What breed of cat is most friendly?
10 Cat Breeds That Are the Most Affectionate
Lauren Murphy is a cat and dog expert and writer who is also a dedicated Humane Society volunteer. She has also been trained in animal behavior and is an experienced dog walker and pet sitter.
Updated on 09/21/22
Dr. Bartley Harrison is a veterinarian with more than 15 years of professional veterinary experience treating dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, birds, and small mammals, with a specific focus on Emergency Medicine. Dr. Harrison is part of The Spruce Pets’ veterinary review board.
A common argument against cats is that they aren’t affectionate. While some felines couldn’t care less about their owners, others love social interaction with their favorite humans. There are plenty of affectionate cat breeds that, despite often having high social needs, show tons of love and attention to their owners.
Here are 10 affectionate cat breeds for those who want a day-and-night cuddler.
Affectionate cats have some traits in common. They tend to be more social and friendly—not scaredy cats. They are often mellow and docile, not wound up and anxious. These cats may also communicate their affection with vocalizations like mewing, purring, murmuring, and trills—all forms of contentment or playfulness. These empathic kitties may also sense when you’ve had a rough day and might purposefully snuggle up or land in your lap to help you unwind with some endorphin-releasing cuddles.
01 of 10
Bred to be affectionate companions, ragdoll cats are ideal if you’re looking for a lovable and relatively low-maintenance animal. Ragdolls are known to follow their humans from room to room, greet them after a long day out of the house, and even play games like fetch. Ragdoll cats are friendly around children and other pets, making them great family pets.
Height: 11 to 13 inches Weight: 10 to 20 pounds Coat and Color: Medium-length, silky plush coat; light-colored body with a darker face, legs, tail, and ears; coat patterns include bi-color, van, mitted, and colorpoint; coat colors include seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, red, and cream; blue eyes Life Expectancy: 13 to 15 years
02 of 10
With this breed, it’s all about the ears. A random mutation happened naturally as the breed emerged—these cats developed a gene that caused their ears to fold forward. Cat lovers recognized the cats for their unique look, and breeders began breeding these cats specifically for their folds. However, their ears aren’t the only special thing about them. Scottish folds are affectionate and social and don’t like being left alone. So if you’re out of the house a lot, this may not be the breed for you. But if you have extra time to spare for your cat, you might have found your match.
Weight: 5 to 11 pounds Height: 8 to 10 inches Coat and Color: Bred to have a white coat but can be seen in a variety of colors, commonly calico, tortoiseshell, and tabby patterns; can have short or relatively long hair Life Expectancy: 11 to 14 years
03 of 10
Because sphynx cats have no hair, they are often cold and need a source of heat to keep them comfortable. Sphynxes are bright, extroverted cats that love humans both for interaction and their warmth. This neat synergistic relationship gives these cats something they need while their humans reap the cuddly benefits. Some people say that owning a sphynx is like owning a living, breathing hot water bottle. They’ll cuddle with you beneath the covers at night and perch on your lap during the day.
Height: 8 to 10 inches Weight: 6 to 12 pounds Coat and Color: Hairless; colors include white, black, red, chocolate, lavender, tabby, tortoiseshell, calico, pointed, and mink Life Expectancy: 9 to 15 years
04 of 10
Maine coons are native to America. Their history is mysterious; some believe their history dates back to cats traveling with Viking explorers. Others think these big kitties are a mix between a cat with a raccoon, though that is biologically impossible. These social cats are affectionate towards people of all ages, and they love being involved in all family happenings, whether that means lounging on the couch or sitting at the table for dinner. Besides their affectionate personalities, Maine coons are great hunters and highly intelligent.
Height: Up to 16 inches Weight: 9 to 17 pounds Coat and Color: Long, double coat with more than 75 color combinations and green, gold, or copper eyes Life Expectancy: 9 to 15 years
Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
Persians are one of the most popular cat breeds in North America. They look beautiful with their long, flowy coats and have a calm, affectionate temperament. Persians are not very energetic. They are happy lounging on the couch and achieve contentment getting ear scratches and gentle hand contact by their humans.
Height: 14 to 18 inches Weight: 7 to 12 pounds Coat and Color: Long coat in solid (white, black, cream), tabby, calico, bi-color, silver and gold, shaded, and smoke Life Expectancy: 10 to 17 years
06 of 10
If you decide to bring a Siamese cat into your life, prepare to have long conversations with your vocal kitty. This breed is exceptionally social. Siamese cats have a distinctive masked look and striking pale blue eyes. Throughout history, their looks and affectionate personalities led to their popularity among cat lovers across the world.
