Did you know there are at least 44 recognized breeds of cat and cats are the second most popular pet in the world – second only to freshwater fish! The love affair between people and cats is centuries old.
People choose them as pets for various reasons, with one of the top ones being their relative independence. Still, we like a cuddle with our cats now and then so people often want to know, “What is the most loving cat breed?”
What is the most loving cat breed? The most loving cat breed is the Ragamuffin because it is so gentle and loves to be held and cuddled. It is the perfect family pet. The three runners up are the Burmese, Tonkinese, and Cornish Rex. There are many other breeds of cat that can be affectionate though and some you wouldn’t immediately think of.
When I was asked which cat is the most loving, I had an idea but wasn’t sure so decided to carry out my own research. The answer is something that a lot of people considering buying/adopting/rescuing a cat will be interested in. It’s important that you take on the right cat for you, and also for the cat to get the right owner.
Some people want a cat that’s going to be involved in everything, running around, jumping on your head and highly active. Others wouldn’t be able to cope with this and want a more introvert feline. So, here I attempt to answer the age-old question, what is the most loving cat breed?
This is based on my personal experience and a LOT of research. Your opinion does depend on how you clarify ‘most loving’ but I’m making the assumption that people when they’re searching for this mean a cat that is happy to spend a lot of time with you.
The cat will want to sleep on your lap and give you as much attention as you give it. Of course, all cats can love you, in their own way. I know my cat’s trust and love me, but I’m not sure I’d call them ‘loving’. The word ‘bitey’ may be more appropriate.
My Criteria for Finding the Most Loving Cat Breed
So what criteria needed to be met for me to come to a definitive conclusion? Firstly, I was looking for a cat that enjoys human company. I’m not saying that some don’t but there are breeds that, although they like to be in the same room as you, are quite content to just see you from a distance.
Next, they need to have an introverted personality – as in they would rather curl up with you on the sofa on a cold night than be out with their mates having fun and chasing birds! I am still talking about cats by the way.
They need to be affectionate, not shy of showing love towards you, and happy to receive it back. I’ve looked at several breeds (listed below) and have provided a bit of information about each and have described their traits. It should hopefully be clear why I came to the decision declared above.
One other thing. I’m making sweeping generalizations here, of course, it’s the only way to do it. Each cat has individual personality traits that are unique and just because a certain breed has certain characteristics associated with it, doesn’t, of course, mean all cats will adopt that character.
One more (other) thing, I hated giving the breeds below ‘scores’ – but they are purely there to identify which cat breed seems to be the most loving. It certainly doesn’t mean they’re the best! All cats are equally the best in my book 🙂
So, here we go – what is the most loving cat breed?
The Cat Breeds
A long-haired cat that is known by a little dumpy nose and a particularly round face. They look so cute! They first entered the UK in a cat show in the latter part of the 19th Century and have been popular since. Actually, the Persian is the most popular pedigree cat breed in the United States right now.
The Persian breed is typically quite quiet and some would say even placid. They tend to make a good for people who live in flats just for this reason. They are known to be particularly friendly towards strangers (not sure if this is a good thing mind you), are very affectionate towards their owners and are also very clean cats.
They are known to appreciate people who specifically treat them well and reward these people with equal amounts of affection back.
When it comes to children though, although they are typically quite happy to be stroked they will certainly not tolerate being carried around and dressed up, but I mean, who would like that? Children will need to learn to treat them with a bit of respect and understand that your Persian is not a toy. But this should be common sense and should hardly need saying, right?
They are not the most vocal of cats. They will listen though and occasionally give you a soft meow to greet you.
They can be quite fussy when it comes to food though and would prefer not to be left alone for long amounts of time.
The shorthair is actually a Persian, with short hair! Well, almost – physically speaking you can see the similarities in their facial construction. Like the Persian, they enjoy the company of humans (well, the friendly ones) are very patient with other cats, unlike a lot of other breeds.
The Exotic Shorthair doesn’t like to be left alone and, again like the Persian are very calm, stable cats that make a great cat for someone who has a flat. However, one of the few differences between the Shorthair and their Persian relative is that they are generally a bit more energetic. You’ll find them playing with toys (or your toes) and if they do go out will enjoy hunting mice.
