Top 10 Smartest Cat Breeds
The 10 Smartest Cat Breeds
10. Turkish Angora
7. Japanese Bobtail
5. Scottish Fold
4. Cornish Rex
10. Turkish Angora
The Turkish Angora is a highly intelligent breed of cat known for its affectionate nature, adaptability, and high level of energy. As its name implies, the Turkish Angora is believed to have originated in Turkey and was brought to the United States by American servicemen during the 1950s (cfa.org).
The cat is a medium-sized breed known for its long fur, silky coat, and predominantly white coloration. The Angora is also well-known for its natural ability to bond with humans. Similar to Chihuahuas, the Angora often favors particular individuals over others and enjoys being held and petted on a regular basis.
The Turkish Angora is also extremely intelligent and is known for its problem-solving skills, and ease of training. They can be taught basic commands, and actively respond to human emotions, making them an “emotionally intelligent” breed (cfa.org). For these reasons, the Angora is often referred to as “dog-like” in its behavior (cfa.org). As an adaptable and playful breed, the Angora is an excellent choice for families with children and other pets (including cat-friendly dogs).
The Siamese is a breed of cat known for its affection, intelligence, and social nature. Believed to have originated in Thailand, the Siamese cat is a slim breed known for its distinctive head and face, short hair, blue eyes, and pale body that contrasts sharply with its darkened features.
The Siamese is quite affectionate and actively seeks out attention due to its “love for socializing” (bengalcats.co). They are also well-known for their vocal behavior and can become quite loud if they feel neglected. For this reason, the Siamese is best suited for households with other cats (in particular, another Siamese), or with owners capable of providing them with the attention they desire on a daily basis.
The Siamese cat is also highly intelligent and requires ample stimulation (mental) to keep their minds busy. As an energetic breed, failure to provide this stimulation often results in destructive behavior and mischief as the Siamese attempts to entertain itself through various means. For this reason, challenging puzzles and toys are excellent choices for this breed.
The cat is also capable of learning advanced commands, and have even been observed playing fetch with their owners. Because of their ability to form social bonds, the Siamese is a perfect choice for households with children or other pets (including cat-friendly dogs). Proper care and supervision should be taught to small children, however, as the Siamese is known to become aggressive when harassed or provoked.
The Persian is a highly intelligent breed of cat known for its long hair, rounded face, and friendly (yet quiet) demeanor. Believed to have originated in Iran, the first Persians appeared in the Western World around 1620. It wasn’t until the late 1800s, however, that the Persian became a popular choice for households (becoming the second most popular cat for American households as of 2001).
Persians are incredibly docile; a characteristic tied to their overly sensitive and cautious nature. Despite their shyness, however, the Persian is quite affectionate towards its owners, and “loves to be held and coddled” (bengalcats.co). For this reason, the Persian is a perfect choice for families with children, as the cat loves human interaction and attention.
Apart from their beautiful appearance, the Persian is also highly intelligent and can be trained to respond to various commands, including “no” and “come here” (bengalcats.co). Due to their attentiveness, the breed is also highly receptive to human words, and is capable of “understanding sound association” (bengalcats.co). For these reasons, the Persian makes for an excellent addition to nearly any home.
7. Japanese Bobtail
The Japanese Bobtail is a breed of cat known for its short tail (similar to the tail of a rabbit), gentleness, and intelligence. Originating in Japan and Southeast Asia (as its name implies), the Japanese Bobtail comes in a wide array of colors, and is considered a medium-sized breed reaching upwards of 9-pounds when fully matured. Capable of living nearly fifteen years, the Bobtail is a good choice for families as their long life, gentleness, and affectionate nature make them excellent companions for small children.
Japanese Bobtails are exceptionally smart and are capable of learning a wide array of tricks and commands (including fetch). They are also known to respond to their name and have a heightened sense of awareness to their surroundings. For this reason, experts believe that the Bobtail actively studies its environment, and is capable of learning through both trial and error (hillspet.com).
As with most intelligent breeds, the Bobtail requires mental and physical stimulation on a daily basis to prevent boredom and frustration. For owners up to the challenge though, the Bobtail makes for an excellent pet and companion for both children and adults alike.
The Singapura is a highly intelligent breed of cat known for its small size, playfulness, and friendly demeanor. Believed to have originated in Singapore during the 1970s, the Singapura reaches only 6 to 8 pounds at full maturity, and usually maintains a sepia color described as dark brown with ivory green.
The Singapura thrives on attention, and loves interactive playtime with their owners (purina.com). They are also quite friendly and social toward other pets, particularly cats and dogs. Due to their disdain for loud noises, however, the Singapura is not well-suited for households with small children (purina.com).
The Singapura is considered “socially intelligent” due to the fact that the cat actively uses its agility, natural cuteness, and high-levels of energy to garner extra attention from its owner. For this reason, the cat is often unfairly labeled as “pesky,” as the breed is considered extremely “extroverted” and “needy” (bengalcats.co). Nevertheless, their ability to actively engage with challenging toys and games coupled with the breed’s desire for strong social bonds makes the Singapura a highly intelligent cat, as well as a great companion.
5. Scottish Fold
The Scottish Fold is a highly intelligent breed of cat known for their folded ears, friendliness, and playfulness. Believed to have originated in Scotland during the 1960s, the Scottish Fold is a medium-sized breed that comes in a variety of colors, including white, black, blue, red, silver, and cream.
Reaching nearly 13-pounds at full maturity, the Scottish Fold also maintains a relatively long coat of hair that is soft to the touch. Because this breed sheds year-round, weekly combing is often required to remove loose hair (purina.com). The Scottish Fold is also quite friendly, and makes for an excellent companion as it prefers the “company of their humans or other cats” over “being left alone for hours at a time” (purina.com).
