Cat Breeds Well-Suited to First-Time Owners

There are more than 40 different cat breeds, so if you’ve never owned a feline friend before and you're interested in a pedigreed cat, how do you pick the right one for you? As a newbie cat owner, you may feel a bit overwhelmed at first with your new responsibilities, like cleaning out the litterbox and going to the vet. Why not make your life a little easier by choosing a cat breed that’s likely to be friendly, low-maintenance and easy to train and will get along with all the members of your family, including dogs?

(Of course, it's also worth noting that mixed breed cats can also be a great fit for your lifestyle, and with proper socialization, training and love, they often also exhibit all the great qualities you're looking for in a specific breed!)

In the photo gallery below, you’ll find cat breeds that generally exhibit some of these qualities. Just remember: All cats are individuals, so you may come across a Maine Coon who’s terrified of dogs and you could meet a Siamese who’s very aloof and not chatty at all. 

What to Look for in Your First Cat

Two Siamese Cats Looking at Camera

Tetsu Yamazaki, Animal Photography

If You Want a Friendly Breed, Here Are Some You Might Like

Cats have a reputation for being standoffish and aloof, and in some cases, they live up to the stereotype. If you’ve never had a cat before, it can be hard to come to terms with the fact that some cats just don’t seek out affection. While we can’t make any guarantees that any cat, even among those breeds deemed friendly, will actually be sociable and interactive, there are certain breeds, such as Siamese and Japanese Bobtails, who are known for their friendly personalities. Get to know these typically sociable cat breeds here.

Tetsu Yamazaki, Animal Photography

Look for a Breed That's Easy to Groom

It takes time to properly care for, train and socialize your cat. Chances are, you'd rather not spend your days sweeping up mountains of cat fur. Thankfully, some cat breeds sport short, wiry or curly coats that don’t shed very much. If you get a cat with a low-maintenance coat, you can spend more time playing with your new feline family member instead of grooming her coat and cleaning up fur balls. From the wavy-haired Devon Rex to the hairless Sphynx, here are five cat breeds that generally don’t need a lot of grooming.

Maine Coon Upside Down

Johnny Kruger, Animal Photography

If You Have Kids, Consider These Family-Friendly Cats

Whether you already have kids or are thinking about starting a family, it’s important for your kids and cats to get along — or at least tolerate each other, although you should always supervise their interaction even if they appear to be the best of friends. Your cat’s affinity for children will depend on his personality, socialization and how the child treats him. That being said, certain breeds can be more likely to enjoy children than others. Cats that tend to do best with young ones are friendly Maine Coons, affectionate Birmans and these 10 other breeds.

Tonkinese cat breed

Tetsu Yamazaki, Animal Photography

If You Have Dogs, Consider These Canine-Friendly Cats

Who says cats and dogs can’t get along? While we can’t make any guarantees that these two animals will tolerate each other, you can increase your chances of having a happy multipet household by considering a cat breed that tends to have the right personality for sharing a household with dogs. For instance, the American Shorthair often has enough confidence to stand her ground against a dog and can be friendly enough to be open to making a canine pal. Similarly, the Tonkinese usually enjoys hanging out with dogs as much as he likes playing fetch with them. Those aren’t the only dog-friendly cat breeds; you can meet more of them here.

On the flip side, there are certain dog breeds that are more likely to get along with cats than others. Get to know them here.

Bengal Cat Laying Down

Anna Pozzi, Animal Photography

Look for a Cat Who Takes Well to Training

We know, we know: Cat training sounds like an oxymoron. But really, many cats can be trained to do all sorts of cool and useful things like walking on a leash, coming when called and spinning on command. As a novice cat owner, having a trainable cat may make your life a little easier, especially when it comes to taking her to the vet or trimming her nails. From the typically intelligent American Shorthair to the generally curious Bengal, these five cat breeds are known for their trainability.

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