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The 10 best cat breeds for families

The 10 best cat breeds for families

With so many cat breeds out there, picking the right pet cat for your family can be challenging.

Are you struggling to decide if an exotic Balinese Javanese or a cute Ragdoll cat is right for your family?

We know that it is a tough decision, so we have come up with this list of cat breeds that are perfect for families.

When you get a cat, you are welcoming a lovable, adorable, and intelligent companion into your family.

Our list of cat breeds is a collection of cats known to be perfect for any family. These cat breeds love to play with small children and will get along well with even other pets at home.

Be warned! Some of the cat breeds in our list can also be naughty at times but in a cute and endearing way.

So without further ado, here are ten of the best cat breeds for families. 

1. Exotic Shorthair

Exotic Shorthair

A top choice for cat lovers, the Exotic Shorthair is one of the best cat breeds for families.

This breed was created by crossing an American Shorthair and a Persian, and thus, it has the sweet and playful personality of a Persian and the intelligence of a Shorthair.

Families love the Exotics for their gentle attitude and friendliness towards other animals and pets. They are easy to care for and rarely make loud meowing noises and thus are perfect for apartments, small homes, and senior’s homes.

  • Low maintenance: Exotic shorthairs are low maintenance; their short, dense, and thick coat doesn’t require daily brushing and grooming.
  • Different colors: Exotic shorthairs come in almost all colors, including bi-color and tabby.
  • Healthy: Exotics are healthy cat breeds but can be prone to breathing and sinus problems due to their foreshortened faces and sinus cavities.

The Exotic Shorthair is definitely a cat breed to consider when looking to pick a well-rounded family cat.

2. Ragdoll

Ragdoll cat

The Ragdoll is one of the most affectionate and beautiful cats.

It is a mild-mannered cat and very friendly.

It loves the companionship of its owners and can be seen sleeping near or relaxing with their owners.

It is patient with young children and other pets in the house. There are even owners who train their Ragdolls to beg, fetch, or rollover just like dogs.

  • Gentle: Ragdolls are very gentle and may lack the ability to fend for themselves in times of danger, and thus, they must never be left outdoors.
  • Muscular: The Ragdoll is a muscular cat that comes with broad bodies and chests.
  • Different colors: These are also available in multiple colors.
  • Minimal grooming: Their coats are non-matting and need only minimal grooming.
  • Lifelong companion: A Ragdoll can be your companion for life as they can live long when properly cared for.

3. British Shorthair

British Shorthair

This breed is the most popular cat breed in the UK.

It is one of the independent cat breeds and hence ideal for families with busy schedules.

Given a choice, the British Shorthair would rather sit near their owner than on their lap.

British Shorthairs are not as social as other breeds but enjoy playing with their toys and receiving head pats and chin rubs.

The British Shorthair is an intelligent cat breed that can be trained to follow easy commands such as fetching things.

And of course, this breed will stay fairly healthy as long as you select a cat from a reputable breeder, and provide proper care and routine medical checkups.

4. Persian

Persian cat

The Persian is one of the oldest cat breeds. Historians date the origins of the Persian to as early as 1684 BC.

It is the most popular registered breed with the CFA or Cat Fanciers’ Association, the largest registry of pedigree cats in the world.

  • Sweet: Persians are sweet and very gentle, and thus one of the best pets for families with kids.
  • Calm: These cats are generally calm and quiet, but will happily oblige if you wish to play with them.
  • Distinct appearance: Persian cats have a very distinct appearance.
  • Well balanced: They are heavily-boned, well-balanced cats with short noses and flat faces.
  • Dense coat: It has long and dense coats that accent its round body and soft features.
  • Different colors: These adorable felines come in different colors and their coats will need daily grooming.

5. Maine Coon

The Maine Coon Cat

The Maine Coon is a lovable breed from New England.

It is a versatile cat that can adapt to all climates including the harsh winters of Northeastern United States.

The Maine Coon has a thick coat, large and round feet, and a gentle character.

  • Loves people: Maine Coons are energetic and love to be with people.
  • Similar to a dog: Their behavior is similar to that of a dog, following their human parent everywhere and responding when called by name.
  • Easy going: This cat breed has a relaxed and easy-going nature; their meows are more of a gentle chirp and thus can be a good pet for families living in apartments and small homes.
  • Regular grooming: Main Coons need regular grooming as they have long and shaggy fur sometimes with a very rugged appearance.
  • Bushy tail: This breed has rectangular bodies, tufted toes and ears, and long bushy tails.
  • Healthy: Main Coons are healthy and can live for many years as long as they are cared for and provided routine medical checkups.

6. American Shorthair

American Shorthair cat

This breed is an all-around family favorite in the United States.

A pleasant natured cat, the American Shorthair is loving and tends to develop strong bonds with its owner.

These cats were brought from Europe by early settlers to keep rats at bay. The American Shorthair is one of the earliest breeds to be registered with the Cat Fanciers’ Association.

