13 Best Cats For Kids – Family Friendly Breeds

best cats for kids

When I first wondered about the best cats for kids, I found myself sifting through endless online articles, none offering the concrete advice I sought. Having now spent considerable time observing and interacting with various cat breeds, I’ve gathered a wealth of firsthand knowledge. In this article, I’ll share my insights and experiences to comprehensively answer your queries about the best feline companions for children.

13 Best Cats For Kids 

1. Ragdolls

Ragdolls are a delight, especially in homes with children. Their playful personalities blend seamlessly with a relaxed temperament, making them excellent companions for kids. These cats are notably affectionate and patient, even when involved in gentle play, which is a significant advantage in a family setting. 

A unique feature of Ragdolls is their tendency to go limp when held, true to their name. This characteristic, combined with their large paws, long, fluffy tails, and super-soft, semi-long coats, adds to their charm. 

They often display a beautiful color pattern, typically white with darker brown fur on the head and tail. Their loving nature makes Ragdolls an ideal choice for busy homes where warmth and affection are appreciated.

2. Maine Coon

Maine Coons stand out as one of the most engaging cat breeds for families. These cats are naturally extroverted and playful, often surprising many with their unique fondness for water. 

Despite their impressive size and somewhat wild, shaggy appearance, Maine Coons are incredibly affectionate and sweet-natured. They’re much gentler than you might expect, making them suitable for households with children.

One fascinating aspect of Maine Coons is their occasional possession of extra toes – a harmless gene defect that adds to their distinctive charm. While they are bright and adaptable, these cats may take a little time to warm up to new humans, but once they do, they’re incredibly loyal and affectionate.

Their care involves more than just emotional bonding; Maine Coons require a balanced diet and plenty of exercise to maintain their health. Their long, shaggy coats, a hallmark of the breed, also need regular brushing to keep them in good condition. 

All in all, Maine Coons are a wonderful choice for active families looking for a larger-than-life feline friend.

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3. British Shorthair

The British Shorthair is a delightful choice for families and single pet owners alike. Characterized by a pleasant, easygoing, and placid nature, these cats are a joy to have around. They are fiercely loyal and loving, forming strong attachments to every member of the family. 

One of the great things about British Shorthairs is that they don’t demand constant attention. They play well independently, making them an excellent companion for those who might not always be able to provide continuous interaction.

British Shorthairs are medium-sized to large cats, known for their powerful and heavily muscled build, along with heavy boning. This robust physique gives them a distinctive presence. Their grooming needs are moderate but important.

Daily brushing becomes especially crucial during seasonal changes when their coat is thickening or thinning. This routine helps maintain their coat’s health and appearance.

4. Birman

Birmans are another fantastic option for families or individuals seeking a gentle and loyal pet. These cats are highly affectionate, earning the nickname “velcro” cats due to their tendency to follow their owners around. This trait makes them ideal companions for many different types of families, ensuring a close bond with their human companions.

Birmans have a single coat of medium-to-long fur that feels very soft and silky, especially when properly groomed. Their appearance is striking, with pale bodies and darker extremities, including their face, ears, feet, and tails. 

Physically, they are longer than they are tall, have a heavy-boned structure, and sometimes appear quite stocky. This unique combination of physical and behavioral traits makes Birmans a wonderful choice for those seeking a loving and visually stunning cat breed.

5. Siamese

Siamese cats are an exceptional breed, known for their intelligence, affection, and strong opinions. They often form a deep bond with one particular person, making them a highly devoted pet. Their vocal nature is one of their most distinctive traits. 

Siamese cats are known for their loud, low-pitched voice, affectionately referred to as a ‘meezer.’ This vocalization is not just noise; it’s a way they communicate with their humans.

Their social nature makes them an excellent fit for most families. Often described as “dog-like,” Siamese cats seamlessly integrate into family dynamics. 

They are extroverted and outgoing, showing immense loyalty to their owners. This breed’s ability to form strong bonds with humans is comparable to that of dogs, making them a unique and engaging companion.

The Siamese’s vocal nature is something to be mindful of; they are known for being particularly noisy. Their ‘meezer’ call is a charming characteristic that many owners grow to love and understand as a form of communication.

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6. Scottish Fold

Scottish Folds are another breed that thrives in human company, making them perfect for families or individuals seeking a friendly feline companion. They are often praised for their sweet-natured, gentle, and loving personality. 

These cats are not just affectionate but also intelligent and playful, which makes them delightful companions. They enjoy interactive play and their sweet facial expressions add to their charm.

A distinctive feature of Scottish Folds is their unique physical characteristics, such as folded ears, body shape, head shape, eye shape, and coat quality. These features make them stand out among other breeds and contribute to their endearing appearance.

It’s important to note that the tail of the Scottish Fold requires gentle handling. Some Scottish Folds develop stiffness in their tails, which can lead to discomfort or pain if mishandled. This aspect of their care is crucial for their wellbeing. Scottish Folds, with their distinct looks and amiable nature, are well-suited for those looking for a calm and affectionate pet.