Height: Up to 14 inches Weight: 6 to 14 pounds Coat and Color: Short coat in seal, chocolate, blue, and lilac with blue eyes Life Expectancy: 8 to 12 years
07 of 10
This breed is still relatively rare in North America, but it has a dedicated following. Bombay owners love the fact that these cats are so loving and people-oriented. Their sleek, black coat and stunning copper eyes also make them stand out among some other breeds. Once you meet a clever, cute, and cuddly Bombay, you’ll be hooked.
Height: 9 to 13 inches Weight: 6 to 11 pounds Coat and Color: Short, sleek coat, usually solid black coat; large, copper eyes Life Expectancy: 15 to 20 years
08 of 10
Breeders wanted to create a loving, affectionate cat breed that was intelligent and less vocal than the Siamese cat. The Tonkinese resulted from crossing the Siamese and Burmese breeds for the best characteristics of both. Affectionately called Tonks, these cats love their humans. They are known for being friendly, active, and exceptionally affectionate. They love attention and will demand it.
Height: 7 to 10 inches Weight: 6 to 14 pounds Coat and Color: Coat can be seal, blue, lilac, and chocolate with points around the face, ears, paws, and tail Life Expectancy: 13 to 18 years
Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
When you say “housecat” in the U.S., you’re likely talking about an American shorthair. They are extremely common pets in North America, primarily due to their affectionate personality and distinct coats that come in a wide variety of colors. American shorthairs are exceptionally adaptable, making them great pets for families with growing kids or those who are routinely on the move. American shorthairs love attention and love to be held, but they do not demand it, unlike other breeds. They are always happy to lay perched in the sun when you don’t have time to give them love.
Height: 8 to 10 inches Weight: 6 to 15 pounds Coat and Color: Shorthaired coat with a wide variety of color possibilities, including white, black, cream, blue, brown, chinchilla, tortoiseshell, cameo, and many more Life Expectancy: 15 to 20 years
10 of 10
Birman cats are stunning. While showing off piercing blue eyes and a long silky coat, Birmans also exude elegance. Like the American shorthair, this breed loves to be around people and is highly adaptable to any type of home. Birmans are friendly with anyone and everything, including other pets. They like to play with any companions, no matter their breed.
Height: 8 to 10 inches Weight: 10 to 12 pounds Coat and Color: Long and silky coat in seal, blue, red, chocolate, cream, and tortie colors, including standard or lynx pattern points and deep blue eyes Life Expectancy: 13 to 15 years
Breeds to Avoid
Cats that tend to be less affectionate are more independent-minded or task-oriented, like the Norwegian forest cat; the curly LaPerm breed descended from barn cats; and the active climber, the Abyssinian. Other breeds to avoid are cats that have had very little to no socialization with humans. These cats were left to fend for themselves and are feral or wild. Most have difficulties trusting humans and may never be tamed, but you can try.
Top 10 cat breeds that are more likely to get along with dogs
Cats are known for being extremely territorial creatures, bringing a dog or another cat into the mix can be difficult- a challenge experienced by many pet owners. After years of research and observation, people have found that some cat breeds tend to get along with dogs more than others.
Here are the top 10 most dog-friendly cat breeds.
1. American Shorthair
Jay Jay, an American Shorthair, plays with a computer and mouse at a preview for the CFA-Iams Cat Championship in New York October 15, 2008. (Reuters)
With an expected lifespan of around 15 years, this cat breed is believed to be descended from European cats who were eventually brought to North America by early settlers.
American Shorthair cats are very affectionate and easygoing and are known for being very friendly with dogs.
“This breed is considered very social, confident, and playful, and once boundaries are established in the house, they love to play with housemates, including the family dog,” cat expert Dr. Natalie Marks told online news media Reader’s Digest.
This cat breed ranks very high in playfulness, friendliness to children and friendliness to other pets, according to online pet adoption website Petfinder.
2. Japanese Bobtail
Pictured is a Japanese Bobtail cat, taken from the Cat Fanciers’ Association. (CFA)
Japanese Bobtail cats, renowned for their trademark pom-pom tails, are considered to be very sociable and friendly.
