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Best Cat Breeds for First Time Owners
Updated on September 15, 2022
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Best Cat Breeds for First Time Owners
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Cats are wonderful pets to have around. They can be very loyal and affectionate, making them a lovely addition to your home.

People have their reasons for adopting a cat for the first time. Knowing how to choose which cat breed would make the perfect feline companion can make it easier for you.

Best Cat Breeds for First Time Owners 2

How Many Cat Breeds Are There?

Different groups give a unique total of cat breeds. The number of pedigrees listed by international cat registries and organizations vary based on their criteria.

The overall cat breeds in the world may fall between 15 and 73 based on different cat registries.

7 Best Cat Breeds to Own for a First-Time Owner

  • Best Cat for First-Time Owners — American Shorthair
  • Best Cat Breed for Kids — Maine Coon
  • Best Indoor Cat Breed for Apartments — Persian Cat
  • Best Outdoor Cat Breed — Bengal Cat
  • Best Cat Breed for Allergies — Canadian Sphynx
  • Best Cat Breed for Cuddling — Ragdoll
  • Best Cat Breed for Dogs — Siberian Cat

Encyclopedia Britannica lists only 15 breeds. The International Cat Association, the world’s largest genetic registry of pedigreed cats, includes 73 different kinds.1

The Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) is America’s largest cat registration body. CFA recognizes 45 cat breeds as of 2022.2

Another cat registration body is Fédération Internationale Féline, with members in about 40 countries. They have 48 cat pedigrees.

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Which Cat Breed Suits You?

Choose the right cat is only practical, since you’ll be caring for it for a long time. 

Below are some things you should consider when finding the perfect feline companion.3

  • The cat’s personality
  • Age of the kitten or cat
  • Grooming requirements
  • If you have family or children
  • Your living space
  • If you or anyone in the household has allergies
  • If you have any existing pets

We’re happy to help you find a feline friend. When adopting your first cat, here are the top breeds we recommend:

Best Cat Breed for First Time Owners — American Shorthair

One of the most commonly owned pets is the American Shorthair cat. 

  • Body size: Medium
  • Weight: About 8 to 12 pounds
  • Coat: Short
  • Color pattern: Some possible patterns include white, cream, black, blue, brown, tortoiseshell, cameo, and many others3

American Shorthair Personality

The American Shorthair is among the most affectionate and friendliest. 

This cat is gentle to have around. It quickly adapts to its surroundings, making it popular with family members and first-time cat owners.

American Shorthairs can be super sweet and endearing. They love human attention. But at times, they enjoy being on their own. 

Aside from their gentleness, they are easy to entertain and not overly dependent on your presence. You don't have to worry about leaving them at home if you need to go out. 

Other cat breeds we recommend for first-time owners: Siamese cats and Scottish Fold cats may be good options. Both are affectionate and have friendly personalities. 

New cat owners may find them easy to keep. 

Best Cat for Kids — Maine Coon

If you have children around the house, the best pet for you is the Maine Coon. This breed is known for its playful nature.

  • Body size: Large
  • Weight: Average of 9 to 20 pounds; a male can weigh even more
  • Coat: Long and silky 
  • Color pattern: They come in almost any color and pattern, such as solid, tabby, bi-color, parti-color (calico, tortoiseshell). The most recognizable is the brown tabby pattern

Maine Coon Personality

Maine Coons earned their nickname “the gentle giants” because they are calm and sweet tempered despite their size.

This breed is a natural extrovert — outgoing, active, and curious. Despite that, Maine Coons are non-aggressive. They remain calm and affectionate with people and other pets. 

Maine Coons are perfect for children. They can tolerate high-level activities in their surroundings. They would do well in households with energetic and cheerful kids.

These cats are intelligent and aware of their size. They will probably be protective and cautious when playing with youngsters.

Other cat breeds we recommend for kids: Burmese and Tonkinese are other kitties you may get. Both are playful and energetic, yet gentle and kind cats. 

They have the enthusiasm to match your children's playtime.

Best Indoor Cat Breed for Apartments — Persian Cat

A more laid-back pet is ideal when you live in an apartment and spend most of your time indoors. The Persian cat is the perfect picture of tranquility. 

  • Body size: Medium to large
  • Weight: Approximately 7 to 12 pounds
  • Coat: Long and thick with a ruff in the neck, frill extending between the front legs, full bushy tail, glossy and fine
  • Color pattern: Solid (blue, black, white, red, cream, chocolate, or lilac), tabby, parti-color, calico, bi-color, shaded, smoked (cameo and tortoiseshell patterns), and pointed colors

Persian Personality

The Persian is one of the milder and soft spoken cats. It has a calm and passive personality. Known for being master nappers, the Persian can stay inactive for long periods.  

This cat is intelligent and may also learn tricks. But it is not adventurous enough to leap, climb and rummage through cupboards and other parts of the house.

Persians make perfect domestic cats because they are well-behaved. Their laid-back personality will not disrupt your peaceful apartment living. 

Persian cats are easy-going and non-territorial. If guests come to your home, they may hide and become fearful. They will come around eventually, since they are adaptable to different people.

Other cat breeds we recommend for apartment living: Himalayan or Himmies and British Shorthair will make good indoor cats much like the Persian. 

Both these beautiful cats enjoy a sedentary lifestyle. They are loyal cats who are equally happy with little playtime and more relaxing. 

