Although cats have earned a reputation for being independent and aloof, cat lovers know that this generalization is not entirely accurate. Many cats are extremely affectionate with their favorite human companions, and some are outgoing and friendly with just about anyone.
What Are the Friendliest, Nicest and Most Social Cat Breeds?
If you long for a friendly cat to be your new best friend, certain pedigreed cat breeds are known to be exceptionally sweet and outgoing but there isn’t really just one cat breed that Is the Friendliest breed among all others.
Do that’s why we’ve created the following list of the nicest, most social and friendliest cat breeds on in the world. Read on to meet some of the most friendly cat breeds around.
If love the idea of a companionable lap cat, the Birman might be just what you’re looking for. The Birman is a sociable, sweet, and affectionate cat, and is just the right mix of outgoing and cuddly.
The Birman is friendly to all, including respectful children who interact with the cat gently. Birman cats, which hail from Burma (present-day Myanmar), all share certain characteristics, including beautiful blue eyes and a pointed coat (lighter body with darker “points” of color on the ears, nose, legs and tail. All Birmans also have four white paws.
Although the Abyssinian is more active than snuggly, the breed is extremely people-oriented, playful, and friendly. Intelligent and curious, Abys want to be in the middle of everything and will follow you all over the house. It’s also widely considered one of the friendliest cat breeds with dogs.
The breed’s outgoing personality, coupled with its exotic good looks, makes the Abyssinian a joy to live with.
One of the oldest breeds of cat, the Abyssinian is named for Abyssinia (an area that today is Ethiopia). Historians believe that the breed may have originated Southeast Asia, not in Abyssinia, but the first Abyssinians that were brought to England in the late 1800s came from Abyssinia, and the name stuck.
Based on its name, you might think that Burmese also claims Burma as its birthplace, but the breed was in fact developed in the United States from one special cat named Wong Mau, which came from the Orient. Simply stated, the Burmese breed loves people.
They are called “Velcro cats” for their desire to be as close to their people as possible and will follow you around the house, hop into your lap the moment you sit down and sleep in your bed at night (often crawling right under the covers with you!). Burmese cats also love to play and be the center of attention.
#4 Maine Coon
The Maine Coon is the largest of all cat breeds. With its tufted ears and paws, and great size, Maine Coons look a little bit like bobcats (especially brown tabby Maine Coons), but in reality these cats are gentle giants. The Maine Coon is the official state cat of Maine, which is where the breed evolved. The Main Coon cat is considered as one of the friendliest hypoallergenic cat breeds around.
Maine Coons get along with just about anyone, including kids and even dogs. The breed is so friendly and sweet natured, many people train them as therapy cats, taking them to visit people in hospitals and the elderly in nursing homes.
#5 Exotic Shorthair
The Exotic, sometimes called the Exotic Shorthair, is basically a Persian cat with a short, plush coat. The breed came about from outcrossing Persian cats with American Shorthairs, with Burmese and Russian Blues also thrown into the mix. These cats are widely regarded as among the friendliest domestic cat breeds in the world.
Like their longhaired cousins, Exotics are friendly, laidback and affectionate. The mellow Exotic would much rather warm your lap than take part in strenuous endeavors. Exotics do not demand your attention but they look like teddy bears and are known to give hugs, so most people find them irresistible.
Like their shorthaired Exotic cousins, Persian cats are exceptionally sweet, docile and peaceful. Extremely attached and devoted to their humans, they blend in perfectly with almost any family.
All the Persian wants is to be close to its special people and to be admired (of course!). Though much about the history of the Persian cat is speculated, the ancestors of the modern-day Persian were brought from Persia (which is present-day Iran) to different parts of Europe during the 17thcentury.
Persians come in a rainbow of colors and patterns, including pointed (which is called Himalayan).
If you’re looking for a cat who loves to snuggle and purr, look no further than the Ragdoll. This affectionate breed is named for its natural tendency to completely relax and even go limp while being cuddled.
Ragdolls are not only beautiful cats, they are also sweet, happy and exceptionally social, and will seek out attention. They are very tolerant and accepting of people of all types, including kind children, and many also get along with other animals, including dogs. Ragdolls are widely known as the one of the friendliest domestic big cat breeds on the planet.
Ragdoll cats love playtime and some are even known to play fetch just like dogs.
With its long and lean body, sleek, pointed coat and almond-shaped blue eyes, Siamese is as exotic-looking as they come. It takes its name from Siam (present-day Thailand), the breed’s birthplace.
Siamese cats are exceptionally outgoing and affectionate with both family and new friends. They are also extremely talkative, and won’t hesitate to loudly demand your attention with an unmistakable meow.
