10 most playful cat breeds

Two Bengal kittens sat on a couch, one of the top 10 most playful cat breeds
(Image credit: Getty Images)

On average, cats sleep around 15 hours a day, but these playful cat breeds prove that just because they like to curl up for a good nap, doesn’t make them lazy.

While our feline furkids tend to be more independent and low maintenance than dogs, there are plenty of cat breeds that have just as much energy and need just as much attention. Whether it’s playing with the best cat toys or engaging in a game of chase in the backyard, there are plenty of cat breeds that will be more than happy to show you their fun side.

So, if you’re looking for a fun-loving cat to play with your kids or an active adventurer to keep you on your toes, these 10 playful cat breeds are some of the most energetic feline furkids around. 

PetsRadar’s guide to the most playful cat breeds

1) Abyssinian

Abyssinian cat with blue ribbon around neck sitting on mat, one of the most playful cat breeds

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Known as the “clown of the cat kingdom” and nicknamed “aby-silly-an,” this breed is the life of the party and loves to show off its unique ticked coat. Constantly on the move, they’ll exhibit hunting and stalking behaviors, so don’t be surprised if they pounce on you from out of nowhere. Abyssinians aren't really lap cats. They are active and full of energy so they’ll enjoy learning tricks, agility training, and figuring out food puzzle games. Having a few of the best automated cat toys on standby can be great for when this kitty tires you out!

2) Japanese Bobtail

A portrait of a Japanese Bobtail cat, one of the most playful cat breeds

(Image credit: Facebook/Japanese Bobtail Cat)

Named for its short, stumpy tail, which looks more like a rabbit’s tail, this ancient breed is considered lucky. Japanese Bobtails are friendly and energetic and you’ll definitely feel lucky to own one. They enjoy running, jumping and playing fetch and can often be found with a toy in their mouth. They’re particularly good at puzzle games. Try the Catit Senses 2.0 Ball Dome to keep your cat busy and entertained.

3) Siamese

Siamese cat laying in grass, one of the most playful cat breeds

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Not everything you learned about Siamese cats from Disney’s The Lady and the Tramp is accurate, but they are highly intelligent and mischievous. One of the most recognizable cat breeds with its creamy coat and brown color on its face, tail and legs, this outgoing cat needs lots of human interaction and, if you don’t give it to them, you’ll hear about it as they are very vocal. Originating in Thailand, or Siam as it was once known, Siamese cats enjoy climbing, chasing, and games to satisfy their inquisitive minds. 

4) Bengal

A Bengal cat, one of the most playful cat breeds, peeking out of a library book shelf

(Image credit: Getty Images)

This cat breed’s wild appearance matches its energetic personality. Bengals are known for their distinctive rosette patterned coats as they were bred as a mix between a domestic cat and an Asian Leopard cat. If you want a cat that’s up for an adventure, this is the breed for you. They won’t curl up on your lap for a cuddle. Instead, they’ll always be active and will demand your attention, so you’ll want to make sure they’ve got lots of interactive toys, places to climb and one or two of the best cat scratching posts. Its wild origins make this breed a keen hunter so it can be quite territorial with other cats. 

5) Maine Coon

A Maine Coon cat, one of the most playful cat breeds, lying on floor next to feather toy

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Nicknamed the “gentle giant,” the Maine Coon is one of the heaviest cat breeds and can weigh over 20lb, but this won't stop it from following you around the house. This breed is friendly and will often head butt you affectionately. They love to use their hunting instincts and will playfully chase the best catnip toys and laser pointers. You can teach them new tricks, walk them on a leash (as they love being outdoors), and this breed even loves water!

6) Devon Rex

Devon Rex, one of the most playful cat breeds, crouched down and moving towards camera

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Sometimes referred to as “the pixie of the cat world,” the Devon Rex looks just like a one with its large eyes, high cheekbones and huge ears, and it’s just as much of a troublemaker. You’ll have lots of fun with this mischievous and playful breed. They are always ready to play whether that’s watching you do your housework, learning new tricks – they love to jump - chasing their toys, or opening cupboards and doors, this is one intelligent and active cat. 

7) Munchkin

A Munchkin cat, one of the most playful cat breeds, sitting on the carpet and looking at camera

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The Munchkin cat gets its name from its small body – it doesn’t grow much taller than 8 inches. Known as the Dachshund of cats, it has very short legs and a long, small body, but it can still run fast. This curious breed loves to explore and can be found jumping on furniture or speeding around the dinner table. Friendly and affectionate, they are happy to play with humans or other cats and will enjoy rubbing up against your legs to show you love. 

8) Manx

Manx cat, one of the most playful cat breeds, stood outside in the grass looking at camera

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Believed to have originated from the Isle of Man, the Manx is the only cat that may have no tail, but this doesn’t stop them from jumping up and racing around the house. While they can be shy with strangers, once they get to know you, Manx are social cats and will become very attached to their owners. They are very intelligent and highly trainable. They’ll play fetch, learn new tricks and enjoy carrying their toys around. This breed also likes car rides and playing with water. 

9) Siberian

A side-on shot of a Siberian cat outdoors, one of the most playful cat breeds

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The national cat of Russia, this social and affectionate cat will greet you at the door and chase you round the house, but will also be quite happy to curl up on your lap for a cuddle. That's ideal given their fluffy coat, which doesn’t seem to affect allergy sufferers as much as other breeds.  Siberians are happy to be around kids and other animals, but they’re very active so make sure you tidy away any fragile items as they will create an obstacle course out of your house for jumping, climbing and chasing. 

10) Turkish Angora

One of the most playful cat breeds, a Turkish Angora cat scratching on a post indoors

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Turkish Angora was Europe’s first long-haired cat breed. Originating in Turkey, they are known as the ballerina cat because of their graceful, agile bodies and their love of performing. A curious breed, the Turkish Angora loves being involved in everything you do. They’re very loyal and protective of their owners and will share a wonderful bond with you.  A bundle of energy, they love to play, hunt and climb, which makes them popular with children, and their long, soft hair makes them wonderful to cuddle. 

Individual purr-sonalities

Whichever breed you decide to go for, it’s important to take note that while some show similar behaviors and characteristics, cats are individuals. While one Bengal might hate curling up on your lap, another may enjoy it. So, while you’ve learned about some of the most playful cat breeds, remember to get to know your cat and its particular likes and dislikes so that you have a loving, happy feline.  

Zara Gaspar
Zara is Editor on bookazines and covers a range of topics from cookery to travel and animals. Her latest first edition, What Your Dog Wants You To Know, is the ultimate guide to understanding your dog’s body language.  Former editor of World of Animals magazine, she has over 8 years of experience in publishing inspiring children and adults about the wonders of the animal kingdom as well as teaching them about their pets. She also has over 5 years experience working with vets, wildlife experts and animal behaviourists in her comms roles for various animal charities.  A keen animal lover, Zara can often be found researching her next wildlife destination to travel to. Having just moved into a bigger house she is currently looking at which dog and cats breed would suit her new family so she can fill her house with pets.