Which Cat Breeds make the Best Pets?

Which Cat Breeds make the Best Pets?
21 Dec 2016

Cats are fantastic companions, but if you’re new to cat-guardianship you might not appreciate how different cat breeds have such different characters. For example, if you want a quiet cat to warm your lap then a Persian is a good choice, whereas a Turkish Angora prefers stalking fluff balls to snuggling on the sofa.

To find your perfect feline friend, here is Holly and Hugo’s guide to which cat breeds make the best pets.

1: Active Cats

If you want a pet you can play with but not have to walk, then several cat breeds have a reputation for being active. These cats positively need to play in order to be mentally stimulated, so be prepared to devote two; fifteen minutes play sessions a day to your pet.

The sleek and slinky Siamese radiates intelligence and loves stalking and pouncing. Then there’s the superbly spotted Ocicat, a muscular cat who likes to stay in trim, along with another striking cat the Egyptian Mau who is a supreme athlete and described as “the greyhound” of the cat world.

Other active cat breeds to consider are the Abyssinian, American curl, Balinese, and Somali.

Cat playing

2: People-orientated Cats

Everyone likes to feel wanted, and it’s great when your cat worships the ground you walk on. Some cat breeds defy the feline’s reputation for being stand-offish, by following their owner around like a shadow.

For starters there is the beautiful Burmese with their gentle-character and cuddle-me looks. The miniature panther that is the Bombay is another people-loving cat that has been described as a cat, dog, and monkey all rolled into one. And don’t overlook the magnificence that is a Maine Coon who is rightly dubbed “kindly gentle giants”.

Other people-orientated cat breeds include the Havana Brown, Korat, and Tonkinese.

3: Lapcats

Perhaps you want a gentle, quiet cat to act as a lap warmer, in which case the Persian is the outstanding candidate. Alternatively go for the apple-faced British shorthair or the squishy-faced cuteness of an Exotic long or shorthair. If you want a more unusual cat breed then consider the Manx, Ragdoll, or Scottish Fold.

Cat Breeds

4: Trainable Cats

Cats are motivated by different things to dogs, which is what makes them more difficult (but not impossible) to train. However, certain cat breeds have a reputation for thriving on mental stimulation and are highly trainable (provided you find out what they’ll work for!). These breeds are the Abyssinian, American shorthair, Bengal, Savannah, and our vocal furry friend the Siamese.

5: Sweet and Loving

For a truly affectionate cat that lives for chin rubs and is great with children, then choose one of these super-sweet and loving cat breeds. Our top, favorites for affectionate cats include the Birman, Norwegian Forest cat, Russian blue, and Turkish Van.

Low Allergy Cats

6: Easy Coat Care

Cat breeds differ in personality and also their care needs. Not everyone can commit to the rigors of grooming a Persian every day, in which case you’d do better with a cat with an easy-care coat. Short haired cats take less brushing to keep their fur glossy and in superb condition, and those noted worthy of a special mention include the Bengal, American shorthair, Burmese, Siamese, and the good old domestic shorthair.

7: Low Allergy Cats

Perhaps you’ve always wanted a cat but you’re allergic. Have you considered the Sphynx? This hairless cat is less likely to trigger you allergies as they lack the fur that traps dander. Also, the Sphynx needs regular bathing to keep their skin supple, and the act of washing away cat dander decreases your exposure to cat allergens.

And finally, remember all cats are individuals with their own personalities. Whilst certain cat breeds do have strong character traits, don’t overlook the potential the good old domestic shorthair (moggie, street cat) has for making an excellent pet.

There is more information on cat breeds in Holly and Hugo’s “Animal Care” course.

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Pippa Elliott

Pippa Elliott, BVMS MRCVS, is a veterinarian with 27-years' experience in companion animal practice. Pippa's first job was in a practice by the sea, where she acquired her first (of many) waif-and-stray, a Dockyard Cat Rescue kitten, called Skate. She then worked for the PDSA (People's Dispensary for Sick Animals) which is a national charity that provides veterinary care for the animals of owners with limited finance. Currently Pippa works in a Veterinary Clinic in UK.