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18 Best Cat Breeds for Kids & Families (With Pictures)

If you have children in your home and you’re thinking about getting a cat for a pet, it’s natural to wonder which breeds are safe to have around children. The good news is that most cats will not harm a child, but some may be a little more friendly than others.

We’ve searched the internet for the best cat breeds for kids and families, and we’ve compiled a list of 18 that we feel are better than the rest.


The 18 Best Cat Breeds for Families with Kids

1. Abyssinian Cat

Image Credit: skeeze, Pixabay

The Abyssinian is a short-haired cat with a lean body. It’s very curious and tends to follow family members around the house, which can be quite amusing to small children. It enjoys the attention and earns the nickname “clown of the cat world.”

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2. Birman Cats

2Birman Cats
Image Credit: Antranias, Pixabay

The Birman cat is also known as the Sacred Cat of Burma. It is a long-haired cat with deep blue eyes and a silky color-pointed coat. A color point pattern is a form of albinism that only allows color to show on the body’s cool spots. Most of the cat’s body is white, but the face, ears, and tail have color. Birman cats are very fluffy, and their deep blue eyes can mesmerize a small child.

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3. Burmese Cats

3Burmese Cats
Image Credit: ge-hall, Pixabay

The Burmese cat is a relatively new breed whose origins trace back to a single cat that came to America in 1930 and mixed with a Siamese. Burmese cats are small but heavy, often described as a silky brick. It’s extremely playful and maintains that playfulness well until its adult years. It forms strong bonds with humans and can learn many tricks, including fetch.

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4. Cornish Rex

4Cornish Rex
Image Credit: duodenum82, Pixabay

The Cornish Rex is a hairless breed, covered with a fine layer of down that can be straight or curly. It enjoys sitting on a family member’s lap and will spend most of its time there. It’s extremely friendly and not the least bit aggressive. Children often enjoy snuggling up to it to help keep it warm.

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5. Devon Rex

4Devon Rex
Image Credit: zkittler, Pixabay

The Devon Rex is an intelligent breed with a very short coat like the Cornish Rex. It’s a large breed often described as active, mischievous, and playful. It likes to hide behind walls until you by and jumps out at you, causing small kids to scream, but they enjoy it once they learn the game.

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6. Exotic Shorthair

6Exotic Shorthair
Image Credit: wokwak, Pixabay

The exotic shorthair is instantly recognizable by its pushed-in nose and roundhead. Its huge head is a favorite of children, and its relaxed disposition makes it the perfect companion for adults. You can find Exotic Shorthairs with long hair as well, and neither shed much.

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7. European Burmese

European Burmese cat_Sel_sandersr_shutterstock
Credit: Sel_Sanders, Shutterstock

The European Burmese cat breed is similar to the American version, but it’s smaller in build and is available in far more colors. European Burmese cats are extremely friendly, have amazing eyesight, and move silently.

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8. Himalayan

Image Credit: gazeofamuse, Pixabay

The Himalayan cat is like the Persian but with a color point coat and deep blue eyes. It is hard for any child to resist petting its fluffy fur, and it loves the attention, often rolling on its back so you can rub its belly. It’s also extremely social and loves to come out to visit with the company.

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9. Japanese Bobtail

black japanese bob tail
Image Credit: NANCY AYUMI KUNIHIRO, Shutterstock

The Japanese Bobtail has a unique short tail that resembles a rabbit. It’s very affectionate and communicates with soft, chirping noises. It has plenty of energy and likes to play games, and it is one of the easiest to train of all cat breeds.

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10. Maine Coon

10Maine Coon
Image Credit: basilsmith, Pixabay

The Maine Coone cat originates from Maine and is the largest of all cat breeds. Children are often impressed with their size and thick fur, and the cat is very friendly, often referred to as a gentle giant. It likes to follow you around the house relentlessly, and even if you close the door, it will sit outside for hours.

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11. Manx

playful young black and white Manx_Seattle Cat Photo_shutterstock
Credit: Seattle Cat Photo, Shutterstock

The Manx cat is another breed without a tail. Unlike the Japanese Bobtail, the Manx tail can vary in length from short to non-existent. It’s a social breed that becomes extremely attached to humans. They are quite passive and sleep for many hours per day.

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12. Ragamuffin

Ragamuffin cat hiding_Ryo Nagashima_shutterstock
Credit: Ryo Nagashima, Shutterstock

The Ragamuffin is a very attractive cat with thick fur. Its friendly reputation is legendary, and children can’t help but try to hug and pet them. It’s available in a wide range of colors, and though it enjoys playing, it is one of the laziest cat breeds.

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13. Ragdoll

Image Credit: monicore, Pixabay

The Ragdoll is a large muscular cat with thick fur that features the color point pattern. A single breeder developed it in the 1960s, and it’s one of the most docile cat breeds. It enjoys sleeping all day and will roll over and let you rub its belly if it means you’ll let it go back to sleep.

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14. Scottish Fold

14Scottish Fold
Image Credit: chris7533, Pixabay

The Scottish Fold is a cat breed whose ears fold forward due to a genetic condition that affects the cartilage. It has other names like the Highland Fold and the Longhair Fold and is popular because of its unusually loving reputation.

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15. Selkirk Rex

15Selkirk Rex
Image Credit: athree23, Pixabay

The Selkirk Rex has an unusually fuzzy and curly coat that looks and feels like a teddy bear. It doesn’t mind the attention and will often bump you with its head for more. It’s very quiet and gentle and enjoys sitting on the laps of family members.

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16. Siamese

Image Credit: webandi, Pixabay

The Siamese cat is an ancient breed with a highly recognizable slender body and apple-shaped head. The coat often has the color point pattern, and it has blue eyes, which distinguish it from the Exotic Shorthair. Siamese cats are social, affectionate, and intelligent, making them a popular family pet for hundreds of years.

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17. Siberian

Solid Siberian Cat Color
Image Credit By: Amber Soja, imaggeo

The Siberian cat is another ancient breed that recently became a formal breed. These cats range from medium to large and have a thick furry coat. Some experts believe the Siberian breed is an ancestor to all long hair cats America available in a wide range of colors, including color point.

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18. Sphynx

Tortoiseshell sphynx
Image: Pxfuel

The sphynx cat is a hairless breed whose skin is the color its coat would be. These cats often don’t even have whiskers, and their unique appearance can attract or repel children. The Sphinx breed is extremely friendly and often cuddles to stay warm.

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We hope you have enjoyed reading over this list of friendly cat breeds. As seen in this post, cats can be great for encouraging responsibility and curiosity in children.

The Scottish Fold, Exotic Shorthair, Maine Coon, and Ragamuffin make excellent first pets for families with children, but there is no bad choice. If we have helped you find your next pet, please share these 18 cat breeds for kids and families on Facebook and Twitter.

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Featured Image Credit: Marigard, Pixabay