Not as well known as most of the breeds, the Abyssinian is typically a rather thin, average size cat. They have quite long, pointy ears and long legs with small paws.
The Aby is regarded as being a smart, cheeky and sporty cat and if you do catch a glimpse of one it’ll probably be as it’s running past you. Well, I exaggerate of course but if you’re after a cat to sit on your lap then the Abyssinian probably isn’t it.
They are great fun though, extremely inquisitive and into everything. They will want to socialize with you (not in the pub) and will interact with you any way they can. They do need quite a bit of stimulation, so find them toys, lots and lots of toys.
The Aby would come top of several other lists (in my opinion) but that is of course not what we’re doing here, we want a loving cat who’s going to curl up with you. Although the Aby has so many, many positive traits, curling up with you on a cold night probably won’t be one of them.
The Burmese originates from the Burma/Thai border and was originally developed in the UK and the US. They can be quite large but, at least in this case, doesn’t mean they can’t be active.
The Burmese is most definitely a lap cat. He loves to be social and spend time with their owner. He will create quite a bit of noise, we’re not always sure what they’re saying but whatever it is there’s obviously a lot to talk about. It’s cute.
They’re very good with other pets as well as children, however, it’s not a good idea to leave your Burmese at home alone so if it’s just you in the house and you’re not going to be around for most of the day, this isn’t the cat for you.
Burmese can become anxious if left alone for long periods of time, it’s just not what they like. They are very intelligent and should be played with for long periods and often. They should be handled when they’re very young to get them used to human interaction.
I promise I will not be biased here – we have a couple of these! Obviously, I’m going to think they’re awesome, which they are. We have two brothers, Harry and Charlie (Harry is the cat in the photo here). We have had them since they were kittens and they’re now 15.
They have two totally different personalities. Charlie is very cautious but also extremely affectionate when he gets to know you.
He’ll lie on your chest with his face almost touching yours. Charlie is at his most content when he’s on my lap. Harry, however, is not like Charlie. Harry likes to be mischievous and follows us around the house.
He plays a lot still (despite his age) but rarely comes up on to my lap. They are both very social cats and like to be around us as much as possible, not always close but within a few feet.
They are an intelligent cat and have some unusual traits. Charlie will drink straight from the tap when he’s thirsty, preferring this to his water bowl. Harry has his strange ways also and likes to run around with a hair-band in his mouth.
They are big cats, larger than some dogs so think about that when you’re getting the cat-flap (you’ll need a dog-flap!).
If you love this cat breed then do check out this great article that lists all the best things about Maine Coons (opens in a new window). Also, wonder what owning a Maine Coon is like, or want to see an ultimate guide on the breed? Check those articles out.
The ragdoll cat has a very relaxed demeanor and you’ll find they follow you around wherever you go. They love any interaction they can get with us humans and actually crave for it.
You’ll find no-where to hind when you have one of these little cuties. If you’re wondering whether they’ll like to jump on your lap, then yes! If that means they can get closer to you then they’ll do it, also – if they’re flat out on your lap then you have no way to escape.
The ragdoll is a great cat to have around young children, their relaxed behavior is perfect for the family cat. You’ll find, like the Maine Coon, they will fetch things for you. I don’t mean your slippers! If you throw a little ball or toy, often they’ll bring it back to you. Only when they feel like it though. The Ragdoll, due to its nature can have problems when it comes to road-sense though.
They have next to none so if you can keep them inside then all the better for them and keep them happy so they don’t want to go out.
Ok, so the Sphynx may not look like your traditional cuddly bundle of fur. Looks aren’t everything though, you should see my ugly mug! These cats have a lot going for them though. They are an exceptionally friendly breed, they’re intelligent and also appear to really like ‘us’ humans. I’m assuming here that anyone reading this is a human btw.
They prefer a one-cat relationship with the owner if possible as they don’t always get on very well with other cats. They would rather not be alone though so if you’re going to be out of the house for long periods of time, then another cat would be a better option than leaving it on its own.
They aren’t always as patient with children as some breeds but there are exceptions to this rule. However, if you’re thinking of a family cat and have young children then you may be doing everyone a favor (including the cat of course) if you look at other breeds.
The Sphynx does have a lot of energy and is always wondering what you’re up to and can they be involved in some capacity.
