13 best cat breeds for first-time owners

Ragdoll cat - one of the best cat breeds for first-time owners
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Thinking about getting a cat but never had one before? We've got the best cat breeds for first-time owners that will make your first experience as a cat parent a little bit less stressful.

Getting a pet is a big decision, so make sure that you do your research before adopting a kitten or a senior cat. Is your home cat-proof? Do you have all the necessary cat supplies? Are you financially ready to own a cat? If you've gotten all that sorted and are unsure where to look when it comes to which breed of cat, we've got your first steps covered here. 

A few of these cats crossover with our calmest cat breeds list, however, keep in mind that all cats are different, and every feline brings their own charm. Although their breed can go someway to determining character, all cats have unique personalities, and it's up to you as an owner to figure out how to help that personality ease into your home. And also, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention to try and adopt rather than buy a cat, as there are so many in shelters looking for loving homes. 

Ready to find your perfect match? Our guide to the best cat breeds for first-time owners is a great place to start. 

PetsRadar’s best cat breeds for first-time owners

1. Ragdoll

best cat breeds for first-time owners: Ragdoll

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Ragdoll is bred to be affectionate, easy-going, and low-maintenance. They even get their name because of how they tend to go all limp and floppy when picked up - yes, they're that chill. 

Ragdolls are actually a cross between a Persian and a Berman, both of which are fairly laidback cat breeds. Ragdolls are incredibly laidback and affectionate and love a good cuddle. They're friendly and gentle, which makes them a great fit for homes that may have children or other pets. Just keep in mind that you'll need to brush their coat at least twice a week to prevent mats and tangles.

2. Siamese

best cat breeds for first-time owners: Siamese

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you're looking for a cat that is both cuddly and talkative, a Siamese may be the one for you. The Siamese has an unforgettable voice, with a raspy yowl that can be quite loud - and they aren't afraid to use it. They are very loving but also very persistent, so if they want cuddles, you'll likely be giving them cuddles. Siamese cats are affectionate, friendly, and love being around people. They have short hair which means grooming is a breeze. However, they can get a little demanding of attention, so be aware.

3. Maine Coon

best cat breeds for first-time owners: Maine Coon

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Maine Coons are as big in size as they are in personality. These giant cats love families and love being around their people. They may be big, but they're gentle giants, as they're super sweet and affectionate with humans and love to be in whatever room humans are in. Maine Coons get along well with kids and other pets, and are considered non-aggressive. They're sweet-tempered and very gentle, but they also love to play and hunt. Their long hair needs regular grooming, so keep that in mind when considering the Maine Coon. 

4. Scottish Fold

best cat breeds for first-time owners: Scottish Fold

(Image credit: Getty Images)

With folded-down ears and a highly adaptable nature, the Scottish Fold is an adorable, easy-going cat that would be a great fit for new cat owners. They can easily live in a big house full of kids and other pets or in a single-person apartment in a city.

 Scottish Folds love to be inside with their owners, and they love affection. They have a cute little chirp that they'll deploy often to maximize their cuddles, and they love being as closest to their humans as possible. They bond quickly with people, and you may recognize them by their very famous owner: Taylor Swift. 

5. Persian

best cat breeds for first-time owners: Persian Cat

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Just look at that face! With a low activity level and a luscious coat, the Persian is certainly a striking cat that may draw the attention of a first-time cat owner's eye. Persians are like living dolls with giant, round eyes, a big ol' head, and a long body with short legs. They certainly are easy on the eyes, and they're incredibly calm and docile as well. 

They aren't very active, so expect small bursts of energy mixed with a ton of lounging. That means that you won't need to spend all of your spare time keeping them busy with playthings. Persians adapt well to changes in routine (most cats don't), and are good with kids and adults. They prefer a quiet time, but they're not bothered by activity as long as it's gentle. They're happy being left alone for long periods of time, but obviously, prefer attention. 

