Pet owners

15 Best Cat Breeds for Every Type of Pet Owner

    While dogs are universally known to be man’s best friend, cats have the unfortunate (and undeserved) reputation of disliking humans. They’re selfish, unfriendly, and can’t be trained - or so we’re told.

    This couldn’t be further from the truth!

    This list of 15 best cat breeds will show you that stereotypes are just that — stereotypes — and cats really do make wonderful pets, as well as emotional support animals (ESAs). In fact, with proper care and attention, they’ll provide you with love and affection for as long as they live.

    How do we know these are the best cat breeds? We trawled through the depths of the internet, and these were the most popular cat breeds that came up.

    If you have allergies, you’ll be happy to know that this list starts with hypoallergenic breeds first, then goes from short hair to long hair.

    1. Sphynx

    This unique-looking cat is the perfect pet for families with its active, playful, and goofy personality. It gets along with kids and other pets, and if you’ve ever owned a dog before, you’ll find its ‘dog-like’ temperament right up your alley. However, keep your windows shut and your balconies closed, as it’s not an outdoor cat.

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    The sphynx is also a fairly new breed. The first sphynx was born in Canada in 1966 and, thanks to a recessive gene causing hairlessness, it doesn’t shed much. For that reason, it’s generally considered hypoallergenic but often needs to be washed to remove oil build-up.

    If you love a good cuddle, you’re in luck! Since the sphynx doesn’t have hair, it’s cold all the time and needs to be protected from the elements. What better way to stay warm than to snuggle with its owner?

    Weight: 8–10 pounds

    Lifespan: 15–20 years

    2. Oriental Shorthair

    The oriental shorthair is playful and sweet, making it a great pet for companionship and cuddling. It’s also very active and mischievous, and while it’s happy to live in both apartments and houses, it prefers being outdoors. Make sure to keep it in a secure enclosure for its own safety if you allow your Oriental Shorthair to have outdoor playtime.

    Second to its love of the outdoors, this breed loves attention, which is perfect for families with kids who want their pets to be a source of entertainment. It’ll follow you around the house, sit on top of your laptop when you’re working, and seek to involve itself in your everyday life. 

    Keep in mind, this social breed isn’t one you should get if you’re frequently away. It’ll get depressed if left alone or ignored for long periods.

    The Oriental Shorthair is generally considered a hypoallergenic breed. Its short coat means it gets cold easily, but on the plus side, that also means low-maintenance grooming.

    Weight: 7–12 pounds

    Lifespan: 15–20 years

    3. Devon Rex

    The Devon Rex is a breed that’s often compared to dogs, and with good reason! Mischievous, energetic, and playful, this lovable feline always wants to be with you. It’ll follow you everywhere without demanding constant attention. Therefore, it’s no surprise this feline friend will also get depressed if left alone for too long.

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    However, this kitty is trainable. Like a dog, it’s good at learning new tricks, such as how to fetch, jump and sit. It’ll even walk on a leash. Just try to keep it mostly indoors.

    This distinctive cat is another one of the newer breeds, having been accidentally discovered in Devonshire, England, in 1960. It has short, wavy hair and a slender body with huge ears and is generally considered hypoallergenic. Make sure to wash it often since its short coat can get oily easily.

    Weight: 7–12 pounds

    Lifespan: 9–15 years

    4. Burmese

    The Burmese is a very affectionate breed that loves attention so much that it’ll never leave your side. Are you doing your chores? It’s there. Cooking a meal? There it is again. Watching TV? It’s already on your lap, waiting to be cuddled.

    This cat comes with oodles of playful energy, having been described as ‘kitten-like’ even in adulthood. It also thrives on interaction, making it great for kids. Like our other breeds so far, you don’t want to leave it alone for too long, or it will get despondent.

    Keep it indoors if you can, although it may require some time outside as well. Just make sure the outdoor space is a safe enclosure.

    The Burmese has a short coat and doesn’t shed much, needing only minimal grooming. It’s also generally considered hypoallergenic.

    Weight: 8–14 pounds

    Lifespan: 12–18 years

    5. Siamese

    As one of the original breeds of pedigreed cats, the Siamese has been popular since the 19th century, and it’s easy to see why!

    It has a playful, energetic, and intelligent temperament while also being affectionate and sociable. This vocal feline loves attention and isn’t shy about demanding it either — it’ll follow you around and ‘talk’ to you. And yes, it gets depressed if left alone for too long.

    You can keep it indoors, but it does require outdoor space. Keep it secure in an enclosed area if you’re leaving it outdoors.

