By Jessica Remitz
Our cats show their love for us in their own special ways—like attacking our feet when we sleep or hopping on the kitchen counter to try our dinner—but which breeds tend to be the most affectionate, sweet and friendly? We’ve asked an expert with the Cat Fanciers’ Association to share her picks for the most lovable breeds.
One of the most ancient breeds of cat, the Abyssinian is a loving and inquisitive companion who likes knowing what their owner is up to so that they can be of assistance, said CFA spokesperson Jodell Raymond. They enjoy playtime and are social with other animals and people alike. These loyal, devoted companions know how to train their owners to get them to do their bidding, Raymond said, so don’t be surprised if they let you know when it’s time to play or have some dinner.
Learn more about Abyssinians.
A loyal, easy-going breed with a round, flat face and large, round eyes, Exotic cats are a loving and playful breed that enjoys nothing more than relaxing with their owners. Known to quietly sit in their owner’s presence until their pet parents are ready to play, Exotics enjoy simple things like watching water drip from a faucet or chasing paper balls around the house, Raymond said.
Recognized by its short, pompom-like tail, Japanese Bobtails make affectionate and fun-loving companions. Happy, full of energy and always ready to play, Japanese Bobtails enjoy a good game of fetch and love being a part of the family. An intelligent breed that does well with children, Japanese Bobtails have also been known to play in the water every now and again.
Learn more about Japanese Bobtails.
With a wavy, curly coat and a gentle nature, LaPerm cats love being around their people and curious about their surroundings. An affectionate, active breed, LaPerms will often follow their owner’s lead by relaxing when their owners are enjoying downtime and begin to play as soon as you pick up a toy. They’ve also been known to reach for your face with their paws and rub their faces against yours to show their affection, Raymond said.
The CFA’s most popular and easily recognized breed, according to Raymond, Persians are known for their long, fluffy coats, round eyes and flat face. With a docile temperament and sweet personality, Persians are playful but never demanding and love to be near their owners observing their every move.
Learn more about Persians.
With a naturally calm demeanor, Siberians are a quiet breed that will express itself through mewing, trilling, chirping and lots of purring, Raymond said. They also seem to know when they’re needed for psychological and moral support, and will seek out the person who they recognize needs their support. No matter how friendly or supportive your cat is, Raymond recommends engaging in regularly scheduled playtime to enrich the bond with your cat and allow them to look forward to spending time with you.
A sturdy breed with a naturally curly coat and whiskers, the Selkirk Rex is patient, loving and tolerant. Admirers of the breed love the touch of their silky coats, which can be long or short. When engaging in playtime with your cat, consider the way you play with them and be sure not to take it too far, especially if your cat is very energetic and easily aroused by activity. “Interactive play that involves stalking and hunting activities will bring out your cat’s ‘inner feline’ and cut down on aggressive behavior,” Raymond said. “Be sure to avoid becoming overly aggressive with your cat and if [biting and scratching] occur, stop playtime and start again when you cat has calmed down.”
With an abundance of energy and mischievous nature, Sphynxes have been known to perform silly tricks for their owners in their attempts to be the center of attention, Raymond said. An extremely lovable breed, Sphynx cats will look for the nearest human lap or warm spot nearby to snuggle with their people. While they seem to prefer the company of people, they also do well with dogs and other breeds of cats.
Because of the lack of hair on their body that would normally absorb oils, the Sphynx requires periodic bathing. Finding time to groom any breed can help strengthen your bond with your pet and should be incorporated on a regular basis.
“If your cat is agreeable, you may want to fit in some grooming time with playtime,” Raymond said. “A regular grooming routine can be incorporated into just about any play activity.”
Another ancient breed, Siamese cats can communicate like no other breed, Raymond said, and make the quintessential “people” cat. A breed that loves to be in their owner’s laps and involved activities around the home, Siamese cats are extremely vocal and have no trouble making their wishes known.
Learn more about the Siamese, and their striking coats.
A muscular breed with short, silky fur, the Tonkinese is a people-oriented breed that makes a popular companion cat. Loving, social and playful, Tonkinese are active yet happy to be a lap cat. If you’re looking for ways to increase your cat’s activity or encourage more positive play, Raymond recommends finding your cat’s favorite toy an adding in new toys to increase activity. And they don’t have to be too pricey—she says sometimes even a rolled up paper ball works best!