Our feline friends are often unfairly characterized as aloof, unfriendly, and snobbish. But that doesn’t tell the entire story of these beautiful creatures. Dogs may be man’s best friend, but cats rule the world. And don’t you forget it.
Valued for their companionship and ability to hunt vermin, our small, furry friends have been with us for at least 9,500 years. And just like dogs, they come in breeds aplenty.
That said, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who could come up with their favorite cat breed when asked about it on the spot. But don’t worry. We have all the deets on the best cat breeds here.
Continue reading to discover 15 of the best cat breeds that are absolutely purrfect!
The 15 Best Cat Breeds
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best cat breeds. Who knows? You may just find the perfect breed for you.
1. American Shorthairs
It’s well known that cats have various breeds with different personalities and looks, and this one is no different. The American Shorthair is a common breed in America, which is a descendant of the European Shorthair cat.
American Shorthairs are very friendly and love to play. These cute guys get along with other pets, like dogs, very well. Plus, they’re good around children, making them great to own as a family pet.
Sadly, these cute guys typically develop heart disease. But they are generally healthy aside from this. That said, you can expect your American Shorthair to live for about 15 to 20 years, which is more than the average lifespan of a pet cat (approximately 13 or 14 years).
Abyssinians are one of the most common cat breeds in the U.S. today. They are known for their beautiful fur and striking green eyes, but they also have a number of other qualities that make them excellent pets for any owner.
These graceful cats are known for being attentive and caring toward their humans. Plus, Abyssinians are playful and athletic and are known for being curious about their surroundings. You’ll also find these smart little fellows socializing with other pets and humans.
Due to their active and playful nature, you may want to invest in a variety of toys for your Abyssinian. These will provide endless entertainment and are sure to delight them.
With their relatively active lifestyles, you wouldn’t be faulted for thinking Abyssinian cats would live long. But sadly, this isn’t the case. These feline friends can have a genetic disease that could cause them to develop anemia, which can shorten their lifespan. On average, Abyssinian cats live for 9 to 13 years, which is much shorter than the average pet cat’s lifespan.
3. Maine Coons
The almighty Maine Coon is a formerly rare breed of domesticated cats that has a natural mutation, causing it to have an unusually long, thick coat. These popular cats are known for being large and stocky. Male Maine Coons can weigh up to about 18 pounds, whereas females typically weigh between 10 and 14 pounds.
But enough about looks. Let’s focus on their brains and personalities. Maine Coons are highly intelligent and enjoy being the center of attention. They make for excellent companions due to their affectionate nature. While they may require more grooming and attention than other cat breeds, their companionship is worth it.
Plus, with friendly Maine Coons being one of the most coveted and recognizable breeds in the U.S. of A., they are quite difficult to adopt. But you can find one if you’re patient and diligent.
You can be sure to enjoy a considerable amount of time with a Maine Coon in your family, with them living for 13 to 15 years on average. Though they are sturdy and strong cat breeds, Maine Coons can suffer from a variety of health issues like spinal muscular atrophy and polycystic kidney disease (PKD).
Oh, the sweet, adorable Ragdoll. This breed of cat is known for its docile nature. They are large in size and typically have a white coat with patches of seal, blue, or chocolate fur. These sweet angels are generally friendly to a fault and enjoy being petted by humans.
Due to their striking blue eyes and friendly demeanor, many pet owners choose to bring them into their homes. In fact, Ragdolls have been recognized by cat associations as one of the most popular breeds of house cats and are known to have an average lifespan of about 9 to 15 years.
They may encounter a few health issues, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or bladder stones, though. That said, they can live longer with good weight control and healthy living standards. Compared to other cat breeds, Ragdolls are relatively healthy.
Bengals are a breed of domestic cat that has a distinctive orange coat with black stripes and/or spots. They are also pretty intelligent and social. The sweet and loving Bengal can be traced back as far as 1963, when Jean Mill, a cat breeder, crossed an Asian Leopard cat with a Domestic Shorthair.
Known for being trainable and loyal, these fun cats make great family pets.
Speaking of family, you can expect this relatively healthy breed to be a part of yours for a long time, with a lifespan of 12 to 16 years.
While they are typically healthy, health issues they may face include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and cataracts. But you can possibly mitigate these by choosing a responsible breeder.
6. Burmese Cats
Burmese cats are a breed of cat that originated in Southeast Asia. These are one of the best cat breeds for apartment living due to their small size and gentle nature. Burmese have a kitten-like nature and retain this well into adulthood. They are also good pets for people with asthma or allergies, thanks to their low-allergen coats.
You won’t be bored with these sleek cats in your home. They’re known to be quite fond of playing fetch. And if you’re a bit industrious, you might teach your adorable new friend to perform tricks too.
Your furry friend is genetically predisposed to longevity, too, with an average lifespan of 18 to 20 years. That said, they may develop feline orofacial pain syndrome, which is as painful as it sounds. It includes oral discomfort and mutilation of your cat’s face and tongue. You may prevent your cat from pawing at its face by getting them an Elizabethan collar.
7. Sphynx Cats
Named after the Egyptian Sphinx, these cute guys are also one of the United States’ most popular cat breeds. Sphynx cats are hairless, and their skin is usually pink.
