Cat Breeds
By: Brianna Gunter / Updated June 22, 2023
The stereotypical feline is independent and standoffish, especially when it comes to humans and animals she doesn’t know. Though as cat owners can attest, it all depends on the cat. Many kitties rival the average dog with how friendly and affectionate they are!
Your cat’s personality can be shaped by a number of factors, including how early he was socialized and where he spends his early months. But genetics also play a huge role. Wondering what cat breeds tend to be the friendliest? Here are the top nine, in no particular order:
Known for its fluffy coat, flat face, and love of laying down for long hours, the Persian cat has been referred to as “furniture with fur.” Fortunately for pet owners, this delightful four-legged furniture also happens to be one of the friendliest cat breeds in the world. Persians are intelligent and enjoy playing with people, but are often not as energetic as other cat breeds. Docile and quiet, the Persian is an ideal companion for readers, families with children, and anyone who enjoys hours of cuddling with a furry pillow.
The ragdoll is a relatively new cat breed, having first been bred in the 1960s by Persian/Angora cat breeder, Ann Baker. But that hasn’t stopped this fluffy, soft-furred breed from capturing the hearts of humans all over the globe! Known for their passive behavior and tendency to stay relaxed while being held, most ragdolls are also visually striking with bright blue eyes and similar coloring to Siamese cats.
Speaking of Siamese cats…
Popular today for being talkative, playful family members, Siamese cats are actually among the oldest cat breeds in the world. Though famous for being favorites of Siam royalty in the 1800s, they are mentioned in Thai manuscripts dating back as far as 1350 AD. Siamese cats are easy to recognize with their vivid blue eyes, dark faces and paws, and light-colored bodies. Their unique coloring is believed to stem from a form of partial albinism.
4. Maine coon
With a reputation for being amiable, loving, and one of the largest feline breeds around, the Maine coon has been called “the dog of the cat world.” The exact origins of this big, friendly kitty are unknown, but it is believed to have first emerged in the state of Maine (where it remains the official state cat) from a close ancestor to Norwegian Forest cats or Siberians. The Maine coon is now one of the most popular cat breeds in North America.
Few other cat breeds rival the sphynx cat when it comes to visually striking appearance. Considered visually off-putting by some and highly desirable by others, the sphynx’s saggy, wrinkled skin and lack of fur are also part of why this kitty is so friendly. Sphynx cats frequently seek the warmth of humans and are often happy to cuddle for hours. They are also considered “dog-like” thanks to their tendency to greet humans at the door and are more receptive to strangers than other cat breeds.
Anyone considering this friendly cat breed should be prepared to give it extra attention. In addition to craving cuddles, sphynx cats require a regular skin care routine and even eat more than other breeds. They should never be allowed outdoors.
Thanks to its lithe body, elegantly arched neck, short hair, and broad ears, the Abyssinian is believed to be one of the oldest cat breeds and related to the favored companions of Ancient Egyptians. While the exact origins of the Abyssinian are unknown, the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) reports that the name is a result of the breed first being imported to England in the mid-1800s from Abyssinia (present-day Ethiopia). Abyssinians make for fun pets today because of their playful, curious natures and openness to new people and situations. Many of these cats enjoy a nice game of fetch.
If you get a Burmese cat, you may want to set up a perch for her near a window. These inquisitive kitties love to spend long hours looking at the world around them! They also have a tendency to be friendly with humans of all ages, making them great family pets. Popular in North America since the mid-20th century, the breed stems from a singular cat named Wong Mau that was imported from Burma in 1930. Burmese cats come in a wide range of colors, from solid golden yellow to brown tortoiseshell.
8. Scottish fold
It doesn’t take long to realize how the Scottish fold breed got its name. First bred in Scotland in the 1960s, this kitty’s trademark is its unique ears that fold forward and downward like those on many dog breeds. But while the Scottish Fold’s appearance may have given it a leg up in catching the attention of prospective pet owners, its playful, laid-back nature has helped it become one of the most popular breeds in North America and Europe. Be forewarned though—this likable kitty tends to crave excessive amounts of attention from humans.
The CFA describes the Birman as “the best friend you ever had.” This fluffy kitty is a gentle and quiet creature, often happy to socialize with both humans and other animals. Legend has it that Birman cats come from Buddhist temple cats in Burma (present-day Myanmar), where they were worshipped as the wise carriers of departed souls. In reality, most modern-day Birmans can trace their ancestors to France, England, and Germany.
Which friendly cat breed is right for me?
Remember that while cat breeds have tendencies towards certain behaviors and demeanors, no two kitties are quite the same. Your own cat’s personality will depend on their upbringing and early socialization as well as his breed.
No matter what kind of cat you get, make sure you are prepared to devote plenty of time to their health and wellbeing. Certain breeds (like sphynx cats) require extra maintenance and wellness routines, and all cats will need regular veterinary visits. To make sure you’re prepared for anything unexpected, cat insurance is a good idea for every breed.