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20 Most Playful Cat Breeds (With Pictures)

playing with her cute cat
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Christian Adams

Cats are low-maintenance pets that don’t need as much attention as other popular pets like dogs or birds. They’re rather independent animals that want to do things how they want to do them. Cats aren’t the kind of pets that will obey your every command like dogs. They won’t be waiting excitedly when you come home from work, but they might just bestow their lovely presence upon you, if they feel you deserve it.

But not all cats are the same. Some cats have the playful nature of a dog, making them more enjoyable for the type of pet owners who want to have a close relationship with their cats. If that sounds like you, then the following 20 breeds are some of your best options since they’re some of the most playful cat breeds face divider 2

The Top 20 Most Playful Cat Breeds

1. Abyssinian

Image Credit: auenleben, Pixabay

These cats have a distinct tabby coat and high levels of intelligence. They’re also some of the most extroverted cats, cherishing their playtime. In fact, these cats are said to get depressed if they don’t get enough playtime and attention from their owners. Their attachment to their owners has been called “dog-like,” in complete contrast to the temperament of most cats that seem to merely tolerate human company rather than welcome it. They’re definitely one of the most playful cat breeds!

2. Balinese

Portrait of a balinese cat
Image Credit: A__B, Shutterstock

Muscular, lean, and long, the Balinese is a beautiful cat with an outgoing personality. They share many traits with the Siamese who they’re closely related to. Balinese cats are incredibly communicative and want to tell you about everything. They’re also entertaining to watch, always engaging in some sort of hilarious antics. They want to play all the time and love games like fetch.

3. Bengal

Image Credit: tung256, Pixabay

If you saw a Bengal cat in the wild, you’d absolutely think it was a wildcat. They have a very distinct pattern that looks just like a leopard. This is because they were created by crossbreeding several domestic hybrids, including the Egyptian Mau and the Asian Leopard cat. This breed is loaded with excited energy that you’ll need to expend through vigorous playing and exercise.

4. Birman

Image Credit: Antranias, Pixabay

Playful and fun, the Birman isn’t as outgoing as other breeds on this list, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to play! Instead, it means they’d prefer to play with just one person; their owner. These cats bond very closely with their person, but they don’t show much interest in other people.

5. Burmese

Image Credit: AdinaVoicu, Pixabay

As you might guess from the name, the Burmese cat originated in Burma, near the coast of Thailand. They’re a completely round cat with a round head and face, round eyes, round chin, and even round feet. As they age, Burmese cats tend to calm down and just watch the activities. But younger Burmese cats are very curious and active, so you’ll find that they want to play all the time. When they’re not playing, they’re getting into trouble, letting their curiosity get the better of them!

6. Burmilla

Image Credit: canaros, Pixabay

Burmillas are a very rare breed that’s only recently been created. They’re still an experimental breed and haven’t been accepted by all major registries. They require minimal care, but they have affectionate and loving personalities that make them instantly endearing. Burmillas are mostly placid, lazy cats, except when it’s time to play. Then, your Burmilla will come to life and you’ll see their personalities in full shine.

7. Colorpoint Shorthair Cats

close up of colorpoint shorthair cat
Image Credit: Ivonne Wierink, Shutterstock

This breed is described as affectionate, loyal, and devoted to their owners. They’re a very vocal breed that wants to share every thought with you. These cats are very smart and they can easily learn games like fetch, which they tend to enjoy. Once they learn this game, Colorpoint Shorthairs will be very demanding about their desire to play and one of the most hyper cat breeds out there

8. Cornish Rex

Tabby Cornish Rex
Image Credit: Elena Loginova, Shutterstock

Cornish Rexes are covered in a soft down, but they don’t have hair like other cats. Because of their unique coat, these cats are quite temperature-sensitive and need to be kept indoors in a warm, dry climate. They’re often called the Greyhounds of cats because of their lean appearance and galloping gait. While most cats will grow out of their playful kitten stage, Cornish Rexes remain playful for life.

9. Devon Rex

9Devon Rex
Image Credit: zkittler, Pixabay

The Devon Rex is a very unique-looking feline. They have very short hair, slight, slender bodies, and ears that are far too large for their small heads. They’re incredibly intelligent, making them capable of learning advanced tricks and commands. Motivating them to do so can be quite difficult though. What’s not difficult is getting a Devon Rex to play. These people-oriented cats are always ready for a good play session with their people.

