Whether you’re wanting to add another cat to your family or this is your first cat, I am here to guide you in the process. This guide focuses on helping you select the right cat breed based on your lifestyle and what type of cat you want!
It’s important to note that all cats are individuals. Although a cat’s breed can give prospective owners an idea of what they’re like, the personality of cats will ultimately depend on the cat itself and how it was socialized.
Which Cat Breed is Right For You?
Here are some general guidelines to consider when zeroing on a cat breed that is perfect for you:
- Experience level. Some cat breeds are ideal for first-time owners; others may be better suited to the more experienced ones. Why does this matter? Depending on the cat breed, some cats can require additional awareness and knowledge from their humans to correct certain behaviors. This is to prevent common behavioral challenges such as inappropriate elimination (litterbox issues), excessive grooming, even aggressiveness.
- Current Lifestyle. Some cats are naturally more energetic than others. Ask yourself if you want a quiet cat or a talkative one, whether your pet should be sociable and dependent, or if you want a cat that is energetic or calm. In general, a more energetic cat means more time you have to devote to it. Therefore, if you’re away from home frequently because of work, an energetic cat may get bored and start to wreak havoc around the home.
- Your time. While your feline friends might be known as pretty low maintenance compared to dogs, there are some things you must devote time for depending on the breed. For example, your cat’s coat and looks will decide the amount of grooming it needs. Longer-haired cat breeds will require additional brushing and grooming. Additionally, all cat owners should be making sure to brush their cat’s teeth regularly.
- Your home environment. Do you have kids and are looking for a family-friendly cat? Will your cat be left alone at home frequently? Is your home small or large? These are all factors that should be considered when choosing the right breed for you. How the environment is set up is also a crucial part of cat welfare.
Cat Breed Personalities Categories
I have taken the top 3 cat breeds in each personality type based on the book Your Ideal Cat: Insights Into Breed and Gender Differences in Cat Behavior – By Benjamin L. Hart and Lynette A. Hart. If you want detailed insight into different cat breed personalities, this is one book I recommend reading!
Below is a quick chart of some of the different breeds prospective cat owners usually consider. For more specific information about each cat breed and genuine comments from the owners, continue reading the following sections!
|Cat Breed||Energy Levels||Talkative?||Affectionate?||Maintenance Needs||Independent?||First-Timer Friendly?|
|Bengal||Extreme||Extreme||Moderate||High||Low to Moderate||Needs Research|
|Scottish Fold||Low||Quiet||Moderate||Low to Moderate||Moderate||Yes|
|Sphynx||High||Moderate||Moderate||Extreme||Low to Moderate||Needs Research|
Top 3 Most Active and Dog-Like Cat Breeds
When you want your cat’s energy to match your kids or a more dynamic relationship with your cat, you can go for one of these top three high-energy cat breeds. These breeds are always playful, active, and almost dog-like. This means that they love being the center of attention and frequent interactions with their owners, whether playing, going out for walks, or participating in some activity. Coincidentally, these breeds are also the most talkative.
However, they can get into trouble because of their active nature and thus might require some careful intervention to prevent problematic behavior or related problems. Consequently, these more active, dog-like cats generally need some prior research to be well prepared for the breadth of their personality traits and behaviors. For these active cat breeds, a proper environment for them to get rid of their excess energy is essential!
1. Bengal Cats
Bengal Cats are an active cat breed that is incredibly fun to have. They’re a cat breed that is highly unpredictable in their actions, so raising this particular can require some additional awareness. Cat owners that want that ‘dog-like excitement’ in a cat will likely find it in the Bengal breed!
On the downside, their highly intelligent natures also mean that they need more attention than other cat breeds. Without their owner’s attentiveness and awareness, they have the potential to get bored and destructive. Thus, they may require some strategies to prevent any behavioral issues!
2. Siamese Cats
The Siamese cat is one of the most popular cat breeds as they are well-known for their loud voices, attention to their humans, and playful nature. These intelligent, loving cats enjoy playing with their toys and are quite adept at performing tricks.
They’re not known to be lap cats, but they’ll generally enjoy hanging around their owners. Siamese Cats are great for people that want to be more involved with their cats. One thing to note is that they hate being left alone at home. If unsatisfied, their loud cries can be obnoxious and even irritate neighbors.
Check out my article on: Are Siamese Good Apartment Cats?
3. Maine Coon Cats
Maine Coon cats are gentle giants that love to explore. They were one of the most loved breeds in North America in 2021, and there’s a reason for that: they’re incredibly expressive cats. Maine Coon cats are a mix of the Siamese and Bengal cat in temperament, still talkative and energetic, but not extremely so like the other two breeds.
However, similar to the Bengal cat, they are expensive and need a lot of stimuli, especially if they’re going to be indoor exclusive cats. Additionally, because of their large size, they may need a space that’s more open or well cat-proofed to prevent accidents.