Siamese want to be as close to you as possible, and will crawl into your lap, climb up your back, cuddle you in bed and wrap themselves around your heart.
The hairless Sphynx is certainly one of the most unusual breeds when it comes to looks, but their wrinkly, “space alien” appearance isn’t the only reason people are so drawn to them. Sphynx cats are very outgoing and friendly, and will happily greet family and strangers alike.
They get along with everyone, including other dogs and cats, and are extremely affectionate. Sphynx are not truly hairless. Some have short, fine hair on the feet, ears and tail; others covered in soft, peachfuzz.
They do tend to get chilly, especially in winter, but they always find ways to keep warm—usually lots of snuggling with you.
More Breeds to Explore
These are just a handful of the many friendly cat breeds that make great companions.
If you’re looking for a new feline friend that is a social butterfly type, also check out include the Bengal, Bombay, Chartreux, Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, Munchkin, Oriental, Ragamuffin, and Scottish Fold.
You forgot the Ragamuffin. Priscilla, my muffin, is the sweetest most gentle cat I’ve ever known. She is part Persian and Ragdoll. Ragamuffin’s are great with kids, elderly people, and just about everybody.
I completely agree! RagaMuffins are very much like Ragdolls in temperament. Mine follow me everywhere, like to sleep on my head, always like to have a paw touching me. They are also INCREDIBLY smart! I have had a couple of different cat breeds and have loved them all, buy none compare to my RagaMuffins!
What about the dog-in-a-cats-body, Manx. There have been 2 that have brightened my life immeasurably. Both were total cuddlebugs. I love their little chirp!
Love your “dog in a cats body”. That describes our half Manx cat perfectly. I was surprised that the list didn’t include the manx. Thanks for your comment. It made me laugh!
PS, my husband doesn’t like cats but Tommy has changed his mind. He has such a fun personality!
Love your “dog in a cats body” comment. That describes our half Manx cat perfectly. I was surprised that the list didn’t include the manx.
Sorry for the duplicate comment. By the way we love his chirp too.
What do you think about Savanna Cats? She seems very smart… understanding the words we use and actions that seem like she’s answering us. Have you heard of any other owners of Savanna’s experiencing similar things? She’s really good when I clip her claws. Let me share about her jumping ability…
She can jump at least four feet high.
We got her from Cat Connections in CT. She was apart of a litter of five and they were very very young (6-7 weeks) without their mother. She has a tendency to bite… any advice? This is her only problem and I’m hoping we can stop it?
Thanks for reading this and thank you in advance for responding back to me. Terry
Hi Terry, thanks for the comment! They’re more often described as intelligent and active rather than friendly or nice, but Savannah cats are absolutely friendly, sociable cats. You can learn more about their characteristics here. As for the biting issue, our behaviorist Melina Grin wrote an in-depth guide that you might find helpful.
I have two Norwegian Forest cats very similar to Maine coon cats. They are beautiful cat’s and are long hair. Very friendly and loves attention and follows you around everywhere. Not lap cats but loves laying and sleeping by or on your feet, Loves playing with the bird. Loves people!
I have three Cornish Rex’s and have had just as many in the past. One notable trait of the Cornish is how quick they are to accept other cats and even dogs. I brought another Cornish Rex home and two of them were playing in min. I brought a stray rescue hime. He was grown. He was hissing and upset. Two cornishes sat in front of him, they never hissed snd apparently they were welcoming. Within a couple hours they were friends. Brought a Cornish home who never had seen a dog. No problems. 5 of the six I have had are almost instantly ready to accept another pet. I hsve had only one female.,she is more cautious. Takes her a bit. .
Our Maine Coon is incredible. He always runs to greet us at the door when we come home. He is very intelligent and can easily be trained, for example, to jump off of the kitchen counter when his food is being prepared. He gets along well with our other two cats. His purr sounds like a motor car, and he has a sweet little chirp instead of a meow. He is a big boy who is always showing and wanting affection. And he is, indeed, a Gentle Giant.
He sounds wonderful. Thank you for sharing.
I am 76 years old and have had a year of losses. My husband passed away and then our cat passed away and I am now alone. before I get another family member, could you suggest a breed and age of cat I should look for at the local rescue?
Hi Linda, I’m sorry about your husband and cat. It can be difficult to find purebred cats at the local shelter, but any lower-energy breed like the British Shorthair, American Shorthair, Persian, or Ragdoll would be a good choice. Otherwise, you can find a domestic shorthair moggy (non-purebred cat) with a calm temperament—probably a middle-aged to older cat. Wishing you all the best.
Ragdolls don’t usually live past 11 because of their genetic heart defect. Hopefully this is being bred out of this wonderful breed, as they really are a joy to be around.