Cats are playful, cuddly pets, so they make great companions for little kids. Plus, they use a litter bowl and clean themselves, so they’re super easy to take care of. If you have children, adding one — or a few! — cats to the mix is an excellent way to promote playtime and socialization.
That said, the best cats for kids are ones that are social, patient and active. Of course, most cats sleep between 12 and 18 hours a day. But, when they are up and about, the following breeds are the most agreeable.
Perhaps your kids are older and you need a pet that’ll add some pep to your family. The Abyssinian cat is the cat for you. This active, intelligent, loyal breed loves to climb, pounce and play.
While they might shy away from toddlers and babies, they’ll happily meow at their owners. They’re also master manipulators, so they’ll have you wrapped around their little paw in no time. Let your kitty lead the way back to a happier, more energized home.
You’ve probably seen Bengals while scrolling through Instagram. These kitties have a beautiful coat that makes them look like a wildcat, and they’ve got the personality to match. The little thunderbolts thrive around people and love to explore.
Some even enjoy hitching up to a leash and going on hikes. When you’re not outdoors, help the kiddos teach the cat new tricks. It’s the perfect activity for a rainy day, and a great way to teach children about obedience and leadership.
If you want your child to grow up with a best friend, get a Birman cat. This breed has enchanting blue eyes, a gentle demeanor and the friendliest personality you’ll likely ever see in a feline. The Cat Fanciers’ Association even describes Birmans as having an exceptionally sweet nature, so they’re easy to handle and make ideal pets.
Their easygoing, loving and curious disposition also make them some of the best cats for kids. As your little ones learn to walk, your kitty will be prancing right along behind them.
4. European Burmese
The active and sociable Burmese is the perfect choice for families with kids. Known for its chocolate fur and golden eyes, this beautiful breed is as charming as they come. The cats love being around their humans, young and old, and they’ll happily shower you in head boops, licks and cuddles. They’ll even get along with cat-friendly dogs, so they make a great addition to households that already have a pet or two.
Maybe you have a toddler who wants to grab, pinch and pull everything in sight. Getting a cat would be an invitation for trouble, considering its enticingly fluffy tail. Yet, the Manx solves this problem in one fell swoop — it has no tail.
What it lacks in frame, it makes up for in personality. The playful, devoted cat loves to zip around the house and is sure to keep your child responsible for food and treats. The Manx usually picks a favorite in the family, so don’t be surprised it ends up being your little one.
6. American Shorthair
The American shorthair is one of the most popular picks for the best cats for kids. This breed has a laid-back, easy-going personality and many of them have motorboat purrs.
Shorthairs also have special skills, as they evolved from cats that came over with the Mayflower colonists. These kitties know how to hunt down a mouse, on land and at sea, so they’ll come in handy on a homestead. They also tend to shed less because, as their name entails, they have less fur.
What better way to end the day than snuggled up with your cuddly feline? Replace your child’s stuffed animal with a real furry friend that loves to nap with its human. The ragdoll cat is patient and personable, which means they don’t mind being carried around the house or dressed up like, well, a doll.
Although this cat is on the lazier side, the typical ragdoll does enjoy a good catnip toy, scratching post or climbing tree. Their adaptable nature makes them an excellent choice for growing families or ones with pets.
8. Maine Coon
Maine Coons might not be lions, but they’re still pretty big cats. Females weigh about 13 pounds while males can weigh 20 or more. They also have long, poofy fur that requires brushing, so they’re a great way to teach kids responsibility. Maine Coons are just as happy being with people as they are being on their own, so feel free to take that weekend vacation without worrying about the cat.
Choosing the Right Kitty
Every kitty has its own personality, just like every child does. Perhaps your cat will want to play when your little one would rather read. Or maybe your kid has playtime after school, but that’s when the kitty takes its catnap. Whatever breed you get, it’s important to let relationships bloom naturally. Cat and kid will find their rhythm, it might just take some time.