Best Cat Breeds for Families

Scottish fold cat with Siamese cat sitting on wooden floor in the garden with green leaf

There are many different breeds of cats and finding the right one for your family may seem to be a hard and daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be.

Every cat is different and unique no matter what breed they are, they all develop a personality that is unique to them. Some are very social, some are less.

We will try to give you a basic guide on what to expect out of each breed of cats. The breeds that we are going to mention are considered to be a good family addition.

Keep an open mind and consider the pros and cons of every type, and don’t forget that nothing is written in stone.

You need to get to know the cat personally before you can judge it.

Here are the top 10 cat breeds for families:

  1. American Shorthair
  2. Russian blue
  3. Birman
  4. Siamese
  5. Burmese
  6. Sphynx
  7. Ragdolls
  8. Somali
  9. European Shorthair
  10. Maine coon

Before we start explaining all the breeds we just recommended.

We would like to advise you to consider going to the local animal shelter and taking a look at some young kittens they have up for adoption.

If you start young enough, any cat can be domesticated, and learn to be a part of the family.

You would be doing a good deed, by providing a loving home for an unlucky cat and helping your local community.

If you have young kids, adopt a kitten that is around 6-9 months old.

In case your kids are older, you can adopt an older cat.

Cats with social issues shouldn’t be adopted into families, they are much better off living with one to two humans.

1. American Shorthair cat

American Shorthair cat

The “American Shorthair” is a breed of domestic cat believed to be descended from European cats, brought to North America by early settlers to protect valuable cargo from mice and rats.

These cats were specifically bred to be working cats, meaning to hunt rodents.

Although, not a bad job to have, this is the reason they have a well-built muscular body, a rounded face, big eyes, and medium-sized ears.

When it comes to health, they are generally a healthy breed, but genetically they are predisposed to mouth and gum disease.

Their laid-back nature and a big appetite give them a predisposition for obesity.

Males grow to be significantly bigger than females, and with some love and care they live up to around 15 years or more.

Regular checkups and vaccination are key for a long and healthy life.

What is their personality?

When it comes to their personality, they are very attached to their owners but still welcoming and social with strangers. Their easy-going and forgiving nature makes them good with kids.


  • With a good diet and minimal regular grooming, they don’t require much maintenance
  • Loving and affectionate
  • Social, great with new people and kids
  • Smart and playful


  • Predisposed to mouth and gum disease
  • A thick coat that can shed a lot (not a big con but requires some extra work)

2. Russian Blue

Russian Blue cat

The Russian Blue is a naturally occurring breed, meaning that it has developed over time, through adaptation to its natural environment, and because of isolation it has become its own breed.

In America and England, they are also known as “Archangel Blues”. Most of the first specimens arrived with Russian sailors from the port of Arkhangelsk in Russia.

They have bright green eyes, short thick two-layer fur, and a blue-gray coat.

Due to the breeding with Siamese after World War II, as a result, there are colorpoint genes floating around.

If two carriers are bred together, then they will produce a litter of mixed colors, solid blue or white with blue eyes like a Siamese.

When it comes to health they seem to be healthy with no predisposed illnesses. Regular checkups and vaccination are advised for a long and healthy life.

They have a life expectancy of around 10 to 20 years.

What is their personality?

Russian Blues are highly intelligent and playful, great cats for teaching some tricks.

Different breeds are also very loving and devoted to their owners, just like the Russian Blues, but they can be a little bit shy around strangers.

On the other side, they are full of energy and love to play with their owners. If, as a kitten, they are raised in a family with kids they can be really good with kids.



  • Russian Blues need some outdoor space or a big house or apartment
  • They require familiarisation before living with children

3. Birman Cat

Birman cat

Birman cat, also known as the “sacred cat of Burma” is believed to have originated from northern Burma in the Mount of Lugh, and was brought to France around the 1920s.

These cats are medium-sized, have a rectangular body, a broad face, and a distinct Roman nose.

Their ears are ideally as wide on the base as they are tall and should be set as much on top of the head as on the side.

Birman cat´s eyes are rounded and should be a deep sapphire blue. Absolutely lovely! The fur is medium-long and should have a silky texture and they have no undercoat, so they are much less prone to matting, good for us, right?!

The base body color is white to cream, with some dark colors on the tail, around the paws, ears, and the face.

When it comes to health, they do suffer from some predisposed conditions. Some of the conditions are “Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy” (HCM) and chronic kidney disease.

What is their personality?