Scottish Fold/Scottish Straight
Inquisitive, sociable and nosey. That would describe the Scottish Fold quite well I think. They will follow you around wherever you go and pester you to do something with them. A bit like my child come to think of it.
They are known to be intelligent cats and can often work out how to open doors! They are also known to be naughty (in a cute way) and may decide that your dinner should be shared with it so if you see a paw suddenly appear in the middle of your dinner plate, don’t be surprised. They are another breed of cat that will fetch objects for you and love to be played with.
They also have a habit of sitting (or maybe you could call it standing) in strange places – I think it may be possible that they don’t actually realize they are cats. They are averagely active but when they do play, they would prefer it to be with you.
They can be affectionate and you shouldn’t be surprised when they jump up onto your lap for a quick night-time cuddle. This will probably happen just before you want to go to the toilet.
Now then, you may not have heard of the Tonkinese. They’re a cross between the Siamese and the Burmese and have a broadly similar personality.
They should be in an environment where they are loved as they have a lot of love to give themselves and it needs to be reciprocated. The Tonkinese like to play and are incredibly sociable.
They are also immensely curious when you’re in your house doing stuff they will be following you around trying to work out what it is you’re doing and when you’re going to stop it and start playing with them again.
That is after all, what you’re here for right? Well, at least that’s what they think. They are a breed that likes to play, not just as a kitten but throughout their adult life also.
They are very independent but that certainly doesn’t mean they want to be left on their own. So don’t leave them on their own. No more holidays for you. They are known as an intelligent cat and will fetch things that you throw for them.
They will get along with children (if they have to) and will be on your lap almost before you’ve sat down.
Unsure where this one came from, a cross between a Burmese maybe? A Siamese? There are a few bits of information out there but some of it is conflicting. Anyway, who cares?
They are similar to the Siamese but have a slightly different voice. They are very relaxed with other people and will follow their owners from room to room, just in case you were thinking of leaving the house.
They’re not quite as confident as the Siamese but still very inquisitive and must be informed as to what’s going on at all times. Remember, you report to the Birman, not the other way round! They do like to explore and similar to like-breeds, they are an intelligent cat.
They are quite comfortable with being held or sitting on your lap, however, they do have a tendency to explore so you may want to consider one of those GPS cat tracker things if you get one
Who hasn’t heard of the Siamese? An intelligent, affectionate breed that is also very comfortable in a social environment. They are certainly not introverted and can form very strong bonds, but that can be just with one person. They meow a lot. Their voices have been compared to a crying baby so be prepared as you won’t be able to ignore them for long!
They will tell you exactly how they are feeling and what they need and want, all the time. If you don’t do what they need then they will meow some more, most likely asking what you’re doing!
Often they are known for being more dog-like than cat-like due to their behavior which can be very playful at times. These cats should not be left alone though. It has been shown that they can suffer from anxiety and depression if left alone for too long.
They just want people to spend some time with them. If you do have to go out to work all day and no-one’s home, consider getting them a friend to keep them company.
But are they a lap cat? Yes, most definitely. They are also a bed-cat and, if you let them, will happily curl up with you as you go to sleep.
In case you didn’t know (I didn’t) the Kurilian was originally from the Kuril Islands (part of Russian territory, north of Japan – check it out on google, literally the middle of nowhere) they can be either long-haired or short-haired. They are not well known in the West and I certainly haven’t heard of them. So why am I including them here?
Because after I checked them out they seemed really interesting so I thought I would share the knowledge. They are not opposed to water and have been known to actually play in it, usually a complete no-no for cats! Another reason why I wanted to include the Kurilian is that it is a gentle breed and one with significant intelligence.
They are very sociable and love to play, preferably with you! They’re great with children and also great for families who already have a dog.
However, the Kurilian Bobtail is a hunter. If he is allowed out then he’s going to catch stuff, kill stuff and bring it in as a present. So consider this a warning and don’t act all surprised when it happens. Another problem with this though is if they go out they may wander, looking for their next catch. This can, of course, increase the chance of traffic-related accidents.
They are definitely a lovely, friendly cat breed though who will jump on your lap or will get onto the bed with you.
