32 cat breeds that prefer being outdoors

Cat in a tree looking at butterfly
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Looking for cat breeds that prefer being outdoors? While some feline friends love nothing more than to snooze the day away in a comfortable and cozy indoor spot, others are more active adventurer types that relish any opportunity to sprint through an open door and into nature’s big backyard.

Fresh air, warm sun, and the green grass beneath their paws offer cats a ton of vital physical and mental enrichment — although we’d still recommend stocking up on some of the best interactive cat toys for those days when the weather isn’t conducive to being outside.

Whether you choose to let your outdoor-loving kitty roam free or provide them with an enclosure that lets them soak up all the benefits with none of the risks is completely up to you, but either way, the great outdoors has so much to offer. 

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast in search of an active buddy who will delight in keeping you company in your garden or on a hike, all of the cat breeds on this list have the spirit of an explorer and a heart of gold to go with it. Ready to meet your new forever friend? 

1. Bengal

Bengal cat sitting on tree branch

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Looking like it just wandered straight out of the jungle, the bengal is an adventure-seeking feline that absolutely adores being outside. Super curious with a sleek and muscular appearance, this kitty loves to play and comes with bucketloads of energy. If you're a big fan of the great outdoors yourself and have always dreamed of hiking with cats, the bengal is one feline who won't hesitate to hit the trail with you. 

2. Norwegian Forest Cat

Norwegian Forest Cat

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Breathtakingly beautiful with an affectionate and loving personality, the Norwegian forest cat is a physically active and energetic cat with a friendly, calm, and gentle temperament. Intelligent and alert, they enjoy human attention but are very undemanding and rarely meow. Family-orientated with a kitten-like nature that lasts well into adulthood (you'll definitely want plenty of the best automated cat toys on hand for this breed!), they're well suited to the outdoors thanks to their strong hunting instincts and love of water. 

3. Abyssinian

Abyssinian cat

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Muscular, lithe, and fine-boned, the Abyssinian is a cat that loves to climb — so if you have a backyard full of trees, don't be surprised if they spend most of their time perched on a high branch watching the world go by. One of the oldest breeds in the world, they have a very inquisitive nature and love to socialize with their humans. Highly intelligent and with almost inexhaustible energy levels, they're natural explorers who require a lot of physical and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy — so on those days when they can't get outside, we recommend having the best cat puzzle feeder on hand to keep them occupied. 

4. Maine Coon

Maine Coon in garden

(Image credit: Getty Images)

They may look imposing when you first come across them, but rest assured the Maine coon is the ultimate gentle giant. Rugged on the outside with a heart made of pure gold, this breed has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years thanks to its sweet-natured temperament. With an almost dog-like nature, the Maine coon is intelligent, friendly, and laid-back, getting along brilliantly with people of all ages and stages. Kind, patient, and loyal, this is a breed that wants to be wherever their humans are — and if that involves time outside or being around water, then even better as they are one of the cat breeds that like water

5. European Shorthair

European Shorthair

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A low-maintenance breed with a round face and a firm build, the European shorthair is known for its people-pleasing, loving, and loyal nature. Highly adaptable, they do well in almost any living situation, and because they're the pedigreed version of the common European house cat, they're excellent mousers with strong hunting instincts. True outdoor enthusiasts who will run through an open door and out into your backyard at the first opportunity, they're great explorers who will return home at the end of the day and expect plenty of affection!

6. Savannah

Savannah cat

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A cross between a domestic cat and a wild cat (the African serval), the Savannah is a hybrid breed with a tall, lean body, and a stunning spotted coat. They are incredibly active and intelligent cats who require a lot of attention and stimulation — so if you're planning on welcoming one into your family and haven't yet read up on how to play with a cat, we highly recommend doing so! Velcro cats who attach strongly to their humans, the Savannah will relish any opportunity to play in the water and are usually quite happy to be harness trained so they can join their owner on a walk. 

