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10 cuddly lap cat breeds you’ll fall in love with

One of the most cuddly lap cat breeds, Siamese cat sitting on woman's lap
(Image credit: Getty Images)

You’ve probably heard the myth floating around that our canine companions are more affectionate than our feline friends, but these cuddly lap cat breeds are about to bust that fake news story once and for all. 

While some cats are definitely more independent than others, most feline furkids form deep bonds with their humans and are capable of feeling high levels of empathy when they sense their owners are in pain.

Some of the rarest cat breeds in the world are known for their love of affection and snuggling, but you don’t have to seek out an exotic breed to find a kitty that can’t get enough cuddles. 

There’s no doubt that each individual cat will have their own unique personality, but if you’re looking to welcome a new kitty into your family and you’re hoping for one that will happily hop up into your lap, adopting by breed can be a good place to start.

We’ve rounded up our favorite cuddly lap cat breeds and if you like a cat with a sharp mind, you’ll be pleased to learn that many of them regularly feature on lists of the most intelligent cat breeds - cuddly and super bright? Now that’s a winning combination! 

1. Ragdoll

High angle shot of Ragdoll cat looking up at camera

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Originating in California in the 1960s, the Ragdoll is the epitome of the laidback lap cat. Bred to be affectionate, Ragdolls make ideal pets for anyone looking for a lovable and low maintenance furkid. 

A cross between a Persian and a Birman, Ragdolls go floppy when picked up and cuddled, and are known for their piercing blue eyes and fluffy coats. Their friendly and gentle nature makes them ideal for homes with children or other pets, and they have a soft and delicate meow that will melt your heart.

If you’re looking for a sweet-natured kitty who will greet you whenever you return home and follow you wherever you go, you’ll be hard-pressed to beat the Ragdoll.

2. Siamese

Siamese cat laying in grass

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If you want your love and cuddles to come in the form of a highly energetic, talkative, and intelligent cat, then the Siamese is a winner.

With striking blue eyes and sleek bodies, the Siamese is exceptionally social and likes conversing with people. An ancient breed that has been around for hundreds of years, Siamese cats crave companionship and are quick learners. 

This curious cat loves exploring and getting into everything, and they need a lot of stimulation and playtime during the day to ensure they’ll be tired enough to snuggle up on your lap in the evenings.

3. Maine Coon

Maine Coon cat lying on chair outside

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Maine Coons are family cats who like to be with their people. Huge in size and personality, these gentle giants are super affectionate towards humans and love hanging out where all the action is.

Sweet tempered and gentle, the Maine Coon loves to play, chase, and hunt. Outgoing and highly intelligent with a predisposition towards curiosity, Maine Coons are non-aggressive and get on well with both humans and other animals. 

With a fondness for quality time and snuggles, the Maine Coon will lap up attention wherever they can get it.

4. Scottish Fold

Scottish Fold rolling on their side on floor

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Named for its unusual ears that fold forward and downward, the Scottish Fold is a well-adjusted breed who bond quickly with their humans. 

Highly adaptable, these kitties can handle almost any living environment from a noisy house full of kids to a quiet single-person apartment. 

Charming and easy-going, Scottish Folds love affection and their homebody nature means they prefer to be indoors with their owners. Chatty, with a soft and chirpy voice, these cats love gentle play and puzzle games.

5. Persian

Persian cat lying on hardwood floor looking at camera

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One of the most popular cat breeds, the Persian is best known for being calm and docile. Not the most active of breeds, these furkids prefer lounging on your lap or the sofa with occasional bursts of spontaneous activity.

Persians adapt well to changes in routine and are good with people of all ages. They prefer a serene and quiet living environment but will be happy with children around as long as they’re gentle.

They’re not attention seekers and their undemanding temperament means they can be easily left alone for periods of time, although they tend to be happiest when receiving affection.  

6. Birman

Birman kitten hiding in a box

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With their silky coats and stunning blue eyes, Birmans aren’t just gorgeous, they’re super loving too. Bred as companion cats, this elegant breed loves affection and is heavily people-orientated.

Smart, friendly, and quiet, Birman cats are adaptable and tend to be friendly with everyone and everything, including other animals. They love exploring their homes, but their highly curious natures mean they’ll get into everything, so you might want to keep an eye on them.

They can be territorial, but not aggressive, and like to be involved in whatever their owner is doing. Birmans love cuddles and being held, so if you’re after a snuggly fur baby, this is a breed worth considering.

7. Tonkinese

Tonkinese cat in living room by sofa and looking at camera

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Like its close relatives the Burmese and Siamese, the Tonkinese has a friendly and affectionate nature that makes it an ideal family pet.

Highly inquisitive and intelligent, Tonkinese cats are quieter than Siamese but still vocal and highly active. They adore humans, so they need a companion if they’re going to be left alone for long periods of time.

Easy to train and teach tricks to, the Tonkinese loves playing with toys and games. They can be quite demanding of attention and like to follow their humans from room to room. 

8. Russian Blue

Close up of Russian Blue cat crouching on the floor looking ready to pounce

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Affectionate but not clingy, Russian Blues are calm and smart kitties who can be shy at first but grow to be playful and loving once they feel comfortable.

Happy living in families, they tend to bond deeply with just one person and become experts at reading their pet parent’s emotions. When they sense their owner is sad, they’re always there with a cuddle and demonstrate unwavering loyalty to their chosen human.

Russian Blues are social but also enjoy quiet time and solitude, so they will often retreat to their bed or a safe nook to sleep and recharge. They can be left alone but have a high need for play when they’re around people.

9. Bombay

Bombay cat sitting on top of couch

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With beautiful eyes that are always wide and curious, the alert Bombay loves observing its surroundings and watching the world go by. Placid but delighting in play, this breed enjoys exercise and laps up affection.

Never tiring of being cuddled and petted, the Bombay can be demanding of their owner’s attention, and will happily jump up on their lap to get it. Content to sit for hours once they’ve worn themselves out, this breed will alternate between curling up on your lap and stretching out in order to have their muscular bodies stroked.

If you love being followed around the house by a kitty who enjoys chatting, and you’re at home most of the day to provide the companionship a Bombay needs, then this breed will make the perfect companion. 

10. Sphynx

Sphynx cat peeking out from blanket

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While it can be easy to judge a book by its cover, this is definitely one such time where looks can be deceiving. The Sphinx doesn’t look like it would be a lap cat and yet despite its hairless appearance, this little guy makes quite the cuddly and warm companion.

Incredibly loving and with a high need for companionship, the Sphynx is happiest wherever its people are. Bald yet beautiful, this breed is friendly, intelligent, and outgoing with lots of energy and curiosity. It can be playful and mischievous, but when it tires, it loves nothing more than snuggling up to its owner. 

Kathryn Rosenberg

Kathryn is a freelance writer with a passion for creating health and wellness, travel and wildlife content. Originally from New Zealand, her nomadic lifestyle has her currently fur baby-less. She scratches her pet parent itch by stealing frequent cuddles with any neighbourhood cat kind enough to indulge her.