Birman’s personality is very amicable and loving, and they are very sociable, good with strangers, and especially kids, lucky for us.

These are some of the reasons why they are considered to be great companions.

They are smart and independent, but also curious and love to play. If you look after them they will show love and gratitude.


  • Friendly, great for a bigger family
  • Long fur with no undercoat (easier to keep neat)
  • Quiet and easy-going


  • Predisposed medical issues
  • Long fur that requires daily brushing

4. Siamese cat

Siamese cat

It’s believed that the Siamese cats have originated from “Siam”, which is Thailand today. These cats came to Europe and North America in the late 19th century and were very popular.

They were one of the first breeds widely recognized and accepted to have a pedigree.

Siamese cats have contributed to the creation of several other breeds (Himalayan, Burmese, Balinese, etc.)

Their distinct color patterns are one of the features that makes them easily recognizable.

Siamese cats have a slender body, with long legs, a long neck, and a triangular (pointed) head with blue eyes.

Kittens are born white or cream-colored and later develop dark points around the ears, face, legs, and tail.

Dark points are manifestations of temperature-sensitive albinism, in which the black pigment “Eumelanin“, a type of melanin, is concentrated in the cat’s extremities.

What is their personality?

Siamese cats have a very loving personality and enjoy being with humans. Often they get overly attached to their owners and don’t like to be left alone for prolonged periods.

As you might know, they can be very vocal, meowing all the time. Almost like they are trying to talk with us, this can bother some people so it’s important to mention.

Some people compare them to dogs because of how playful they are and how they are able to learn tricks.

Siamese cats really don’t like being left alone, they can suffer from depression if they are left alone often for long periods.

This desire to be with people makes them great for families, as they get along well with kids and other pets.


  • A short coat that’s easy to take care of and doesn’t shed much
  • Loyal and loving
  • Smart, easy to train
  • Good with kids and other pets
  • Hypoallergenic breed


  • Predisposed medical issues (respiratory illnesses and periodontal disease)
  • Require a lot of attention
  • Highly vocal

5. Burmese cat

Burmese cat

Burmese cats originated from Thailand, but the breed was developed into what we know today in America and the United Kingdom. The British breed of Burmese cats is known as “traditional”.

The appearance of “American Contemporary” Burmese cats and “British traditional” have noticeable differences, and are considered as two separate standards.

American Burmese are broad and sturdily built, with a wide head, wide ears, flattened muzzle, legs proportional to their body, and rounded paws.

British traditional tend to be more slender with a long body. They have a wedge-shaped head, large pointed ears, long tapering muzzle, almond-shaped eyes, long legs, and oval paws. Oh, beautiful details.

Burmese cats have a short coat that is silky smooth and glossy, it does not require much attention and brushing, but the cats will appreciate some attention.

The color is solid and uniform across the body, it can have some gradual shading. The original color is a rich dark brown but there are blue, champagne, and platinum color variations.

In all cases, they are usually small to a medium-size cat breed, and they tend to be around 8 to 13 pounds (4-6kg).

Healthwise, they are in the clear, but as always by offering them the best care possible, you ensure that the predisposed illnesses don´t occur.

Diabetes, muscle weakness due to low levels of potassium (Hypokalemic polymyopathy), and acute teething disorder are some of the issues they can develop.

Burmese cats are very friendly and affectionate but also really demanding. As a result, they will often follow their humans around the home and meow for attention relentlessly.

What is their personality?

These cats are very loyal and playful, but also very intelligent. They are able to learn tricks and also figure out how to open doors, real little escape artists if you ask us.

It is easy to say that they love to play, and are almost like a cat version of a dog, playing fetch and bringing you their toys to play with them.

Although they are great with kids, you should have in mind that small kids and these cats are not a good mix without a little bit of cat training.


  • Sociable, loyal
  • A playful, good family cat
  • Needs grooming once a week
  • Hypoallergenic breed


  • Highly vocal and needy
  • More of an outdoor cat
  • Possibility of predisposed medical issues

6. Sphynx


When it comes to the Sphynx and the idea behind breeding, people simply wanted to create a hairless breed of a cat.

These cats also go by the name of Canadians Sphinx because the breeding program started in the 60s in Ontario, Canada.

Most of today’s cat examples are descendants coming from Toronto.

Although considered hairless they are not completely hairless. In the end, their extremely short and fine hair resembles the hairs on a peach and it will definitely steal people´s views and admirations.

On some occasions, they are completely hairless. Their skin is the color their fur would be, this gives them markings around their body and face.

