People typically do not think of cats as being affectionate animals. They have a (somewhat undeserved) reputation of being aloof, indifferent, and uncaring towards people, not really “needing” people in order to be happy. True cat lovers know, however, that, in reality, this is not the case. Yes, cats might be fairly independent animals, which contributes to their indifferent reputation. But there are many cats who are quite affectionate to their owners, some even showing as much love towards their owners as dogs. Here, in no particular order, we will examine some of the most affectionate cat breeds, according to experts such as Cheryl Hogan of The International Cat Association (TICA), the publication Vet Street, and Veterinary Centers of America.
Originating in Iran, Persian cats are long-haired with expressive eyes and chubby cheeks. While some humans may think of these cats as high maintenance, “glamour cats,” they are known to be quite happy to sit in their owner’s lap for hours. With a calm nature, they enjoy cuddling as well as playing with their owners. They are not quite as athletic or playful as other breeds, preferring a quiet home and lots of naps. Persians are said to be discriminating in their affection – that is, they need to get to know you first before lavishing affection on you. Their only drawback is that, being long-haired, Persians do require more grooming than many other cats.
The largest of the domestic cat breeds and one of the oldest breeds native to North America, the Maine Coon can be as large as 40 inches in length and 20 lbs. in weight. Although they are large, these kitties are very gentle, earning them the nickname the “gentle giant.” Maine Coons are social, dog-like cats who love interacting with their owners. If you own a Maine Coon, you are familiar with their unique chirping sounds, in lieu of a meow. They will do this to get their owner’s attention, especially when they want to play or just want you to show them some love. Dog-like traits of the Maine Coon include their love to take walks on a leash and surprisingly, their love of water. Despite their large size, Maine Coon cats love to curl up in their owners’ laps. They get along well with children and other cats and dogs.
The Burmese is from Thailand, with a body type that is compact and stocky and a beautiful coat of short, dense fur. While many think of the Burmese as being brown in color, their coats can display a variety of colors, including but not limited to sable, platinum and champagne. Called the dogs of the cat world, owners have said that they can tell exactly what their Burmese is thinking and feeling just by looking at their facial expression. They are vocal and very affectionate, loving cats who get along well with children, other cats and dogs. The Burmese is a social cat that loves to be held by humans.
The Bombay originated from breeding a sable Burmese and a black American Shorthair cat. The result, the Bombay, is a cat with a beautiful, black coat and many of the same traits as the Burmese above. The Bombay cat is quite affectionate. Hogan notes that Bombays are happy to make friends with everyone they meet, and that they’ve never met a stranger.
A breed that is rarer and newer to the United States, the Kurilian Bobtail originated in Russia but is not the aloof Russian you might expect it to be. This breed of cat is quite friendly and devoted to its owner. The Kurilian Bobtail is famous for its pompom tail and looks like a wild animal, but is, in reality, quite gentle and loving. Kurilian Bobtails usually get along with the entire family, including other cats and dogs.
What is the difference between the Siamese and the Oriental Shorthair, you might ask? The Siamese has points of color contrasting with an otherwise cream-colored body, while the Oriental Shorthair has a variety of patterns and colors. Both have similar temperaments, however. Whichever name you like to call it, this breed of cat is a vocal, active cat who loves to be held by its owners. The Siamese were treated like royalty for centuries, but hasn’t let that go to their heads. They still show much love for humans through their expressive eyes and have been known to form deep bonds with their favorite humans.
The first cat that was bred specifically to be hairless, the Sphynx originated in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 1978. Because it is hairless, the Sphynx is always seeking warmth. What better place to find that warmth than in its owner’s arms and on their lap? Sphynx cats are also known to love to have fun and show off for their owners. Hogan calls the Sphynx a “purring suede hot water bottle.” This smart, playful and energetic cat can entertain itself, but loves to play with its owner as well. The Sphynx breed make excellent therapy pets as they are good-natured and friendly and love meeting new people.