As an intelligent breed, the Scottish Fold loves toys and games that challenge (and test) their intelligence. Similar to Burmese cats, the Scottish Fold is also considered “emotionally intelligent,” and is capable of responding to a wide array of human emotions. This breed is considered highly observant by many experts, and actively studies human behaviors to better understand their surrounding environment (purina.com).
For this reason, it is not uncommon for the Scottish Fold to actively watch television or to closely follow their owners around the house or yard (similar to a dog). Because of their closeness to humans, the Scottish Fold makes for an excellent family pet, particularly for families with children.
4. Cornish Rex
The Cornish Rex is a domestic cat breed known for its intelligence, playfulness, and curiosity. Believed to have originated in Great Britain, the Cornish Rex is often referred to as the “Greyhound” of the feline world, due to their sleek bodies, and natural speed. They are also one of the few cats known to lose much of their hair, giving them a bald-like appearance over their relatively long lifetime.
Similar to the Abyssinian, the Cornish Rex breed is extremely active with a high-level of energy unmatched by most felines. For this reason, physical stimulation is a must for this breed; a trait that makes the Cornish Rex a perfect choice for households with children and existing pets (particularly other cats and even dogs).
As an intelligent breed of cat, the Cornish Rex also requires mental stimulation on a daily basis to prevent boredom. Experts agree that puzzle games and advanced toys that challenge the breed to think critically are the best option for the Cornish Rex (bengalcats.co). The cat is also one of the few breeds capable of learning tricks and is known to exhibit both verbal and non-verbal communication skills to get their owner’s undivided attention.
The Burmese is a medium-sized breed of cat known for its intelligence, learning capacity, and gentleness. Upon maturity, the Burmese reaches weights of nearly 12-pounds, and comes in a variety of colors that include blue, platinum, sable, and champagne.
The cat is quite social, energetic, and curious by nature, and thrives on attention from its owners. As its name implies, the Burmese is believed to have originated in Thailand, and was first brought to the United States in the 1930s. Today, it is a popular cat in both North American and Europe.
As an intelligent breed, the Burmese requires substantial mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom and frustration. For this reason, owners are encouraged to challenge their Burmese by providing them with interactive toys.
Aside from its ability to learn new tricks with ease, the Burmese is also considered “emotionally intelligent,” and is capable of responding (appropriately) to the moods of their owners (bengalcats.co). They are also quite observant and have the capacity to learn through trial and error. For these reasons, the Burmese is cited as one of the smartest cat breeds in the world, and makes for a wonderful pet to both children and adults alike.
The Bengal is a relatively large breed of cat known for its rambunctiousness, intelligence, and curiosity. Despite their large size (reaching nearly 18-pounds when fully matured), the Bengal is also quite athletic and requires daily exercise. The cat’s physical needs are due, in part, to the fact that Bengals are hybrid animals. In 1963, Jean Mill crossbred a wild Asian Leopard with a domestic cat, resulting in the Bengal as we know it today. To this day, the Bengal is the only domestic cat with markings that resemble leopards, ocelots, and jaguars (purina.com).
As an intelligent breed, the Bengal is quite curious by nature (a trait that often results in misbehavior). They are also one of the few cats capable of being trained to walk on a leash, or to understand basic commands such as “sit,” or “lie down” due to their excellent memories. Some owners have even reported teaching their Bengals to turn on light switches.
Combined with their affectionate and gentle temperament, the Bengal has often been compared to dogs for their companionship and learning capacity. For this reason, they often make wonderful pets for families with children as kids provide the Bengal with ample physical and mental stimulation.
"Perhaps one reason we are fascinated by cats is because such a small animal can contain so much independence, dignity, and freedom of spirit. Unlike the dog, the cat's personality is never bet on a human's. He demands acceptance on his own terms."— Lloyd Alexander
The Abyssinian is a small to medium-sized breed, and is considered to be the smartest cat in the world (purina.com). The cat is believed to have originated in England during the Eighteenth Century, and comes in a variety of colors, including red, blue, and fawn.
Abyssinians are both highly intelligent and inquisitive, and are well-known for their desire to explore. Because of this high-degree of intelligence (and capacity for learning), the Abyssinian enjoys a wide-array of toys and puzzles that offer them unique challenges. They are also capable of learning various tricks, and are very responsive to training efforts. Without proper mental and physical stimulation on a daily basis, the cat is known to get into mischief due to either boredom or general frustration.
Although highly active and independent, the Abyssinian also loves attention from its owner. For this reason, the cat is great for both kids and companionship. Unlike other cat breeds, the Abyssinian is also great with other pets, particularly with cat-friendly dogs who can match their high-energy levels (purina.com). Due to their relatively small size, however, adequate supervision of this breed is a necessity as they are prone to various injuries (particularly from other pets or children).
Do you agree that the Abyssinian is the smartest cat breed in the world?
- “Abyssinian Cat Breed Profile.” Purina. September 12, 2019.
- "Turkish Angora.” CFA Breed Profile: The Turkish Angora. September 12, 2019.
- “Bengal Cat Breed Profile.” Purina. September 12, 2019.
- “Burmese Cat Breed Profile.” Purina. September 12, 2019.
- “Japanese Bobtail Cat Breed.” Hill's Pet Nutrition. September 12, 2019.
- “Singapura Cat Breed.” Purina. September 12, 2019.
- “Smartest Cat Breeds.” Bengal Cats, March 20, 2017.
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© 2019 Larry Slawson