12 Smartest Cat Breeds – Most Intelligent Cat Rankings

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Certain cat breeds are known for being smarter than others. In general, cats have a brain structure that bears a resemblance to many intelligent animals, including humans.

While cats are extremely independent and self-sufficient, their keen nature makes felines first-rate companions.

Keep reading to learn which cat breeds lead the pack when it comes to cat intelligence.

#1 Abyssinian

Breed Overview
Abyssinian Origin:
? Where this breed was first established.
Abyssinia (Ethiopia)
Abyssinian Height:
? The typical adult height among individuals of this breed. Height is measured from the top of the head to the bottom of the front paws.
8''-10''
Abyssinian Adult Weight:
? The typical adult weight range of this cat breed.
8-12 pounds
Abyssinian Life Span:
? The average lifespan of the breed. While life expectancy is fairly consistent across all cat breeds, some breeds tend to live shorter or longer than others.
9-13 years

The beautiful Abyssinian cat is one of the oldest cat breeds in the world. The heritage of this cat is somewhat unknown, but some speculate that they came from ancient Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) while others argue it was ancient Egypt.

Abyssinians are known as the smartest cat breed because of their inquisitive nature and exceptional detective skills. This breed tends to be very independent, but also wants to be in the middle of the action. This very loving cat gets along well with everyone in the household including dogs.

#2 Siamese

Breed Overview
Siamese Origin:
? Where this breed was first established.
Thailand
Siamese Height:
? The typical adult height among individuals of this breed. Height is measured from the top of the head to the bottom of the front paws.
8"- 10"
Siamese Adult Weight:
? The typical adult weight range of this cat breed.
8-15 pounds
Siamese Life Span:
? The average lifespan of the breed. While life expectancy is fairly consistent across all cat breeds, some breeds tend to live shorter or longer than others.
15-20 years

The Siamese is one of the oldest domesticated cat breeds and originated in Thailand. The name Siamese is derived from the word “Siam,” which is the former name of Thailand.

The Siamese cat is best known for being very social and chatty. They do have a knack for getting into trouble, which is due to their inquisitiveness and natural instinct to stimulate their minds. Siamese cats are affectionate but become potentially destructive to items around the house when restless.

#3 Cornish Rex

Breed Overview
Cornish Rex Origin:
? Where this breed was first established.
United Kingdom
Cornish Rex Height:
? The typical adult height among individuals of this breed. Height is measured from the top of the head to the bottom of the front paws.
12"-14"
Cornish Rex Adult Weight:
? The typical adult weight range of this cat breed.
6-9 pounds
Cornish Rex Life Span:
? The average lifespan of the breed. While life expectancy is fairly consistent across all cat breeds, some breeds tend to live shorter or longer than others.
12-20 years

The Cornish Rex cat is native to Cornwall in the United Kingdom. This breed came to be due to a genetic mutation that occurred in a litter of kittens born on a farm in the 1950s. The Cornish Rex is adored among cat owners because of its curly hair and huge ears, which give it an elfish appearance

Cornish Rex cats have a very easy-going and laid-back personality, yet thrive in friendliness, playfulness, and loyalty. They really like physical exercise, and you will often catch them running, jumping, and climbing.

#4 Japanese Bobtail

Breed Overview
Japanese Bobtail Origin:
? Where this breed was first established.
Japan
Japanese Bobtail Height:
? The typical adult height among individuals of this breed. Height is measured from the top of the head to the bottom of the front paws.
10"-14"
Japanese Bobtail Adult Weight:
? The typical adult weight range of this cat breed.
6-10 pounds
Japanese Bobtail Life Span:
? The average lifespan of the breed. While life expectancy is fairly consistent across all cat breeds, some breeds tend to live shorter or longer than others.
12-16 years

The Japanese Bobtail cat breed dates back to Japan, 600 to 700 A.D., but was brought to America in 1968. This makes the Japanese Bobcat one of the oldest recorded cat breeds in existence.

Japanese Bobtails are highly intelligent and are capable of learning many tricks and commands, like fetch. They are also known to respond to their name, but only when they want to like most cats. This breed is very loving and will follow their favorite human around, demanding attention.

