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12 Most Intelligent Cat Breeds (With Pictures)

Cats are known for being inquisitive by nature, while some are thought of as mischievous and highly energetic. The most intelligent breeds can also learn tricks, play fetch with their owners, and figure out interactive games, whether they are meant to or not. It can be difficult to keep an intelligent cat entertained, but if you enjoy the challenge of trying, here are 12 of the most intelligent cat breeds available for your home.cat face divider 2

The 12 Most Intelligent Cat Breeds

1. Abyssinian

Image Credit: tsapenkodg, Pixabay

The Abyssinian is widely regarded as the most intelligent cat breed. They are incredibly agile and athletic, and they look it, too. They enjoy the company of other cats, will happily live with dogs, and love the company of humans, although this doesn’t necessarily mean that they will enjoy curling up on their owners’ lap.

Be prepared for the fact that the Abyssinian also loves to be up high, so if you don’t invest in a cat tree, you can expect to find him lurking on top of cupboards and other homemade perches.

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2. Turkish Van

Turkish Van
Image Credit: platinumportfolio, Pixabay

The Turkish Van shares some, but definitely not all, similarities with the Abyssinian. They do enjoy being up high, but they are not deft or agile. And because they’re large, this means that they pose a genuine risk for knocking down anything they try climbing. They are very intelligent, though, and can easily learn a few tricks.

The Turkish Van is known as the swimming cat. Not only does he tolerate water, he loves it and even has webbed toes, so he’s fully equipped for some time in the pond.

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3. Siamese

Image Credit: webandi, Pixabay

Siamese are not only very intelligent, but they will tell you all about it. They love to chatter, especially when they have a human that will chatter back. They will follow you around and watch everything you do, and it often feels like they’re learning your daily routine.

If you don’t provide your Siamese with interactive toys and puzzles, they are likely to make their own. They will love figuring out how to unroll toilet paper, or get your clothes out of drawers, for example.

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4. Balinese

seal point Balinese_SJ duran_shutterstock
Image Credit: SJ Duran, Shutterstock

The Balinese is essentially a longhaired Siamese, so it stands to reason that he is just as intelligent as the aforementioned feline. They are usually quite active cats, serving as a good example of why cats are said to be so inquisitive.

The Balinese is another breed that loves nothing more than to talk to his owner. He will vocalize every emotion and is certain to let you know when it is time to eat.

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5. Bengal

Image Credit: xaviera750, Pixabay

The most obvious and striking feature of the Bengal Cat is its striking resemblance to the leopard. Fortunately, it is a lot smaller than a wild leopard and a lot friendlier. With that said, they are very athletic and many owners consider them still wild.

The Bengal needs a lot of room and even more mental stimulation. He loves climbing trees and you will struggle to find a cat toy that is too challenging for this breed.

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6. Burmese

European Burmese cat
Image Credit: fotoliza, Shutterstock

The Burmese is a friendly and cheerful cat breed. He can adapt very well, too, so he can live indoors or spend time outdoors, and he will usually get on well with all members of the family, including other cats and even dogs.

As well as being highly intelligent, the Burmese is also a sociable cat. He not only enjoys the company of people and other cats but positively flourishes with social contact. Consider getting two or ensure that you have plenty of time to spend with a Burmese. Otherwise, he will make his own fun.

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7. Scottish Fold

Scottish Fold
Image Credit: Sophkins, Pixabay

The Scottish Fold has plenty going for it. Obviously, it has the unique folded ears (although not all cats of this breed necessarily have the fold) and this breed tends to think of themselves as being human, especially in their mannerisms and the way that they choose to sit.

Intelligent and inquisitive, the Fold will become destructive if he is left alone too long. Look for puzzles and toys that challenge his mental acuity if you do intend to leave your Fold for long periods.

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8. Japanese Bobtail

black japanese bobtail
Image: NANCY AYUMI KUNIHIRO, Shutterstock

The Japanese Bobtail cat is seen as being a good luck charm in his homeland of Japan. This is likely because he was used to ward off mice and rats from local grain supplies, so having one really was good luck and meant that you got to keep your stock of food.

A playful cat that is happy around water, the Bobtail can often be found fishing in your tank or bobbing in your toilet, so be warned. Thankfully, they also enjoy spending time on your lap.

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9. Tonkinese

tonkinese cat
Image Credit: dezy, Shutterstock

The Tonkinese is a cross between the Siamese and Burmese: two breeds that have made our list of intelligent cats by their own rights. As you can imagine, the crossing has done little to impair their mental astuteness and the Tonkinese is equally as intelligent as either of his parent breeds.

Tonks are not quite as chatty as their Siamese parents, but they do like to converse with their humans. They are playful, too, and they can be taught to play games like fetch. They are a great alternative to a dog, if you’re not allowed one, or if you would rather have a cat.

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10. Cornish Rex

Cornish Rex Cat Breed
Photo credit: Cornish Rex 01 by Korona Lacasse licensed by CC 2.0.

The Cornish Rex is pretty much a Retriever dog but in feline form. Hide a toy and he will find it. He also has very long and flexible toes, so he has no problem climbing or foraging, and he can tear most pieces of paper and tissue to shreds in an instant.

They’re friendly cats that are often used as therapy pets. They also love human companionship and contact, so be prepared to be hassled when you sit down or walk past one.

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11. Savannah

savannah cat standing by the window
Image Credit: kuban_girl, Shutterstock

The Savannah may be a domesticated cat, but somebody needs to let him know. This breed is wild in nature, preferring time outdoors, up trees, and running around. If you intend to keep him indoors, you will need to provide a lot of room and lots of exciting activities to keep him busy and out of mischief.

The Savannah is not the best breed for all potential owners because his wild side means that he may be just as aloof with his owners as he is with strangers.

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12. Singapura

Singapura on grey background
Image Credit: COULANGES, Shutterstock

The Singapura is a rare breed cat that comes from the streets of Singapore. As is common with street cats, they have learned to love humans and to charm them with their feline wiles. They will provide you with plenty of attention and affection, and expect nothing except food, water, entertainment, toys, a roof, and attention in return!

The Singapura is another intelligent breed that appreciates vertical space as much as horizontal. If you have indoor trees, be prepared to lose a few leaves and branches from time to time.

cat paw dividerIntelligent Cats

Most owners would argue that all cats are intelligent. They spend half their life sleeping and the other half of their lives causing mischief. And yet we still feed them, water them, and tend to their ills and ailments. It’s probably because they are so cute! But some breeds are more intelligent than others, and we have listed 12 of the most intelligent breeds in the cat world. We hope you find the list useful when looking for your next feline friend.

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Featured Image Credit: Chendongshan, Shutterstock