Best Cat Breeds: Top 5 Felines Most Recommended By Pet Experts

Though cats are one of the most popular pets in the world, felines tend to get an undeserved negative bias. When in competition with dogs or “man’s best friend” cats are often perceived as unfriendly, aloof, or unintelligent. This perception couldn’t be further from the truth. Cats have proven intelligence, loyalty, and affection, and even evolved their trademark “meow” sound to communicate specifically with humans. The best cat breeds will showcase all of these qualities while forming a lasting bond with you and your family.

Cats are typically thought of as being less personable than dogs, and while it’s true that they tend to be more independent than their canine counterparts, a study from the University of Helsinki found that cats actually have seven distinct personality and behavioral traits. Using a comprehensive questionnaire of cat owners, researchers examined the behavior of over 4,300 cats across 26 different breeds. Though personality tended to vary across breed and upbringing, cats showed distinctive traits that are common across all felines.

Different breeds of cat can exhibit traits that are more common in their particular breed. Some breeds have been specifically engineered throughout generations to amplify their best characteristics. Though it can be common practice to purchase a pet from a breeder, the ASPCA states that “approximately 6.3 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.1 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats.” Even if you’re looking for a specific breed, it’s always a good idea to check your local shelters!

In the market for a kitty cat to call your own? StudyFinds researched the best cat breeds featured in multiple expert sources, compiling a list of the most recommended. Our list is comprised of the five most frequently named breeds across the reviews. Already have a feline friend? Tell us more about your cat’s breed in the comments below!

The List: Best Cat Breeds, According to Experts

1. Maine Coon

Maine Coon cats are large and furry – they can weigh up to 20 pounds and have a long, double-layered coat. “Known for its large stature and thick fur coat, the Maine coon is a cat that is difficult to ignore,” remarks The Spruce Pets. “Hailing from the state of Maine and the state’s official cat, the Maine coon is a gentle giant.”

If you’re a dog owner looking to make a smooth transition into cat ownership, Maine Coons have been known to have many of the same traits that make dogs so beloved to humans. “Maine Coon cats have a reputation for being super social, friendly, and playful. They are smart and easy to train, they love attention, and they’re adaptable,” writes Bustle.

Purina says not to be fooled by their large size: “Despite their big physique they love nothing more than a good cuddle in your lap. A close second is perhaps making local mice run for dear life as they won’t hold back showing off their chasing skills, especially when rodents are around.”

long-furred brown cat
A Maine Coon (Photo by Bee Felten-Leidel on Unsplash)

2. Ragdoll

Ragdoll cats got their name from their docile temperament, making them the perfect lap cat. They tend to go limp when picked up and follow their owners around the house. “Recognized as one of the friendliest cat breeds, Ragdolls love nothing more than to spend time with their owner even if that means following you around when you’re too busy for hugs,” says Purina.

These cats are medium sized and have a long, soft coat and blue eyes. “With its long silky coat and bright blue eyes, it’s no wonder the ragdoll tops the list as the most popular cat breed for the fourth year in a row,” writes Daily Paws. “These cooperative kitties are kind and do well with children, making them the perfect cat companion for your entire clan.”

Bustle sums it up: “They’re very adaptable, they love to snuggle, and they’re super relaxed. They’re also easy to groom and keep clean.”

white and gray cat
A Ragdoll (Photo by Mikhail Vasilyev on Unsplash)

3. Exotic Shorthair

The Exotic Shorthair was bred as a version of the Persian cat. It is very similar in temperament and appearance, and acclimates well to life in homes or apartments. “For the third year in a row, the Exotic cat has been named as America’s most popular registered cat, knocking the Persian off the podium again after 31 years as the reigning No. 1 breed,” declares Nationwide.

Purina notes the differences between the two: “They are known to love play time a bit more than a Persian and have considerably shorter hair which makes it easier to manage their grooming schedule. If you are looking for a loyal companion, the Exotic is one of the most affectionate cat breeds you can welcome into your life.”

This breed is most known for its looks, with a characteristic “squashed” nose that many find adorable. “With a flat snout, close-set eyes, and a tiny nose, they are irresistibly cute,” says Paw CBD. “They are hyper-playful as kittens and need a lot of care and attention in their younger years, but are known to relax as they get older.”

brown tabby cat
An Exotic Shorthair (Photo by Dan Wayman on Unsplash)

4. Siamese

The Siamese is one of several breeds of cat native to Thailand. They are famous for both their striking looks and loyal relationships with humans. “According to the CFA, the Siamese cat is known for its striking blue eyes, inquisitive personality, and loving nature. The CFA calls the Siamese the ‘quintessential people cat,'” writes Pumpkin.

Siamese cats are known to be very vocal, and because of their short coat, are often ideal for allergy sufferers. “One of the most popular breeds in Europe and North America, the Siamese breed is highly intelligent, talkative and sociable one,” says Spot Pet Insurance. “Known for their dog-like personality, they are very much active and love playing with their owners and show affection openly.”

Purina describes them as the life of the party: “If you are looking for a social feline that loves a good chat, you will look forward spending time with a Siamese. These kittens know how to make their presence felt with their boisterous personality.”

Siamese cat lying on wooden table
A Siamese cat (Photo by Alex Meier on Unsplash)

5. Abyssinian

The Abyssinian is a very unique looking cat, with large ears and a coat where each individual hair is banded with different colors. They are known to be some of the most intelligent cats in the world. “These kitties are popular because they’re geniuses. Abyssinians are super smart, and they’re one of the oldest cat breeds in the world,” writes Cosmopolitan

Abyssinians have high energy levels and are very inquisitive, leaving no corner or object un-investigated. “This cat variety, thought to be one of the most ancient in the world, won’t necessarily sit in your lap, but they love their family and are very social,” says Hill’s Pet. “Abyssinians are cats who know how to both chill out and play, and retain these qualities as they grow up.”

“Abyssinians have a great personality, they are easy to take care of, and they are very curious and playful. They love to explore and they will definitely keep you entertained,” adds Bustle.

brown tabby cat lying on white textile
An Abyssinian (Photo by Roland Hechanova on Unsplash)

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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 post 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. 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.

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