You may have never considered looking for a specific cat breed to bring into your household or what are the best cat breeds. Typically, people get kittens or cats from friends, from the Central California SPCA, or other shelters. These routes are indeed the easiest and help give homes to cats in need. But, if you have specific needs or wants when it comes to your feline, then a purebred cat has its advantages.
Due to the long history of purebred cats, specific traits are easily attributed to each breed. Yes, there’s always the rogue cat or two, but for the most part, you can find the best cat breed for your circumstances based on genetics. They definitely have a leg up over the mixed breed that you might encounter through a neighborhood litter or at a shelter.
So, we’ll take a look at factors to consider when looking to adopt a purebred cat and the what is the best cat breed that would be most suitable for your household.
Best Cat Breeds: Factors to Consider
When making a decision about the best cat breeds for you or your family, you will want to take into consideration the life that you lead. There are a number of factors that go into choosing the right pet, and your lifestyle needs to match their personality for it to be a good fit.
Time spent at home: some cats are perfectly content to be at home alone for long periods of time; others are a bit more high maintenance and need attention on a regular basis. The last thing you want is a miserable cat or one that makes you unhappy with their demands.
Other animals: Do you own another cat or two already? Maybe a dog? Then you will need to find the best cat breed that gets along with other animals, is easygoing and tolerant, and willing to play well with others.
Apartment vs. house: Some cats like smaller, confined spaces, while others crave the ability to roam—inside and out. If you live in a small studio, that situation will dictate the best breed of cat for you.
Children: Kids have been known to mishandle, harass, and generally annoy cats…especially at first. They can be overly rambunctious, poking, prodding, petting, and holding the cat. Even with advance preparation, there’s bound to be some inappropriate behavior. That being said, the best cat breeds for children are those that are gentle, easy-going, and likes to play and be cuddled. Standoffish cats need not apply when it comes to children.
Allergies: Allergies often preclude people from owning a cat. But there are several breeds—with hair we might add—that are worth considering. We’ve found that there are actually 5 best cat breeds for those who have allergies, all with varying degrees and length of hair and differing personalities.
You also may have a preference about the appearance: large and fluffy like a Maine Coon, ones with short hair, total fluffballs, and overall lifestyle: active or sedentary. These factors can also influence your decision to some degree.
So let’s delve into finding the best cat breed for you, whether you are single, have a family, or have severe allergies that have made it impossible, thus far, to own a cat.
Best Cat Breeds for Singles
Since there is only one person in the household, you’ll want a cat that doesn’t require extensive human interaction. That being said, the cat will probably be company for you, so you don’t want one that is standoffish. These breeds thrive in a smaller environment and are happy being on their own for lengths of time.
Birman: Birmans seem to have a sixth sense or intuition, and are able to gauge your moods. Feeling poorly? They will cuddle and be affectionate. Feeling sassy? They’re ready to play and have some fun with you. They have long soft fur with a thick ruff around their neck and start life as entirely white. Over time, they will add color points (seal, blue, chocolate, red, etc.), although their paws will always remain white.
Kurilian Bobtail: Newer to this country than any other breed on this list, this Russian feline is both social and intelligent. They have long hair and a fluffy bobbed tail, they are loyal to their owner and bond well if you have another cat or dog.
Persian: Persians are quite well known for their beauty and long fur. They are very affectionate, making them an excellent companion. However, they do require a bit of upkeep. This breed is one of the few that will need regular baths, along with almost daily grooming. They are exclusively indoor cats so they won’t get filthy, but their fur is just too long for them to clean themselves adequately.
Tonkinese: This cat breed will provide hours of love and cuddles and is allegiant to his or her owner. Known as companion cats, they are playful, social and can be very vocal, although not in a bad way. (They’ll actually talk back when you speak to them!) Their coats are medium in length and very silky, making them easy to care for.
Best Cat Breeds for Families
Having children in a household adds a different dynamic and finding the best breed of cat is really important. You want a cat that is more cuddly and affectionate, that likes to play, and has a fair amount of energy. Snooty dispositions or cats that prefer to be left alone most of the time need not apply to live in a family environment. We’ve come up with some of the more suitable cat breeds for that situation.
American Shorthair: These cats hold many qualities that are appealing to families. They have short hair which requires little grooming activity, their lifespan is such that your kids will probably be off to college before they pass on, and they get along well with both kids and dogs. Overall, a low-maintenance cat that’s easygoing.
Burmese: This beautiful breed has short coats and, often, a round pug-like face that makes them endearing. They are very affectionate, often looking for a lap to land in and stay awhile. Because they like to play, they are good with children. While they are fearless indoors, this breed is typically an indoor cat due to their trusting nature and oblivion to possible harm.
Maine Coon: They the largest breed of domesticated cats, reaching 20 pounds or more. It does well in cold, snowy environments due to its coat and wide paws, but is suitable for almost any climate, except the desert. They have a great, easy-going temperament, making them great with, dogs, and even other cats.
Ragdoll: Ragdolls tend to be fairly laid back and relaxed, but are known to be affectionate as well. These cats are lovers, not fighters, and rarely use their teeth or claws in play, making them a good match for young children. Because of their full coat, they do require regular grooming, which is a perfect activity for the kids in the family to bond with the cat initially. Their name comes from the dolls of long ago due to the fact that they just loll in your arms like a ragdoll. And like other dolls, they have been known to allow children to dress them up!
Hypoallergenic Breeds of Cats
If you have an allergy to most cats, there are several breeds that you can consider that may not bother those allergies at all. And no, they don’t all resemble the hairless Mr. Bigglesworth from the Austin Powers movies. In fact one hypoallergenic breed of cat is quite fluffy. Let’s take a look:
Balinese-Javanese: Often described as a Siamese with shorter hair, these cats weigh in between 8 and 16 pounds and can live up to 20 years! They also have a fluffy tail plume, tend to be slender and somewhat talkative. They are fairly easy-going and do well in apartments.
Cornish Rex: Fur of Cornish Rex cats may be short, but they are soft and silky due to the lack of guard hairs. They tend to be on the small and thin side, weighing between 5 and 9 pounds. This breed is relatively active and loves to climb and race around. Suitable for families, as well.
Devon Rex: Devon Rex’s share many traits with Balinese-Javanese and Cornish Rex cats. They are smaller (5-10 pounds), with short hair. The short hair has a unique characteristic: it’s curly! The Devon Rex is very social and easygoing, so it’s perfect for a family and if you have other cats or dogs.
Sphynx: This is the breed of the infamous Mr. Bigglesworth and is the only hairless cat on this list. They tend to weigh 6-12 pounds and be more muscular than most hypoallergenic cats. This type of cat is not only affectionate, but craves attention. They are also easily trained – as is evidenced by aforementioned acting cat. Not recommended for individuals who are gone for long periods of time each day.
Siberian: And finally, we come to our fluffy kitty. Like the Balinese, they weigh in between 8 and 16 pounds and are muscular cats, meaning they can take great leaps (both vertically and horizontally). This cat is smart and loves to cuddle. Works well in a family situation and with other animals.
So, there you have it, some of the best cat breeds around to fit most any situation. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, as there are actually 44 recognized pedigreed cat breeds in the United States. Each breed has its own personality and quirks and is worth investigating to see if they would be a good fit for you and your lifestyle.