There’s no doubt that cats and children can become best friends, especially when they share hobbies like hiding in sofa forts, playing chase and napping. If you’re searching for a breed that may enjoy the company of a kid, we have some great suggestions for you.
Of course, every cat is an individual. How well a cat will do with small humans depends on his distinct personality and how he has been socialized — and, of course, on how the child treats him. Before adding a cat to your family, make sure your child knows about the right ways to interact with felines. Mikkel Becker has shared some useful tips for fostering positive relationships between cats and kids.
So which breeds tend to do best with children? Click through the gallery to see 12 good options.
The big, friendly Maine Coon typically gets along with everyone, from children to canines. This breed may be a good choice for kids who want to teach their cat to play fetch or walk on a leash, and she can make an excellent travel companion.
If you're searching for a social cat to fit in with a home that's always bustling with activity, the Cornish Rex may be the breed for you. Many Cornish Rex cats are happy to be the center of attention (and applause). Just be sure your kids and their friends know how to respect her.
Generally considered to be a calm, affectionate breed, the Birman isn't necessarily demanding of a child's attention, but she'll definitely let him know when she needs a head scratch or some petting. Enlist your child's help with some gentle grooming to keep the Birman's coat looking silky and beautiful.
The Ragamuffin is a big ol' lap cat who often lavishes his favorite people with love and affection. She'll follow you or your child to the bathroom, the kitchen — anywhere at all, even if it's far away. Ragamuffins can also often learn to walk on a leash and tend to travel very well.
Many Korats are gentle cats who aren't fond of loud noises or a lot of commotion, so keep that in mind if you're considering one for your family. However, this breed is typically a loving friend who will chirp quietly at his favorite people.
The Selkirk Rex's tolerant and easygoing nature means he can be a great choice for families with children. Socialize him early and you'll most likely have an affectionate cat who may be your new favorite traveling buddy. Many of these felines even make wonderful therapy cats.
The Burmese is a surprisingly acrobatic breed for a cat who's sometimes called a "brick wrapped in silk." Get your children to pitch in and help build your Burmese an entertaining catio, a climbing post or even some DIY cat toys to exercise his mind.
The beautiful Bengal is an extremely intelligent and curious cat who will probably take an interest in all of your kids' activities. If you're getting a Bengal from a breeder, though, make sure your cat is at least a fourth-generation Bengal — making it far enough away from its Asian leopard cat heritage to be considered a domestic feline.
She's confident and athletic, which makes the Somali's mischievous nature even more entertaining. She's an active kitty with a sharp mind and a keen desire to play, so she does best with a playmate, whether that's you, your child or another Somali.
The first thing you're likely to notice about the Tonk is his gorgeous eyes — most are a striking aqua color — but he'll soon win your affection with his outgoing, active and playful nature. Many Tonkinese cats love to greet guests, play fetch and converse with their favorite people — and some will even ride on your shoulders.
Norwegian Forest Cat
Known as the Wegie, this cat is a big beauty with a long, gorgeous coat and impressive hunting (and fishing!) skills. Despite his size and talents, though, he's often gentle and loving and tends to get along with just about everyone — human, feline and canine alike.
Lively, fun-loving and a natural athlete, the Oriental may happily supervise any and all family activities with a running kitty commentary. This curious cat often adores his family and is usually happy to entertain them with his distinctive voice or a game of hide-and-seek. Just be prepared to lose — he's known for finding some really excellent hiding spots!