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 have only recently been domesticated by humans. 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. Of course, all animals are unique and can deviate from the breed standard.

What does cat affection look like?

Affection from a cat can look like 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 also looks like rubbing their faces against your leg. They’re creating a super scent, a combination of your scent and theirs, because you’re their person. As Jackson Galaxy says, “Cats own by scent.” Even staring at you with an expressionless face or facing away from you are signs that your cat loves you. Again, felines have their own love language.

To really encourage open affection from your cat, there are a few things you can do. 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. Second, embrace the art of 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 be a cat. They need high perches and scratching posts! Food and litter shouldn’t 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.

Now, if you want to ensure you’ll adopt a cat who isn’t afraid to show her love for you, choose a breed known for some PDA. The International Cat Association (TICA) recognizes 71 unique cat breeds—here are some of the most affectionate.

The 11 Most Affectionate Cat Breeds

Most affectionate cat breeds Abyssinian
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1. Abyssinian

Average Size: Medium

Average Weight: 8 to 9 pounds

Maintenance: Low

Personality: Athletic, cheerful

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. 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 Size: Medium

Average Weight: 11 pounds

Maintenance: Low

Personality: Easy-going, confident

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 Birman
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3. Birman

Average Size: Medium to large

Average Weight: 12 pounds

Maintenance: Low

Personality: Devoted, friendly

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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4. Bombay

Average Size: Medium

Average Weight: 10 pounds

Maintenance: Low

Personality: Curious, lively

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.

Most affectionate cat breeds Maine Coon
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5. Maine Coon

Average Size: Large

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

Maintenance: Moderate to high

Personality: Sweet, smart

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 Peterbald
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6. Peterbald

Average Size: Medium

Average Weight: 7 pounds

Maintenance: Moderate (hairless), low

Personality: Social, playful

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.

Most affectionate cat breeds Ragdoll
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7. Ragdoll

Average Size: Large

Average Weight: 15 pounds

Maintenance: Moderate

Personality: Sweet, patient

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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8. Scottish Fold

Average Size: Medium

Average Weight: 8 pounds

Maintenance: Low

Personality: Mellow, loving

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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9. Siamese

Average Size: Medium

Average Weight: 8 pounds

Maintenance: Low

Personality: Vocal, social

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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10. Siberian

Average Size: Medium to large

Average Weight: 15 to 20 pounds

Maintenance: Moderate

Personality: Active, independent

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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11. Tonkinese

Average Size: Medium

Average Weight: 9 pounds

Maintenance: Low

Personality: Friendly, active

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.

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