The 9 Friendliest Cat Breeds That Love People

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Although cats have earned a reputation for being independent and aloof, cat lovers know that this generalization is not entirely accurate. Many cats are extremely affectionate with their favorite human companions, and some are outgoing and friendly with just about anyone. 

If you long for a friendly cat to be your new best friend, certain pedigreed cat breeds are known to be exceptionally sweet and outgoing. Read on to meet some of the friendliest cat breeds around.

1. Abyssinian

Abyssinian cat

Although the Abyssinian is more active than snuggly, the breed is extremely people-oriented, playful, and friendly. Intelligent and curious, Abys want to be in the middle of everything and will follow you all over the house.

The breed’s outgoing personality, coupled with its exotic good looks, makes the Abyssinian a joy to live with.

One of the oldest breeds of cat, the Abyssinian is named for Abyssinia (an area that today is Ethiopia). Historians believe that the breed may have originated Southeast Asia, not in Abyssinia, but the first Abyssinians that were brought to England in the late 1800s came from Abyssinia, and the name stuck. 

2. Birman

If love the idea of a companionable lap cat, the Birman might be just what you’re looking for. The Birman is a sociable, sweet, and affectionate cat, and is just the right mix of outgoing and cuddly.

The Birman is friendly to all, including respectful children who interact with the cat gently. Birman cats, which hail from Burma (present-day Myanmar), all share certain characteristics, including beautiful blue eyes and a pointed coat (lighter body with darker “points” of color on the ears, nose, legs and tail. All Birmans also have four white paws.   

3. Burmese

Based on its name, you might think that Burmese also claims Burma as its birthplace, but the breed was in fact developed in the United States from one special cat named Wong Mau, which came from the Orient. Simply stated, the Burmese breed loves people.

They are called “Velcro cats” for their desire to be as close to their people as possible and will follow you around the house, hop into your lap the moment you sit down and sleep in your bed at night (often crawling right under the covers with you!). Burmese cats also love to play and be the center of attention. 

4. Exotic 

The Exotic, sometimes called the Exotic Shorthair, is basically a Persian cat with a short, plush coat. The breed came about from outcrossing Persian cats with American Shorthairs, with Burmese and Russian Blues also thrown into the mix.

Like their longhaired cousins, Exotics are friendly, laidback and affectionate. The mellow Exotic would much rather warm your lap than take part in strenuous endeavors. Exotics do not demand your attention but they look like teddy bears and are known to give hugs, so most people find them irresistible. 

5. Maine Coon

Maine Coon cat

The Maine Coon is the largest of all cat breeds. With its tufted ears and paws, and great size, Maine Coons look a little bit like bobcats (especially brown tabby Maine Coons), but in reality these cats are gentle giants. The Maine Coon is the official state cat of Maine, which is where the breed evolved.

Maine Coons get along with just about anyone, including kids and even dogs. The breed is so friendly and sweet natured, many people train them as therapy cats, taking them to visit people in hospitals and the elderly in nursing homes. 

6. Persian

Silver Persian cat

Like their shorthaired Exotic cousins, Persian cats are exceptionally sweet, docile and peaceful. Extremely attached and devoted to their humans, they blend in perfectly with almost any family.

All the Persian wants is to be close to its special people and to be admired (of course!). Though much about the history of the Persian cat is speculated, the ancestors of the modern-day Persian were brought from Persia (which is present-day Iran) to different parts of Europe during the 17thcentury.

Persians come in a rainbow of colors and patterns, including pointed (which is called Himalayan).  

7. Ragdoll

Ragdoll cat

If you’re looking for a cat who loves to snuggle and purr, look no further than the Ragdoll. This affectionate breed is named for its natural tendency to completely relax and even go limp while being cuddled.

Ragdolls are not only beautiful cats, they are also sweet, happy and exceptionally social, and will seek out attention. They are very tolerant and accepting of people of all types, including kind children, and many also get along with other animals, including dogs.

Ragdoll cats love playtime and some are even known to play fetch just like dogs. 

8. Siamese

Siamese cat

With its long and lean body, sleek, pointed coat and almond-shaped blue eyes, Siamese is as exotic-looking as they come. It takes its name from Siam (present-day Thailand), the breed’s birthplace.

Siamese cats are exceptionally outgoing and affectionate with both family and new friends. They are also extremely talkative, and won’t hesitate to loudly demand your attention with an unmistakable meow.

Siamese want to be as close to you as possible, and will crawl into your lap, climb up your back, cuddle you in bed and wrap themselves around your heart.

9. Sphynx

Sphynx cat

The hairless Sphynx is certainly one of the most unusual breeds when it comes to looks, but their wrinkly, “space alien” appearance isn’t the only reason people are so drawn to them. Sphynx cats are very outgoing and friendly, and will happily greet family and strangers alike.

They get along with everyone, including other dogs and cats, and are extremely affectionate. Sphynx are not truly hairless. Some have short, fine hair on the feet, ears and tail; others covered in soft, peachfuzz.

They do tend to get chilly, especially in winter, but they always find ways to keep warm—usually lots of snuggling with you.  

More Breeds to Explore

These are just a handful of the many friendly cat breeds that make great companions.

If you’re looking for a new feline friend that is a social butterfly type, also check out include the Bengal, Bombay, Chartreux, Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, Munchkin, Oriental, Ragamuffin, and Scottish Fold.

Learn more with our cat breed discovery tool.

About Jackie Brown

Jackie Brown is a freelance writer specializing in the pet industry. She writes on all pet and veterinary topics, including general health and care, nutrition, grooming, behavior, training, veterinary and health topics, rescue and animal welfare, lifestyle, and the human-animal bond. Jackie is the former editor of numerous pet magazines and is a regular contributor to pet magazines and websites.

3 thoughts on “The 9 Friendliest Cat Breeds That Love People

  1. Jennifer Nash

    You forgot the Ragamuffin. Priscilla, my muffin, is the sweetest most gentle cat I’ve ever known. She is part Persian and Ragdoll. Ragamuffin’s are great with kids, elderly people, and just about everybody.

    1. Kathy H. Kaerik RagaMuffins

      I completely agree! RagaMuffins are very much like Ragdolls in temperament. Mine follow me everywhere, like to sleep on my head, always like to have a paw touching me. They are also INCREDIBLY smart! I have had a couple of different cat breeds and have loved them all, buy none compare to my RagaMuffins!

  2. Tom Prowda

    What about the dog-in-a-cats-body, Manx. There have been 2 that have brightened my life immeasurably. Both were total cuddlebugs. I love their little chirp!


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