#5 Scottish Fold

Breed Overview
Scottish Fold Origin:
? Where this breed was first established.
United Kingdom
Scottish Fold Height:
? The typical adult height among individuals of this breed. Height is measured from the top of the head to the bottom of the front paws.
8"- 10"
Scottish Fold Adult Weight:
? The typical adult weight range of this cat breed.
6-13 pounds
Scottish Fold Life Span:
? The average lifespan of the breed. While life expectancy is fairly consistent across all cat breeds, some breeds tend to live shorter or longer than others.
13-15 years

The Scottish Fold originated in Scotland in the 1960s. Scottish Folds have an abnormality of the cartilage in their little ears, which causes them to fold forward toward the front of the head.

The Scottish Fold cat breed is playful, moderately active, and likes cat toys that challenge their intelligence, like puzzle toys. Scottish folds are known for posing in interesting positions, like sitting upright on their bottom, lying flat on the floor, or on their backs with their paws in the air.

#6 Savannah Cat

Breed Overview
Savannah Origin:
? Where this breed was first established.
United States
Savannah Height:
? The typical adult height among individuals of this breed. Height is measured from the top of the head to the bottom of the front paws.
12"- 14"
Savannah Adult Weight:
? The typical adult weight range of this cat breed.
15-28 pounds
Savannah Life Span:
? The average lifespan of the breed. While life expectancy is fairly consistent across all cat breeds, some breeds tend to live shorter or longer than others.
18-20 years

The Savannah cat is the result of an African serval and a domestic cat being crossed. The Savannah is one of the largest domesticated cat breeds and the Guinness Book of World Records documented a Savannah as the world’s tallest domestic cat.

Savannah cats are very intelligent and curious. They can be taught tricks and are known for being mischievous when bored. Savannah cats are high energy, but make great companions, meaning companionship, puzzle toys, and lots of space are needed.

#7 Tonkinese

Breed Overview
Tonkinese Origin:
? Where this breed was first established.
United States
Tonkinese Height:
? The typical adult height among individuals of this breed. Height is measured from the top of the head to the bottom of the front paws.
8"- 10"
Tonkinese Adult Weight:
? The typical adult weight range of this cat breed.
6-12 pounds
Tonkinese Life Span:
? The average lifespan of the breed. While life expectancy is fairly consistent across all cat breeds, some breeds tend to live shorter or longer than others.
14-16 years

The Tonkinese is the result of breeding a Siamese and Burmese cat. This adorable cat offers the best of both Siamese and Burmese heritage making them loving and mischievous.

Tonkinese cats are some of the most intelligent cats around. They tire of playing with the same toys and have been known to climb to the tops of refrigerators and shelves for fun. Tonkinese cats are brainy and have been known to acquire items from humans to build a personal collection.

#8 Singapura

Breed Overview
Singapura Origin:
? Where this breed was first established.
Singapore
Singapura Height:
? The typical adult height among individuals of this breed. Height is measured from the top of the head to the bottom of the front paws.
7"- 8"
Singapura Adult Weight:
? The typical adult weight range of this cat breed.
4-9 pounds
Singapura Life Span:
? The average lifespan of the breed. While life expectancy is fairly consistent across all cat breeds, some breeds tend to live shorter or longer than others.
12-13 years

As the name implies, this breed originated in Singapore and is considered the world’s smallest domestic cat breed.

The Singapura cat thrives on attention and is curious, playful, and intelligent. They are capable of learning tricks and able to get along well with other pets. This breed does not like loud noises or busy surroundings and does best with older children.

#9 Burmese Cat

Breed Overview
Burmese Origin:
? Where this breed was first established.
Burma / Myanmar
Burmese Height:
? The typical adult height among individuals of this breed. Height is measured from the top of the head to the bottom of the front paws.
8"-10"
Burmese Adult Weight:
? The typical adult weight range of this cat breed.
8-12 pounds
Burmese Life Span:
? The average lifespan of the breed. While life expectancy is fairly consistent across all cat breeds, some breeds tend to live shorter or longer than others.
12-16 years

The Burmese are a cross between a Siamese cat and a small brown cat from Burma. Burmese cats are considered highly intelligent and very low-maintenance cats.

