The Top 10 Most Affectionate Cat Breeds That Love to Cuddle

Updated on December 17, 2019
Layne Holmes profile image

Layne has worked in shelter medicine for over six years and likes to share her advice with fellow animal guardians.

Top 10 Most Affectionate Cat Breeds
Top 10 Most Affectionate Cat Breeds | Source

Cats of all shapes and sizes and breeds make for affectionate companions. They cuddle, give kitty kisses, and follow you around like you're their best friend. Other cats are more standoffish, more independent, and like to do their own thing. They may not enjoy being held as much, may not enjoy being around kids, or may not enjoy other pets. While a lot of a cat's personality has to do with raising and background (e.g. how much socialization did they get when they were younger), some of it simply comes down to breed type.

You should always consider adopting before shopping—countless animals all around the world need homes. Not to mention, mixed breed cats tend to inherit less health problems than purebreds. But, if you're in the market for a purebred or mixed breed, consider looking at breed rescues first!

Now, let's get to it. Here are the top 10 most affection cat breeds:

Top 10 Most Affectionate Cat Breeds

  1. Ragdoll
  2. Scottish Fold
  3. Birman
  4. Kurilian Bobtail
  5. Siamese
  6. Maine Coon
  7. Persian
  8. Sphynx
  9. Tonkinese
  10. Mixed breed

Ragdoll Cat
Ragdoll Cat | Source

1. Ragdoll

If you've ever interacted with a Ragdoll cat then you know that they are simply adorably fantastic. Ragdolls very accurately represent their name. When receiving affection, they flop and flip around, roll into your hand, and can't get enough of the petting! They are a gentle breed with a great personality, and they tend to be on the larger side.

Ragdolls originated in California in the United States in the '60s. They tend to have long hair and are thought to be part Persian. They are often grey-toned in color and have large, muscular bodies and a silky coat. You can find cats with Ragdoll traits at your shelter—the "rag doll" behavior is undeniable (you will know when you find one!).

Fun Traits

  • one of the largest domestic breeds
  • highly affectionate
  • gentle
  • love water
  • flop around/go limp
  • long-haired
  • do well with other animals
  • do well with kids

Ragdolls are one of the largest domestic cat breeds.

Scottish Fold
Scottish Fold | Source

2. Scottish Fold

The Scottish Fold is a domestic cat breed that is affected by a dominant mutation which causes their distinctive ear folds. They are extremely loving and tend to sleep on their backs. They were originally called lops or lop-eared, similar to the lop-eared rabbit breed. The breed was established in 1966 and yes, they originated in Scotland. It is reported that the parent of the first Scottish folds prior to their registration in 1966 with the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy was a cat named Susie.

Inbreeding

The breed, however, comes with some concerns. Breeders have received criticism over the years due to the inbreeding of inheritable traits such as deafness and some physical deformities. Nowadays, these cats are crossed with British Shorthairs and American Shorthairs to reduce the chances of genetically inherited health issues.

Fun Traits

  • known for their owl-like appearance
  • lop-eared
  • sleep on their backs
  • affectionate
  • distinctive vocalizations
  • very social
  • stubborn

Scottish Folds are known for their undeniable owl-like appearance.

Birman Cat
Birman Cat | Source

3. Birman

The Birman cat, also known as the "Sacred Cat of Burma," is a domestic long-haired cat that is identified by its beautiful coat, blue eyes, and color-pointed appearance. Not only are Birmans wonderful to look at due to their beautiful traits, but they also make excellent companions. They love to be lap cats and are fairly sociable—they tend to closely bond with their human companion.

The breed originated in France in 1925 and was accepted by the Cat Fanciers' Association in the United States in 1967. This breed was said to be the companion of priests in northern Burma (Myanmar). Sadly, during WWII, Birman cats almost disappeared but breeders worked to restore the breed.

Fun Traits

  • make great lap cats
  • bond closely with owner
  • known as the "Sacred Cat of Burma"
  • known for their silky coats
  • have beautiful blue eyes
  • were the companions of temple priests

Birman cats are known as the "Sacred Cat of Burma."

Kurilian Bobtail
Kurilian Bobtail | Source

4. Kurilian Bobtail

The Kurilian Bobtail is a unique cat breed that is thought to be related to the Japanese Bobtail. The breed originated in Eurasia and it is currently being "promoted" as a Russian breed to help distinguish it from the similar Japanese bobtail. These cats love to play with water and they are known for being docile, loving, gentle, and smart.

Kurilians tend to have either short or medium-length hair, a cobby-type body, and they are notorious for their short, fluffy tail. They tend to have an arched appearance as their rear legs are characteristically longer than their front legs. The breed is rare in the United States, but they still top the charts in terms of affection. These cats tend to make excellent, loving companions in the household and are both loyal and affection.

