International Cat Day: Top 5 Feline Friends Most Recommended By Pet Experts

If you’re considering getting a pet, chances are that you’re weighing two options: dogs or cats. There are plenty of benefits to any furry friend, but for cat lovers, the answer is clear. Cats are often loving and relational creatures, but they’re also able to be more independent than most dogs, which makes them ideal for busy people and families. They also live longer on average, which makes them a great pet for those looking for a long-term companion. That being said, what are the best cat breeds to own?

Of course, there is a price tag that comes with owning a cat — but many feline families say their pet is “priceless” no matter what. According to a recent survey of 2,000 cat owners, the average American spends $25,304 on their friendly fur ball during their life. For two in three, it’s led to the belief that their cats are truly the queens and kings of their home.

Owners tend to agree that the financial investment is well worth it for the love and satisfaction a cat can bring to your home. But that’s not the only benefit to cat ownership. Another survey of 2,000 cat and dog owners in the United States reports that 69 percent believe they also enjoy a more sustainable lifestyle in comparison to the average American. In fact, more than half (51%) of all cat owners say they’re recycling frequently or more often.

Regardless of your reasons for considering a new feline friend, you’ll find no shortage of breeds to choose from. Whether you’re hoping for energetic and playful or snuggly and sleepy, there’s a cat to fit every owner. To help kickstart your search, StudyFinds did the research to find expert reviews of the best cat breeds. From Maine Coon to Sphynx, we’ve got what you need to know to start weighing your options. This list includes the most frequently recommended breeds but be sure to let us know if we missed your favorite feline in the comments!

The List: Best Cat Breeds, According to Experts

1. Maine Coon

If you’ve got a lot of room in your house and in your heart, you can’t go wrong with a Maine Coon. These striking cats grow much larger than many of their other feline friends, but they match their size with their playful and loving personalities. “One of the oldest natural breeds in North America, Maine Coon cats are known for their intelligence and playfulness, as well as their size,” says Nationwide Pet Insurance. “One of the largest breeds of domestic cats, they are lovingly referred to as ‘gentle giants.'”

grey and white long fur cat
Maine Coon cat (Photo by Sergei Wing on Unsplash)

“Maine coons are well-known for their big size (the most famous among them have clocked in at 30 pounds!), but the reason they’re such a popular house cat breed is because of their friendly personalities,” claims Cosmopolitan. “People sometimes compare Maine coons to dogs because they’re so sociable—they love to play and join you in whatever you’re doing.”

These cats have a big brain to match their body, so be sure you’re prepared to keep them busy if you choose to welcome one into your home. As Purina explains, “The Maine Coon is a very intelligent cat so keep the toy box topped up with plenty of puzzle toys. Nothing spells fun for these kittens more than a good mental challenge.”

2. Ragdoll

If you’ve ever hesitated to get a cat for fear that they won’t like to be held or cuddled, the Ragdoll is the cat for you. These fluffy kitties love to be close to their people. As Cosmopolitan puts it, “Ragdolls are popular pets because they like humans a whole lot—so much so that they often follow their owners around the house from morning till night. If you’re looking for a 15-pound semi-long-haired BFF who’s stuck to you like glue, this could be your cat soul mate.”

white and gray long fur cat on green wooden surface
Ragdoll cat (Photo by David Brooke Martin on Unsplash)

“Ragdolls are extremely mild-mannered and friendly, and often seek out human companionship, such as following people around the house, sleeping with or flopping on their owners,” says Nationwide Pet Insurance. “This breed is particularly good with children and other pets and is easily trained to learn the same tricks as dogs, such as playing fetch, rolling over or begging.”

As an added bonus, the striking long fur of the Ragdoll is easier to take care of than it may appear. If you love the look of a longhaired cat, but are worried about upkeep, this may be the breed for you. As Paw CBD explains, “They have long coats and need occasional grooming, but because they don’t have an undercoat they are less likely to get matted.”

3. Persian

Another striking beauty that loves to love its people, the Persian is one of the most popular cat breeds around. And once you meet one, it’s easy to see why. “Fluffy equals cuddly in the feline world and when it comes to fuzzy kittens, the Persian is one of the most popular cats,” claims Purina. “You’ll often find them patiently waiting for you to sit down so they can find their comfortable spot right on your lap.”

white and gray long fur cat
Persian cat (Photo by Sergey Semin on Unsplash)

“Persians also love routines and are generally well-behaved companions,” adds Pumpkin Pet Insurance. “They like spending time with you and finding a favorite place to curl up for a nap. They can sometimes be playful, but they’re not overly demanding, and they don’t have a reputation for getting into trouble.”

If you’re both a cat lover and a history buff, you’ll love the story of the Persian cat breed. “Persian cats are not only the most popular breed of cats, they’ve also been around the longest. In fact, hieroglyphics reference their origination as far back a 1684 B.C,” notes Nationwide Pet Insurance. “Thought to have originated in Persia (now Iran), the cats were named after their believed ‘country of origin.'”