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7. Burmese

Burmese cats stand out as excellent companions for kids due to their curious, clever, and incredibly friendly nature. Their playful demeanor isn’t just a delight to watch, but they also actively engage in games, often learning to retrieve toys, much like a dog. 

This breed is not only loving and playful but also highly social. They exhibit several “dog-like” tendencies, making them a unique choice for families with children.

As kittens and young adults, Burmese cats are active and curious, easily adapting to new environments and changes in the household. However, as they age, some Burmese cats may become more placid. 

This means they might prefer observing activities rather than participating in them. This shift in behavior can actually be beneficial, as it allows the cat to grow alongside your child, transitioning from a playful companion to a calm, comforting presence in your home.

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8. American Shorthair

American Shorthairs are an ideal choice for families with kids due to their balanced temperament and physical robustness. They are medium-sized, muscular cats, typically weighing between 8 to 15 pounds, and have a life expectancy of 13 to 17 years. Their short coat, which comes in various colors like white, blue, black, and tortoiseshell, is easy to maintain.

These cats are known for their mellow and sociable nature. They enjoy a degree of independence but are also friendly and playful, making them great companions for children and other pets. Descendants of working cats, American Shorthairs have strong hunting instincts, and they require moderate exercise. They love to play and can even engage in activities like fetching toys.

Healthwise, they are generally robust due to their diverse gene pool but are prone to certain conditions. Their nutrition is crucial to monitor, as they can be predisposed to obesity.

9. Norwegian Forest Cat

The Norwegian Forest Cat is a large, sturdy breed with a distinctive long, thick, water-resistant fur. They can weigh up to 22 pounds and are known for their friendly, calm, gentle, and intelligent demeanor. Often described as “dog-like,” these cats are adaptable and great with children and other animals, making them excellent family pets.

They cherish their independence and don’t demand constant attention, which can be advantageous for busy families. Norwegian Forest Cats enjoy outdoor activities as much as they relish quiet indoor time. Remarkably, they take up to five years to reach full maturity. Their coat, which comes in various colors and may have white patches, needs regular grooming to maintain its beauty and health.

10. Siberian

The Siberian cat is a wonderful choice for families, boasting a medium to large size with a magnificent long-haired coat. They typically weigh between 12 to 15 pounds and have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. Their personality strikes a perfect balance between being friendly, patient, and calm, while also being playful, making them suitable for households with children.

Siberians are generally quiet cats but will communicate when they feel it’s necessary. They are affectionate, adventurous, and exceptionally loyal, all qualities that make them great family pets. Not only are they intelligent, but they are also quite easy to train. Their diet is an important aspect to consider, requiring a high-protein intake, especially during their first four to five years.

Their coat is dense and warm, designed to withstand cold climates, and it sheds seasonally. An interesting aspect of Siberians is their hypoallergenic nature due to their lower production of the Fel-d1 protein, which is often responsible for cat allergies.

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11. Abyssinian

Abyssinians are medium-sized cats with a long, lean, and muscular build, typically weighing between 8 to 12 pounds and having a lifespan of 9 to 13 years. They are athletic and known for their love of high places, such as shelves or even perching on shoulders.

These cats are highly active, curious, and enjoy interactive play, making them a delight for families looking for an engaging pet. 

Abyssinians are not only intelligent but also capable of learning tricks, including through clicker training, which can be a fun activity for kids and the cat. Providing exercise outlets like scratching posts and enjoying wand toys are essential for their well-being.

Their coat is short, dense, and comes in attractive colors like ruddy, red, blue, and fawn. Generally healthy, Abyssinians maintain their weight with activity but benefit from a diet rich in protein.

12. Russian Blue

Russian Blues are a splendid choice for families, particularly those with older children. They are medium-sized, slender yet muscular, and weigh between 7 to 15 pounds. Their most striking features are their bright green eyes and a unique bluish-gray coat. This coat is thick, velvety, and sheds very little, making grooming a breeze with only weekly brushing needed.

In terms of personality, Russian Blues are calm, affectionate, and smart. They might appear shy initially but soon warm up to their family. They are known for their loyalty, often greeting their owners at the door. These cats thrive in quiet and stable environments, which is why they are better suited for homes with older children.

For those with allergies, Russian Blues might be a good option as they produce less of a known allergen. They need both physical and mental stimulation and enjoy activities like playing fetch and climbing. However, they are creatures of habit and prefer a routine, especially when it comes to meal times.

13. Somali

Somalis are medium-sized, long-bodied cats with well-developed muscles, weighing between 8 to 12 pounds. Their long coat is surprisingly easy to care for; it’s not woolly and requires daily brushing to maintain its beauty.

These cats are known for their high energy levels and love for jumping and playing, making them an excellent companion for active households. They are sociable, enjoy company, and get along well with people and other animals. Although they have a soft, quiet voice, they will communicate when necessary.

With a lifespan of 9 to 13 years, Somalis are a long-term commitment. They come in coat colors like red, ruddy, blue, fawn, and sorrel. To satisfy their need for exercise and exploration, high perches and cat trees are recommended for a Somali cat’s environment.

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