In the market to bring home a new kitty, but want to make sure they’re amiable to family, other pets, and visitors alike? We’ve rounded up a list of the friendliest cat breeds to consider adopting. These cats will greet you at the door, rub against the legs of strangers, and befriend just about anyone they can.
Mixed or “moggy” cats
Many times the friendliest cats out there don’t belong to any one breed—they’re good ol’ mutts, or what we call “moggy” in the cat world. These cats of mixed heritage are sometimes known as Domestic Shorthairs or Domestic Longhairs. They embody the best of many worlds: friendly temperaments, adorable looks, and “hybrid vigor”—a combination of the best genetic material arising from a diverse gene pool, which often leads to a lower risk for inherited diseases and common medical conditions found in purebred animals.
The giant but gentle Maine Coon developed in the wilderness of Maine more than a century ago (perhaps as early as the 1600s). They were useful as working cats that kept rats and mice out of barns, yet also loyal and friendly. This would lead to the appeal of keeping them as pets later on.
Typically, a male Maine Coon cat will be more outgoing than a female. They are more motivated to impress their humans and like being the center of attention. Female Maine Coons are just as fun and loving, but they take more time to warm up to people before showing their true selves.
The Bengal cat has a personality as big as their beautiful, striking presence. This cat is very people-oriented and enjoys being around their family. Although they have some wild blood, they’re as friendly and affectionate as can be. No need to worry: today’s Bengals must be at least four generations removed from their Asian leopard heritage.
The adventurous Bengal cat needs attention. They aren’t afraid of anything—kids, dogs, even the vacuum cleaner. They might not want to be picked up and held, but they love spending time with their people and will show you affection when they want to. Your Bengal might even love a belly rub!
The Siamese cat wants nothing more than to befriend anyone and everyone. This ancient breed is used to being adored. They’ve been a favorite of the Thai royal family for centuries: King Prajadhipok, the seventh monarch of the Siamese Chakri dynasty, even included a Siamese cat in his coronation festivities in 1926. And the first Siamese cat to enter the U.S. was a gift to President Rutherford B. Hayes and the First Lady in 1878.
Just how friendly are Siamese cats? They will literally try to converse with you all day long. These cats are incredibly vocal. If they want your attention, they are going to let you know—so be prepared to listen.
Mild-mannered Ragdoll cats are happy to get along with anyone. Their friendliness and affection levels are off the charts. This breed originated in the 1960s in Riverside, California, when a Persian breeder came across a free-roaming, long-haired white cat called Josephine. This kitty was anything but feral, and she passed her sweet temperament (and beautiful looks) on to her offspring.
Why are they called “Ragdoll”? These cats will literally go limp in a state of bliss in the arms of those who hold them. Best of all, the Ragdoll cat is not only friendly towards humans, but other pets in the house. They’re also very tolerant towards children and make great family pets.
Norwegian Forest cat
If you’re looking for a friendly cat that isn’t in constant need of attention, you’ll find it in the majestic Norwegian Forest cat. Centuries of adapting to harsh Scandinavian conditions has led to a breed that is well-tempered but not demanding. These cats are found in depictions dating back to the 16th century and in fairy tales, including that of the Norse goddess Freya pulled in a chariot by two huge cats.
The Norwegian Forest cat works well within big families because they are adaptable and patient with children. They enjoy the presence of people and are welcoming to newcomers. It’s natural for them to keep watch over the happenings in the house. Norwegian Forest cats enjoy attention but are naturally independent and good at entertaining themselves.
You might not guess it by their perpetually grumpy expressions, but Persian cats are happy to play the role of sweet-natured friend in your household. This breed has roots that go back hundreds of years. It is thought that they traveled from Persia (modern-day Iran) with an Italian man in the 1600s, eventually shooting to fame when Queen Victoria kept two Persian cats.
The Persian cat is friendly and easygoing (not to mention low on energy), but that doesn’t mean they bond with everyone who walks in the door. You have to earn your Persian's trust. These cats love attention once they’ve figured you out, but they won’t harass you for it.
Quite the opposite of the Persian, the Sphynx cat has no problem with demanding their humans’ attention. Despite their alien-like appearance, they are one of the most loving and personable cat breeds out there. This hairless cat breed originated in 1960s Toronto, although hairlessness is a genetic mutation that has existed among cats for centuries.
