Cat breeds tend not to be as well-known as dog breeds and the characteristics that define them are even less known.
It may be surprising, but the breed of a cat can actually give indicators of several traits including size, friendliness, playfulness, and activity level.
While each cat’s personality is unique, it is possible to get a general idea of their general temperament based on the breed.
When I was in middle school, my family fostered cats for Specialty Purebred Cat Rescue based in Kenosha, WI. We had cats of various breeds in hour house and cared for their every need until they found their ‘fur-ever’ home.
Here are some observations I made then and have developed into adulthood as I have continued my love and knowledge for cats.
The Snuggle Bug
There are a couple of cat breeds known for their love of snuggling. The first is the Ragdoll. This is one of the largest domestic cat breeds with males weighing 20+ pounds; though, I have a female ragdoll who is nine pounds so size is obviously quite variable.
In the cat world, Ragdolls are known for their ‘flop.’ When you hold, pet, or pick up a Ragdoll cat, they tend to lose control of their muscles.
Many of the Ragdolls I have crossed paths with actually like being held on their back like a baby, something that the average cat is usually not ok with as they feel it leaves them vulnerable.
Ragdolls are infinitely gentle. I have only ever heard a hiss once, even around small children who tend to move quickly and be a little unintentionally rough with animals.
They bathe in attention and will want to be the center of your world (and everyone else’s). Don’t be surprised if your Ragdoll ‘cheats’ on you with other people, demanding their attention and showing off their beauty for the visitors. They will always come back to you.
Your Ragdoll will always want to be with you, and I mean ALWAYS. If snuggling could be high maintenance, Ragdolls would fit the bill. They love being members of the family and are all around great tempered cats.
If cats could come with a disclaimer, a Ragdolls would say this: CAUTION attention required every moment of every day. Additionally, motor like sounds may come from cat, do not panic, it is just them purring.
Her Royal Furriness
Persians are also known to be lap cats; though my parents have a Persian that is extremely active and… well… quite the troublemaker.
Historically, Persians were popular with royalty and they still have a bit of a chip on their shoulder. They can be great family cats, as they love to be pampered and show off their beauty.
Their ideal day would be: sitting on laps getting pets, some adoring love, a nap after all of the hard work of being amazing, and then more lap pets.
Persians can also be quite active and love playtime with their ‘royal subjects’ (aka you). These cuties tend to weigh less than 12 pounds and their adorable squished faces and button noses are forces to reckon with.
Persians are one of the most popular family cats in the country, and for good reason. They tend to get along great with kids, other pets, and are very sociable with visitors.
Man’s/Woman’s Best Frien
Anyone who claims that dogs are man’s best friend has not met a Siamese cat before. These cats attach to their person and are dedicated. When my family fostered, it could be heartbreaking to get a Siamese in; their love runs so deep they often suffer severe anxiety or illness when separated from their person.
Siamese are extremely active, helpful, and talkative. You can have full conversations with them and may find yourself just naturally talking to them. They also LOVE to help. Need help typing that email? Cooking dinner? Brushing your teeth? Walking up the stairs?
No worries, your Siamese will be there with you every step of the way. If you are looking for a best friend and companion, a Siamese cat is the way to go.
Even when they spend all day with you, they will still have quite the stories to tell you later. Then, when they are done telling you about their day, they may just start over again. I am kidding but the point is that verbal interaction is key with Siamese, so don’t feel weird talking back!
The Family Cat
So far, the cat breeds listed above have some very bold and distinguishing traits; however, if you are just looking for an all-around good family cat, Maine Coons are a wonderful choice. These are absolutely beautiful cats and very patient as well.
They want to be an active part of your life but not necessarily always talking or helping you. They definitely enjoy being pet and played with, but enjoy a good amount of relaxing and some independence as well.
Maine Coons do not usually talk too much and tend to be very docile and laid back but do not underestimate their love of play. Many Maine Coons will play fetch and they tend to be goofy and playful even into their older years.
Now, don’t get me wrong, just because Maine Coons are docile and goofy does not mean they aren’t sassy. Because they can have quite the (hilarious) attitude.
If you have a Maine Coon, you may get the sense that your cat is not just observing you but supervising. Wrong them in any way, feed them late, miss a play date, or forget them in a room, well, you will be told that you were wrong and proper compensation may be required (if you can’t tell, these are very smart cats). Standard payment for any kind of wrongdoing is a mix of pets, plays, and treats.
The Class Clown
In my life, I have met one Havana Brown cat and it was the most incredible foster we ever had. This was the most active and intelligent cat I had ever encountered.
It is a fairly rare breed, definitely not as popular or mainstream as Siamese or Persians, but they are the definition of awesome. We would give this cat different puzzle and challenges and play with him for what felt like forever and he would always come back for more.
As its name suggests, Havana Browns have a rich chocolate coat and bright green eyes. They are beautiful inside and out and have a very deep devotion to their families. Active cats like the Havana Brown can be prone to mischief, so be ready for some surprises along the way!
The Best Cat Ever
This may seem lame or even a little cliché, but do you want to know what the best type of cat is? The type you love unconditionally through the funny moments, the naughtiness, and the adorable snuggles.
You don’t have to pay a thousand dollars to get ‘the perfect cat’ because a cat you connect with is worth so much more than that.
Cats are not just pets, they are family members so what truly matters is that the personality of the cat fits with you and your lifestyle.
I personally have three cats: a Ragdoll, a Balinese, and a good old tabby who I found at 4 weeks old in a warehouse I was working in; all are rescue cats.
They each have their charms and their quirks and I would sacrifice more than I like to admit for them. If you plan to adopt or buy a cat, just remember that breed tendencies aren’t guaranteed, but a good place to start.
My Ragdoll, Tinkerbell, is an example of personality differing from breed tendencies. While she is QUITE the snuggler, she does not actual ‘flop’ like is the norm for her breed.
She can also be quite skittish around new people. She is an amazing cat, but does not necessarily tick off all of the characteristic boxes you might see in other cats of her breed.
The best advice I have is to learn about your new family member, get to know them a bit and make sure that you are a genuine match, because getting a cat that does not match your needs, and vice versa, is not healthy for either of you