7. American bobtail

American Bobtail

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A rare breed with a calm temperament and an affectionate nature, the playful and sociable American bobtail is characterized by its stubby tail and wild and rugged appearance. Known for forming deep bonds with their humans, they are very sweet and docile cats who make wonderful companions. Requiring a lot of attention and connection, separation anxiety in cats is a very real issue with this breed, however, the good news is that they travel extremely well, so taking them on holiday with you won't be a problem. Since they're such curious cats, they'll also respond well to leash training, which is a relief as they love going on walks in the great outdoors. 

8. Manx

Manx cat

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Originally from the Isle of Man (an island in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland), the manx is one of the most instantly recognizable breeds in the world thanks to its missing tail! A versatile and sociable cat well suited to family homes, this friendly, playful, and loyal kitty loves to hunt, so if you have rodents roaming about in your garden, the manx will quickly take care of them. An energetic bundle of fluff who likes to climb and jump, this independent feline will be all too happy spending the day outside and then returning home in the evening to lap up your affection. 

9. Russian blue

Russian Blue cat

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A devoted, intelligent, and sensitive little soul, the Russian blue has a quiet and cautious nature and while incredibly loyal and loving, they also possess an independent streak which means they're happy to spend time doing their own thing. They thrive on routine, calm, and predictability, so they do best in chilled-out homes without frequent visitors. However, while they may be low-key cats, they're voracious hunters who like exploring outside and bringing back their spoils to their humans, so be prepared for the odd mouse or bird to make an appearance at your feet! 

10. Siamese

Siamese cat

(Image credit: Getty Images)

One of the most popular and recognizable breeds in the world, the sassy Siamese is a bright and intelligent kitty with a rather charming personality. Hugely active and very, very vocal, this loyal and loving cat is super social and outgoing. Deeply sensitive (they do not respond well to harsh words), they are an intense breed who sticks tightly to their humans. Curious and energetic with a love of climbing, they adore playing which makes them wonderful outdoor companions for children and adults alike. 

11. Turkish van

Turkish Van

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A rugged, large-bodied cat with a loving and friendly temperament, the Turkish van is playful, active, and loves spending time in the water — so if you have a pond or paddling pool in your garden, expect to find them in it most days! When it comes to the question ‘Can you train a cat?’, the answer is a big yes if you have a Turkish van in your family. Highly intelligent, they love learning new tricks and respond well to clicker training. Athletic cats that love to climb and jump, and love lying next to you or being petted but will generally not tolerate being picked up.

12. American shorthair

American Shorthair

(Image credit: Getty Images)

An independent explorer and a devoted family companion, the American shorthair really does offer cat owners the best of both worlds. They love nothing more than to roam and hunt, but at the end of a long hard day of adventuring, this breed can’t think of anything better than an evening spent at home with their humans. They adore attention (but they’re very undemanding) and tend to be sweet, gentle, patient, and affectionate — making them a fantastic choice if you have children.

13. Ocicat


(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you’re looking for a little buddy to keep you company on outdoor adventures, look no further than the dog-like ocicat. A social and engaging companion that tends to form a particularly strong bond with one chosen member of their family, this breed is super active and intelligent, and they’re very easy to train. With an athletic body and a relentless love of climbing, hiking, and jumping, the ocicat is a fantastic travel companion. 

14. Somali

Somali cat

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A good-natured and playful feline who delights in having access to the outdoors, the Somali is a long-haired version of the Abyssinian, although they tend to be somewhat shyer. They have luscious locks and an athletic build, both of which combine to make them a very handsome cat indeed. Very affectionate but not one for being held, the Somali is a notorious mischief-maker, so we highly recommend having lots of toys and games on hand to keep them entertained! 

15. Burmese

Burmese cat

(Image credit: Getty Images)

One of the most inquisitive cats you’ll ever meet, the Burmese is an outgoing kitty with dog-like tendencies who’s an absolute joy to have in the home. With charming personalities that will win over even the most hardened self-proclaimed cat-hater, this breed is a playful bundle of energy that loves nothing more than chatting away with their humans as they follow them from room to room. Super bright cats who like performing for their people, the Burmese is a spirited little soul who enjoys playing fetch, tag, hide and seek and other outdoor games.  