Honorable Mention: Sphynx Cats
Sphynx cats are a hairless cat breed known for their endearing and loving personalities. These snuggly and wrinkly cats are often overlooked due to their strange looks, but, in reality, they are incredibly social. They’ll join you in greeting new guests that come into the house!
For more information about the Sphynx cat, read: Are Sphynx Cats Good Apartment Cats?
Top 3 Most Affectionate Cat Breeds
When thinking of getting a cat companion, prospective owners might want a friendly, affectionate cat to cuddle with! These cats are more known to be lap cats and enjoy cuddling with whoever might be near. These breeds are great for prospective owners who want to relax with their feline friends after a long day!
The purebred versions of the following cat breeds were bred to be docile and passive no matter what situation they might be in. This makes them great family pets due to their tolerant nature. However, because of these cats’ laid-back and trusting nature, it’s essential to keep these cats inside as these breeds will find it difficult to defend themselves.
One common factor that all of these affectionate breeds have is that they are cats that need quite a bit of grooming (of course, other than the shorthair variants!). Another note is that affectionate cats tend to be low energy, so making time to keep them active is essential to avoid risk factors associated with inactivity and obesity.
1. Ragdoll Cats
Ragdoll cats are very dependent on their owners to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. As a result, these cats can get quite attached to their humans. Sometimes to the point of clinginess!
Ragdoll cats also tend to go limp like a ragdoll when you pick them up. Thus, for the most part, they’re pretty tolerant of physical interactions such as hugs, cuddles, or being cradled like a baby. They very quickly get along with other house pets as well.
Just be prepared for the amount of grooming required for their silky coats!
2. American Shorthair Cats
Next on the list of most affectionate cat breeds is the American shorthair. They are sweet-natured cats that love being around humans and will gladly jump in your lap for some attention (sometimes constantly!).
The American Shorthair cat is a large breed that loves to eat, so it’s essential to keep them active to avoid obesity and other risk factors associated with inactivity at bay! However, other than that, the American Shorthair cat is an excellent addition to your home, and they’re low maintenance so that any one of your family members can take care of them with no problems.
3. Scottish Fold/Straight Cats
Considered one of the friendliest cat breeds, the Scottish Fold or Straight cats are unique in appearance and personality. They love to stalk their humans around the home and are just satisfied to stare at you! However, due to their friendly and passive behavior, they can be taken advantage of by other animals and even other cats.
Scottish Fold cats are similar in character to the Ragdoll cat. They’re basically stalkers who follow their owners until they receive the attention they think they deserve.
Honorable Mention: Persian Cats & Exotic Shorthairs
Persian and Exotic Shorthair cats share a calm, gentle, and carefree attitude. They’re slow, quiet, and love to lounge around. They’re very affectionate and seek out attention from their chosen humans. However, they might take a little more time to get to know strangers!
Persians and Exotics Shorthairs are basically the same cats, except that Exotic Shorthair is has a much shorter coat (hence the name). Exotic Shorthair cats aren’t purebreds, but rather the Persian was crossed with the America Shorthair to create a Persian cat breed with shorter hair. However, the temperament, for the most part, remains the same.
Top 3 Best Cat Breeds for First-Time Owners
These cat breeds are the most balanced cats in terms of personality traits. Consequently, this makes the following cat breeds easy to maintain in terms of their health, coat, and behavior. Usually, these breeds are more predictable in their behavior and don’t require as much attention as the more active cats to develop into well-rounded adult cats.
1. Ragdoll Cats
Ragdolls are ranked at the top of the most cat breed lists for a reason. They have striking good looks and a personality to match. They’re easy to train, and very rarely will they surprise you with any unexpected behaviors. Additionally, they’re a great cat for any family home with their tolerant nature!
2. Russian Blue Cats
Russian Blue cats are the ultimate companion cat if you want a cat that is affectionate and strikes a good balance between being playful and being independent. The Russian Blue breed is careful, but it’ll be hard to get rid of them once they warm up to you! They’re bright, and very rarely will they cause problems.
If you’re looking for companionship in a smaller space such as an apartment, the Russian Blue is the breed to consider.
3. Maine Coon Cats
For first-time cat owners that want a bit more dog-like and active breed without a lot of the extreme behaviors of other high-energy cats, Maine Coons are well-balanced and a great addition to the home. Other than their large size, they’re healthy cats that are easy to take care of compared to other more energetic cat breeds!
Conclusion: Cat Breed Personalities
As can be seen, there are hundreds of cat breeds, and they all have different personalities. If you want a vocal and energetic cat, go for the Siamese or Bengal cat. A Ragdoll or Scottish Fold cat is an excellent choice for a more relaxed, affectionate cat that you don’t mind grooming. If you’re a first-time cat owner, then a well-balanced cat such as a Russian Blue cat is also great to consider.
Do you need more information about certain cat breeds? There are some cat breeds that are less likely to scratch furniture. Read the article here!