Best Outdoor Cat Breed — Bengal Cat

The Bengal cat is perfect to tag along on walks, hikes, and trips. This cat will make a great travel buddy. 

  • Body size: Medium to large, muscular
  • Weight: Males weigh 10 to 18 pounds, and females weigh 6 to 12 pounds
  • Coat: Short to medium close-lying, silky soft
  • Color pattern: Unique pattern of either marbled or spotted in brown, silver, and snow, rich shades of brown, light brown, golden, and orange

Bengal Personality

The Bengal cat is one of the most adventurous and curious cats. It is intelligent and a quick learner. 

This highly energetic cat is suited for exploring the outdoors. It can adapt to different terrains, including water. 

Bengals are fit for explorers, hikers, and climbers because of their agility and endurance. They are friendly cats who have excellent stamina for outdoor trips.  

Travel enthusiasts may find Bengal cats the perfect companion. They are easy to train and can walk on a leash while outside. 

Other cats we recommend for the outdoors: Abyssinian and American Bobtail cats are quite adventurous. They have a similar athletic and muscular build to the Bengal cat. 

Best Cat for Allergies — Canadian Sphynx

There will always be a suitable breed for everyone, even those with cat allergies. The hairless Canadian Sphynx is least likely to trigger allergic reactions.

  • Body size: Medium
  • Weight: 6 to 12 pounds
  • Coat: Hairless
  • Color pattern: Solid (white, black, red, chocolate, lavender), tabby, tortoiseshell, calico, pointed, and mink

Canadian Sphynx Personality

The Sphynx cat is known for its regal, sophisticated, and graceful demeanor. But surprisingly, it has a funny sense of humor.

This cat is exceptionally playful and goofy. Their outgoing personality makes it easy for them to get along with people and other animals. 

Sphynx cats are not completely bald. They have a suede-like layer of fuzz on their skin. Although compared to long hair cats, they require minimal grooming.

Since they shed less, they are less likely to produce furs drenched with the protein called Fel d 1 in the air. Fel d 1 is what elicits allergic reactions when inhaled.4

Other cat breeds we recommend for allergies: Both Cornish Rex and Devon Rex cats shed little hair. Like the Sphynx, they have low risks of triggering allergic reactions. 

Best Cat for Cuddling — Ragdoll

An affectionate cat is the best cuddle buddy. The Ragdoll is one of the most tender and cuddly breeds that you can have at home.

  • Body size: Medium
  • Weight: 10 to 15 pounds
  • Coat: Semi-long, silky, fluffy
  • Color pattern: Solid (seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, red, and cream), various patterns and shadings, including bi-color and mitted

Ragdoll Personality

The Ragdoll got its name because it relaxes and goes limp when picked up, like a ragdoll. 

It is among the clingiest cats. When you own a Ragdoll, you’ll find it greeting you at the front door when you’re home.

Ragdolls are great companions. They follow you around, waiting to be held like a baby. They seize every chance to connect with you.

This feline makes a perfect pet for individuals living alone. They often chill in bed with their owners. They are not as mischievous as other cats. 

Other cat breeds we recommend for cuddling: Birman cats and Russian Blues make good snuggle buddies. Their warm and affectionate behavior makes it easy to bond with them. 

Best Cat for Dog Owners — Siberian Cat

A Siberian cat can make a great addition to your canine friends. They are known to fit in well with dogs.

  • Body size: Medium
  • Weight: 10 to 20 pounds
  • Coat: Long, triple-layered
  • Color pattern: Any color combination or pattern

Siberian Cat Personality

Siberian cats are affectionate and undemanding. They are intelligent and active, but they don’t challenge others and can get along with dogs.

This cat is adaptable to its environment. But it likes to follow a routine, like a regular eating schedule.

Siberian cats are practical if you live in a household with dogs. They are generally not sensitive to noise. So they may not mind the dogs barking. 

They like to give and receive attention. When living with your dogs, you may notice that they will keep each other occupied. 

Siberian cats can also match the playfulness of dogs. 

Other cat breeds we recommend for dog owners: The Japanese Bobtail and Norwegian Forest are good alternatives. 

Their affectionate and intelligent nature makes it easy for them to be around other pets.

How to Tell My Cat’s Breed

There are first-time owners who would rather adopt rescue cats from shelters. If this is the case, you may have difficulty identifying the cat’s breed. 

An at-home pet DNA test can help you find out. It can also show health information based on your cat’s genetics. 

It can tell you which health problems your cat may be at risk for, and if they have genetic conditions.

Knowing a cat’s breed is a big step in understanding its personality and needs. 

You will learn how to cope with your new cat and their behavior. It will also help you give them proper care and nutrition.

Getting a cat is a lifetime commitment. Finding the right breed that suits your lifestyle makes it worthwhile.

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  1.     Meet Our Fabulous Felines.” The International Cat Association.
  2.     CFA Breeds.” The Cat Fanciers’ Association.
  3. Factors to Consider in Pet Selection - Cats.” VCA Animal Hospitals
  4. An update on molecular cat allergens: Fel d 1 and what else? Chapter 1: Fel d 1, the major cat allergen.” BioMed Central
Cristine Santander
Cristine Santander
Content Contributor
Cristine Santander is a content writer for KnowYourDNA. She has a B.S. in Psychology and enjoys writing about health and wellness.
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