Fun Traits

  • promoted as a Russian breed
  • possibly related to the Japanese bobtail
  • love to play with water
  • cobby-type body
  • notorious for their short, bobbed, fluffy tail
  • intelligent
  • make excellent companions

The Siamese is one of the most popular breeds in North America and Europe.

Siamese Seal Tabby Silver
Siamese Seal Tabby Silver | Source

5. Siamese

Siamese are known for being vocal, but they are also very affectionate and extremely playful. These cats originated from the Whichianmat landrace (Wichien Maat)—a descendent of the cats of Thailand—previously known as Siam. Siamese are actually one of the most popular breeds of North America and Europe.

They have a distinct triangular-shaped head, almond-shaped eyes that are blue in color, a slender but athletic build, and pronounced ears. They have been used in crossbreeding across many breeds—especially the longhair variety. Some of these breeds include the Cornish Rex, Colorpoint Shorthair, Himalayan, and Balinese Cat. These cats are extremely affectionate and smart and tend to be quite social. They are known for enjoying play and do well in pairs or with other animals.

Fun Traits

  • triangular-shaped head
  • extremely vocal
  • striking blue eyes
  • the foundation stock of many popular breeds
  • one of the most popular breeds in North America and Europe
  • very social
  • do well with other animals

Siamese are know for being the most vocal of all cat breeds.

Maine Coon
Maine Coon | Source

6. Maine Coon

The Maine Coon breed is the largest domestic cat breed and can weigh well beyond 18 pounds and reach up to 48 inches in length! They are extremely friendly, social, and very vocal—chirping and meowing to communicate. They are lovable and are even known to exhibit behaviors like walking on a leash or playing fetch. They have excellent hunting skills and are one of the oldest breeds of North America (originate in Maine).

Despite its large size, the Maine Coon is known as "the gentle giant." They have rectangular-shaped bodies and two layers to their coat and a bushy tail. They come in a variety of colors. They are smart, playful, and loyal. They also have an independent nature but make great lap cats. They are considered to be above-average in intelligence compared to other cats.

Fun Traits

  • the largest domestic cat breed
  • the official state cat of Maine
  • known as "gentle giants"
  • have a long, bushy tail
  • love to chirp and vocalize
  • tend to be polydactyl

Maine Coons are the official state cate of Maine.

Persian Cat
Persian Cat | Source

7. Persian

Persian cats require a whole lot of grooming, but they are extremely lovable household companions. They also make excellent lap cats and love to lounge around all day. They do well with other pets and are especially gentle and kind with kids.

They are known for their round faces and luxurious long hair (which requires a bit of grooming!) They are brachycephalic, meaning they have shortened muzzles. Because of this, they tend to have respiratory issues. They originated in the Middle East and are known as the "Iranian cat" or "Shiraz cat." Cat Fanciers' Assocation in the United States ranked them the 2nd most popular breed in 2015 (Wikipedia).

A Note About Breeding

Many breeders are looking to produce toy and teacup sized cats (sometimes called "pixie" "pocket' or "mini" but this is considered extremely controversial given the breed's chronic health problems.

Fun Traits

  • the 2nd most popular breed in the U.S. (2015)
  • known for their short muzzle
  • quiet and gentle in nature
  • do well with other animals
  • affectionate
  • picky eaters
  • require heavy grooming!
  • come in a variety of beautiful colors

Persians were the 2nd most popular cat breed of the United States in 2015.

Sphynx Cat With Blue Eyes
Sphynx Cat With Blue Eyes | Source

8. Sphynx

The Sphynx is a hairless breed, which makes it the ultimate lap cat—they want to stay warm! The breed's hairlessness is the result of a genetic mutation, but these cats were also intentionally selectively bred to possess this trait since the '60s. They are very Siamese in appearance and possess the typical apple-shaped head, high cheek bones, large, almond-shaped eyes, and athletic build.

This breed is extremely introverted, intelligent, curious, and lovable. They are often referred to as cat-dogs due to their dog-like behavior. They have no problem meeting strangers and do well in busy households. Because of their hairlessness, they have a tendency to run cold and can be more prone to skin cancer.

Fun Traits

  • totally hairless
  • dog-like in behavior
  • sociable
  • intelligent
  • tend to run cold
  • good for people with allergies

The Sphynx is a completely hairless breed of cat.

Tonkinese
Tonkinese | Source

9. Tonkinese

The Tonkinese is actually a blended crossbreed or hybrid cat of Siamese and Burmese origin. They are extremely social and outgoing and take after their parent breeds with their high energy and playful demeanor. They are also extremely vocal but less so than the Siamese. They, like the Sphynx, are known for being dog-like in nature.

They have the standard pointed coat pattern and come in many different colors. They are a medium-sized cat with a slender and long body. They often appear in natural (medium-brown), champagne, blue, and platinum, according to the Cat Fanciers' Association (Wikipedia). They are extremely intelligent and do well with other animals.

