When you’re ready to welcome a new pet into your family, you want to make sure their personality is a good fit. While cats in general have a somewhat unfair reputation for being temperamental, their personality quirks can have a significant impact on how well they adjust to life in your home.
The friendliest cat breeds are the ones who love human attention and are gentle and affectionate. A laid back or calm-natured cat is less likely to scratch unexpectedly or bite, a personality trait that’s essential for families with small children or seniors.
Keep in mind that while your cat’s genetic makeup can greatly influence their friendliness, so can their early life experiences. It’s impossible to know everything about a cat before adopting them, but choosing a breed well-known for their gentle disposition increases the chances you and your cat will get along.
The Twelve Friendliest Cat Breeds
While dog lovers may disagree, there are in fact many friendly breeds of cats! We’ve compiled a list of the top ten types of felines who are known for snuggling and affection with their humans. Each breed is special in its own way, so consider which traits are most important to you and your family.
If you ask many pet owners, “What is the nicest breed of cat?,” their response will often be the Maine Coon. This gentle giant is known for being exceptionally affectionate and calm, despite weighing up to 22 pounds.
Families with children and other pets often adopt Maine Coons into their household with no problems. Part of the reason they hold the title of the most friendly cat is their ability to be trained. For instance, some can be trained to shake paws, much like a small dog!
Siamese cats are as recognizable as they are lovable. Known for their triangular-shaped heads and blue eyes, these felines aren’t just beautiful — they’re loyal too. If you want a pet that’s going to demand constant attention, you can count on a Siamese cat.
However, their love can be extreme and result in separation anxiety, so only families who are able to give their cats plenty of attention should adopt a Siamese cat. These cats are also good companions for people who don’t mind a bit of noise since their meows are very similar to a crying baby.
Also on our list of friendliest cat breeds is the Abyssinian. The Abyssinian cat is a long, lean cat that is happier to walk beside you than to snuggle with you on the couch thanks to its endless energy.
These felines are very people-oriented and want to be played with, so they’ll need lots of toys for entertainment. Their curious nature makes them one of the more intelligent cat breeds, but that also means they’ll need extra room to roam.
Ragdolls are extremely friendly cats, and their name says it all. The term “ragdoll” refers to the fact that these gentle and laid-back cats have a tendency to go limp when picked up by their owners. These cats are so sweet-tempered that some people say they can’t feel pain. Of course, this isn’t true, but this myth does speak to their docile nature.
Ragdolls make fantastic pets for families with kids or who have other pets. Like Maine Coons, Ragdolls can get pretty big, up to 20 pounds! They can also often be trained, making them a fun addition to the family.
There’s no mistaking a Sphynx cat when you see one. These hairless felines stand out from other cat breeds due to their lack of fur as well as their pleasant attitudes. Although Sphynx cats’ inquisitive eyes may not exude friendliness on first appearance, they are outgoing and want to be around humans.
These friendly felines are typically happy to see their owners return home and want to spend plenty of time with them. Besides being great for people who want a calm pet, Sphynx cats make exceptionally good pets for owners who have allergies, thanks to their fur-free bodies.
Unlike Sphynx cats, Persian cats have enough coat to spare. They’re extra fluffy and have round, cherubic faces. These traits paired with a sweet and gentle nature make Persians a natural choice for pet owners who want a quiet, tranquil cat.
They prefer calm and quiet environments, which means they’re often a nice match for people who live alone or who are older.
The Burmese cat is another example of a friendly cat breed. These stocky cats are athletic and energetic, so be ready to play if you adopt one. They often quickly bond with their owners and show them constant affection.
This type of cat also does well in families with kids, as they’re always looking for new playmates. They’re also good with other animals. This trait is especially convenient because a pet friend can help them feel less lonely when their humans are gone for the day.
When you meet a Birman cat, you’ll most certainly be struck by their deep blue eyes. But behind those beautiful eyes is a wonderful personality. Birman cats love being social and are low maintenance, making them a suitable choice for busy pet owners. They love kids and are content being around other cats and dogs.
In addition to their gentle temperaments, another plus is the fact that they don’t have an undercoat, so their lovely fur is easy to groom.
The Exotic Shorthair cat is also cited as one of the most friendly cat breeds around, although they may not appear outgoing at first glance. Their large eyes and flat noses give them a somewhat grumpy appearance, but they’re anything but.
Loyal and affectionate, you can always count on your Exotic Shorthair to greet you after a long day or to be patiently waiting for you to wake in the morning. Though they are related to the Persian, their shorter coat makes them easier to groom, which makes caring for them a little bit easier as well.
The Scottish Fold breed is another adorable pet that’s made it on our list of friendliest cat breeds. What's not to love? These charming felines are distinctive thanks to the way their ears fold over. But Scottish Fold cats also set themselves apart for being such loving companions.
They deal well with change, so if you expect some transitions in the near future, a Scottish Fold might be the right fit for your family. They’re also quieter than some other breeds, so they could be an ideal fit for owners who live in apartment complexes.
British shorthairs have a round face and short dense coat, giving them an open, friendly appearance. They tend to be very loving cats but are not overly affectionate.
Because they are such a laid-back cat, the British shorthair breed is great for families with kids and other animals. Many British shorthair owners say that their cat will get along with just about anybody or anything!
The Himalayan breed is another relative of the Persian, and they have similar long, flowing locks. In addition to their coats, they are also an exceptionally friendly cat breed. Himalayans tend to be great snugglers and are very mellow, affectionate companions, even in a large family with other people and pets.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Friendly Cat Breed
Adopting a pet is a big commitment, and you’ll want to spend some time researching cat breeds to better inform your decision. While selecting a breed based on their personality can be helpful, you should always meet the cat in person to get a feel for their unique character. No two cats are exactly alike, even within a breed!
Consider the specific personality traits the cat is known for. While some cats, such as the Bengal cat, are known for their wild antics, others are known for their sweet, mellow temperaments.
Even the gentle breeds will have their differences. Some breeds, such as the Maine Coon, are more apt to cuddle and sleep with their owners, while others, like the Abyssinian, prefer to play.
Compatibility With Other Pets
If you already have pets, you’ll want to choose a cat breed that does well with other animals. Cat breeds that are known for being more dog-like will likely fit right in with a family that has actual dogs. More aloof, solitary cat breeds, on the other hand, could create tension in the household because of their anxiety and distress in an inappropriate environment.
Lifestyle and Living Situation
Another factor you’ll want to consider when choosing a breed of cat is what kind of lifestyle you live. If you have people over often, you’ll want a cat that’s flexible, comfortable meeting strangers, and okay with their routine being disrupted. On the other hand, if you’re out of the house frequently, you’ll want to make sure you adopt a cat who isn’t likely to get separation anxiety.
Preparing to Bring Your Friendly Cat Home
Once you’ve decided what kind of cat you want to adopt, you’ll need to make sure you have the proper supplies at home. Some of the supplies you’ll need include:
A nutritious form of cat food
A litter box and high quality cat litter
A cat bed
Cat toys and a scratching post
A cat carrier
Food and water bowls
So, What is the Friendliest Cat Breed?
What is the friendliest cat breed? There is no definitive answer, as many breeds of cats are known for being affectionate and gentle with their owners. Ultimately, the friendliness of a cat depends on its individual personality and temperament. No matter which breed of cat you adopt, your pet needs plenty of love and care. And the more you demonstrate your appreciation for them, the friendlier they’ll become!