Burmese cats are known to form strong bonds with their owners, but love to be the center of attention This breed is playful, energetic, and curious. You can usually find them sleeping on a window sill or basking in the sunlight.

#10 Bengal

Breed Overview
Bengal Origin:
? Where this breed was first established.
United States
Bengal Height:
? The typical adult height among individuals of this breed. Height is measured from the top of the head to the bottom of the front paws.
14"-18"
Bengal Adult Weight:
? The typical adult weight range of this cat breed.
12-22 pounds
Bengal Life Span:
? The average lifespan of the breed. While life expectancy is fairly consistent across all cat breeds, some breeds tend to live shorter or longer than others.
10-15 years

Bengal cats appeared in 1963 when a California breeder crossed a domestic shorthair cat with a wild Asian leopard cat. They are known for their gorgeous spotted fur and high intelligence. The Cat Fanciers Association only just granted the Bengal breed its official recognition in 2016.

The Bengal cat is a natural athlete that loves climbing and jumping. They have been called dog-like because of their ability to be trained and taught to walk outdoors on a leash. Bengals are very social cats with playful personalities but can get restless, which may lead to trouble.

#11 Turkish Angora

Breed Overview
Turkish Angora Origin:
? Where this breed was first established.
Turkey
Turkish Angora Height:
? The typical adult height among individuals of this breed. Height is measured from the top of the head to the bottom of the front paws.
8"- 10"
Turkish Angora Adult Weight:
? The typical adult weight range of this cat breed.
5-10 pounds
Turkish Angora Life Span:
? The average lifespan of the breed. While life expectancy is fairly consistent across all cat breeds, some breeds tend to live shorter or longer than others.
15-18 years

The Turkish Angora is a natural breed that originated in the Ankara region near central Turkey. The breed was originally brought to the United States in the 1950s by American servicemen and was introduced to Europe by the Vikings, probably during the 10th century.

The Turkish Angora is extremely intelligent and is known for their love of water. This breed is highly trainable and can even be taught to play fetch. They do tend to be curious and explore open cabinets, drawers, and empty boxes. They can be talkative and devoted to one family member in particular.

#12 Persian

Breed Overview
Persian Origin:
? Where this breed was first established.
Iran
Persian Height:
? The typical adult height among individuals of this breed. Height is measured from the top of the head to the bottom of the front paws.
8"- 10"
Persian Adult Weight:
? The typical adult weight range of this cat breed.
8-15 pounds
Persian Life Span:
? The average lifespan of the breed. While life expectancy is fairly consistent across all cat breeds, some breeds tend to live shorter or longer than others.
14-15 years

The Persian cat originated in the region of Persia and Iran possibly as far back as the 1600s, but the breed became popular in the West at the end of the 19th century. The Persian is one of the most intelligent cat breeds and is recognized for their ability to be trained.

Persian cats are selective about who they spend time with and usually choose family and a few trusted friends. This beautiful, fluffy cat breed gets along great with children and other household pets. Persians are better in quiet homes where not much changes.

Final Thoughts

Having a smart feline means that there will always be surprises in store. Cats of higher intelligence do require a lot of mental stimulation and you should know that smarter animals tend to be the most mischievous.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most intelligent type of cat?

Abyssinian cats are known as the smartest cat breed due to their inquisitive nature and exceptional detective skills. They are incredibly independent, but enjoy toys like puzzles.

What are the top 10 smartest cat breeds?

There are many intelligent cat breeds but here are 10 of the most popular, in no particular order:

  • Abyssinian
  • Siamese
  • Bengal
  • Burmese
  • Tonkinese
  • Turkish Angora
  • Bengal
  • Persian
  • Savannah
  • Singapura

What is the smartest cat IQ?

A domestic cat has a qualified IQ of between 1 and 1.71. It is said cats have the IQ of a 2- or 3-year-old child.

About Amy Brown

Amy Brown is a Certified NAVC Pet Nutritionist and animal lover. She is the proud owner of two cats and a dog and her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care, nutrition, and product reviews.

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