The Himmie is quite similar to the Siamese or Persian. They have a lovely temperament and are one of the more sociable of breeds. The Himalayan is a great indoor cat and is gentle in nature.
They need to be played with and you could entertain them for ages with just a bit of string, any excuse for them to spend more time with you. They will follow you around and rely on you to provide the safety and security they crave.
The Himmie won’t need an excuse to jump onto your lap, it won’t be easy removing them from their favorite place. They are great with kids as long as they are gentle with them and will tolerate a lot of things children do, but please, for the love of god, don’t let them dress the cats!
They will have their favorite human and will want to stick with them and because they can become anxious would prefer an environment that doesn’t have loud noises or a lot of activity.
Out of all the Rex, the Selkirk is the calmest, which is why we included it here. They are known to be very cuddly and gentle but also have a little mischievous temperament. The Selkirk likes being around other people and pets and is generally quite sociable.
Like many other cats, this variety of Rex won’t like to be left at home for long periods of time alone – so get them a friend if that’s what you need to do.
They will want to spend a lot of time around you but not necessarily that close. They won’t always be in the mood to have a cuddle on your lap (although this will still happen sometimes) they’d much prefer you got down on your knees and played with them for a bit.
They are good with children as long as they treat them how they should and also a lot of dogs will be tolerated.
An intelligent breed who may learn how to open doors in search of things to play with or places to get in. The key with the Selkirk is to keep them occupied!
The Ragamuffin is a variety of the rag-doll breed and is generally large cats with some of them weighing over 20lbs! This breed is a very user-friendly animal who appears to even enjoy being picked up and cuddled!
An intelligent cat that loves your attention wherever possible and if you sit down be prepared for a big fluffy thing to come crashing down on your lap within a fraction of a second. They love to play, are sociable but generally quite docile. If you hold them for long enough they may just go to sleep in your arms!
They are gentle animals that will only extend claws as a last resort, so, therefore, they’re great with kids also. If you have a family and want a big fluffy ball of lovely niceness, then this is the cat for you. Could the Ragamuffin be the most loving cat breed?
Please don’t leave them alone for long periods though. This is a cat for someone (or a family) who has a lot of time to give.
Ah, another Rex. A lovely breed. They need to be in the middle of everything as they’re highly sociable, outgoing cats. A very intelligent breed that gets up to all kinds of naughtiness when you’re not looking (and when you are!).
They don’t seem to grow up, so I guess (according to my wife) they have something in common with me then. They will play for long periods of time, not always needing human participation, but it is preferred. They are one of the breeds that retrieve things that you throw and can also catch.
The Cornish Rex thrives on attention, constantly. So this is another cat that you shouldn’t leave alone for any amount of time if possible. They want you in their house, playing with them, that’s your job, right? They are most certainly a lap cap and they don’t particularly care which lap they use!
They are confident, so children are okay if the child respects them and plays fair. They can be a quiet pet but are outgoing in other ways. They don’t need to meow to get your attention, they’re just there, all the time. Just make sure you are too!
You’ll never be bored if you have a Bengal. Perhaps a cat for the seasoned cat lover though. They are inquisitive and most of the time want to be active. They’ll need a lot of attention and this is one of the cats where I’d probably recommend getting a second cat to keep it company. You’ll be worn out after a few weeks with this one but in a good way of course.
They certainly have a mischievous personality. Don’t leave any small objects that you actually want lying around the house. They’ll be gone and hidden. It’s fun, can’t you see that? They also love to climb so if you can find somewhere to put a cat climbing frame, then that would go down very well. Otherwise, they’ll be climbing up your curtains and possibly your legs.
The Bengal can be good with children but ideally, they will be older kids rather than younger, they won’t like the erratic nature that younger children have.
They are very talkative cats who also likes to use his paws when playing, again catching small objects when you have thrown them. They will play in the water and play with any kind of cat toy you can provide. They may jump up onto your lap, but no promises.
Ugh, that was difficult! I didn’t enjoy giving cat breeds anything less than 10 out of 10 but hopefully, I’ve made it clear that the scores here are purely related to how ‘loving’ the breed is typically.
All cats have exceptions though and as I mentioned earlier, we have two Maine Coons who are brothers and their personalities are totally different! So really it’s just my opinion but hopefully, I’ve got it pretty accurate.