16. Oriental shorthair

Oriental cat

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Looking for a cat that adores people and loves to chat the day away? Look no further than the oriental shorthair. This spunky and spirited kitty may look like they’d be standoffish thanks to their angular faces and large ears, but they are true companion animals who will happily follow you around the garden all day before jumping up for a snuggle on your warm lap in the evening. Wherever you are is where they’ll want to be! This breed is always up for playing and exploring, and they require constant stimulation, so if you’re not able to be with them 24/7, they’ll definitely benefit from having a fellow furry buddy to hang out with. 

17. Balinese

Balinese cat

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Often referred to as a long-haired Siamese thanks to their color-pointed coat, the Balinese has lusciously silky fur and stunning blue eyes. Very similar to their Siamese cousins, this kitty is adored for their good natured and good humored temperament. They are both incredibly high energy and uber-smart, so giving them time outside each day where they can get the mental and physical stimulation they need is really important as this will limit the amount of time they spend trying to climb your furniture. Goofy and fun loving, they are very affectionate and crave human companionship.

18. Serengeti

Serengeti cat

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Given that this breed is a cross between the bengal and the Oriental shorthair, it will probably come as no surprise to you that the Serengeti is a highly energetic cat with an outgoing and social nature. They form very strong bonds with those they love and are often referred to as velcro cats due to the amount of time they like to spend with their people. Known for being extra talkative, they manage to be both playful and gentle, enjoying time outdoors exploring as well as plenty of cuddle sessions on a cozy lap. 

19. British shorthair

British Shorthair

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The teddy bear of the cat world, the British shorthair is one of the oldest and most recognizable cats thanks to their round faces and plush fur coat. Popular cats, thanks to their charming personalities, keep their kitten-like energy levels well into adulthood and because they have such a pleasant and gentle disposition, they’re considered the ideal family cat. Although they adore spending time with their humans, they’re perfectly content to be left to their own devices for a few hours each day, so if you’re after a loyal and loving companion with an independent streak, the British shorthair could well be the feline friend for you!

20. Siberian

Siberian cat

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Take one look at the Siberian and it’s easy to see how they survived the harsh winters in their homeland! This giant fluff ball has a triple coat and a gorgeous neck ruffle, both of which helped them to brave the freezing temperatures in their native Russia. They are large cats that love to cuddle and because they’re so bright and athletic, they respond well to a combination of play and training. A gentle and adaptable cat, the Siberian is built for the outdoors with its strong and muscular body, so regular access to nature's backyard will be greatly appreciated by this agile kitty. 

21. Persian

Persian cat

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Persian is often considered one of the best indoor cat breeds and for good reason — these sweet-natured lap cats love nothing more than snuggling up with their humans. But don’t discount them as a breed that doesn’t like the outdoors, because this cute bundle of fluff can be quite the little adventurer. Calm and docile, they're well suited to quiet outdoor environments where they can explore at their own leisurely pace (preferably with you by their side). Gentle and adaptable, the Persian is a great choice if you’re looking for a true companion pet, although just be warned, their abundance of fur requires daily grooming with one of the best cat brushes to keep knots and tangles from forming. 

22. Kurilian bobtail

Kurilian Bobtail

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Originating in the Russian Kuril Islands, the Kurilian bobtail may look wild but in reality, they have a very gentle and friendly nature. Affectionate and easygoing, these charming cats get along brilliantly with people of all ages and stages, including respectful children. They are super playful and energetic cats and are always eager to learn, making them a breeze to train. While they adore people, they’re also very independent and love exploring outdoors — especially if there’s water around, which they’re particularly fond of submerging themselves in! 

23. Turkish Angora

Turkish Angora

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A stunning cat with silky fur and a slender body that moves with grace, the Turkish angora is beloved in their native Turkey for their wonderfully social natures and high intelligence levels. They form very deep bonds with their humans and typically choose a favorite who they will grow particularly close to. This breed adores spirited play and they have a real fondness for the outdoors, seizing any opportunity to clamber up a tree so they can perch on a branch and watch the world go by. To keep them happy and healthy, they do best in homes where there is plenty of space for them to run around, jump and climb. 

24. Scottish fold

Scottish Fold

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A huggable little teddy bear with a sweet nature, the Scottish fold is instantly recognizable thanks to their forward-facing folded ears, round head, and thick legs. A robust kitty with calm energy and an affectionate temperament, this breed is low maintenance and is never happier than when they’re with their people. Super smart with a knack for figuring out puzzles and playing games, some have stronger hunting instincts than others but all delight in having access to the great outdoors. 

