By Kathy Blumenstock
While most cats are more than happy to be a bit, shall we say, aloof, there are some breeds out there that actually love nothing more than a good snuggle with their owners. If your own favorite breed isn’t spotlighted, no hissing, please—this is by no means a conclusive study. It’s simply a roundup of breeds that “tend to go out of their way to snuggle right into your heart,” says Cheryl Hogan of The International Cat Association (TICA).
Hogan, a longtime breeder and judge of pedigreed cats, reminds us that “any cat of any breed can have that special relationship with their special person or family—they’re just as diverse in personality as we humans are.”
Having said that, the following breeds tend to top the charts when it comes to their affection connection with humans.
Snuggly as a stuffed toy, this sweet cat (which comes in either a folded or upright ears variety) is so mellow that “many will even let kids dress them up in doll clothes,” says Hogan. Furthermore, they want to be with their special person every minute—you can’t walk from one room to another without them following at your heels. Quiet and easy-going with a sweet facial expression, the Scottish Fold is a great family pet because “they just adore their families,” says Hogan. This is a cat that won’t pester you to be "in your face," but makes it clear that it wishes to be near you.
Learn more about the Scottish Fold
The Ragdoll (so named because they tend to go limp in your arms, just like the soft ragdoll toys of our grandparents’ generation) is a breed “that tends to be quiet and laid back, but is very loving,” says Hogan.
Deceptively muscular, yet soft at the same time, Ragdolls are the ideal indoor cats because they’re so happy and interested in being part of the household. Much like Scottish Folds, a Ragdoll will even tolerate being dressed up like a doll, because they love kids and adults alike. The Ragdoll’s tiny meow is more of a chirp, and those lucky enough to live with one will hear that merry sound quite a bit, as this sweet kitty tells everyone how happy he is to be part of the action.
Learn more about Ragdolls
Exceptionally social, the Tonkinese needs a home “where there’s a great affection between the cat and his or her person,” says Hogan, who describes the Tonkinese as an intelligent cat that thrives on attention—and is quick to return it as well. According to Hogan, Tonkinese are a gregarious breed, equally loving to all members of the family.
“These are vocal cats that will hold engaging and meaningful conversations with you,” she adds. For a Tonkinese, nothing is more important in life than being close to their person, and they’ll spend hours contentedly cuddling and purring.
Learn more about Tonkinese
Just call this breed the mood ring of cats. If you’re happy, they’re there, ready to play, but if you’ve had a bad day, the Birman is on hand to quietly comfort and console you, says Hogan. “I’ve never met such a people-oriented cat in my life,” she added.
Intuitive, freely affectionate, and loving, Birmans offer a shoulder to cry on, but they will also entertain you like a kitten, energetically playing their favorite kitty games for hours. Sensitive and loyal, the Birman is the feline epitome of that theme song from the Friends television series: I’ll be there for you!
Learn more about the Birman
Differing only in coloration—the Siamese has "colorpoints" that contrast with his creamy body while the Oriental comes in every hue and pattern—both are lively and outspoken, but equally devoted and loving.
“The love you can see in their eyes toward their owners is incomparable,” says Hogan. Famously vocal—let us all remember the singing Siamese from Lady and the Tramp—they’re also more active than many other breeds, playing during the day and becoming what Hogan calls “the most passionate bed partners at night.”
From Russia with love, the sturdy Kurilian Bobtail, a so-called "natural breed," has a distinctive pompom tail that can’t be missed. His looks may be wild, but he possesses a gentle, loving temperament.
“This is a newer breed to the U.S., but it’s one that everyone needs to discover,” says Hogan, adding that Kurilians are highly intelligent and very social. This is a breed that adores being petted and cherished. Hogan calls them "charismatic" in the way they interact with people. The congenial Kurilian will instantly bond with you and your resident cat and/or dog, becoming a devoted friend for years to come.
Virtually the same cat in different shades, the sable-brown Bumese and the jet-black Bombay are sweet-natured kitties who “will make themselves at home in any available lap,” says Hogan. Social cats who thrive on attention from their family members, the Burmese and Bombay are equally fond of infants, elderly, and everyone in between. Hogan says that TICA judge and longtime Bombay breeder Wendy Klamm refers to these cats as “the goodwill ambassadors of the cat fancy, never having met a stranger. They make friends with everyone.” One thing’s certain—with a Burmese or Bombay in the house, no one will ever feel alone.
The hairless, unique-looking Sphynx is an outgoing, friendly companion who is eager to be close to his humans.
“Because of their lack of coat, they’re very warm and soft to the touch, and I find a Sphynx feels like a purring suede hot water bottle,” says Hogan. The Sphynxs’ own need for warmth means they love to snuggle, but not strictly for body heat. “Sphynx cats are very loyal and adoring of their people,” Hogan says. Intelligent and playful, the Sphynx enjoys buddying up to other pets and children, and can easily entertain himself, though he’d much prefer to have you in the game with him.
Learn more about the Sphynx