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    The Siamese has a short coat, making it a low-maintenance breed. Brush it weekly to reduce the risk of hairballs.

    As for whether it’s hypoallergenic, the results aren’t exactly clear cut. Some people say yes, others say no, but it may be okay for people with mild cat allergies.

    Weight: 5–8 pounds

    Lifespan: 12–15 years

    6. Bengal

    The wild-looking Bengal is friendly, loving, and adventurous, but don’t expect it to cuddle with you; it’s not a lap cat. Intelligent and curious, it’s very adaptable, even in loud and chaotic environments. It also loves water.

    This breed is perfect for kids and families, and you’ll be happy to know it gets along with other pets too. However, it’s best kept indoors with plenty of entertainment, so don’t get this breed if you’re not home often.

    Ever wondered why it looks so wild?

    That’s because it was originally developed as a hybrid between Asian Leopard Cats and domestic cats. Nowadays, it’s bred Bengal with Bengal.

    Check with your local government if you want to get one, though. Because they are considered a hybrid breed, Bengals are banned in some places, and there are limits to owning one in other areas.

    Most Bengals have short coats that shed moderately, which makes them generally low maintenance. As with Siamese cats, some consider Bengals to be hypoallergenic. Others don’t.

    While it weighs similarly to most house cats, its large appearance is due to its muscular body.

    Weight: 8–15 pounds

    Lifespan: 12–15 years

    7. Abyssinian

    Originally from Ethiopia (which was called Abyssinia back in the day), the Abyssinian is one of the oldest cat breeds in the world. It has an intelligent, playful, and curious temperament. Always up for an adventure, it likes to explore its surroundings and will join in whatever’s happening in its vicinity. It’s not much of a cuddler, but this breed is affectionate and loyal, getting along with kids and other pets.

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    Keep this cat mostly indoors. If it’s outdoors, make sure it’s in a secure, properly built enclosure. You should also provide plenty of stimulation to prevent behavioral issues.

    The Abyssinian has a short coat that sheds minimally, so it doesn’t require frequent grooming. Nonetheless, it’s not generally considered hypoallergenic, but it may be fine for someone with milder cat allergies.

    Weight: 8–12 pounds

    Lifespan: 12–15 years

    8. American Shorthair

    The American Shorthair is chill, playful, and adaptable to any living environment. Affectionate but independent, it can keep itself entertained. It's an ideal pet for kids and families as it is gentle around children and gets along with other pets.

    Unlike some of the other cats on this list, the American Shorthair doesn’t like being carried. It’ll sit on your lap only when it feels like it. It’s independent that way.

    Keep this breed indoors so it remains safe and doesn't disturb the local wildlife. If you find that it prefers being outdoors, keep it in a properly built enclosure, so it doesn’t escape.

    The American Shorthair generally keeps itself clean, so it doesn’t require regular washing, but you should brush its short thick coat a couple of times a week. It also sheds a lot and experiences seasonal blowouts, so this breed isn’t considered hypoallergenic.

    Weight: 8–12 pounds

    Lifespan: 15–20 years

    9. Exotic Shorthair

    The Exotic Shorthair is a mix between the Persian and American shorthair, and its gentle nature makes it the ideal pet for all types of owners. It starts playful as a kitten but mellows out as it grows older, making it good with less energetic families and pets. The good news is you won't have to exercise it often — it’s just that chill.

    One of its defining features is its adorable kitten face, which stays kitten-like even as it ages.

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    It also has a personality similar to a Persian and is happy to live anywhere, whether it’s a tiny apartment or a large house. It’s more owner-focused. 

    It should generally be kept indoors.

    Known as the lazy person’s Persian, it has a short, dense double coat that doesn’t require constant grooming, but it sheds moderately with seasonal blowouts, so it’s not considered hypoallergenic.

    Weight: 10–15 pounds

    Lifespan: Up to 15 years

    10. British Shorthair

    This easygoing, quiet cat strikes a good balance between social and independent. It’s affectionate but not needy, active but not insanely so, and it’ll sit on your lap if it feels like it, but don’t pick it up willy-nilly! It doesn’t enjoy being carried around.

    This breed tends to get along with humans, including kids and other pets, and it isn’t choosy about where it lives. Apartments or houses, it’s all good. It’s happy both indoors and outdoors as long as it has enough entertainment, but if you keep it outdoors, make sure it’s in a secure cat garden or enclosure.

    True to its name, the British Shorthair has a short fluffy coat that needs minimal grooming, but it’s not hypoallergenic as it sheds moderately.