6. Bengal

best cat breeds for first-time owners: Bengal

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bengals are beautiful cats, and they are as active as they are striking. They are confident, but devoted cats, so they'll be happy to greet people who enter your home. They are very curious and athletic, and they love to play. If you're looking for a cat that's a bit like a dog, the Bengals is the way to go - they can even learn tricks! 

The Bengal cat loves water, so much so that they may try and hop into your shower with you!

7. Birman

best cat breeds for first-time owners: Birman

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Birman cats are kind, affectionate, and mostly quiet. They have a gentle chirping meow, but are often very soft-spoken. They love to relax and are considered incredibly patient. Birmans are calm and affectionate, and love to spend time around their family soaking up tons of affection and cuddles. They get along easily with other pets and with kids. 

They aren't incredibly active (they love curling up in your lap), but also have a very playful side, and will love to run after objects you've thrown. They don't shed much as they have a silky coat, and only need combing twice a week. 

8. Russian Blue

best cat breeds for first-time owners: Russian Blue

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Russian Blues are gentle and loyal cats that tend to bond very closely with their family - they can be a bit shy around strangers. They are very susceptible to the mood of their owners, so if you're feeling down, they may just come over to give you comfort by way of cuddles. 

Russian Blue is one of the smartest cat breeds and are moderately active in that they rest as hard as they play. They are fairly quiet - except when they think it's dinner time. 

9. Domestic Shorthair

domestic shorthair tabby cat

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Domestic Shorthairs are cats of mixed ancestry that don't fall under a particular breed, but they're often called that by rescues and shelters. In Britain, they're called moggies, but they're widely considered "mutts" of the cat world. These "mutts," however, make some of the best pets you can possibly have.  

Domestic Shorthairs can often be some of the sweetest, cuddliest cats you can find. Whether they're abandoned by their owners, found as kittens, or friendly strays, rescue cats can be incredibly affectionate, often forging strong bonds with their adoptive parents after an adjustment period. If you're looking to find a cat that is grateful to be in a warm home and cuddled up on a couch with you, these loving felines may be the way to go.

10. Sphynx

best cat breeds for first-time owners: Sphynx

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sphynx cats are very cuddly and affectionate and are considered social butterflies. They love to play and love to get attention from their owners or visitors - don't expect them to go hiding under a bed when new people come around! Sphynx cats don't have hair, so they don't require any sort of brushing and they certainly won't shed, but they do require frequent baths to keep their skin healthy. 

11. Cornish Rex

hypoallergenic cat breeds: Cornish Rex

(Image credit: Getty Images)

There are so many benefits to the Cornish Rex that make them ideal for first-time cat owners. First off, they’re incredibly playful, and remain so even when they become adults. This manifests itself in their behavior towards humans, so while they’re energetic and active, they’re happy to cuddle up if there’s a spare lap about, too. 

Finally, they get on well not only with young children, but other animals too (within reason). This is especially handy if you also own a dog, and are worried about living in a household with mixed pets. Happily, with Cornish Rex cats, you likely won’t have to worry about this.

12. Somali

somali cat

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Somalis are incredibly active and playful cats, but don’t let that make you worry that they might be too much of a handful – they’re very easy cats to play host to, just as long as you give them plenty of affection, and provide them a means to keep them entertained. 

These could be in the form of toys, but also another cat, as Somalis tend to get on well with most other breeds. They’re also fairly mild in temperament – their mewing will often take the form of quiet chirps rather than the loud, bombastic howls you can quite often get from other cat breeds.

13. Abyssinian

Abyssinian, one of the most playful cat breeds

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Another breed that loves nothing more than to show affection to its household humans, the Abyssinian is without doubt one of the friendliest cats on this list, making it a top choice should you be looking out for your first cat. 

As well as being playful, they are intelligent and loyal creatures, making them great companions for you. Whether it’s just you, or a household with a large family, it’s very likely that they will be able to easily integrate themselves into any family dynamic, quiet or loud.


PetsRadar is a website dedicated to providing expert advice for happier pets. Whether you're a parent to a dog, cat, reptile, horse or rabbit, PetsRadar offers a pathway to healthier pets and happier owners through our unique combination of trusted advice, expert guides and in-depth reviews.