  • Agile:The American Shorthair is one of the most agile cats.
  • Friendly: It’s friendly, playful, and fiercely loyal to its owner.
  • Loves people: It loves to be with people and will follow its owner everywhere. It will also get along with other cats and pets in the family.
  • Different colors: The American Shorthair comes in different varieties and colors. In fact, there are in excess of 80 coat colors with different patterns. You can get a blue-eyed plain white shorthair or a gorgeous calico as a pet.
  • Healthy: It is a healthy breed with almost no health issues. It can live for many with proper care and attention.

7. Scottish Fold

Scottish Fold cat

Scottish Fold cats are known for their unusual folded ears. This unique characteristic was discovered as a mutation way back in 1961 when a Scottish farmer found a cat with folded ears sleeping in his barn.

The cat was bred by a geneticist who found out that the folded ears mutation would occur only if one parent had straight ears and the other folded.

But despite its unusual appearance, the Scottish Fold remains one of the most popular and well-loved cat breeds in the world.

  • Easy-going: Scottish Fold cats are easy-going, friendly and get along with other pets like dogs and cats.
  • Sociable: It is socially confident but may develop a strong attachment to its owner or one family member.
  • Can speak: This breed can “speak” as its meowing is soft, like a soft human voice. It also has a distinct meow and purr that you won’t find in other cat breeds.
  • Rounded appearance: Aside from its genetic mutation, the Scottish Fold cat has a rounded appearance, with round eyes, face, and cheeks.
  • Different colors: The coat can be long or short and is available in a variety of colors.
  • Healthy: This is a healthy breed, and with good vet care, much love, and attention, can live for many years.

8. Sphynx

Another cat breed with a very unusual appearance is the Sphynx. The first cat was bred in Canada way back in 1966; its hairless appearance is a genetic trait and will occur once every 15 years. The Sphynx was bred with other shorthaired breeds, and this brought about a genetically stable and healthy breed. 

It may have an unusual appearance, but it’s energetic, very playful, and sometimes silly. While other cat breeds may prefer to stay quiet and calm, this cat loves all the attention. When this cat is with its owner, it will always look for ways to get his attention no matter what his human is doing! This attitude has made this cat perfect for cat shows and contests.

The Sphynx is generally hairless, but some varieties of this breed have very tiny peach-fuzz hair all over their bodies. This is a medium-size cat with a round abdomen. It may look weak, but actually, it is muscular and strong. Contrary to what people may think about the Sphynx, it does not get cold. If it feels cold, it is smart enough to climb up into your bed and snuggle with you.

Remember, the Sphynx is not an outdoor cat as its skin is exposed. It also needs specialized grooming as its skin secretes oil. Regular visits to the vet and to a groomer will help you care for your Sphynx cat. Good care will also ensure that your cat will live happier, longer.

9. Abyssinian

Abyssinian cat tail up

The Abyssinian is a gorgeous cat with superb physical abilities.

This breed was first spotted in England and mentioned in 1872. It is a medium-sized cat with lovely warm colored coats.

It is a very playful and affectionate cat, often very loyal and loving towards their families as well as other pets at home. It prefers to play rather than remain on the lap of its owner.

  • Loves people: The Abyssinian loves people and enjoys being part of everything happening in the home.
  • Expressive face: This breed has an expressive face with a slightly-wedged head and cupped ears.
  • Muscular: It is a muscular cat with slender legs and very thin coats. Many cat experts and breeders agree that this scat resembles ancient Egyptian cats.
  • Different colors: The coat of an Abyssinian comes in four colors and with lighter colors on the roots and is darker along with the tips.
  • Healthy cat: It is a generally healthy cat but may have some hereditary diseases of the eye, liver, and kidneys. But with good care and routine health checkups, an Abyssinian cat can live a long time.

10. Devon Rex

Devon Rex

The Devon Rex is one of the newest cat breeds discovered in Devonshire, England, in 1960.

This cat has a colorful history, with characteristics perfected over many years. 

This breed loves to be with people and, in fact, will do anything to please its owner.

Some Devon Rex owners say that their cats were not just able to distinguish their names but also the names of their owners.

It has the body of a cat but the personality of a dog. It will love to rest on your lap and will learn tricks like a pet dog. It can fetch toys, learn commands, and walk on a leash. It is very intelligent and also naughty at times.

  • Distinct appearance: The Devon Rex has a distinct appearance with its huge eyes, large ears, and small triangle-shaped head. These are also called pixies, with their features likened to an elf.
  • Coat: Their coats range from white to silver and are not hypoallergenic.
  • Healthy: It is a healthy cat breed as long as it receives good care and the right veterinary care.

So have you decided which cat breed is right for you? Remember, each cat breed is different, each with unique personalities and unusual qualities. And whether you want to buy or adopt, look for a healthy, well-rounded cat. Buy only from a reliable breeder to ensure you’re getting a healthy pet.