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10 Worst Cat Breeds for First-Time Owners (With Pictures)

Scottish Fold
Photo credit: Sophkins, Pixabay
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Christian Adams

There’s nothing quite like cat ownership—for better and for worse. Cats are wonderful animals, as they can be loving yet independent, inquisitive yet shy, and intelligent yet foolish.

They can be quite challenging too, though, because they can suffer from difficult-to-solve behavioral problems, they can be finicky eaters, and they won’t always return your love and affection in kind.

Not all breeds are as easy to own as others, so if you’ve never owned a cat before, it’s probably in your best interests to avoid any of the breeds on this list. They’re all good cats, but each breed has certain challenges that can be overwhelming to inexperienced face divider 2

The 10 Worst Cat Breeds for First-Time Owners

1. Bombays

bombay cat sitting on log
Image Credit: Viktor Sergeevich, Shutterstock

These adorable little guys look just like panthers, and if you spend any time around one, you might say that they actually think they’re panthers, too!

This is a rough-and-tumble breed. They’re not necessarily prone to aggressiveness, but they do like to play rough, so expect to come away with scratches and bite marks. They can also lash out if spooked by loud noises or other surprises, so they’re not a good fit for families with small children.

2. Persians

red exotic persian cat sitting on paper bag
Image Credit: Sergey Nemirovsky, Shutterstock

Persians are extremely loving and loyal, and they make wonderful emotional support animals. There are few things more comforting than having one of these cats curled up in your lap and purring—so why are they on this list?

One word: allergies. If you are even the slightest bit allergic to cats, a Persian will make sure you find out the hard way. These cats have more of the protein responsible for allergic reactions in their coat than any other breed, so don’t be surprised if you’re constantly red-eyed and sniffling.

3. Savannahs

savannah kitten standing on the couch
Image Credit: Kolomenskaya Kseniya, Shutterstock

If you ran across a leopard in the wild, would you run over and try to pick it up? Hopefully, you answered “no” to that question, so why would you try to pick up the leopard-lookalike Savannah?

These cats don’t like to be held, and they’ll let you know in the most forceful way possible. They’re independent and aloof, so they’re best suited for owners who know how to give cats plenty of space. If you’re a newbie, you may not have the patience to wait for the Savannah to warm up to you—and you may find yourself buying Band-Aids in bulk as a result.

4. Siamese

Image Credit: webandi, Pixabay

This is a cat that could also find itself on a best breeds list—it all depends on your perspective.

These cats tend to bond with a single family member, and they can turn aggressive if another person in the family tries to interrupt their snuggles. That’s bad if you have kids in the house (or if you’re not the person whom they choose to bond with). Even worse, it can be nearly impossible to break them out of this habit, especially if you don’t have a history of training cats.

5. Egyptian Maus

Two cute Egyptian Mau cats
Image Credit: Sarah Fields Photography, Shutterstock

This lesser-known breed is absolutely gorgeous, but they can be quite difficult when they feel like it. They’re prone to resource-guarding, so you may find yourself pulling back a bloody hand if you try to take one of their toys or treats.

They’re withdrawn, but that quiet nature can hide a mean streak. However, they tend to bond strongly with their families, so you may only see their dark side when you have guests over.

6. American Wirehairs

6American Wirehair
Image Credit: khamkhor, Pixabay

These cats have a gift for looking cute and cuddly on the outside, but that gift is also their curse. They’re independent by nature, so they don’t appreciate being picked up and cuddled all the time.

They’re not afraid to let you know when you’ve gone too far—but they don’t give you much warning beforehand. They’re especially touchy around strangers, so you might have to lock them in the bedroom whenever company comes over.

7. Korats

Image Credit: 15claudia, Pixabay

Korats are relatively rare, which may be a good thing, as few owners are equipped to have one in their house. These cats love peace and quiet—in fact, they insist on it, and they may just lash out violently if they can’t get it.

As a result, they may be a good fit for single owners who keep to themselves, but if you have kids in the house, bringing a Korat home is just asking for trouble.

8. Singapuras

Singapura cat bleps
Image Credit: jojosmb, Shutterstock

It may be tempting to adopt a Singapura, as their alien-like appearance makes them different from just about any other breed that you could own. However, they’re strong-willed and skittish, so if you surprise them, they could react with a flurry of claws and teeth.

They also have a tendency to hide if not properly socialized, so you could find yourself owning a cat that you never actually see—the only way you’ll know that they’re still alive is because their food disappears regularly.

9. Scottish Folds

9Scottish Fold
Image Credit: Sophkins, Pixabay

Many first-time owners have fallen in love with one of these cats due to their folded-over ears and smushed faces—and more than a few of those owners have later regretted it. Like Siamese, Scottish Folds tend to bond with a single family member at the expense of everyone else.

These cats tend to favor whichever person brings them food and water, and they don’t have much use for anyone who doesn’t regularly come bearing gifts. They also don’t like other animals, so don’t be surprised if you find that your new Scottish Fold has been putting up “for sale” signs with your dog’s picture on them.

10. Bengals

Bengal Cat
Image Credit: lshman000, Pixabay

Bengals are notorious for being wilder than other breeds, and while that may sound romantic, it can get old fast. It’s especially annoying when you realize that wild cats don’t enjoy being handled and will respond with aggression if you pick them up.

If you’re willing to put up with a little roughhousing, though, Bengals can make fantastic pets. Just expect to be stalked every time you wander outside your bedroom.

cat paw dividerMake Things Easy on Yourself

We would absolutely encourage a first-time pet owner to adopt a cat, as they can reward your love with loyalty, affection, and companionship.

However, you might want to hold off on bringing home one of the breeds on this list until you have a little more experience under your belt. While they can make fantastic pets, they’re better suited for owners who know how to handle a cat’s foibles.

Then again, you could just jump directly to the big leagues and buy a tiger.

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Featured Image Credit: Sophkins, Pixabay

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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