    Weight: 7–17 pounds

    Lifespan: 12–16 years

    11. Scottish Fold

    The Scottish Fold is known for its distinctive ‘owl-like’ appearance and folded ears. This breed has a sweet and easygoing temperament, and while sociable, it’ll become attached to its owner. It’s also friendly and affectionate towards people and other pets. Just don’t handle it roughly.

    Thinking about living in the city? This is the cat for you! It adapts to loud noises, so it’s perfect for city living.

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    It’ll also happily live in small apartments as well as large homes. Out of the home a lot? Keep it indoors and get it another companion; otherwise, it’ll get lonely.

    The Scottish fold has a short, dense coat and sheds moderately. You may need to brush it weekly to prevent hairballs, and it’s not considered a hypoallergenic breed.

    As it is a rare breed, make sure to buy from a reputable breeder.

    Weight: 6–14 pounds

    Lifespan: 11–14 years

    12. Birman

    The Birman is a real sweetheart of a cat. Its quiet, friendly, and relaxed personality, as well as its penchant for bonding exclusively with one person, makes it a wonderful pet for single owners.

    But don’t despair if you have kids! This affectionate breed loves humans in general, so it’s also great for families. In addition to that, it doesn’t need lots of attention or play, and it’s a good lap cat.

    The Birman is happy in small apartments or large houses, and it needs both indoor and outdoor time. If outdoors, keep it in a secure enclosure.

    It’s a low-maintenance breed with a medium-long silky coat and no undercoat. However, it’s not hypoallergenic due to moderate shedding.

    Fun fact: Ragdolls, the next breed of cats on this list, were originally bred from Birmans.

    Weight: 6–15 pounds

    Lifespan: 15–20 years

    13. Ragdoll

    A giant cat with a big heart, the ragdoll is mild-mannered, easygoing, affectionate, and friendly. It gets its name from going limp like a ragdoll when picked up. It loves a good cuddle. Pet it all you want and rub its belly — it’ll love you for it.

    This social butterfly likes to follow its owners around the house and is also good with kids and other pets. The more, the merrier! You can also train it like a dog — it’ll even wait for you to come home from work and adores playing fetch.

    However, its trusting personality means it’s more suited to being an indoor cat.

    The ragdoll has a long and soft non-matting single coat, so it requires less grooming, but it’s not considered a hypoallergenic breed. Truly a beautiful cat.

    Weight: Most weigh between 14–18 pounds, but some may go beyond 20 pounds

    Lifespan: 15–20 years

    14. Maine Coon

    The Maine Coon is a gentle giant, indeed. Its playful and intelligent personality makes it a wonderful companion — plus, you can train it like a dog! It’s also very attentive but not clingy, and it isn’t a lap cat.

    This popular breed loves people and is known for dog-like behaviors, which is why it gets along with kids and other pets. If you’re out of the house all day, this is the breed to get. You can leave it at home, and it’ll entertain itself just fine.

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    It can be kept indoors or outdoors, but make sure it has enough space to be stimulated. Many people recommend giving it plenty of outdoor space, and if you choose to go down this route, make sure it’s safe inside a secure enclosure.

    The Maine Coon has a long double coat (the outer coat is waterproof!) with seasonal blowouts, so it’ll require consistent grooming (at least once a week) to prevent matting. It’s not a hypoallergenic breed.

    Weight: Most weigh 8–20 pounds, but they can also go up to 30 pounds

    Lifespan: 12–15 years

    15. Persian

    Known for its great beauty, the Persian has been popular for decades. It’s affectionate and quiet with a sweet temperament, making it great for snuggling. It also gets along with everyone, even other pets, but it’s best to keep it in a calm environment.

    Also known as a couch potato cat, it’s happy to laze around in the same spot for hours. It’s best kept indoors to prevent overheating, and it’s happy in both tiny apartments and large homes. Check with your landlord to see if you are allowed to acquire pets before getting one.

    Being a purebred, the Persian is prone to various diseases. It has a thick, long, and fluffy double coat, which requires brushing once a day to prevent knots and matting. Unfortunately, it sheds moderately with seasonal blowouts, so it’s not hypoallergenic.

    Weight: 7–12 pounds

    Lifespan: 15–20 years

    Cats really are wonderful creatures. The 15 best cat breeds on this list are friendly and affectionate, and despite what ‘common wisdom’ says, they enjoy the company of humans. Some even crave it!

    So go ahead, and get a cat the next time you’re looking for a pet, but make sure to provide it with plenty of care, love, and attention. Teach it a few tricks too. You’ll never have a better friend or companion.

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