“You might see the Japanese Bobtail right in the mix, retrieving toys next to his canine housemate in the home. Or he might be next to the water bowl, playing and splashing. This fun-loving breed is a great sibling for your resident dog,” said Dr. Marks.
This breed ranks extremely high in playfulness and friendliness to other pets and children.
A Siberian cat and a soft toy are carried by its owner during the 73rd International Cat Shows organised by the Malta Feline Guardians Club at SmartCity Malta outside Kalkara, Malta, February 4, 2018. (Reuters)
The world’s first-ever Siberian cat was recorded around the year 1,000, according to Petfinder, and is native to Russia’s forests.
Accustomed to the unforgiving climate of Siberia, this cat breed is known for its unique personality and fascination with water. They are very agile people-oriented and are great jumpers despite their size.
They also rank high in playfulness, hardiness and friendliness to other pets and children, but have a high need for attention from their humans.
“This cat breed hailing from Russia is very hearty and incredibly confident around other cats and dogs in the home and, in fact, may end up being the leader of all pets,” Dr. Marks told Reader’s Digest.
4. Maine Coon
Maine Coon cat. (Unsplash, Bobbi Wu)
The Maine Coon, a rugged-looking cat with the ability to endure harsh climates, has adapted to an array of environments.
Extremely playful, this breed is very affectionate towards others and has managed to become one of America’s most popular cat breeds when it was on the brink of extinction in the 1950, according to the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA).
“Some pets parents find incredible similarities between the Maine Coon and a canine, as this breed typically loves to fetch and walk on a leash,” noted Dr. Marks.
5. British Shorthair
A British Shorthair Cat. (Unsplash, Josh Couch)
The British Shorthair, deemed the perfect household companion by Petfinder, is an undemanding breed and they tend to keep a low profile.
Affectionate but not clingy, playful but not extremely active, this breed make for extremely faithful companions. They rank very high on the friendliness scale when it comes to children and other animals.
“Their heavy, muscular body means that they’d be up for a bit of physical play with your dog,” CFA judge Teresa Keiger told Reader’s Digest.
Originally known for their physical strength and hunting abilities, they don’t like to be picked up.
Birman cat. (Unsplash, Mikhail Vasilyev)
Birman cats, known for their luxurious fur and unique appearance, make perfect playmates for pet canines.
“Birmans love to chase, play tag, and even fetch balls, becoming the best playmate for your dog,” said Dr. Marks.
“The traditional ‘cat and mouse’ game becomes a ‘cat and dog’ game with this breed in your house.”
Easy to handle and care for, Birmans are very people-oriented and make ideal pets for anyone who wants a quiet and affectionate pet.
7. Norwegian Forest Cat
Alaric, a Norwegian Forest Cat takes part in the second annual Meet the Breeds showcase of cats and dogs at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on October 17, 2010 in New York City. (AFP)
Native to Norway, the Norwegian Forest is very playful and active and is well-known for its fun-loving spirit.
This breed is very family-oriented and tend to bond to several people at once.
Known for being very friendly towards other pets, these cats are very docile and intelligent, according to Petfinder.
Tonkinese cat. (Unsplash, Maude Frederique)
Known for being extremely active and very adaptable to other animals and humans alike, Tonkinese cats have more of an innocent personality.
Attention-craving and highly affectionate, Tonkinese cats are great companions for dogs, however they could annoy more laid-back animals since they need to be around creatures that have a similar activity level.
“It may be the only cat breed to rival the fetching skills of a Golden Retriever,” Dr. Marks said, adding that it is “super social and active” and “loves being around people and dogs.”
“It detests being alone or ignored, so a dog would definitely be a good companion for when you’re not home.”
Ragdoll cat. (Unsplash, Yuval Zukerman)
Well-balanced with no extreme features, Ragdolls are a great breed to consider for homes that have other pets.
This breed is very docile, affectionate and highly intelligent.
“The Ragdoll can learn to walk on a leash and could even go for joint walks with your dog,” Dr. Marks said.
10. Turkish Van
Turkish Van cat, taken from the Cat Fanciers’ Association. (CFA)
The Turkish Van is one of the rarest cat breeds in the world. According to CFA, only 100 of them are born in the US each year.
Very playful and active, the Turkish Van loves playing with water. In fact, they have been dubbed by the CFA as “the Swimming Cats”.
This breed would get along really well with dogs that love water.
“They love to be around and play in the water, and they can live harmoniously with dogs in the home, even playing games of fetch and retrieval, too,” said Dr. Marks.