The 15 Most Affectionate Cat Breeds (Yes, They Do Exist)

Affectionate cat breeds do exist! The assumption that cats have cold hearts is unfair (and usually comes from comparing them to dogs). Karen Hiestand, a veterinarian and trustee of International Cat Care, tells the BBC that people and canines have lived and hunted together for millennia—and dogs are pack animals. Felines, on the other hand, are more solitary creatures who began living alongside humans much more recently than dogs. Cat behavior is also harder to predict (though, like dogs, most of their communication with people is physical). Different cat breeds show affection in different ways. The cat breeds on this list are known to be more affectionate than others. And lucky for us many of these happen to be fluffy cat breeds!


Affection from a cat can look like a lot of things. It depends on the cat, the context and their comfort level. One major way cats demonstrate their affection is by rolling on the ground and exposing their belly to you. Don’t rub it! Simply admire it and know that they’ve exposed their most vulnerable parts to you because they trust you.

Affection could also look like rubbing their faces against your leg, a practice often called bunting. They’re creating a super scent, a combination of your scent and theirs, because you’re their person. As world-renowned cat wellness and behavior expert Jackson Galaxy says, “Cats own by scent.”

But perhaps the most surprising sign of affection is a blank stare. Truly! Unlike dogs, who have evolved to be able to raise the inner part of their eyebrows to produce that “puppy dog” look, cats are almost completely expressionless. However, prolonged eye contact (with a few blinks here and there) is their way of saying “I love ya.”

Kristyn Vitale, PhD, researches cat social cognition, behavior, and the human-cat connection. She says felines who feel securely attached to their humans will often greet them when they arrive home. Some of her recent research shows that, when presented with the option of food, a favorite toy, a scent marker or human interaction, 50 percent of felines chose human interaction. Whether this number is more than you expected or less than you hoped, it demonstrates the reality that cats definitely can—and do—like us. We just have to learn their love language.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that historically cats never relied on humans the same way dogs did (and vice versa). The fact that they live in our homes and eat food we put out for them is a relatively modern concept. They are, simply put, wilder than dogs and will act accordingly.


Honey, you can’t make a cat do anything. Sure, some cats learn commands and can perform tricks, but you never really own a cat in the sense that they’ll do anything you say. But there are a few things you can do to encourage more open affection from your cat.

First of all, do not expect your cat to be “human-like” or “dog-like” when they show affection. This can be confusing to them and erode their confidence and sense of security. For instance, forcing them to sit on your lap so you can pet them. Dogs might love this; cats might not. Dogs might lick you; cats might not. In other words, forget everything about dogs when you think about cats.

Second, embrace catification. Galaxy defines catification as “the art of making changes and adjustments to your home that meet the needs of both you and your cat (aesthetically and spatially).” It means actively turning your home into a space where your cat can, well, be a cat. They need high perches, kitty condos and scratching posts. Food and litter should not be in the same room. Just as you would for a newborn, you’ve got to prep your home to be a familiar, safe and inviting environment for your kitty. Once they feel comfortable, they can then focus on having fun with—and doting on—you.

Now, if you want to do even more to ensure your cat won’t be afraid to show her love for you, choose a breed known for some PDA. The International Cat Association (TICA) recognizes 71 unique cat breeds. Some of the most affectionate ones are listed below. But we’ve got to add the disclaimer that all cats are unique individuals. Where one Siamese may be super friendly and sweet with their humans, another Siamese might be independent and need more space. Respect their boundaries (a great way for you to show them some affection!).

Finally, if your heart is set on a particular breed, work with a reputable breeder and do your research. The way felines act around humans is often solidified by their experiences in the first six to eight weeks of life. Look for breeders who focus on producing happy, healthy cats with positive human bonding experiences so you and Milo can live happily (and snuggly) ever after.