They can be a variety of different colors, though, and they have a wider variety of personalities than other cat breeds. Despite being hairless, they can still have some protection from the sun if you invest in cool, cotton clothing for them.
These adorable cats have an average lifespan of about 8 to 14 years, which can be shortened by skin problems and periodontal disease, to name a few. Keep them healthy by giving them weekly baths and getting specific recommendations from your vet.
8. British Shorthairs
The British Shorthair is a relatively new breed of cat that originated in England. It has a short, sleek body and is typically medium- to large-sized. These desirable cats have broad chests and sturdy bone structures.
They also have large ears and eyes that are circular and expressive, staring deep into your eyes and into your heart. You’ll find these cute cats in all colors and patterns, including silver, blue, chocolate, black smoke, blue smoke, tabby mackerel, and more.
These cute, chubby-wubby cats have an average lifespan of 14 to 20 years, which is rather impressive. While this is longer than the average for pet cats, you’ll still have to take the necessary precautions as an owner. This includes feeding them well and ensuring that they don’t become obese.
9. Devon Rex
Named after Devonshire, England, where they are originally from, and the woman, Miss Cox, who found them, the Devon Rex is an interesting-looking fellow and is a breed of domestic short-haired cats. They have a slender physique and fairly large ears. Being quite small in size, their females weigh an average of 7 pounds and their males about 8 pounds
Devon Rexes are intelligent, playful, and expressive cats who enjoy interacting with their humans. You’ll love playing and cuddling with these unique-looking cats.
Ensure you take proper care of your Devon Rex and give it proper nutrition to enhance its average lifespan of 9 to 13 years. That way, you can look forward to more playtime with your cat.
10. Persian Cats
The Persian cat is a famous breed of cat recognized for its long, thick fur and round, flat face. Unsurprisingly, this breed is often called a “Persian Longhair” thanks to its coat.
Persian cats have been around for generations and are one of the most popular breeds due to their adorable appearance and rather friendly nature. They are among the most gentle, easygoing, and sweet-natured of all cat breeds. Your Persian cat will be very affectionate and enjoy spending time with you or on its own.
This independent cat can live for 12 to 17 years. Persian cats typically experience eye and dental problems, which means you should take them to the vet for regular checkups to ensure a long, healthy life.
11. Scottish Fold
Scottish Fold Cats are a popular breed known for being smart and low-maintenance. This popular breed has a distinctive folded-over ear, which gives them their name. The cause of this is a gene that affects the cartilage in their furry bodies.
Scottish Folds are also known for their sweet and gentle nature, making them ideal for kids and people new to cats. Additionally, they require little grooming and make fantastic pets for people with allergies because they produce fewer allergens than other breeds.
The Scottish Fold typically lives for about 15 years. While relatively long, take care to look out for the various degenerative joint diseases they may face.
12. Exotic Shorthairs
Exotic Shorthairs are typically seen as a cross between Persians and American Shorthairs. People recognize these adorable, snuggly cats by their bushy, short coats. Despite their apparent shy demeanor, Exotic Shorthair cats are playful and curious and can make great family pets.
They typically sport beautifully striking light green eyes. They are also usually very intelligent and show great affection to their humans. You can enjoy this love and companionship with your Shorthair for a while, thanks to a lifespan of around 12 to 14 years.
13. Siamese Cats
Siamese cats are a popular cat breed. They are known for their blue eyes and the distinctive browning of their faces.
While you may not be able to enjoy a stimulating conversation with them, Siamese cats are pretty intelligent. This, plus their social nature, makes them a great choice for people who want to spend some quality time with their pets.
The naturally inquisitive Siamese cat lives for approximately 10 to 15 years, which is longer than the average. They typically battle asthma and liver problems, the former of which can be managed by anti-inflammatory medicine.
14. Birman Cats
The Birman (or “Sacred Cat of Burma”) is a heavily-boned cat breed typically with white, long fur on its body with a brown face and legs. It’s thought to have originated in Burma (Myanmar).
While they may have a shorter lifespan (9 to 13 years) compared to other cats, Birmans are relatively healthy. Like with any other cat, daily exercise and regular checkups with the vet can help prevent and detect any health issues that may arise.
15. Oriental Shorthairs
The Oriental Shorthair is a fairly recent cat breed that has been bred in North America. They have origins in both the U.S. and Thailand. The breed first appeared in the 1950s as a result of breeding between Siamese and other cats, like Russian Blues and British Shorthairs. Today, they are one of North America’s most popular breeds and make wonderful pets for any family.
These inquisitive cats are known for being friendly with other pets and social toward humans. If you have a family with children, you won’t have to worry about integrating them. And with an average life expectancy of 15 years, you can live with them for years to come.
So Which of These Cat Breeds Is the Best?
Cats are no doubt a popular pet, with almost 60 million of them in the United States. So which of these cat breeds is the best?
As with anything in life, it all comes down to your needs and preferences. The best cat breed will depend on what you’re looking for in a pet. For example, if you want a cat that’s low maintenance, you might want to consider the Sphinx or Devon Rex breeds. However, if you want a cat that’s very active and playful, then look into Bengals.
Whichever breed you choose, it may help to know how long cats live on average so you can prepare for a life of fun, purring, and endless belly rubs with your feline companion.