Kids and cats seem to have a special bond. Maybe it’s because they have a lot in common- they love attention and play. Unlike dogs, cats are suitable pets for kids because they are low-maintenance and easy to care for – they don’t require frequent baths and don’t need to go outside to relieve themselves. Moreover, it is easy to keep them indoors safely due to their relatively low energy levels. Having a cat as a pet for your children can be very beneficial to them, because it not only acts as a play partner but can also teach them how to be responsible by learning how to groom, feed and take care of their new friend.
Nonetheless, not all cats are suitable playmates for children. It is imperative to choose the right cat breed that matches your kid’s character or age. If you have older/less active children, you are better off with low-energy, independent breeds but if you’ve got energetic kids who love to play, high-energy, affectionate breeds will be an excellent choice. Whichever category your kid falls into, the best cats for children should have most of the following characteristics, easygoing, sociable, loyal, low temperament, somewhat playful and adaptable to a various situations. Here is the list of top 10 best cat breeds for children.
1. The Maine Coon
The Maine Coon is a large beautiful robust long-haired cat that is often an enthusiastic hunter, and enjoys spending a lot of time outdoors taking part in play and other activities. They are also gentle, loving and protective; you will be astounded to find out how much intelligent, energetic and playful they can be. Once they have bonded with your children, they are more likely to start playing around with them. Due to their high energy levels, they do not like being tied down. They like to roam freely but at the same time, they are very loyal and affectionate. Unfortunately, these cats hardly get along with other pets.
This cat behaves more like a dog, due to its smart, wilful and extroverted nature and the love to play and explore. Its love of play can be only matched by its love of water. Abyssinian requires low maintenance because its medium length fur and ticked coat requires little grooming, possibly only once a week. Due to its playful, smart and curious nature, this cat is ideal for playful kids and gets along with other cats.
3. The Ragdoll
This breed was named Ragdoll by a cat breeder in the early 60s because they tend to be very floppy and relaxed when picked up. It is one of the cutest, gentle and most affectionate cats you will ever come across. They often follow you around just like puppies do. The Ragdoll is not only gentle but also, does not react in a negative manner to overzealous kids; in fact, you are not likely to see them use their claws and teeth during play, making them suitable to be around kids. The Ragdoll is quite a high maintenance cat – its fur is full and plush, thus requiring regular grooming.
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4. The British Shorthair
The British Shorthair is a very solid, laidback, reliable cat with the male in particular being very friendly and sociable to people of all ages. This characteristic makes it a safe breed to be around your kids. Though they prefer a quite indoor life, they also don’t mind living in a busy and noisy household.
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5. The American Shorthair
The American Shorthair is more or less like the British Shorthair may be because it is descended from the British Shorthair. However, this cat is leaner, larger and more athletic than its British counterpart. It gets along well with kids and even other pets such as dogs. As its name suggests, it has short hair making its glooming easy.
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6. The Siamese Cat
Don’t let the wild Siamese cats in the movie The Aristocats’ leave you with a bad image of this breed. Although it can at times be nervous, sensitive and love attention, it is also very social, loving and affectionate. The Siamese cat is a creature of habit and routine; once it has established a bond with your kid, they are likely to become best friends! It is also very intelligent and very playful especially around kids – your kid can even teach it how to play fetch’!
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This is a unique cat that does not have fur and comes in various skin colors. This breed isn’t completely hairless; it has some fine peach-like fur over its body, making it very sensitive to the direct sunlight and other climatic elements. Due to this reason, Sphynx dwells mostly indoors. It is warm to the touch, energetic, cuddly and affectionate –don’t be surprised to find it snuggling under the covers with you. With its curious nature and big pointy ears that give it a unique look, Sphynx can be fun around children. Moreover, due to lack of hair, it is ideal for people who may be allergic to cats.
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Persian is one of the most popular cat breeds in history not only because of their beautiful look, but also for their quiet and calm temperaments. Their long hair and squishy-face gives them an appealing look. Though not one of the most active cats, they are generally playful and love to be stroked and to regularly receive attention from kids. Due to its long hair, this cat requires regular glooming; you can also enlist your kids to assist in grooming the cat. This will help them to understand the joys of having such lovely as pet.
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9. The Cornish Rex
This is a petite, curly haired cat that has a friendly and inquisitive nature. The interesting thing about the Cornish Rex is that they maintain their kittenish temperaments, and enjoy exploration and play throughout their lives. They are generally curious about everything; which can make them a bit destructive, but their keenness to engage in play makes them the perfect partner for kids who love to explore and play.
10. The Exotic Shorthair
The Exotic Shorthair can be termed as the short-haired version of the Persian breed. Its rounded ears, squashed face and the exotic Shorthair looks make it look more like a cuddly teddy bear. This cuddly look makes this cat very popular with children. Though it has a similar temperament to that of its long-haired cousin, is a bit more playful and inquisitive, but at the same time still laid back.
It’s extremely important to choose the perfect cat breed for your children. So keep these this list in mind while buying a cute cat for your child! Do you have a cat? What is your favorite cat breed? What breed is the best for kids? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!