Top Cat Breeds for Children

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Do children and cats mix? If you’re thinking about bringing home a feline friend for the little ones in your family, you want to choose a breed that will put up with some poking and prodding—though it’s also important to teach kids to treat companion animals with respect. Cats make great pets for children as they generally require less maintenance and are easier to care for than dogs. At the same time, they teach youngsters patience, responsibility, and compassion. 

Wondering which cat breeds are the best for children? Read on to find out!

#1. Maine Coon

Known as the gentle giant of house cats, the Maine Coon has a heart that’s as big as their body. Friendly and laidback, they get along well with children and other pets. They’re affectionate without being clingy, so while they like to follow their favorite people around the house, they won’t bug your kids if they’re busy doing homework.

#2. American Shorthair

Good-natured and easygoing, the American Shorthair is a great addition to a household with kids and other animals. They have a middle-of-the-road temperament: not too cuddly and not too aloof, not too lazy and not too active. They also typically have long lifespans, making them an ideal companion for young children to grow up with.

#3. Burmese

The Burmese is a furrific choice for a family who can give them the attention they need. Often described as dog-like, this breed can be taught a variety of tricks, including sit, roll over, and fetch. They can even learn to walk on a leash! Playful and people-oriented, the Burmese loves amusing their humans with their antics, even in their senior years.
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#4. Ragdoll

Many cats don’t like being picked up, but not the Ragdoll. With a tendency to melt into the arms of anyone who holds them, this breed is a purrfect match for kids who want a feline friend that they can carry around. And while they are docile and not very active, the Ragdoll still enjoys playing with toys and being part of family activities.

#5. Manx

Active children will find a feline BFF in the Manx. This tailless island cat likes chasing after toys, playing in water, and jumping onto high spots around the house. They also enjoy spending quality time with their humans and going on car rides, making them pawtastic companions for road trips.

#6. Abyssinian

Smart and athletic, the Abyssinian is best suited for a family with older kids. This breed prefers not to be cuddled, but that doesn’t mean they’re standoffish. An Aby will follow you from room to room and appreciate being included in household activities—just don’t try to pick them up. They show their devotion by being near you and entertaining you with their antics.

#7. Birman

The quiet and gentle Birman can get along with pretty much anyone, including children and other animals. Because of their inquisitiveness, Birmans have been known to get into sticky situations, so they may require extra supervision. Nevertheless, their sweet nature makes them easy to handle and their intelligence makes them a joy to train—all great qualities for a house cat!

#8. Himalayan

Calm and docile, the Himalayan makes a wonderful companion, but they’re not for every child. This long-haired beauty isn’t a fan of loud environments, so the best fit for them is a child who knows how to be gentle with animals. Handle a Himmie with care, and they won’t mind being combed and pushed around in a stroller (but no dress-up, please).

#9. Siberian

For a cat who isn’t fazed by activity or noise, look no further than the Siberian. Playful and affectionate, this Russian forest cat will fit right into a home with kids and other pets. Always looking for something to do, they will gladly play with children or seek adventures of their own, from leaping onto high surfaces to playing with water.

#10. British Shorthair

The British Shorthair tends to be loyal to the entire family rather than just one person, making them an excellent addition to any home. They are good with kids (and cat-friendly canines), and children love them for their plushie-like appearance and good manners. Despite being even-tempered, the British Shorthair doesn’t like being picked up. They do, however, appreciate quality time with their people.