10. Japanese Bobtail

Japanese Bobtail Cat
Image Credit: slowmotiongli, Shutterstock

Many cats have bobbed tails, but the Japanese Bobtail’s bobbed tail is quite unique. It looks more like a rabbit’s tail than the bobbed tail you’ll find on other bobtail breeds. This is an ancient breed that often appears in traditional Japanese art and folklore. They’re very affectionate animals that make great family pets. They’re known for being exceptionally playful, which makes them great with children.

11. Maine Coon

11Maine Coon
Image Credit: Kirgiz03, Pixabay

This breed is the largest of all domestic cat breeds and they possess impressive hunting skills. They’re one of the oldest breeds that naturally occurred in North America. These cats are extremely social and friendly, which is why many refer to them as the “gentle giants.” They’re often said to have many dog-like traits because of how playful and affectionate they are with their family.

12. Manx

Image Credit: BiancaMariani, Pixabay

There’s something very special about Manx cats that clearly sets them apart from all other species of domestic cats; they have no tail! Many cats have a bobbed tail, but the Manx has no tail at all. A few specimens have a tiny stub in place of a tail, but for the most part, this breed is tail-free. This breed is considered to be very gregarious and is often compared to dogs because of their highly social and playful behavior.

13. Munchkin

Munchkin cat
Image Credit: This road is mine, Shutterstock

The Munchkin is one of the most unique-looking cats of all, thanks to their incredibly short, stumpy legs. Unfortunately, this breed is also plagued with health problems, which is many cat associations refuse to accept the breed. Still, they’re a popular breed, due in part to their playful nature that makes them fun to keep as pets.

14. Selkirk Rex

14Selkirk Rex
Image Credit: athree23, Pixabay

This breed has been given the nickname of “cat in sheep’s clothing.” They have one of the most luxurious coats in the cat family, accompanied by a laid-back attitude that makes them excellent companion pets. Though they’re relatively calm creatures, these cats can also be quite silly and clownish when they play around.

15. Siamese

siamese cat lying on ground
Image Credit: cornelazar, Pixabay

The Siamese was one of the first Asian breeds of cats to be recognized. They come from present-day Thailand, which used to be Siam; hence the name Siamese. In the 1800s, the original Siamese was one of the most popular breeds across the western world. Modern Siamese cats don’t bear much resemblance to their ancestors though, and there’s a push to rename the original breed as the Thai cat. But what makes these cats so popular the world over is their deep love of human interaction and playtime.

16. Siberian

Siberian Cat
Image Credit: TatianaDm, Pixabay

Siberians are an ancient breed that originated in Russia centuries ago, which is why the breed is also known as the Moscow Semi-Longhair. It’s believed that this breed is actually the ancestor to all modern-day long-haired cats. Despite their long coats of luxurious har, these cats are hypoallergenic, making them a great choice for allergy sufferers.

17. Sphynx

Image Credit: Pexels, Pixabay

The Sphynx is one of the most easily-recognizable breeds of cats thanks to the complete lack of hair on their bodies. They do have a fine layer of down, but it’s not really visible. They still have colored markings like many other cats, but the markings are on their skin in the same places they’d occur if there was fur. These cats are known for their extroverted personalities. They have tons of energy and are naturally curious, which can combine to make a very entertaining pet.

18. Tonkinese

tonkinese cat
Image Credit: dezy, Shutterstock

Tonkinese cats are the result of crossing a Siamese and a Burmese. Like both parents, Tonkinese cats are exceptionally playful and have joyful personalities that make them a pleasure to keep as pets. These cats are highly intelligent and people-oriented. They’re also extremely inquisitive and curious, taking an interest in everything around them. But they are a high-energy cat breeds that gets bored quite easily, especially when they’re left alone.

19. Turkish Angora

Turkish Angora Cat
Image Credit: Markovski Hristijan, Shutterstock

This ancient breed originated naturally, in Turkey, centuries ago. The breed has been documented since the 1600s. These cats bond closely with their owners and want to be part of everything you do. They need to play every day and will often attempt to amuse you with their hilarious antics.

20. Turkish Van

Turkish_Van Cat
Image Credit: Katzenfee50, Pixabay

Unlike the Turkish Angora, the Turkish Van was bred by humans. This breed was created by crossing several cats from Turkey, which resulted in the unique and rare van pattern that gives this breed their name. Early Turkish Vans were known to be quite aggressive, but that’s no longer the case. Now, the breed is known for being extremely friendly with all people. They’re very social and playful and get along well with everyone, including dogs.

Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

About the Author

Christian Adams
Christian Adams
Christian is the Editor-in-Chief of Excited Cats and one of its original and primary contributors. A lifelong cat lover, now based in South East Asia, Christian and his wife are the proud parents of an 11-year-old son and four rescue cats: Trixie, Chloe, Sparky, and Chopper.

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