32 high energy cat breeds that will want to play with you

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High energy cat breeds make for wonderful companions if you're looking for an active and playful feline friend who'll ensure there's never a dull moment in your home.

Huge lovers of the best interactive cat toys, these kitties tend to be social, and outgoing and always want to be in on all the family action. With a keenness to engage with toys, people, and other pets, they're ideal for individuals with plenty of time and energy to devote to them.

When it comes to welcoming a cat into your family, temperament is just as important as looks, your lifestyle is one of the things to consider when getting a kitten companion. This will give you the best chance of ensuring the two of you share a harmonious relationship. 

However, if you've decided that you're looking for a cat that will bring a huge dose of energy and joy to your household, and you're happy to provide them with all the mental and physical stimulation they need to thrive, then these high energy cat breeds are well worth considering. 

1. Abyssinian 

Abyssinian cat

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A lean and muscular cat with a passion for climbing, the abyssinian loves to jump and play. And while they are highly active, they're a very low-maintenance and easy cat to have in the home. Super independent, they're perfectly happy to amuse themselves with the best automated cat toys, although they'll certainly enjoy a game or two with their humans as well! Loving and affectionate, they make wonderful family pets.

2. Bengal

Bengal cat

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While they may look like a wild cat that's just walked out of the jungle, the bengal is a total sweetheart. Striking to look at and highly athletic, the answer to can you train a cat is a definite yes when it comes to this super intelligent breed. They adore adventure (hiking with cats is a real possibility if you have a bengal in your family) and are known for being incredibly friendly. Huge fans of their humans and loyal to them throughout their lives, they're very chatty, so be prepared for lots of conversation! 

3. Siamese

Siamese cat

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A friendly, outgoing, and highly vocal little kitty, the siamese is known for its dog-like personality traits. Affectionate, bold, sociable and a tad neurotic, this breed is incredibly bright, so they need a lot of mental and physical stimulation throughout the day to ensure they stay happy and healthy. We highly recommend investing in one of the best cat puzzle feeders to help give their brain a good workout. 

4. American Bobtail 

American Bobtail

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The American bobtail is known for its stubby tail and wild appearance, but look beyond that and what you'll find is a cat that makes the most loving, loyal, and playful of companions. They are fantastic with people of all ages and stages, making them ideal for families with children or seniors in search of a sweet-natured companion. Real smarties, this breed needs lots of mental stimulation, just one of many reasons to use a cat puzzle feeder toy with this kitty. 

5. Burmese

Burmese cat

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A people-oriented cat with the sweetest of expressions, the Burmese is the kind of kitty that it's impossible not to be charmed by. Athletic and muscular, with a delightfully friendly and sociable personality, they are the ultimate family companions. You'll definitely want to know how to play with a cat if you have a Burmese in your home as they adore having fun with their humans — although their curious and inquisitive nature can land them in trouble sometimes! 

6. Turkish Van

Turkish Van

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A large and highly energetic cat, the Turkish Van is one of the few breeds that love water, so don't be surprised if you find them in the kitchen sink or catch them attempting to join you in the bath! While not generally lap cats and with very little tolerance for being picked up, they're still affectionate and will adore being near you. Intelligent and easy to train, they enjoy learning new tricks so mastering the art of clicker training for cats is worth it if you have this breed in your home. 

7. Ocicat 

Occicat sitting on a desk

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Sporting an eye-catching coat that makes them impossible to miss, the ocicat is a very social feline and while they adore all the members of their human family, they tend to attach most strongly to one special person. Because they love people so much, they need a lot of time and attention, and given that they're a cross between the abyssinian and the siamese, expect your ocicat to have a big personality. 

8. American Curl

American Curl cat

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A cat characterized by its unusual ears that fold backward, the American curl has a lovely disposition and is well known for being friendly, people-orientated, and hugely affectionate. A delightfully youthful breed that retains its kitten-like energy well into adulthood, they adore attention from children, and rather than being vocal, they tend to convey their happiness through chirrups and head bumps. 

9. Peterbald

Peterbald cat

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With a wedge-shaped head and a long, lean body, the peterbald has a distinctive look and tends to have either very short hair, peach fuzz, or no hair at all! Deeply loyal to those they love, this breed forms strong and lasting bonds with their humans, and they are incredibly affectionate and playful. Getting along famously with people of all ages, they love to follow their family around throughout the day.

