Looking for a kitty that can fill the role of your new best friend and lifelong companion? If you are a cat person at heart, but desire a pet who shares the affectionate qualities that dogs typically possess, finding the right pet for you can seem challenging at first. Cats are infamous for being aloof or seemingly unfriendly, so finding a sociable cat to adopt into your life can seem like a gamble. But did you know that there are some specific breeds of cats that are naturally more friendly and cuddly than others?
There are plenty of breeds of cats who enjoy spending time with humans, and may even enjoy the occasional cuddle; it’s just a matter of finding the right cat breed for you. We’ve put together a list of the least and most affectionate cat breeds so you can choose which cat type is the best based on your wants and needs. Keep reading and uncover your favorite future feline breed.
Lana Fraley Rich, Catsultant and member of Animal Behavior Society, has worked with thousands of cats in her 30-year career, and in her feline behavior practice, has had the opportunity to observe cats in their home environment. “As a general rule, I found longhaired cats to be more laid back than shorthaired cats (of course, there are always exceptions), whether they are mixed breed or purebred cats.”
Though Lana considers herself to be far from a geneticist, she has considered the differences in cat types to be attributed to traits that were passed down from lions and tigers. Lions tend to be more genetically linked to longhaired cats in that they are more laid-back creatures, while tigers are more active—like shorthaired cats. “Almost all of my own cats through the years have certainly fit my speculation,” she says.
Most Affectionate Cat Breeds
Ragdoll. Lana makes a note that not all affectionate cats are cuddly—some cats may want to hang around people, but may not necessarily want to be held. When it comes to the Ragdoll breed, these sweet cats are not only considered both affectionate and cuddly, but, according to Lana, they are the most affectionate. “They are pretty laid back and okay with being held, and even allow children to dress them up in doll clothes sometimes,” she says.
Scottish Fold. Not only do these cats look like teddy bears, but they can be cuddled like them, too. Scottish Fold cats are both affectionate and cuddly, which makes them sweet cat companions for life (and snuggling up on the couch!). Along with their cool and collected demeanor is their ability to adapt to various living situations seamlessly and remain calm around other animals or humans.
Maine Coon. The Maine Coon is another breed that falls under the “most affectionate cat breeds” category. Many describe the characteristics of this cat type as being very much “dog-like,” and borderline intrusive. Owning a cat like this may require shutting the door between you from time to time to obtain some privacy. Also like dogs, Maine Coons are fond of water, so keep in mind that they won’t hesitate to jump into the shower with you if they so choose.
Persian. Lana has found Persians to enjoy hanging around humans (without any expectation of being fed), but they dislike being held. “This is probably due to the fact that their coats are so thick, particularly the Persian and Himalayan, which actually have very dense undercoats. With all that thick fur, they may get too warm when being held or in a lap for very long, so some people report they are not as ‘cuddly’ but very affectionate,” she says. If you are considering adopting this sweet cat type, we recommend the FURminator Long Hair deShedding Edge for Cats, which reaches deep beneath your cat’s topcoat to gently remove undercoat and loose hair.
Some of the least affectionate breeds of cats include the American Wirehair, Korat, Singapura and Cymric. “The American Wirehair tends to be pretty reserved and quiet, which some would consider not particularly affectionate. The Korat is somewhat passive and can be spooked easily by loud noises. Singapura cats are from Singapore and can be somewhat unfriendly to strangers. And the Cymric are sometimes considered to be on the aloof side, particularly with children, dogs and strangers,” she says. If you are considering any of these types of cat breeds to be your new lifelong pal, you should provide them with plenty of safe places to hide for those times when they want to escape the commotion. Shy cats love K&H Pet Products Mod Dream Pod’s enclosed structure, which provides ultimate privacy in a comfortable space.
Despite the breed of your fur babies, their personalities are greatly influenced by how they are raised. “I do believe how a kitten is socialized (or not) plays a big role in their future relationship with humans,” Lana says. “Young cats that have the good fortune to be in a social setting usually have an easier time trusting people, as along as those people respect the cat’s boundaries.”
If you are looking to adopt a kitten and want him to grow up to be an affectionate, loving feline, here are some tips provided by Lana to ensure the purr-fect personality for your cat:
• Become educated about the unique needs of your new feline friend.
• Learn how to play safely with your cat. (Keep your kitty’s nail trimmed with FURminator Nail Clippers to avoid injury.)
• Learn about the impact of proper nutrition for your cat. Cats are obligate carnivores, so they require nutrition that comes from meat. Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain is the ideal solution for fulfilling your cat’s unique nutritional needs with real, roasted venison and smoked salmon.
• Take time “catifying” (preparing) your home for the new arrival.
• If possible, select a kitten who has had enough time with the mother cat and its siblings to become socialized.
• Consider your lifestyle. How much time can you, or will you, have to take care of and interact with your new addition?
• Consider your household structure. Do you have other pets? Do you have young children?
• Will your cat be an indoor cat? Learn about the special needs of indoor cats.
• Consider working with a cat behaviorist who can help you prevent common, costly cat behavior problems. A cat behaviorist will teach you how to properly introduce your new addition to your current household (two- or four-footed) which will make the transition shorter, smoother and much easier.
• Enjoy your new purrfectly awesome family member!