Known as the Sacred Cat of Burma, the Birman is such a loving cat, that Hogan from TICA (who breeds Birmans) says it might be one of the most people-oriented breeds of all cat breeds. Birmans have been called the “mood ring” of cats, mimicking their owner’s mood. If their owner is happy, the Birman is happy too and wants to play. If their owner is tired, however, the Birman will sit with, comfort and console her owner. This cat is known for its soft, silky coat of fur, piercing blue eyes and white paws. Birmans are sensitive, quiet and affectionate, loving to sit in your lap, and crave human companionship.
The Tonkinese is a hybrid of the Burmese and Siamese breeds. This breed is intelligent, vocal, social, and affectionate, with coats in patterns of varied colors. Thriving on attention, they like to “talk” to their owners, preferably while cuddling with them for hours. Tonkinese are great human companions. They can be trained to do tricks or walk on a leash. Some also enjoy playing fetch, like a dog!
A breed that is native to the United States, the Ragdoll was first seen in California in the 1960s. It is said to have been created by breeding a long-haired grey cat with a black cat. The ragdoll has been referred to as the “puppy cat,” because it acts like a dog in its affection for humans. They are easy-going, love being held, and crave human interaction. This breed is called the Ragdoll because it is known for going limp in a human’s arms. Some Ragdoll will even play fetch with their owners! With a small meow almost like a chirp, the Ragdoll is a happy cat who loves to be part of your household. This is a very popular indoor cat, likely for those reasons.
The Ragamuffin is a variation on the Ragdoll breed and was established as its own breed in 1994. This thick, furry cat is very friendly and affectionate. It loves to follow its owners around the house as well and gets along with other cats as well as dogs.
The Scottish Fold breed of cat is docile, sweet and mellow, loving to sit in its owner’s lap. Resembling a stuffed toy, this cat has also let children dress it in doll clothes! It is noted for its huge, round eyes (and forward-folded ears, of course) and will gaze at you while you pet and snuggle with it for hours. One peculiarity of the Scottish Fold is that it likes to sleep in odd positions, such as on its owner’s head. Scottish Folds deeply love their owners and like to follow them all around the house, from one room to the next. So if you crave privacy when you go to the bathroom, for example, you might need to shut the door!
Originating in Abyssinia (now called Ethiopia), this is one of the oldest cat breeds still in existence today. The Abyssinian is a beautiful cat who is also outgoing and loving towards humans. It has a beautiful, ticked tabby pattern coat. They have been known to get along well with other cats and dogs, too.
The Russian Blue is known for creating a strong bond with its owner. While the Russian Blue may be wary of strangers, it can take a while to get to know a new human. Once it does, however, it will be your friend for life. They are known for their devotion to their owners.
Never heard of Snowshoes? These black and white cats sometimes look grumpy but in reality, are friendly and affectionate cats who love interacting with humans. They crave attention and the companionship of their owners.
One of the oldest domestic cat breeds that still exists today, the Egyptian Mau has a beautiful spotted coat. While it might look like a wild cat, it is very domesticated and happy to spend time with its owners. This friendly cat wags its tail like a dog to show its happiness and appreciation towards its owners. It is also usually quite friendly with other cats in the family.
The Cornish Rex has been called the “comedian of the cat world” with its huge ears on top an egg-shaped head and its tricks and antics. Don’t let its appearance fool you, however – this cat is very good-natured and affectionate, wanting to show off for its favorite humans. The Cornish Rex has been known to play fetch like a dog. This cat will demonstrate its love for its humans on a daily basis.
The Devon Rex has a wavier coat than its cousin, the Cornish Rex. It is a very well-tempered breed that is happy to cuddle with its owners. This playful cat likes to ride on its owner’s shoulders and sit on your lap. It is also a very intelligent, adaptable breed.
You know that big guy. Always happy. Not worried about anything. Very friendly. Now cover him with long kinked fur, give him almond shaped eyes with a gold ring. A chortling meow. Big cuddly cat. Norwegian forest cat. The friendly big kitty.