Sometimes they don´t even have their eyebrows or whiskers or have really short ones.

Their body seems bony but is muscular. They have a wedge-shaped head with prominent cheekbones. Very large ears and eyes.

Their skin has wrinkles around their legs and head. The Sphinx has webbed feet which make them great swimmers.

Because they have no fur or very little of it, they lose their body heat easier than cats with fur.

It’s important to keep them warm in the winter or other cold periods.

When it comes to health, Sphynx is a little bit more problematic than other cat breeds, and this is mostly because of a tiny gene pool.

They are also prone to skin problems like rashes and fungal infections.

Extra care comes in order when you want to protect their skin from sunburns, as they like laying in the sun to keep themselves warm.

What is their personality?

When it comes to their personality, even though they often have a frown on their face and may seem intimidating they are very friendly and cuddly.

These cats love their owners, miss them when they leave for work or school, they wait for them by the door to greet them.

Often they sleep with their owners and openly ask for your love and attention.


  • Hypoallergenic breed
  • Requires almost no grooming
  • A good family and indoor cat


  • Predisposed medical issues
  • They require a lot of attention
  • Requires familiarisation before living with children

7. Ragdolls

Ragdoll cat

Breeder Ann Baker created ragdoll cats back in the 60s in the U.S.A. Her vision was to create a breed that will love human handling, have a playful personality and simply be social.

She crossbred her female cat Josephine, which was a Persian-angora type, with an unknown male that was Burmese or Birman type.

By 1971 she trademarked the name “Ragdoll” and started her own registry the “International Ragdoll Cat Association”. She enforced strict standards on anyone who wanted to breed and sell cats under the name Ragdoll.

Since the year 2005, the trademark on the name has expired and breeders are free to use this name, most breeders choose to follow the old standard on what makes a Ragdoll cat.

Ragdoll cats are one of the largest domestic cat breeds.

They have a big fluffy coat that consists mainly of long guard hair, they lack a dense undercoat, which reduces shedding and matting.

The main characteristic is their blue doll-like eyes, their fur coat comes in 6 different colors: red, blue, cream, chocolate, seal, lilac. Their fur darkens around the extremities (nose, ears, tail, and paws).

When it comes to health, they are a gnarly healthy breed, they can sometimes suffer from heart problems (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy).

Because of their size, they can have some issues with their bones and joints. You can help your cat by offering a special diet that gives them all the vitamins and minerals they need.

What is their personality?

When it comes to their personality, we already mentioned that this breed is one of the best and most docile when it comes to handling by humans.

These cats are highly social and loving pets, just perfect for families.

They have a very relaxed nature and get along with other pets really well, you can even train them to do tricks and to play with you.


  • Good family pet
  • Relaxed and affectionate personality
  • Easily groomed compared to other longhair cats
  • Hypoallergenic breed


  • Strictly an indoor cat (they won’t defend themselves from other cats or dogs)
  • These cats require a special diet
  • Sadly, they don’t live as long as some other breeds
  • They are expensive and rear

8. Somali cat

sleeping somali cat

The Somali cats are the long-hair version of the Abyssinian cat. This Abyssinian breed came to be in the early 1900s, while the longhair variety only had its beginning specifically in the 1960s.

This longhair gene tells a story that originated in Britain while later, this cat found its way with a recessive gene all the way to Europe and America.

The systematic breeding of the Somali cat began in America.

Somalis soon became popular in other parts, particularly Australia where they breed them almost to the exclusion of the Abyssinian cats.

Somaly cats have a bushy tail, large almond-shaped eyes, and large pointy ears. Their thick coat is very fine and soft to the touch, one of the softest furs when you compare them to other cats.

They come in many different colors and patterns but most of them are golden brown with black patterns.

When it comes to health, they are generally healthy with some breed-related issues. Some examples are gingivitis, tooth decay, and renal amyloidosis.

With a good diet, regular vaccinations, and check-ups they should have a long and healthy life.

Because of their thick coat, they do require regular grooming and brushing.

What is their personality?

When it comes to their personality, they are highly intelligent, able to learn tricks, and put up a show. Somali cats enjoy playing games and the company of their owners.

They can become depressed if they don’t get enough attention from their owners, or if left alone for prolonged periods.

They are very active, need exercise, and love going outside, they are the best option for young families.