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most affectionate cat breeds abyssinian
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1. Abyssinian

Average Height: 8 to 10 inches

Average Weight: 8 to 12 pounds

Personality: Athletic, cheerful

Coat: Short, thick

Color: Red, blue, tan

Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years

Not only are these cats old souls (their images have been spotted in ancient Egyptian artwork), but they can live into their 20s! They are social and love interacting with and playing with people. We know we said cats aren’t dogs, but these cats are dog-like in that they enjoy more active playtime than some feline breeds. Best suited for more active families, the Abyssinian is loyal and loving.

most affectionate cat breeds american bobtail shorthair
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2. American Bobtail Shorthair

Average Height: 9 to 10 inches

Average Weight: 7 to 16 pounds

Personality: Affectionate, friendly

Coat: Short

Color: Variety of colors and patterns

Life Expectancy: 11 to 15+ years

American bobtail shorthair cats have nothing to prove, but they don’t mind showering you with affection. One of the rarer cat breeds available, these muscular felines are eager to please and plenty of fun. They’re also very smart, so experiment with interactive toys. They may even enjoy leash training!

most affectionate cat breeds american curl
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3. American Curl

Average Height: 9 to 12 inches

Average Weight: 5 to 10 pounds

Personality: Smart, sweet

Coat: Short or long, silky

Color: Variety of colors and patterns

Life Expectancy: 10 to 20 years

Another American cat breed, these smarties have ears that curl backwards, a totally naturally occurring genetic mutation. American Curls have been known to be affectionate with kids and extremely playful—even well into adulthood—which has earned them the nickname “Peter Pan Cat.”

most affectionate cat breeds birman
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4. Birman

Average Height: 8 to 10 inches

Average Weight: 12 pounds

Personality: Quiet, loyal

Coat: Long, single layer

Color: Pointed, cream

Life Expectancy: 9 to 15 years

Birman cats have long coats that come in many colors and bright, blue eyes. They are known to follow their humans around, waiting for a lap to present itself so they can curl up and sleep. Birmans adapt well to a variety of environments and are chill enough for both kids and seniors. Be sure to give them an abundance of love and attention in return!

most affectionate cat breeds bombay
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5. Bombay

Average Height: 9 to 13 inches

Average Weight: 8 to 15 pounds

Personality: Curious, lively

Coat: Short

Color: Black

Life Expectancy: 9 to 13 years

Bred by combining the American shorthair and the Burmese, the Bombay is a loyal, affectionate cat with a knack for finding you wherever you are. They’ll trot behind you throughout the day and don’t like being left alone for long periods of time. While many breeds can have black coats, Bombays are the only cat you’ll always find in all black.

most affectionate cat breeds maine coon
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6. Maine Coon

Average Height: 10 to 16 inches

Average Weight: 12 to 15 pounds (females), 18 to 25 pounds (males)

Personality: Sweet, smart

Coat: Long, silky

Color: Various

Life Expectancy: 12 to 20 years

Talk about a big cat! The Maine coon is a larger breed with a thick, long coat. Bonding with their humans is their favorite activity. They are known for being gentle and being able to adapt to a variety of households and groups.

most affectionate cat breeds persian
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7. Persian

Average Height: 10 to 15 inches

Average Weight: 7 to 12 pounds

Personality: Quiet, sweet

Coat: Long, soft

Color: Variety of colors and patterns

Life Expectancy: 8 to 11 years

Calling all serial nappers: Persian cats want to join you. These kitties are quiet, sweet pets who live to lounge. This makes them excellent apartment dwellers and good pets for seniors. Plus, you don’t have to worry as much about a Persian cat getting onto the highest shelf and knocking over your valuables—they much prefer the couch with you.

most affectionate cat breeds peterbald
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8. Peterbald

Average Height: 8 to 12 inches

Average Weight: 5 to 10 pounds

Personality: Loyal, affectionate

Coat: Hairless or short, fine hair

Color: Variety of colors

Life Expectancy: 12 to 15+ years

TICA describes the Peterbald as an “aggressively affectionate” cat. Not all Peterbalds are hairless; some have a light, short, fuzzy coat, while others have longer, more traditional cat coats. It depends on their breeding. One thing that doesn’t change? Their playfulness and intelligence. They’re on the pricier side, but worth every penny.

