The Top 10 Most Affectionate Cat Breeds That Love to Cuddle
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
- Scottish Fold
- Kurilian Bobtail
- Maine Coon
- Mixed breed
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!).
- one of the largest domestic breeds
- highly affectionate
- love water
- flop around/go limp
- do well with other animals
- do well with kids
Ragdolls are one of the largest domestic cat breeds.
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.
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.
- known for their owl-like appearance
- sleep on their backs
- distinctive vocalizations
- very social
Scottish Folds are known for their undeniable owl-like appearance.
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.
- 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."
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.
- 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
- make excellent companions
The Siamese is one of the most popular breeds in North America and Europe.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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 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.
- 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
- 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.
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.
- totally hairless
- dog-like in behavior
- tend to run cold
- good for people with allergies
The Sphynx is a completely hairless breed of cat.
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.
- a crossbreed
- dog-like in behavior
- high energy
- sociable and outgoing
The Tonkinese is a crossbreed of the Siamese and Burmese.
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.
- fewer inherited health issues
- saving a life by adopting
- easily bond
- adopted out spayed and neutered
- often adaptable
- generally easygoing
- 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.
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.
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© 2019 Layne Holmes