These 15 cat breeds are the most popular among families with kids because of their characteristics and temperament. Any individual cat with the right personality can be an awesome companion for children! But some breeds tend to be more affectionate, understanding, or gentle than others. Which is what we want in our furry friends when kids are around, isn’t it?
There are 45 cat breeds recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), and up to 40 more distinct breeds that have not received recognition yet. Plus, hundreds of possible hybrid breeds mean there are quite a few choices out there.
So without further ado, let’s look at the 15 best kid-friendly cat breeds!
It’s easy to see why the Ragdoll is one of the most popular and beloved cat breeds in the United States. They are known for being sweet, affectionate, gentle, and love to be held or cuddled by their human family. In fact, they get their name, Ragdoll, because they will often go limp while being held, being content to just relax and enjoy the affection. If you’re looking for a baby-doll type cat that will greet your kids at the door after school, this is the one. They are very tolerant of children and other pets, making them fantastic feline companions for families.
The Burmese cat is another breed that is quite popular among families with children. They are known for being playful and curious and will often interact with their family. Whether it’s cuddling at night or playing fetch during the day.
A somewhat lesser-known breed, the Manx, is another cat that is very friendly and sociable. They have been growing in popularity and are recognizable for having a very short, almost non-existent, tail. Manx cats love to play games and can also be taught various tricks, like playing fetch. They love to be around people and other animals, making them a great addition to the family.
4. Maine Coon
Most people have heard about the Maine Coon, primarily due to their massive size (compared to other cat breeds). But don’t let their size fool you (20+ lbs), Maine Coons are extremely gentle, loyal, and affectionate. They are devoted to their owners and will follow them around frequently. They are also very tolerant of children and will often care for them with an almost dog-like mentality. Not only do they make ideal family companions, but they are also often used as therapy cats due to their loving nature.
The Abyssinian is one of the oldest breeds of cats in the world and also one of the most active breeds of cats in the world. This breed is known for being adventurous, curious, and energetic. Abyssinians love to explore their surroundings and play with toys and people. They are also very intelligent and can be trained to do tricks and obey commands.
The Birman is a beautiful breed that is believed to have originated from Burma (now Myanmar), where it was revered as a sacred cat by Buddhist monks. This breed is known for being sweet, gentle, and calm. Birmans are very affectionate to their owners and love to cuddle and purr. They are also very sociable and get along well with children and other pets.
The Himalayan is a stunning breed that is a cross between a Persian and a Siamese. This breed is known for being affectionate, loyal, and quiet. Himalayans are very attached to their owners and love to be pampered and petted. They are also very docile and easygoing, making them ideal pets for families with children.
8. Scottish Fold
The Scottish Fold is a charming breed that is famous for its folded ears that give it a cute and expressive look. This breed is known for being friendly, playful, and adaptable. Scottish Folds love to be around people and other animals, making them great family pets. They are also very curious and intelligent, and can learn to do tricks and open doors.
9. Devon Rex
The Devon Rex is a delightful breed that is known for its curly coat and elf-like appearance. This breed is known for being lively, mischievous, and loving. Devon Rexes love to play with toys and people, and can even be taught to play fetch. They are also very cuddly and will snuggle with their owners on the couch or in bed.
10. American Shorthair
The American Shorthair is one of the most common breeds of cats in the United States and also one of the oldest breeds of cats in North America. This breed is known for being friendly, easygoing, and adaptable. American Shorthairs love to be around people and other animals, making them great family pets. They are also very independent and low-maintenance, making them ideal for busy families.
The Ragamuffin is a cuddly breed that is a descendant of the Ragdoll. This breed is known for being sweet, loving, and affectionate. Ragamuffins are very attached to their owners and love to be held and carried. They are also very gentle and patient with children and other pets, making them ideal companions for families.
The Siberian is a majestic breed that is native to Russia, where it has been living for centuries. This breed is known for being loyal, brave, and intelligent. Siberians are very protective of their owners and will defend them from any threat. They are also very playful and adventurous and love to explore and climb. They are also very friendly and sociable with children and other pets, making them great family pets.
The Siamese is an elegant breed that is one of the world’s ancient cat breeds. They are known for being vocal, lively, and affectionate. Siamese cats love to communicate with their owners and will express their opinions and feelings through various sounds and meows. They are also very active and playful and enjoy playing games like fetch. They are also very cuddly and will snuggle with their owners on the couch or in bed. Siamese cats have a tendency to be possessive, bonding with one person, which can be problematic with small children who don’t understand.
14. Cornish Rex
The Cornish Rex is a delightful breed that is known for its curly coat and slender appearance. This breed is known for being energetic, funny, and loving. Cornish Rexes love to play with toys and people and can even be taught to do tricks and obey commands. They are also very cuddly and will snuggle with their owners on the couch or in bed.
The Persian is a glamorous breed that is one of the most popular breeds of cats in the world. This breed is known for being calm, sweet, and dignified. Persians are very affectionate to their owners and love to be groomed and petted. They are also very quiet and gentle, making them ideal pets for families with children. They are not the best breed for kids with allergies, though; their long, fluffy coats need a lot of grooming which can trigger allergies.
Cat Breeds to Avoid with Kids
Cats can make great pets for kids, as they can be cuddly, playful, and independent. Unfortunately, not all cats are suitable for families with young children; some breeds may have certain traits or needs that can make them incompatible or even dangerous. A couple of examples are Bombay, Savannah, and Turkish Van Cats. These breeds tend to be more independent, aloof, or dislike being held. All of which can make them difficult for kids who want an affectionate kitty.
Keep in mind all cats have individual personalities, you may very well find a Bombay that is the perfect loving fur baby. Or a Maine Coon that wants nothing to do with anyone. It’s just less common.