10. Savannah 

Savannah cat

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A cross between the American serval and a domestic cat, the savannah adores greeting their humans with head bumps — just one of the many signs of a happy cat! They're typically velcro cats (meaning they don't like to be separated from their people) and they are very, very active, so they need a home with someone around all day who can provide them with the mental and physical stimulation they need to thrive. 

11. Egyptian Mau

Egyptian Mau cat

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An ancient breed whose existence can be traced back at least 3000 years, the rare Egyptian mau is a lean and athletic kitty with an endearing sense of humor and a wonderfully affectionate nature. They adore a good play session and when properly socialized, they get on beautifully with other cats and cat-friendly dogs. Shaking their tail whenever they're excited, the Egyptian mau loves all their humans but tends to choose one with whom they'll form a particularly strong bond. 

12. Tonkinese

Two Tonkinese cats

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A cross between the siamese and the burmese, the tonkinese is an oriental-type cat with strikingly bright, jewel-colored eyes. They're a very attentive breed and were born to be companion animals, loving nothing more than playing with their humans throughout the day and curling up on a nice, warm lap at the end of it all. Affectionate like the burmese and curious like the siamese, these outgoing people cats are very talkative and love to amuse their family with their clown-like antics.

13. Bombay

Bombay cat

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Bombays are the ultimate black cat with their glossy coats and golden, saucer-like eyes that are always overflowing with love and loyalty for their human family. Bred to look like the Indian black panther, the bombay is a mix of the burmese and the American shorthair. The result is the devotion and intelligence of the burmese but without the excessive vocalization. Bombay's enjoy jumping and climbing — so having perches and one of the best cat scratching posts around the house will be very welcome. Because they're highly social and attach strongly to their humans, separation anxiety in cats is a real issue with this breed, so they do best in families where someone can be home with them. 

14. Munchkin

Munchkin cat

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Short on legs but big on personality, these petite pets are very low to the ground with their tiny limbs being the result of a natural genetic mutation. But what they lack in size they make up for with their hugely loving temperament. Curious, active, and friendly, the munchkin is very fun-loving, retaining its kitten-like energy well into adulthood. When they're not busy running about chasing toys, they'll happily settle down for a snuggle, so they're a good choice if you're looking for a feline friend who offers you the best of both worlds.   

15. Turkish Angora

Turkish Angora cat

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The Turkish angora is a rare breed with a slender, delicate, and regal appearance and a gorgeously soft and silky coat you'll want to stroke all day long. Social cats that form strong bonds with their humans are very intelligent and enjoy spirited play. They enjoy attention and affection, and they have a lot of energy, which can lead them to get into mischief on occasion! 

16. Devon Rex

Devon Rex cat

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Often referred to as "Poodle cats" because of their wavy coats, the Devon rex will certainly keep you busy with their tireless energy (some would call them hyper!) and hugely playful nature. They love to climb and clown around, so they're great for engaged owners who have lots of time to spare, and because this breed is so outgoing and adores making friends, they're brilliant for busy homes that see a lot of visitors. 

17. Manx

Manx cat

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Hailing from the Isle of Man, this tailless cat is very placid and sweet-natured, making them well-suited to almost any living situation. Easygoing and intelligent, they like having access to the outdoors, so if you're after a purely indoor cat, the Manx wouldn't be a good fit. However, if you fit the best microchip cat flap in your home, this active and independent kitty will be able to come and go as they please.

18. Somali

Somali cat

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The Somali is a long-haired version of the abyssinian, so being active is in their DNA. A curious, freedom-loving kitty who has tireless energy and a strong independent streak, this feline makes for a very lively friend indeed. Gregarious cats who adore learning new tricks, delight in family life and will ensure there's never a dull moment in your home. 

19. Oriental Shorthair

Oriental Shorthair

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An eye-catching breed with large ears and angular faces, the oriental shorthair can look quite standoffish when you first see them, but spend just one minute with this kitty and what you'll find is the exact opposite. Total people cats, they're super friendly and loving, and they're always in the mood to chat, so if you're after a quiet life, this chatty breed is definitely one to steer clear of. However, if you want a social, intelligent, affectionate, and devoted companion, the oriental shorthair is a breed well worth considering. 

20. Maine Coon

Maine Coon cat

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A beloved breed with a huge following, the Maine coon is the gentle giant of the cat world and gets on beautifully with people of all ages and stages. They are very much family cats and expect to be treated as such — trying to get anything done without your Maine coon present is an expectation you're best not to hold as they have zero concept of personal space! Big softies, they're fun-loving and retain their kittenish spirit well into old age. 