To say the Sphynx cat is friendly is an understatement. They get along great with strangers, children, pets in the household—basically anyone who wants to play with them. Some will even say that their Sphynx cat reminds them more of a dog than a feline because of how friendly and people-motivated they are.
Siberian cats have been documented for at least a thousand years in the forests of Russia. They are cherished and honored, with a long history as helpful hunters and stars of Russian fairy tales. Today these large kitties are among the most intelligent breeds—and the friendliest.
Siberian cats are deeply people-oriented and want to spend time following their family members around. They will meet you at the door when you come home and curl up on your lap when they need cuddles. They enjoy watching over what everyone is doing in the house and act similar to a guard dog. They’ll be sure to let you know when there’s a visitor (before befriending said visitor for themselves).
Like the Siamese cat (one of their parent breeds), the Oriental Shorthair is as outgoing as they are talkative. While they may look a little standoffish, the Oriental Shorthair is an extremely friendly and inquisitive cat that just wants to show you how loyal they can be.
This breed is sociable with other animals as well as with strangers and children. They greet their pet parents at the door when they arrive home, and will probably greet guests the same way. And if you ever need to get anything off your chest, the Oriental Shorthair is the perfect companion to vent to—they’re happy to share their opinions on the matter!
The American Shorthair cat, whose lineage likely stretches back to the Jamestown Colony and Mayflower, is a friendly, even-tempered breed. This is a laid-back working cat that’s always available when you need them—an ideal family companion. They are family-oriented, playful, funny, and gentle, and are often considered lower maintenance than other cat breeds.
This cat is sociable but won’t beg for attention. They will climb onto your lap when they want to, and otherwise spend their time prowling and observing. They get along with just about any animal or person they come across.
Looking for a friendly, loving, and loyal cat that enjoys spending time with their people? The Bombay cat should be at the top of your list. This beauty looks like a miniature panther, but would much rather wait for their favorite cat food than go on a wild hunt across the jungle.
Though Bombays are friendly, they are also very needy. They want you to spend time fawning over them. They will greet you at the door with a sociable meow, crawl onto your lap each night, and try to be involved in whatever you’re doing. If you’re not available, they’ll go to the next person or pet to see if they can get the attention they need.
Himalayan cats have the long (and demanding) fur of the Persian cat and the pointed coloring of the Siamese. They also have the friendly personality of both their parent breeds. In fact, they are considered a happy medium: Not as high-strung as the Siamese, but more active than the Persian.
Himalayans thrive in large families because that means there is always someone around to hang out with. They are easygoing with new people and don’t mind meeting strangers. They are sociable cats that are nevertheless quiet and docile.
If you’re up for a lively and fearless cat taking over your home, this might just be the kitty for you. The Abyssinian cat is friendly and affectionate but finds ways to entertain themselves throughout the day. They can get into trouble, driven to look in every nook and cranny in your space.
The Abyssinian wants your attention and will do anything for it. They will play games with you, get into your cabinets, and climb to the tallest points in your rooms. Don’t worry, though: These adorable felines will find the time to slow down long enough to cuddle up next to you on the couch.
As far back as the fourteenth century, Burmese “copper cats” are thought to have been worshiped in Burmese temples as embodiments of the gods. At the very least, they were highly regarded and seen as sacred animals. Naturally, they love being the center of attention and are friendly to boot.
You might notice that your Burmese is always hanging around you when you have guests over, and that’s only because they think everyone is there for them. They take very well to strangers. You’ll have to warn your guests about the show your Burmese will likely put on—they’ll do anything for some “oohs” and “aahs.”
What do you get when you remove the intensive coat of the Persian cat and add in a dash of energy? The Exotic Shorthair breed. This friendly kitty can be happy in a variety of environments. They are very easygoing and tend to enjoy all company. While these cats do usually have a favorite person, they will be happy to get attention from anyone.
The Exotic Shorthair also adapts well to meeting new people. They will not be overwhelmed if there are people they don’t know in their space. While they value their alone time and are capable of being independent for a few hours, they prefer to spend time with other people and pets.
Other friendly cat breeds
We could go on and on about the friendliest cat breeds out there. Still looking for the perfect chummy companion? Check out these other friendly breeds:
- Turkish Van
We hope these tips help you find your future furry BFF!