Selecting 10 best cat breeds is a genuinely difficult thing to do. After all, how can you possibly narrow it down to just ten, when all cats are brilliant?
Ultimately, however, there are some that stand out. Whether it’s due to their affectionate nature, their sheer depth of personality, or their unique behavior, these particular breeds all remain at the forefront of the memory for one reason or another.
Whether you're looking for a new pet to add to your home or are wondering what breed your cat is, here is our definitive list of the best types of cats you might encounter roaming around your backyard…
An ideal cat to have with a young family, there are a lot of positive things to say about Burmese cats. Firstly, they’re incredibly affectionate, especially to close family members and children.
Secondly, they’re incredibly intelligent, often finding new and unusual ways to do things. Finally, they’re renowned for their playful nature, often being described as ‘dog-like’ in their personality.
Another affectionate cat, the Siamese is famed just as much for its constant craving for attention as it is for its distinctive narrow-faced look. Again, this constant craving for attention makes them perfect for a household in which more than one human is residing.
They’ll be sure to let you know it too – the Siamese is certainly one of the more vocal of breeds! They’re also hypoallergenic and relatively easy to train – more factors working in their favor.
3. American Shorthair
Immediately recognisable thanks to the tiger-like pattern on their face – only differently hued, obviously – the American Shorthair is an underrated favorite among cat owners. Friendly and happy-go-lucky, they are also powerful and short-necked.
Any rodents or rabbits in your neighborhood should beware if an American Shorthair is around. When it comes to humans, however, they are just as affectionate to them as they are deadly to their prey. Saying this, they are pretty independent too, enjoying attention while not wanting it constantly.
One of the most popular cat breeds in recent years, Asians have quickly become a firm favorite thanks to the utterly unconditional nature of their affection.
The females are traditionally slim and slender, while the males have the capacity to be a bit more bulky. Regardless, they both share similar temperaments, and are almost permanently playful, remaining so for the duration of their lives.
The Ragdoll was named because of the original breed’s tendency to go limp when picked up. While they generally don’t do this anymore, they are nonetheless an incredibly placid and gentle breed of cat.
They’re one of the larger cat breeds – made even more imposing by their massive amounts of fur – but this belies their gentle nature, and they like nothing more than a cuddle with their owners. Also, despite having relatively long-haired coats, they don’t actually shed all that much.
6. Maine Coon
The Maine Coon shares a number of similarities with the Ragdoll, namely being big and hairy, but incredibly affectionate nonetheless. Another cat that thrives in multi-human households, they are also one of the more curious breeds, willing to befriend anyone.
This can even extend to dogs, making them a good breed to have if you own more than one pet. They are also very vocal, constantly making what some refer to as ‘chirping noises’. They have bags of personality, and there’s a lot to be said for owning one.
Instantly recognizable due to being completely hairless, it’s a sad fact that many are put off owning a Sphynx cat because of this, as well as viewing them as looking a bit scary. In truth, these people are the ones missing out, as there are few cats more lovable than a Sphynx.
Adept at sneaking up on you, they love constant attention, and have been known to gently paw at their owners, especially when they’re eating. Energetic, inquisitive and affectionate, Sphynx cats are an underrated companion.
Persian cats are known for a number of reasons: firstly, due to their fluffy coat, and also for their extremes of behavior. One moment they’ll be lying around, the epitome of laziness, and the next they’ll be rushing around in a sudden burst of energy.
Also, they seem to have a perennially regal air about them – just look at a Persian and how they pose; you’re left in doubt that you’re in the presence of feline royalty. They may not always look like they’re in the best of moods, but they bely this with their loving personality.
Both due to their name and their demeanor – their walking style can be very aptly described as a prowl, some have wrongly gained the impression of the Bengal being in some way fearsome. This is incorrect, as in reality you’ll find few cats more friendly than this breed.
While they are indeed descended from wild cats, the only real indication of their history, aside from their walk, is the distinctive leopard-spot pattern of their fur. They get on great with humans, other cats, and dogs alike, and are low maintenance but full of love.
10. Devon Rex
Standing out thanks to their pointy ears and wide-eyed expression, the Devon Rex – as in any Rex cat, come to that – is another lovable oddball. Their habits are perfectly in keeping with their impish demeanor: they love climbing, playing, and pouncing.
More than that, they love attention from their owners, and will go to great lengths to get this. The chances are you’ll forgive them for this though, such is the winning nature of their personality.
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Steve writes and proofreads buying guides, news stories and advice for Pets Radar, drawing on his lifelong experience as a pet owner. Currently sharing his house with two cats and a dog, he draws on the many highs and occasional lows of pet ownership he has borne witness to in his writing. He has worked in publishing for 15 years as an editor, sub editor and writer on a range of titles, such as SciFiNow, How It Works, All About History, Real Crime and Horrorville. You can follow him on Twitter @stevewright22