Roughly 46.5 million American households know the unique pleasures of having at least one cat in their homes. Felines often get a bad rap for not being friendly animals. However, cats are closer to us genetically than dogs, sharing 90% of our DNA versus the canine’s 84%. You’d think that an extra 6% would account for something. It turns out that it does matter.
Cats can make up to 21 vocalizations. They know their names and recognize their owners’ emotions. Scientists have learned that felines have heritable personality traits. Ergo, it makes sense that some breeds might be more affectionate than others.
1. Maine Coon
The Maine Coon is a breed that you want to cuddle because they’re so uniquely beautiful. This breed is one of the larger ones, making it a good choice for families with kids. They will tolerate handling well, and their long coat and unique chirping sound set this breed apart from many others. Experts believe its origin is from the state in its name: Maine.
Interestingly, The International Cat Association (TICA) also recognizes a polydactyl variation in these felines as a separate breed. Still, both are a hardy breed and one of the few cats considered a “working animal,” a title we more often attributed to dogs.
The Siamese might be the breed many people associate the most with the species. It is a sleek and elegant animal that is as beautiful in how they move as how they look. One of the distinguishing features of the breed is how vocal they are. The Siamese is your cat if you want someone to talk to you during the day. They’re also intelligent animals that can learn quickly by observing.
Consequently, this cat requires daily mental stimulation to keep them out of trouble and prevent boredom. As with other intelligent animals, if you don’t provide things for them to do, they’ll find something.
We can say many of the same things about the Burmese as we said about the Siamese. The two breeds even look similar, although the former has a more rounded face. It’s also a very people-oriented animal. If you want a lap cat, look no further than the Burmese. This feline is loving and tolerant. They will do well in families with small children, other pets, or both!
The breed gets its name from its origin. However, selective breeding in England and the United States developed it into the animal we know and love today. Research has shown the Burmese to be among the least fearful and least likely to show aggression toward humans, all the traits of an affectionate kitty.
The long-haired Somali is related to the equally attractive Abyssinian. This cat stands out for its curiosity. You’d probably see a picture of one next to the definition in the dictionary. Nothing escapes their attention, and that includes their family.
This breed doesn’t hail from the country that its name suggests. Instead, it denotes the relationship between it and the Abyssinian. The Somali is a muscular and agile cat that has no problems roaming and exploring. Their intelligence allows them to interact with humans and enjoy their company.
The Abyssinian is the short-haired counterpart to the Somali. The two breeds share many personality traits that make them so endearing as loving pets. The Abyssinian looks distinctly wild, more like its cousins in the bush.
The profile of the Abyssinian resembles the one that archaeologists have found from ancient Egypt, although the origins of this breed are unknown.
6. Cornish Rex
You can’t help but notice some cats because of their unique look, and the Cornish Rex is one of them. This animal is all legs, with the speed and athleticism to match. They might make you wonder where the off switch is. This breed is an excellent choice if you have the time to devote to an affectionate cat. They’re easygoing and comfortable with kids and other pets.
The breed originated in Cornwall, England. Unlike many felines, the Cornish Rex has a short, thick coat that doesn’t shed a lot. This cat is a stark contrast to the image of the aloof feline. They will make sure you notice their presence, and they’re also another candidate for the best lap cat.
The Oriental is another breed that stands out as one least likely to show aggression toward humans. They look like a Siamese with bigger ears and also come in a wide variety of colors. This breed always seems to have something to say. It’s also a breed high on the list of curious animals. That’s not unexpected in an intelligent feline.
The Oriental loves to play and has the energy to keep up with whoever wants to engage them. They enjoy company and detest being alone. You’ll find both long-haired and short-haired variations of the breed. Either one will make an affectionate feline companion.
The Persian may look like a sourpuss, but they’re actually affectionate and loving cats. They like a routine and hate things that affect the regular flow of the household schedule. That’s part of the cat’s gentle and easygoing nature. The Persian will enjoy the attention and being petted. However, they’re not natural athletes like the Somali or Abyssinian.
