Although they all seem pretty similar, different cat breeds can have wildly unique temperaments and personalities. If your family needs a new feline, then knowing about the best cat breeds for kids will make that adoption choice a cinch. Some breeds are pretty much made for the family life.
It's easy to think that a cat is a cat, but different breeds of felines appear to have different temperaments and dispositions. For instance, Abyssinian cats tend to show greater sociability toward people when compared to other breeds, according to a 2015 study of cat breeds and behavioral associations in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior.
In general, a cat that's friendly, calm, and (above all) patient will work best with children. Although some breeds tend to have these traits more then others, it's important to remember that each cat is an individual with its own personality. It's a big decision, so spending time with your chosen cat beforehand is always a good idea. "A cat who is social and relaxed at a shelter usually has the aplomb to meet the stresses that life throws her way," wrote Jacque Lynn Schultz, C.P.D.T., Companion Animal Programs Adviser of Petfinder on the site's bllog. "Consider the whole cat, not just one element." It can take some searching, but once you find the cat who "clicks" with your family, you're in for a great new companion.
On the flip side, making sure your kid is prepared to play gently with the cat is crucial. Even the chillest cat might swat at a kid who roughhouses too much. But as long as both the child and the cat treat one another with respect, they can share a loving bond for years to come.
1. Maine Coon
If you want a big, fluffy, sweetheart of a cat, then look no further than this feline from the New England area. Maine Coon cats are exceptionally good with children, and their gentleness even makes them great therapy cats, according to The Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA). Sturdy and chill, these big cats make great playmates for most any family.
2. Scottish Fold
OK, so these are perhaps some of the cutest animals to ever exist with those folded-over ears. But they have pretty great personalities, too. Their favorite activities involve human interaction, according to CatTime, and they love getting attention from kids, provided the kids treat him with respect in return. They're pretty quiet cats who get along with other animals as well.
These distinctive cats, with a short face and long coat, are popular in many homes throughout the world. Although these quiet pets aren't overly demanding or loud, Persian cats tend to play well with family members of all ages, according to the CFA. They're great companions for low-key activities like reading or movie watching. These cats will need a significant amount of brushing, however.
As the name suggests, these cats love to be held. In fact, they even go limp in your arms like a ragdoll when held. Sweet, right? Known for following their owners from room to room, Ragdoll cats love human interaction and have any dog-like qualities as well: they like to play fetch, will come when called, and you can explore the outdoors them them on a leash, explained Catster. They'll do well in a household with gentle kids. Ragdoll cats tend to play gently without extending any claws, according to CFA. This is great news for the kids. But be forewarned that these adorable animals have a lot of hair.
If your family needs an active, vocal pet, the the Siamese might be a perfect companion. One of the oldest breeds of cats, the Siamese cat loves playing with children and being the center of attention, according to Vet Street. They are bright cats with a big personality.
Who needs a tail when you have a winning personality? Hailing from the Isle of Man, this ancient breed of cat has charmed humans for centuries. Known for their hardy disposition and impressive hunting prowess, Manx cats tend to get along with children very well, according to CFA. These are a great choice for families who want a cat that kind of acts like a dog.
7. Russian Blue
These cats are have the most gorgeous and silky smooth coats. Sweet and bright, Russian Blue cats tend to bond strongly with their human family, according to the CFA. They are empathetic pets who will sit with a sick person or try to cheer up a crying kid. "Their love of human company extends to impishly clowning to help calm a crying baby, and showing sympathy when their people get the blues by patting the face of the person," described PetMD. The site also cautions that these sweet felines also startle easily, so if you have young, toddling kids, keep an eye out to ensure that they are respecting each others' boundaries.
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