  • Social, good for families
  • Intelligent and learns tricks easily
  • Quiet cat
  • Hypoallergenic breed


  • Needs the training to be a good family pet
  • They don’t like being left alone or ignored
  • They require regular grooming and brushing

9. European Shorthair

European Shorthair

This breed has developed naturally, without any human intervention, and it isn´t strange that this makes it the most common house cat in Europe. Their roots go as far back as the Roman empire.

While their appearance doesn´t have a wow factor as other rare breeds do, they are still a beautiful medium-size cat with a proportional head that is nicely rounded and oval-shaped.

Medium-sized ears that are slightly round at the tip while the eyes are round and can be of any color.

The body is muscular, with strong legs that are average length and round paws. On the other side, the tail is a bit thicker at the base and has a cute round tip at the end.

European Shorthair’s coat is short, dense, glossy, and springy. They come in many different colors but it’s their patterns that make them recognizable.

When it comes to health issues, luckily, these cats don´t have any breed-specific health problems. But it’s important to take them to the vet for regular checkups and vaccinations. For peace of mind.

What is their personality?

Their personality is very individual, meaning every cat is different. Most of them are perfect house cats, they are very affectionate, playful, and intelligent.

It isn´t strange that these cats are natural-born hunters, so they will chase just about anything that looks like a mouse and moves. The good news is your home will be pest-free.

European shorthair cats want to be very close with their owner and form a friendship, alongside other housepets. But they like to have some privacy from time to time and go outside.


  • Perfect house cat
  • No predisposed illnesses
  • They can usually be found in animal shelters and adopted
  • Good for keeping your house rodent-free
  • They are easy to look after


  • They can be territorial and aggressive towards strangers

10. Maine Coon

Maine Coon

The ancestral origins of Maine Coons are unfortunately unknown, there are only folk tales about their ancestors, and all of them tell a different story.

One thing that we can say with some certainty, is that most of the specimens that formed the breed we know today came from Wiscasset, state of Maine, U.S.A.

Maine Coon is considered to be one of the oldest natural breeds in North America, specifically, the native to the U.S. state of Maine.

This cat breed is one of the biggest domestic cat breeds out there, male cats can be between 13 to 18 lb (5.9 to 8.2 kg) and females around 8 to 12 lb (3.6 to 5.4 kg).

Adult cats’ dimensions can vary, the height is around 10 to 16 inches (25 to 41cm) and their length is somewhere up to and around 38 inches (97cm), including the tail.

Maine Coon has a powerful muscular body, with strong legs, and a long fluffy tail, that resembles a raccoon tail. This is probably why part of their name is ¨Coon¨.

Coons have a double coat, it consists of a soft undercoat and a silky-glossy waterproof top coat.

The hair on the head and neck is shorter and it becomes longer as it goes further down the body.

They can come in many different colors and patterns but the most coon one is brown tabby. Eyes are round and mostly green, gold, or copper, nonetheless almost all colors are possible.

What is their personality?

Maine Coons are very gentle and playful cats, they also go by the name “the gentle giants”, as they enjoy human company and make good family pets.

They have a little bit above average intelligence compared to other cats and are able to learn some tricks. Even though they don’t do many tricks they are still very playful and interesting cats.

Their gentle and calm nature makes them relax around other pets and kids, and they are not very clingy or territorial so they won’t be aggressive towards other pets or strangers.

When it comes to their health, they have a high prevalence of a heart condition hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and also a high risk of hip dysplasia. Another potential health problem is spinal muscular atrophy.

With a good and healthy diet and some regular vaccination and checkups by a veterinarian, they can live a long and healthy life. They live to be around 10 to 12 years old.


  • Social and affectionate
  • Almost never aggressive
  • Great with kids and other pets
  • Their long coat is easy to groom


  • They require grooming every day
  • Predisposed medical issues
  • They are expensive
  • Very talkative cat (some people won’t be bothered by this)


All cats have the potential of being the best pet you can imagine, all they need is a little bit of training from an early age. If you give a loving and safe home to a cat they will return the favor.

They are known for making you work for their love, but it is worth it every time.

Our advice is to support your local community and go check out what is available in your local animal shelter.

In our experience, people usually find many great cats at the shelter and we all know how many of them need a good home.

In the end, we also hope you liked our article and it has helped you to make the right choice. Feel free to write to us if you have any further questions or you think we forgot to mention something.



How To Properly Carry a Cat (A Step-By-Step Guide)

Best Cat Nail Clippers Reviewed

Best Robot Vacuums for Cat Hair in 2022

How to Travel With Newborn Kittens

Leave a Reply