Cats get a bad rap. There's always some movie villain holding and petting one, and over the years, these furry domestic animals have developed a reputation for being more aloof than their canine counterparts. But cat lovers know that cats have so much to give. Like humans, every individual cat has a different personality. Still, there are some breed-specific characteristics that ring true and may help you settle on a new feline family member.
Maine Coons are huge, and, unless you're a rodent, they're as pleasant as they are large. They'll need your love and attention, but they'll reward your ministrations with an easy-going nature and a welcome dose of playfulness. Maine coons are neighborly, too, and tend to get along fine with other pets in the home.
Persians are possibly the cutest animals on the planet. But they aren't all looks and no personality. These popular sweetie pies are gentle and cuddly, especially once they've had a chance to get familiar with you. They're not particularly high on the energy meter, and they might like you for the warmth of your lap more than anything else, but who can begrudge them these traits when they're picture perfect.
Meredith and Olivia Swift, Taylor Swift's beloved and famous felines who made the cat backpack trendy, are Scottish Folds. What is it about this breed that has Miss Americana enamored? Scottish Folds are smart cookies. They can handle noisy places, love hanging out with their human companions, and are child-friendly and undemanding. They can also stand up on their hind legs, which is adorable. You'll be happy to know that Scottish Folds get on well with other animals in the family — and, no, we're not talking about the drunk uncle that shows up now and then.
Swifties will be familiar with the newest member of Taylor's household, Benjamin Button. Lil Benji is a Ragdoll—a breed with lots going for it. For one, they're large and amiable, so they make great winter couch buddies. Ragdolls don't mind busy homes, and they're super trainable and intelligent. Ragdolls often come when you call them and follow you around like a mini sidekick. And they go as limp as a ragdoll when you pet them, in case you were wondering about the name.
If you're looking for the Einsteins of the cat world, look no further than an Abyssinian. With big ears and astute eyes, these tawny fur babies aren't conventionally winsome, but perhaps that's part of their appeal. Abyssinians might not look squishable—and they don't enjoy loads of snuggles—but they're friendly to all and like being near humans. They also have bucketloads of personality and zest and aren't shy.
We hate to bring this up, but if curiosity killed the cat, you'd best keep a beady eye on your Burmese. Burmese cats are attention-seeking observers, but they're oh-so-affable. They aren't scared of people they don't know, and they'll become your number one snooze buddies. They may even let you dress them up if you're lucky.
Just like their Burmese brethren, Siamese cats are inquisitive. They're outgoing and trusting, and they also happen to be Chatty Catties who love vocalizing. Be sure not to leave a Siamese cat alone at home for too long — they don't take kindly to the isolation. And if the idea of having a noisy, rambunctious cat doesn't appeal to you, you may want to go a different route.
Exotic shorthairs have flat faces that can make them look grumpy, but, of course, looks can be deceiving. They have personalities like Persians, but they're not as high maintenance because they don't require much grooming. Exotic shorthairs can build a bond with you and your family, and they're a fabulous option for first-time cat people.
Birmans love company and are active conversationalists. They're patient, laidback, and low-maintenance, and they're tolerant of little kids and dogs. They tend to get attached to one person, so expect to be followed around a lot if that person happens to be you. Birmans may even get jealous if you're busy and can't give them as much attention as they'd like.
The antagonist Smoky in Stuart Little was a Chartreux, so if you were a kid in the 90s, this might have made an impression on you. But Chartreux cats couldn't be more companionable, polite, or well-behaved. They're a bit on the quiet side, but they're capable of devotion and love being doted on.
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