4. Sphynx

The Sphynx is a popular breed among those who want to avoid shedding, either for functional reasons or due to allergies. But for all the hair they lack, this breed more than makes up for it with their lively personalities. As The Spruce Pets says, “Sphynx cats look unique due to their lack of fur and are very social, active, dog-like felines. They look like they belong in the laps of royalty, but they are playful and goofy and act more like court jesters despite their regal appearance.”

sphynx cat
Sphynx cat (Photo by Dan Wayman on Unsplash)

“The hairless Sphynx is a great cat for families that have a member who is allergic to pet dander,” notes Paw CBD. “Their lack of fur also encourages them to snuggle with you to keep warm – making them one of the best cat breeds for cuddling – and they often need coats. Dressing them up in warm, comfortable clothing is usually a pleasure for a Sphynx owner – especially a child!”

A Sphynx will keep you entertained with their lively antics but will always be up for a cuddle when playtime is over. As Pumpkin Pet Insurance puts it, “with their love of attention, the Sphynx can be mischievous and silly, but they’re also very affectionate – they always want to be spending time with you, or showing off for you. And though they’re curious and playful, they love to snuggle up in a warm spot when they get tired.”

5. Exotic Shorthair

If you love the idea of a Persian but want a cat with a bit more energy, the Exotic may just be your perfect fit. Bred from Persians and the ever-lovable domestic shorthair, these cats pair affection with a bit of fun-loving mischief. “The Exotic is closely related to the Persian and therefore borrows a lot of their quiet and sweet nature,” notes Purina. “If you are looking for a loyal companion, the Exotic is one of the most affectionate cat breeds you can welcome into your life.”

brown and white cat in tilt shift lens
Exotic Shorthair cat (Photo by Dan Wayman on Unsplash)

“Exotic cats are bred to meet the Persian standard in almost every way with one exception: their coats. Exotics, unlike their Persian counterparts, have short, thick, dense coats, making them popular among people who enjoy the Persian personality but don’t want the hassle or the time required for daily grooming,” notes Nationwide Pet Insurance. “Exotic cats are known to show more affection and loyalty than other feline breeds, and commonly follow their owners throughout the home.”

For owners worried about keeping up with their kitty’s energy levels, the exotic shorthair starts out lively and slows down as they age. As Cosmopolitan explains, “exotics are a playful breed and will want to chase strings and whatnot for hours when they’re young. But when they get older, they’ll settle into a relaxed personality. They’ll age with you!”

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links.


  1. I found a ragdoll female kitten outside my house in my last year in college. I assumed she was a stray because she was in horribly dirty condition with parasites and ringworm. One of the best cats I ever owned. It devastated me when she died.

  2. I love the Main coons as I have a part main coon from a pet shelter.i want to adopt one of them or ragdoll on the site of ones that’s been declawed.they need homes where they are inside and safe.i don’t believe in putting your cat outside .no decent owner would.owls,eagles,humans,cars are predators. I love my babies completely

  3. I found a rag doll that was found wondering around the city, he was dirty and had fleas. Brought him to vet. Bathed him got rid of the fleas. Now he lives like a lovable king. He’s very picky about his food. That’s ok especially after being homeless. He deserves an excellent life. Just love him.

  4. I adopted a beautiful blue eyed
    Tortiseshell cat, 4 years ago! She is not only beautiful, with her buff/white, cinnamon, orange, & brown coloring. She has a gentle, sweet and loving personality, & is quite talkative too.
    She is my forever, love& sweet companion.

  5. I have a Ragdoll/Maine Coon mix, & he’s just the most relaxed, lovey dovey cat I could have ever asked for. He plays well with the 3 new rescues & they all love each other a lot! They’re my babies & I love to spoil them every day. They’re the beats of my heart & they’ve helped me to become the best version of myself. I actually feel like they rescued me. 💯😻

  6. I adopted a Bengal who was declawed front and back. Poor Fawn. Crazy breeder destroyed her. Then I adopted a front declawed Ragdoll. Poor Fuzzy. She spent most of her first 6 years in and out of shelters and the next 10 with me learning to trust. She hated being groomed, stress caused her to lose most of her teeth. She was a tiny little 6 pound beast who went camping, traveled, went on walks with us. I’ve adopted many but had one Siamese from a breeder. Next I’m planning on a Siberian- they’re doglike and the only dogs I’ll ever have are cat-like Siberian Huskies and maybe Alaskan Malamute mixes. I’d like to have 2 Siamese who are bonded and another Ragdoll.

  7. You missed the Siberian Forest Cat, long haired, very puppy like, a true love kitty!

  8. The cat pictured and defined as being an Abyssinian is NOT in ANY WAY an Abyssinian. It is a plain old tabby moggy, aka Domestic Shorthair. You need to fix that.

  9. The true best cat is the domestic short hair, no pedigree required, in my opinion.

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