most affectionate cat breeds ragamuffin
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9. Ragamuffin

Average Height: 10 to 15 inches

Average Weight: 8 to 13 pounds (females), 14 to 20 pounds (males)

Personality: Patient, doting

Coat: Medium to long, soft, dense

Color: Various

Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years

Friendly and chill, Ragamuffin cats know how to go with the flow. Known for their patience with kiddos, affectionate nature and social tendencies, these cats are furry BFFs—they even get along well with other pets. Get ready for lots of cuddling with this mellow cat.

most affectionate cat breeds ragdoll
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10. Ragdoll

Average Height: 9 to 11 inches

Average Weight: 10 to 15 pounds (females), 15 to 20 pounds (males)

Personality: Sweet, patient

Coat: Long, soft

Color: White bodies, pointed markings

Life Expectancy: 13 to 18 years

Great with kids, the Ragdoll is a lackadaisical breed that can go with the flow. Less vocal and active than the Peterbald, these giant fluff balls are always down to snuggle or lounge. This does mean you’ve got to make sure they don’t gain too much weight (which can cause health issues). Incorporate some playtime into the day, especially as the Ragdoll ages.

most affectionate cat breeds scottish fold
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11. Scottish Fold

Average Height: 8 to 10 inches

Average Weight: 6 to 13 pounds

Personality: Adaptable, loving

Coat: Long and short varieties

Color: Variety of colors and patterns

Life Expectancy: 14 to 16 years

The Scottish Fold, recognizable by its folded ears and thick limbs, would love nothing more than to spend the day nestled next to its person in bed or on the couch. Encouraging playtime is important so they don’t develop weight-related health issues.

most affectionate cat breeds siamese
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12. Siamese

Average Height: 8 to 12 inches

Average Weight: 5 to 12 pounds

Personality: Social, athletic

Coat: Short

Color: Cream or fawn with brown or black points

Life Expectancy: 10 to 20+ years

It’s hard to miss the signature Siamese cat look: a light coat; dark brown face, paws and tail; royal blue eyes. These cats happily express themselves vocally and unabashedly enjoy attention from anyone and everyone. Don’t leave them isolated for long! Their athleticism and intelligence can lead to boredom without enough interaction.

most affectionate cat breeds siberian
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13. Siberian

Average Height: 9 to 11 inches

Average Weight: 8 to 17 pounds

Personality: Affectionate, playful

Coat: Long, thick

Color: Variety of colors and patterns

Life Expectancy: 11 to 18 years

Unlike the Siamese or the Bombay, Siberian cats aren’t very clingy. They may—or may not!—greet you when you come home. They may—or may not!—follow you around the house. All they ask is some quality time with you, whether playing, grooming or cuddling.

most affectionate cat breeds tonkinese
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14. Tonkinese

Average Height: 8 to 10 inches

Average Weight: 6 to 12 pounds

Personality: Active, Intelligent, Sweet

Coat: Short, silky

Color: Cream or mink with darker points on the face, ears, and paws

Life Expectancy: 12 to 16+ years

Truly one of the most affectionate breeds on our list, the Tonkinese is a highly intelligent, joyful cat. They’ll happily play with kids, join a group of guests or quietly sit on your lap, depending on the vibe of the room.

most affectionate cat breeds toyger
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15. Toyger

Average Height: 18 inches

Average Weight: 7 to 15 pounds

Personality: Affectionate, energetic

Coat: Short, soft

Color: Striped, tabby in oranges and browns

Life Expectancy: 10 to 15 years

If you want to get even closer to the wild cat lifestyle, go with a Toyger. They certainly aren’t as ferocious as their big cat look-alikes, but they are known for being incredibly loving and sweet. To Toygers, the more the merrier! Being alone is not fun for them, so get ready to entertain and play. That’s the Toyger love language.

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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...