Top 10 Cat Breeds To Keep As Outdoor Cats

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Published: 7/19/2021

Keen to keep your cat outside? Some cat breeds are "purr-fectly" suited to the great outdoors, while some felines prefer to laze around at home. We've compiled a list of the top 10 cat breeds to keep outdoors so you can pick a purring pal that'll thrive roaming around your neighborhood.

#1. Norwegian Forest

Originating from Northern Europe, Norwegian Forest cats are masters of outdoor exploration. These large fluffy felines are among the strongest cat breeds. 

Norwegian Forest cats are also expert climbers and are one of the only breeds that descend from trees headfirst. And, if you live in a cold area, you won't have to worry about your Norwegian Forest cat getting cold, thanks to their thick fur.

#2. Maine Coon

There are few breeds as instantly recognizable as Maine Coons. These New England natives are considered gentle giants and are among the oldest breeds in the US. They're also the second largest cat breed in the world, after the Savannah. 

Maine Coons are highly intelligent, meaning they'll be able to solve any problems the outside world throws at them. Maine Coons also make great family pets, as they're very playful and have dog-like characteristics.

#3. Manx

There are few better hunters than Manx cats. This breed from the Isle of Man is another instantly recognizable one thanks to a genetic mutation that shortens or removes their tails. 

Referred to as '"stubbin" or "rumpy" in their homeland, Manx cats were often kept on ships and at farms in the 19th and 20th centuries to help deal with rodent infestations. Manx cats make great outdoor pets, as long as you don't mind being brought an unwanted "present" from time to time!

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#4. Bengal

Few cat breeds resemble a little leopard as much as the Bengal. The breed was created by breeding a domestic cat with an Asian leopard cat, meaning this breed has a bit of a wild side. 

Bengals are highly active, independent, and require plenty of daytime stimulation. They're also sleek and strong — ideal for adventuring. Your little leopard may also enjoy swimming, a rarity amongst felines. If you plan to keep a Bengal inside at all, ensure they have plenty of places to climb.

#5. European Shorthair

European Shorthairs are one of the most common breeds in Europe, and for good reason. European Shorthairs are keen hunters, known to keep houses and gardens free of pests. 

One of their best traits is they're highly adaptable and will prosper whether they're moving to a new home or exploring a new environment. They're also wary of strangers, which is ideal for outdoor cats. Due to their fear of strangers, European Shorthairs need a quiet place to go whenever you have visitors.

#6. Abyssinian

If you're looking for an elegant breed that loves the outdoors, you can't beat an Abyssinian. These sleek felines are extremely smart, outgoing, and are popular due to their clownish behavior. They love climbing and will often be found chilling up a tree. 

Abyssinians also have a storied history and are one of the oldest cat breeds, with similar cats buried in the tombs of Ancient Egypt. You won't be short of conversation if there are Abyssinians around, and these tiny tigers love to chatter and chirp.

#7. Russian Blue

With their unique blueish grey fur and striking eyes, it's easy to see why Russian Blues are popular on appearance alone. However, Russian Blues also have great personalities, which make "supurrb" family pets and outdoor explorers. 

Russian Blues are intelligent and friendly with a reserved demeanor. They tend to bond well with their pet parents but aren't clingy and are happy entertaining themselves. They're also voracious hunters who'll catch everything from mice to birds to rabbits.

#8. American Bobtail

America's answer to the Manx cat is the American Bobtail. This breed isn't missing a tail like their Manx compadres but instead has a tail 1/2 to 1/3 the length of an average cat tail. They are stocky kitties with strong jaws and a rugged appearance. 

American Bobtails are extremely intelligent, with reports of them opening doors and escaping from cages without training. They also love to hunt and will quickly dispatch any pesky fly that comes into your home. They're also highly adaptable and make great travel buddies. With their strong frame and level personality, American Bobtails are among the best cat breeds to keep outside.

#9. Savannah

Your Savannah cat will undoubtedly rule your local clowder. The largest cat breed, Savannah cats were created by breeding a domestic cat with a serval, a mid-sized African wildcat with long legs and a spotted coat. 

As a result of crossbreeding, Savannahs can weigh as much as 20 pounds and have an incredibly strong hunting instinct. They're impressive athletes, jumping as high as 8 feet from a standing position. Savannahs are also highly trainable and can be trained to walk on a leash. However, Savannahs can be anxious, so socialization from a young age is key.

#10. Korat

One of the most unusual breeds on this list is the Korat. Originally from Thailand, Korats are similar in appearance to a Russian Blue, although they tend to be leaner and have different shaped heads. Korat is among the oldest cat breeds, going unchanged for centuries.

One of the reasons Korats make such great outdoor cats is their intelligence and memory. Korats will always be able to find their way home, even if they end up somewhere they've never been before. They can also recognize their human on the street.