Say “Meow” to the 15 Friendliest Cat Breeds

Whether they’re chasing feather wands or greeting everyone who comes through the front door, many cats have a remarkably friendly side. Some breeds are predisposed to be more social than others—several have even been known to become BFFs with family dogs and small children. When it comes to cats, it’s important to remember that “friendly” could mean everything from calmly approaching you and choosing your lap for a nap to playing hide and seek in the backyard. Get to know your cat’s preferences with strangers and other animals before tossing them into a social situation. To begin, here are the friendliest cat breeds.

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friendliest cat breeds abyssinian
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1. Abyssinian

Average Size: Medium

Average Weight: 8 to 9 pounds

Coat: Short-haired, low-maintenance

Personality: Athletic, cheerful

These athletic cats have been around forever, so they’re comfortable playing with other cats, kids and even—gasp!—dogs. If you own an Abyssinian, make sure you have plenty of perches high up for them to scale. Also, don’t expect them to be super cuddly. Abyssinians are affectionate but prefer action to chillaxin’.

friendliest cat breeds american shorthair
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2. American Shorthair

Average Size: Medium to large

Average Weight: 10.5 pounds

Coat: Short-haired, low-maintenance

Personality: Gentle, social

The American shorthair (and American wirehair) breed is exceptionally social and loves being near other members of their household. Adaptable and sweet, these cats do well with large families and as solo roommates. Be sure to include them in any and all activities!

friendliest cat breeds bengal
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3. Bengal

Average Size: Medium to large

Average Weight: 10.5 pounds

Coat: Short-haired, low-maintenance, spotted

Personality: Adventurous, intelligent

Not only are Bengals absolute stunners, but they’ve also got spirited personalities to boot! Though they’re most commonly seen with leopard-like spots, they come in a wide variety of shades and patterns. Get ready for a cat who will investigate, experiment and explore to no end. Tricks can be a fun bonding activity with a Bengal.

friendliest cat breeds birman
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4. Birman

Average Size: Medium to large

Average Weight: 12 pounds

Coat: Long-haired, low-maintenance, cream colored with brown face and paws

Personality: Devoted, friendly

A Birman cat’s playfulness is characterized by social butterfly tendencies. They love meeting people and are incredibly affectionate. More subdued than a Bengal and less adventurous than an Abyssianian, Birmans are laid-back playmates.

friendliest cat breeds bombay
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5. Bombay

Average Size: Medium

Average Weight: 10 pounds

Coat: Short-haired, low-maintenance, sleek black

Personality: Curious, lively

Sleek, black fur and big, copper-colored eyes may make it seem like Bombays are constantly gearing up for Halloween. Actually, tricks and treats describe Bombays well! Social and lively, they’ll greet you when you come home and follow you around until you give in to some playtime. The ideal Bombay owner isn’t away from home for long stretches of time.

friendliest cat breeds burmilla
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6. Burmilla

Average Size: Medium

Average Weight: 11.5 pounds

Coat: Short- and long-haired, low-maintenance, silver

Personality: Sweet, independent

Burmilla cats can have either a long- or short-haired coat, but it’s always a gorgeous shade of silver. Personality wise, they stay very kitten-like even as they age. Expect to participate in playtime frequently, and try incorporating interactive toys, as well. These are independent cats that thrive on mental stimulation.

friendliest cat breeds donskoy
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7. Donskoy

Average Size: Medium

Average Weight: 10 pounds

Coat: Hairless, high-maintenance

Personality: Active, playful

Even though they’re hairless, Donskoy cats require lots of grooming care to ensure their skin stays clean and healthy. They love exploring their environments and tend to do well with interactive toys. A small apartment might bore a Donskoy; they thrive when there’s always something new to discover.

friendliest cat breeds egyptian mau
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8. Egyptian Mau

Average Size: Medium

Average Weight: 10 pounds

Coat: Medium-haired, low-maintenance, spotted

Personality: Outgoing, loyal

Unlike some of the social cats on our list, the Egyptian Mau isn’t very keen on new people. But they are more than happy to play all day with their family members—including other pets. The Cat Fancier’s Association says Egyptian Maus are like “gentle cousins of the Abyssinian.”

friendliest cat breeds maine coon
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9. Maine Coon

Average Size: Large

Average Weight: 13 pounds (Females), 20 pounds (Males)

Coat: Medium- to long-haired, moderate- to high-maintenance

Personality: Sweet, smart

Maine coon cats are as loving as they are large—and they can reach up to 25 pounds! It’s evident when they trot into a room with their long coats and sweet dispositions that they’re eager for attention and affection. Play with these kitties often and try teaching them commands.

10. Minskin

Average Size: Small

Average Weight: 5 pounds

Coat: Hairless, low-maintenance

Personality: Friendly, easy-going

Bred by combining the hairless sphynx with the tiny munchkin, the minskin is a playful sweetheart with a heart of gold. Though they inherited the munchkin’s short legs, minskins are still able to jump, run and climb everywhere and anywhere their humans might be.

friendliest cat breeds ragamuffin
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11. Ragamuffin

Average Size: Medium to Large

Average Weight: 14 pounds

Coat: Long-haired, low-maintenance

Personality: Patient, doting

If you’re in the market for a family-friendly cat who is willing to become a playmate to kids, look no further than the Ragamuffin. These fluffy, cuddly cats are always up for bonding time, even if that means relaxed lounging.

friendliest cat breeds russian blue
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12. Russian Blue

Average Size: Medium

Average Weight: 11 pounds

Coat: Thick- and short-haired, low-maintenance, silver-blue

Personality: Bright, vocal

Russian blue cats prefer structure in their day-to-day, as long as it includes designated hang time with their favorite people. They will vocalize and let you know if you haven’t given them enough attention. Don’t worry if you work 9-to-5 or are away for long periods of time - these cats keep themselves entertained.

friendliest cat breeds siamese
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13. Siamese

Average Size: Medium

Average Weight: 8 pounds

Coat: Short-haired, low-maintenance, cream-colored with deep brown legs, ears and face

Personality: Vocal, social

Siamese cats will happily join the party in the living room or follow you to the bedroom when it’s time to turn in. As long as they’re around people or have toys to keep them entertained, they’re good. They’re also smart and curious; don’t be surprised if they sneak into spaces you didn’t know they could fit!

friendliest cat breeds tonkinese
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14. Tonkinese

Average Size: Medium

Average Weight: 9 pounds

Coat: Short-haired, low-maintenance

Personality: Friendly, active

The Tonkinese is a cross between a Siamese and a Burmese, which means they are outgoing and goofy cats. They take playtime seriously, get along well with other animals and kids and are known to enjoy puzzles. At the end of the day, be ready for some quality cat nap time.

15. Toybob

Average Size: Small

Average Weight: 4 pounds

Coat: Short-haired, low-maintenance

Personality: Charming, laid-back

It’s best to provide a pal for a toybob; they don’t enjoy being alone. While always up for chasing mice and yarn, toybobs readily drop games when it’s time to switch gears. A relatively new breed of cat, these tiny felines are charming softies who have a lot of love to give.

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Freelance Writer

Sarah Ashley is a Chicago-based freelance journalist. She has covered pets for PureWow for six years and tackles everything from dog training tips to the best litter boxes. Her...