25. Ragdoll


(Image credit: Getty Images)

Given their name because of the way they go happily limp in your arms, the ragdoll doesn’t immediately spring to mind when you think of cats that prefer the outdoors, but this laid-back explorer loves being with their people — and that includes gentle strolls in quiet backyards. This attentive, affectionate, and placid cat can be somewhat naive about dangers though, so we recommend using one of the best outdoor cat enclosures or using a harness to supervise them and keep them close. 

26. Himalayan

Himalayan cat

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A gorgeous hybrid of Persian and Siamese cats, the beautiful Himalayan, is a long-haired kitty with a sweet temperament. Gentle and affectionate, they are brilliant with children and make wonderful family pets. A quiet cat who enjoys lounging around indoors and outdoors, they’re docile and not particularly active, they’re not cats who enjoy fighting so a catio is a great choice for this breed as it offers them all of the benefits of the outdoors with none of the risks. 

27. Korat


(Image credit: Getty Images)

Known in their native homeland of Thailand as Si-sawat (meaning the color of the sawat seed), the korat is considered a good luck cat and is often gifted to newlyweds to wish them well in their marriage. A deeply thoughtful breed who forms strong bonds with their humans, the korat is social and laid back and because they’re so people-orientated, they don’t do well with being left alone. Possessing a strong love of climbing and hunting, this breed will delight in being allowed to spend time outdoors, although just be warned that they are prone to bringing back a ‘present’ or two in the form of mice and birds. 

28. Bombay

Bombay cat

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A fantastic climber and jumper, the sturdy and stocky Bombay is a playful and curious kitty with almost endless energy. Sporting a glossy black coat and saucer-like eyes, they almost look like a mini panther, but get beyond their wild appearance and what you’ll find is a loyal, intelligent, people-orientated cat with a heart of gold. Because of their highly social nature, this breed does best in homes where there’s someone around 24/7 to keep them company. The Bombay will be very grateful to have access to a garden where they can exercise all of their natural hunting instincts.

29. Japanese bobtail

Japanese bobtail

(Image credit: Getty Images)

An avid hunter who will enjoy having access to a wide range of toys (fetching is a particular passion!), the charming Japanese bobtail is a good-natured kitty with a playful personality. Curious and bold, they are incredibly fun cats to be around and they’re incredibly gregarious and social with a huge love of cuddles, so being around their humans is always a top priority. This breed gets on brilliantly with children and other pets too, so they make for wonderful family companions. 

30. Egyptian mau

Egyptian Mau

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Playful and with a real sense of humor, having an Egyptian mau in your family is sure to keep you entertained. This breed loves water and some will even retrieve toys thrown for them, making them almost dog-like in their ways. Athletic, devoted, and loving, the Egyptian mau is the fastest domestic cat breed in the world — which is not surprising when you look at how long, lean, and muscular their legs are. They adore climbing and jumping, so being able to spend some time outdoors will keep this kitty super happy.

31. Toyger


(Image credit: Getty Images)

An active and energetic kitty that looks like it wandered straight out of the jungle, the spirited toyger is a cat that not only loves to be outside, but was built for it. That being said, this breed is well known for their superb hunting and killing skills (which have been known to land them in trouble), so we recommend you provide them with an enclosed outdoor space to prevent them from landing themselves in hot water with their neighbors! 

That issue aside, they are such wonderful pets with a friendly and sociable temperament and a very laid-back nature. They're always up for an adventure but because they love their humans so much, their preference is always to have their family by their side. 

32. Rescue or shelter cat

Tabby cat

(Image credit: Getty Images)

When it comes to the perfect outdoor cat, don't discount your local shelter or rescue kitty! Your regular, old domestic house cat can make the most special of companions and they tend to have a very diverse range of personalities, which means welcoming one into your family will lead you down a path of delightful discoveries as you get to know each other. Plus, there's something really meaningful about going to a shelter and having your new feline friend choose you, as opposed to the other way around. 

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.