Some cats demand attention and may engage in unwanted behaviors to get it. The Persian will wait patiently for you to notice them and enjoy every minute of your love. The long, dense coat of this breed makes daily brushing a must-do. It also helps foster a strong cat-owner bond that encourages an affectionate pet.
9. Russian Blue
The Russian Blue is a gorgeous animal that you can’t help noticing. It has the sleek body and grace of many breeds on our list. Russian Blue is an intelligent feline that may prove more engaging than many pets.
This breed can be talkative and develop an impressive repertoire of vocalizations. While they are loving, they aren’t demanding or overly anxious about being alone. Just plan on a warm welcome when you return home.
The Birman is another gorgeous animal that will demand your attention if just from their looks. Unlike many breeds we’ve discussed, this one isn’t overly talkative unless you encourage this behavior. Otherwise, they’re more likely to be silent instead of vocally expressing themselves.
The breed is a gentle cat that is active when it wants to be. They will relish any attention you give them with loud purring. The Birman is a laid back feline that is both kid- and dog-friendly. They’re also quite adaptable, making them purr-fect for an active household.
Few feline breeds are as endearing as the Ragdoll. Even the name belies how affectionate this kitty is. The breed’s name is a fitting description of its personality. You’d be hard-pressed to find a cat more relaxed and easygoing than this one. However, the Ragdoll can also act like a little kid itself, talking up a storm and bouncing off the walls when it’s in the mood to play as a kitten.
The Ragdoll is an excellent choice for families with small children. The cat is big enough and tolerant to handle playtime with the kids. Otherwise, their personality is true to their name.
12. Scottish Fold
You can’t help but fall in love with the Scottish Fold, with its big, round eyes and cute little ears. The breed began life as a barn cat back in its native Scotland. Perhaps that upbringing shaped its personality. It’s not a shy cat that hides for hours on end. This one is a part of the family and acts like it.
One of its unique traits is its ability to sit on its haunches like a human. We’re not sure why they do it, but we can’t help but notice it when they do. This cat prefers the company of her human companions but may get along with other pets that are respectful of their space.
The Sphynx is just as likely to catch your eye as it is your heart. The breed’s hairlessness is one of the most unusual physical features you’ll see in cats. This one is another candidate for the best lap cat. They are happiest curdled up with their family members and enjoying their love and attention. The Sphynx gets along with everyone, whether it’s its owner, the kids, or the family dog.
The Sphynx is also an active animal that is all energy. They’re intelligent and often find ways to entertain themselves. The Sphynx is a loyal pet that will make a welcome addition to any home.
14. Norwegian Forest Cat
The Norwegian Forest Cat is a hardy, robust animal that is as tough as the name sounds. The long, dense coat makes them cold-tolerant, a valuable trait in their native land. While they’re not a lap cat, they’ll still be a loving feline companion that truly enjoys interacting with family.
The Norwegian Forest Cat is an intelligent animal that needs mental stimulation to be happy. They’re both child- and dog-friendly. This feline isn’t as energetic as many breeds we’ve discussed and will do well in a low-key household.
15. American Shorthair
The American Shorthair is the quintessential affectionate family pet. The breed has a lot going for it. It’s adaptable for active households. It tolerates children and dogs well, especially if they’re introduced while the cat is young. The breed is less active and more easygoing, which helps with its adaptability. It takes things as they come.
While the American Shorthair can entertain itself, they usually prefer their family’s attention and will ask for it repeatedly. This cat will enjoy interactive games to build stronger bonds with their owner. The breed is highly social and will enjoy everyone’s company.
Kitties of all shapes and sizes are at the head of the class when it comes to affectionate breeds. The interesting thing about cats is that the affection often is in overdrive when present. An affectionate feline is more than just loving; they’ll follow you room-to-room, talking to you all along the way. If that’s what you want in a pet, encourage it. Your cat will take the lead—and then some!
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Featured Image Credit: Vika-Hova, Shutterstock