Fun Traits

  • a crossbreed
  • dog-like in behavior
  • high energy
  • vocal
  • sociable and outgoing
  • intelligent

The Tonkinese is a crossbreed of the Siamese and Burmese.

Mixed breed cats make great companions.
Mixed breed cats make great companions. | Source

10. Mixed Breed Cats

Yes—one of the most affectionate cat "breeds" of all time is the mixed breed cat. Even though the behavior of purebred cats has been predicted for decades (due to breeding), inbreeding does come with added risks of inherited health issues. Adopting a mixed-breed cat is a win-win. Not only will your adopted cat tend to be healthier than a purebred, but it will likely be highly adaptable and extremely grateful and loving for a newly found forever home.

Tabby cats and tuxedo cats are known for being extremely intelligent and outgoing, whereas orange tabbies tend to have a cool and collected vibe. Most of all, black cats—domestic shorthair, medium, or longhair—are notorious for having big, bold, and social personalities.

Socialization is always important with any cat, but certainly give a shelter animal a chance. With all of the pet homelessness in the world, you will be saving a life and welcoming a new companion into your heart.

Fun Traits

  • fewer inherited health issues
  • saving a life by adopting
  • easily bond
  • adopted out spayed and neutered
  • often adaptable
  • generally easygoing
  • observant
  • often housed and adapted to other animals

Many professionals who work with animals reaffirm that black cats are one of the most affectionate and playful cats.

Source

  • Wikipedia

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Layne Holmes

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      • Layne Holmes profile imageAUTHOR

        Layne Holmes 

        3 months ago from Bend, Oregon

        Hi MG Singh, thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed this article. I am curious to know of the cats in Singapore—I bet they have unique traits different from the domestic cats I see in the states.

      • emge profile image

        MG Singh 

        3 months ago from Singapore

        There are lots of cats in Singapore.its makes a nice pet. Nice article

      • Layne Holmes profile imageAUTHOR

        Layne Holmes 

        3 months ago from Bend, Oregon

        Hi Linda, I do love Ragdolls! They are unlike any other cat breed I've met. Persians are pretty sweet tooo. So cute that you have Ragdolls. I'm glad you enjoyed reading this.

      • Layne Holmes profile imageAUTHOR

        Layne Holmes 

        3 months ago from Bend, Oregon

        Hi Liz—thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you like the photos.

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        3 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

        I thought Ragdolls would be near the top of your list! I have two of them. They are lovely animals. I also have an adopted mixed breed cat. He's affectionate as well, though not to same extent as the Ragdolls. I enjoyed reading about all the breeds that you described.

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        3 months ago from UK

        You have found some great photos to illustrate the different breeds.

      • Layne Holmes profile imageAUTHOR

        Layne Holmes 

        3 months ago from Bend, Oregon

        Hi Paula, thank you for the read. I'm happy to hear you love your kitties and have enjoyed so many in your lifetime. They are truly special. I agree that the Birma cat is simply gorgeous. Some breeds definitely are disappearing . . . it's taken a lot of effort to preserve them. I love documenting each breeds' personality. They truly are exquisite!

      • fpherj48 profile image

        Paula 

        3 months ago from UpstateWestern,New York

        Layne....Your article is like a Cat-Lover's Paradise! The photos are exquisite! I appreciate the education on the various breeds. I have had so many cats in my lifetime and currently have 3 darlings in my life.....each one so unique in personality. They give me comfort and laughter.

        The Birma cat is too beautiful for words! I'd love to have one. Considering it's been a struggle to save the breed, I'll bet their price is outrageous!

        Purrrrrfect article! Cheers, Paula

      • Layne Holmes profile imageAUTHOR

        Layne Holmes 

        3 months ago from Bend, Oregon

        Hi Lora,

        Thanks for the read! I agree—I love mixed breed cats. I had to put them on this list for that very reason. There's nothing better than a beautiful shelter cat (all my babies are from shelters!) I think black cats are especially awesome. I also can't justify going to a breeder. All of our dogs have been adopted, too. I'm so glad you agree. There are so many homeless animals and all of the creatures I've adopted have been fantastic and beautiful. I couldn't feel any more lucky really. I do especially like Ragdolls and Maine Coons—I can tell when a blended cat has a little Ragdoll in them. (:

      • Lora Hollings profile image

        Lora Hollings 

        3 months ago

        An excellent and in-depth article on these very interesting cat breeds! But for me, just give me a domestic short-hair or any length hair for that matter that comes from a shelter! I got all my wonderful cats by adopting them from shelters and they couldn't have been more affectionate and fun! With all these wonderful animals who are in such need of homes, I just can't justify going to a breeder. I feel the same way about dogs and adopted all my dogs who are mixed breeds! But, if I ever come across a stray or rescue who looks like one of these cats, I will certainly know what he has in him! Great Job.

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