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8 Kid-Friendly Cat Breeds (With Pictures)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

young boy playing with cat

Children love animals, and growing up with a pet can make life fun! It’s hard for many children to resist an adorable kitten. But how do you know which breed would be best for a house with kids?

Cats and children are often quite fond of one another. They become best friends, snuggling and playing together and keeping each other entertained. If you’re thinking about bringing a cat into your home, consider the age and energy level of your kids. Do they understand how to be respectful toward animals? Are they responsible enough to help care for a cat? Cats that don’t like loud noises or a great deal of commotion probably wouldn’t be the right choice for a child-filled environment. You want your cat to be docile and calm, but they should also have a fun personality. You don’t want them hiding behind the sofa every time the kids come into the room.

Once you decide that a cat is right for your family, it’s time to choose the perfect breed. We gathered the best kid-friendly cat breeds for you to browse so you can bring the right one home.

Top 8 Kid-Friendly Cat Breeds

1. American Shorthair

Torbie american shorthair
Image Credit: Bruno Passigatti, Shutterstock

This popular breed is easy to care for and enjoys being part of a family. Wherever the action is, they’re there to check it out. They’re sturdy, friendly, and easy-going. Not much bothers them, and they love to cuddle with people. They’re tolerant of children and soak up affection.

2. Birman

Birman cat on the floor
Image Credit: Daydream Photographie, Shutterstock

This breed is intelligent, social, and eager to learn tricks. Your children can have fun training the cat to do all sorts of things, including walking on a leash. Not one to shy away from socializing, this cat will greet visitors at the door. The calm nature of the Birman is ideal for children who are shy and have trouble reading aloud. By talking and reading to the cat, your child will have a receptive, encouraging audience with which to practice.

3. Ragdoll

ragdoll cat sitting on a cat tree
Image Credit: izmargad, Shutterstock

This breed is soft and gentle, soaking up affection from anyone who will offer it. The Ragdoll goes limp when you pick them up, which is how they got their name. Fully relaxed, your kids can easily lift this cat—although they can be on the large side—and cuddle with them on the couch. These cats enjoy playing with toys as much as they like lounging. The Ragdoll is happy to be purring next to your kids during family movie night or in bed overnight.

4. Himalayan

Himalayan cat beside a cabinet
Image Credit: Nattapong Pongpiyapan, Shutterstock

A cross between a Siamese and a Persian, this cat is the best of both breeds. They love to sleep in laps, and they aren’t too active for small kids. Playing with toys is all that they need to stay entertained. After that, they enjoy quiet time bonding with their families. Their beautiful appearance and sweet nature make them popular family pets.

5. European Burmese

European Burmese cat
Image Credit: fotoliza, Shutterstock

This breed is active and friendly throughout their lifetime. These exotic-looking cats are always wondering what you’re up to and are known to follow children and other pets from room to room. Affectionate and social, the European Burmese is great for first-time pet owners because of their ease of care. They also don’t mind being picked up, even by children. These cats are loyal to their families and bond with everyone in the house.

6. Maine Coon

ginger Maine coon cat
Image Credit: Meriluxa, Shutterstock

Don’t let their size fool you. These gentle giants are playful and friendly with people of all ages. This breed even works well as therapy cats. They’re patient and calm, allowing children to play with them and pet them. Maine Coons love a game of fetch or chasing a laser pointer, so they’ll keep your kids entertained and laughing with their antics. They’re kittens at heart, acting silly and playful well into their senior years.

7. Abyssinian

abyssinian cat outdoor
Image Credit: Kyselova Inna, Shutterstock

This breed is known for their loyalty to family. They thrive being part of a group. They’re not as cuddly as lap cats, preferring to observe the room from a perch or spot on the couch. However, they do enjoy affection, and their activity level can match that of children. They enjoy playing games and spending time close to people.

8. Manx

manx cat lying
Image Credit: NSC Photography, Shutterstock

Manx cats don’t often have tails, but they make up for this in personality. They’re known as the dog of the cat world, with a playful personality that matches a puppy’s. The Manx is well-suited for children because of their loving nature, and they are also protective of their family members. They’ve even been known to stand in front of their humans and growl, guarding and protecting them from perceived dangers.

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Cats are often chosen as pets because they have simpler needs than dogs and are fairly independent. The breeds here are the opposite. They want human interaction and socialization almost as much as their canine counterparts.

When deciding on a kitten, don’t just go for the cutest one in the bunch. Take the time to do some research to make sure this breed will be the right fit for your family. Avoid a frustrating situation by knowing the needs of the specific cat that you’re interested in and making sure your family members, including small kids, understand how important this responsibility is.

No matter which cat you choose, you’ll be getting a loving and playful new addition to your home that is sure to keep everyone entertained and happy for years to come.

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Featured Image Credit to: Ilona Ilyés, Pixabay

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