21. Cornish Rex

Two Cornish Rex kittens

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The Cornish rex loves to run, jump and play, so you'll want to make sure your house is well set up for this tireless breed before you welcome them into your family. Curious, bright and always on the move, think a border collie dog in cat form! You'll want to invest in plenty of toys and puzzles to keep this breed stimulated, but if you're looking for a spirited and loyal companion, the Cornish rex is a real winner.  

22. Balinese

Balinese cat

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A variation on the siamese, the floofy Balinese is playful, intelligent, and utterly devoted to their humans. If you're looking for an engaging conversationalist to have around the house, the Balinese is definitely a breed to consider. Adoring of their people and always keen to be by their side, this kitty will be quite demanding of your time and energy, but they're so darn loving and affectionate that we're pretty sure you won't mind one bit. 

23. Siberian

Siberian cat

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Sometimes also referred to as the Siberian forest cat, this lovable and rugged Russian breed has a solid exterior but a soft and kitten-like interior that makes them wonderful family pets. Sweet-natured and always up for a cuddle, they're very playful and have a youthful attitude, but despite being active, the Siberian is mellow and quiet with a gentle temperament that makes them a joy to have around. 

24. Toyger

Toyger cat

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Named because it looks like a toy tiger, the toyger is a very intelligent kitty who loves being challenged and stimulated. Always up for an adventure, knowing how to leash train a cat will be a skill put to good use with this breed. However, unlike the bengal (who they are closely related to), they're not nearly as independent, so they do best in living situations that enable them to stick closely to their owner's side. 

25. Sphynx

Sphynx cat

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Quite the sight to behold, the hairless sphynx is a unique breed whose appearance you tend to either love or hate. And yet, get beneath the surface and what you'll find is a playful and goofy cat who's exceptionally friendly and affectionate. Super energetic, they love to play and explore, and yet, at the end of the day, they'll also be very happy to curl up on your lap for a nice, long cuddle session. 

26. Singapura

Singapura cat

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Hailing from Singapore, the singapura is the smallest breed of cat — although don't let their tiny size fool you, these pint-sized pets are full of energy and pack a ton of personality into their small bodies. Playful, curious, and engaging extroverts, this breed thrives on human attention and is happiest when they're in the spotlight. An interactive cat that desires to be with you 24/7, the Singapura does best with owners who have lots of time and energy to devote to them.  

27. Korat


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With a heart-shaped face and stunning peridot green eyes, the korat is known as the "good luck cat" in its native home of Thailand. Now adored around the world, this breed is deeply intelligent and thoughtful, and while they absolutely love puzzles and play sessions, they're also equally happy to join you for a cuddle. Although they can thrive in multi-pet households when properly socialized, if given the choice, they prefer the company of other korats. 

28. Pixie-Bob

Pixiebob cat sitting on deck

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Very dog-like in their nature, the pixie bob is a breed well worth considering if you're looking for a cat that will happily accompany you on walks. Learning how to leash train a cat will be super easy with this breed. They're sweet, lovable, and super loyal — plus they adore learning new tricks and playing fetch, so if you don't quite have the space for a canine companion, this active feline is the next best thing! 

29. Birman

Birman cat

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A long-haired breed with a soft and silky coat, the birman is undeniably one of the sweetest cats you'll ever come across. While not as active as other breeds, they still have very playful natures and they get on well with absolutely everyone (including other pets), so they're a wonderful choice for anyone looking for an outgoing, friendly, and affectionate companion. 

30. American Shorthair

American Shorthair

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A robust cat with a thick, dense coat, the American shorthair is a hardy breed with a sweet, round face and a loving and affectionate nature. Known for their outstanding hunting abilities, this active breed is easygoing, patient, and tolerant, making them an ideal choice if you have children in the home. They love attention, but they're not demanding, and while they're very social, they also have a wonderful independent streak that allows them to happily amuse themselves when their owners are too busy to play. 

31. Nebelung

Nebelung cat

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Muscular and agile with a sturdy build, the Nebelung resembles the Russian Blue and thrives on routine and stability. While relatively calm and subdued compared to other breeds, they are still very playful, despite being quite low-key. They're also very content to amuse themselves and play independently, so they're a good choice if you're looking for an undemanding feline friend. 

32. American Wirehair

American Wirehair

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Inquisitive, laid-back and easygoing, the American Wirehair gets along with everybody, which is why it's such a wonderful kitty to have around. An affectionate cat with a whole lot of love to give, they attach strongly to every member of their family and are very smart. Although they enjoy being active and on the go, they're calm and undemanding, and their sweet and gentle temperament makes them idea for homes with children. 

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.