The 10 Best Cat Breeds For Families With Kids

A group of cat breeds on a white background
iStock.com/MirasWonderland

Written by Joyce Nash

Updated: October 2, 2023

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Cats have been providing furry cuddles and companionship to humans for thousands of years. Historically, cats were prized for their ability to hunt mice and other animals. However, modern families often choose cats based on qualities such as size or playfulness. Families with children might weigh cat breeds for friendliness, while families who live in an apartment will need to keep a breed’s activity levels in mind. If you’re considering adding a cat to your household, keep reading to learn about the best cat breeds for families with children. 

10. Burmese

These highly sociable cats are playful and interactive, often following humans through the house to provide companionship. Burmese cats are a good choice for families with multiple members who can provide them with consistent affection and activity throughout the day.

Burmese cats are best as indoor pets since their outgoing nature often results in poor survival skills. These cats can form deep connections with their human owners and will do their best to attract your attention for playtime or pets.

Burmese short hair cat of creme color, sitting on its cat house

Burmese cats originated in the areas of Malaya, Thailand, and Burma.

9. Abyssinian

Known for their athletic and playful natures, Abyssinian cats are a great choice for families looking for a more active feline companion. These cats are excellent at navigating to high places and enjoy exploring the tops of refrigerators or shelves.

Often underfoot, Abyssinians frequently follow their owners from room to room so they don’t miss any opportunities for mischief. While they enjoy being sociable, they aren’t known to be lap cats, electing instead to curl up beside people.

Abyssinian sunbathing

Abyssinians have colored coats that can be cinnamon, fawn, blue, or ruddy, with a distinctive “M” shape on their foreheads.

8. Birman

Distinguishable by their silky coats, round faces, and short tails, Birmans have white coats as kittens that develop colors into adulthood. Birman cats are typically affectionate to both humans and other animals. They are also less vocal than other cat breeds.

Birman cats require regular brushing due to their longer coats. However, Birman cats have gentle and friendly dispositions that make them low-maintenance pets for families with children.

Seal point Birman cat sitting in the grass in the garden.

Birmans are also called “The Sacred Cats of Burma.”

7. Sphynx

With a striking, wrinkled appearance, these cats are often mistaken for being hairless. However, Sphynx cats have a fine layer of fuzzy hair. They shed less than other cat breeds, resulting in fewer allergens in your home.

Sphynx cats are playful and curious but also enjoy curling up in a lap. This breed requires regular baths to remove oil and dirt that builds up on their skin. Their lack of a coat also makes them susceptible to changes in temperature, making them better suited to stay indoors.

Blue mink and white color Sphynx cat four months old with blue eyes sitting at wool plaid brown and beige blanket and looking away carefully. Beautiful hairless male cat is rare breed pet. Home shot.

Sphynx cats have sensitive skin due to their short coats.

6. Siamese

This type of cat has distinctive coloring and a strong personality. Siamese cats have light-colored coats with darker colors on their faces, tails, and legs. These cats are notoriously vocal, using a variety of meows to chat with their owners. 

Siamese cats are also quite playful and thrive with high levels of stimulation. They enjoy being around people and make great pets for families that can provide an activity-rich environment.

Siamese cat with long whiskers

Siamese cats have colored points that develop on their faces, paws, tails, and ears.

5. Devon Rex

Its oversized ears and curly coat give the Devon Rex a unique appearance. These cats tend to be intelligent and highly energetic. Devon Rex cats need more attention than other breeds of cats and can even learn how to play fetch. 

This breed tends to do well with other animals, including cats, dogs, and birds. Their wavy coat produces fewer allergens than other cats, but they do require regular bathing to remove excess oil. 

A Devon Rex cat sits on the bed and looks at the camera over its shoulder. It displays the distinctive wavy coat, large ears and eyes of a Devon Rex cat from England.

Devon Rex cats are also called “Pixie Cats” for their appearance and playfulness.

4. Russian Blue

Often quiet and reserved, Russian Blue cats frequently hide around new people, but they are affectionate toward their human families. If they are left alone during the day, they will generally nap and save their playtime energy for when people return.

Russian Blues prefer to keep a strict routine and are particular about having a clean litter box. They have a distinctive appearance with yellow-green eyes and a silvery blue coat that is thicker than other short-hair breeds, requiring periodic brushing.

Russian blue cat Leah love

Russian Blue cats appear to have perpetual smiles due to the shape of their jaws.

3. Ragdoll

A popular choice for families due to their gentle and friendly temperaments, Ragdoll cats are notorious cuddlers, often going limp when held. These cats have a reputation for craving attention and will seek company from children and even other pets. 

Ragdoll cats are also highly intelligent, catching on quickly to new games and activities. They are also larger than other breeds, averaging between 10 and 20 lbs. Their long, soft coats start out white as kittens, developing colored points around two weeks of age.

Longest Cats - Ragdoll

Ragdoll cats are recognizable by their distinctive blue eyes.

2. Maine Coon

Known for their large size and gentle dispositions, Maine Coon cats can reach a full size of 10 to 25 lbs with long, shaggy coats that contribute to their oversized appearance. Maine Coons like to seek human company, although they generally avoid curling up in laps.

They are often playful, and many enjoy splashing in water dishes or kitchen sinks. Maine Coons are frequently vocal, although they prefer to communicate with trills and chirps over meows. Maine Coons are popular with families due to their loyalty and laid-back nature.

Longest Cats - Maine Coon

Maine Coons are the largest domesticated breed of cat in the world.

1. Scottish Fold 

With distinctive ears that fold downwards, Scottish Fold cats have a unique appearance as well as an affectionate personality. They are easy-going and sociable, making them a popular choice for families with children.

While they are curious, Scottish Folds are less active than other cat breeds, although they are capable of jumping to explore high places. They will often follow people for companionship.

Scottish fold sitting with paws crossed

Scottish Fold cats have short coats that need only routine brushing.

RankCat Breed
#1Scottish Fold
#2Maine Coon
#3Ragdoll
#4Russian Blue
#5Devon Rex
#6Siamese
#7Sphynx
#8Birman
#9Abyssinian
#10Burmese


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About the Author

Joyce Nash is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering travel and geography. She has almost a decade of writing experience. Her background ranges from journalism to farm animal rescues and spans the East Coast to the West. She is based in North Carolina, and in her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time with her husband and two cats.

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