10 Cat Breeds That Are the Most Affectionate

Maine coon gray and white cat being held by owner near window

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

So, you’re looking for your next furry, four-legged pet. First things first—do you want a cat or a dog? A common argument against cats is that they aren’t affectionate. Meanwhile, people say dogs are absolute love bugs. The truth is it depends on the cat or dog. While some felines could care less about their owners, others love social interaction with their favorite humans.

Here are 10 affectionate cat breeds for those who want a day-and-night cuddler.


Affectionate cats often have high social needs. Cat owners may love spending time socializing with their feline friends but can't always be as attentive. Needy kitties need interactive, independent-play cat toys at the ready to keep them entertained while you’re busy.

Breed Characteristics

Affectionate cats have some traits in common. They tend to be more social and friendly—not scaredy cats. They are often mellow and docile, not wound up and anxious. These cats may also communicate their affection with vocalizations like mewing, purring, murmuring, and trills—all forms of contentment or playfulness. These empathic kitties may also sense when you've had a rough day and might purposefully snuggle up or land in your lap to help you unwind with some endorphin-releasing cuddles.

  • 01 of 10


    A long-haired white and tan cat

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    Bred to be affectionate companions, ragdoll cats are ideal if you're looking for a lovable and relatively low-maintenance animal. Ragdolls are known to follow their humans from room to room, greet them after a long day out of the house, and even play games like fetch. Ragdoll cats are friendly around children and other pets, making them great family pets.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 11 to 13 inches

    Weight: 10 to 20 pounds

    Coat and Color: Medium-length, silky plush coat; light-colored body with a darker face, legs, tail, and ears; coat patterns include bi-color, van, mitted, and colorpoint; coat colors include seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, red, and cream; blue eyes

    Life Expectancy: 13 to 15 years

  • 02 of 10

    Scottish Fold

    A grey striped cat

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    With this breed, it’s all about the ears. A random mutation happened naturally as the breed emerged—these cats developed a gene that caused their ears to fold forward. Cat lovers recognized the cats for their unique look, and breeders began breeding these cats specifically for their folds. However, their ears aren’t the only special thing about them. Scottish folds are affectionate and social and don’t like being left alone. So if you’re out of the house a lot, this may not be the breed for you. But if you have extra time to spare for your cat, you might have found your match.

    Breed Overview

    Weight: 5 to 11 pounds

    Height: 8 to 10 inches

    Coat and Color: Bred to have a white coat but can be seen in a variety of colors, commonly calico, tortoiseshell, and tabby patterns; can have short or relatively long hair

    Life Expectancy: 11 to 14 years

  • 03 of 10


    A hairless Sphynx cat

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    Because sphynx cats have no hair, they are generally cold and need a source of heat to keep them comfortable. Sphynxes love humans primarily for their body heat. This neat synergistic relationship gives these cats something they need while their humans reap the cuddly benefits. Some people say that owning a sphynx is like owning a living, breathing hot water bottle. They'll cuddle with you beneath the covers at night and perch on your lap during the day.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 8 to 10 inches

    Weight: 6 to 12 pounds

    Coat and Color: Hairless; colors include white, black, red, chocolate, lavender, tabby, tortoiseshell, calico, pointed, and mink

    Life Expectancy: 9 to 15 years

  • 04 of 10

    Maine Coon

    A large gray cat with pointed ears

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    Maine coons are native to America. Their history is mysterious; some believe their history dates back to cats traveling with Viking explorers. Others think these big kitties are a mix between a cat with a raccoon, but, scientifically, that is biologically impossible. These social cats are affectionate towards people of all ages, and they love being involved in all family happenings, whether that means lounging on the couch or sitting at the table for dinner. Besides their affectionate personalities, Maine coons are great hunters and highly intelligent.

    Breed Overview

    Height: Up to 16 inches

    Weight: 9 to 17 pounds

    Coat and Color: Long, double coat with more than 75 color combinations and green, gold, or copper eyes

    Life Expectancy: 9 to 15 years

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  • 05 of 10


    An orange cat with a smushed face

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    Persians are one of the most popular cat breeds in North America. They look beautiful with their long, flowy coats and have a calm, affectionate temperament. Persians are not very energetic. They are happy lounging on the couch and achieve contentment getting ear scratches and gentle hand contact by their humans.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 14 to 18 inches

    Weight: 7 to 12 pounds

    Coat and Color: Long coat in solid (white, black, cream), tabby, calico, bi-color, silver and gold, shaded, and smoke

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 17 years

  • 06 of 10


    Siamese cat standing

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    If you decide to bring a Siamese cat into your life, prepare to have long conversations with your vocal kitty. This breed is exceptionally social. Siamese cats have a distinctive masked look and striking pale blue eyes. Throughout history, their looks and affectionate personalities led to their popularity among cat-lovers across the world.

    Breed Overview

    Height: Up to 14 inches

    Weight: 6 to 14 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short coat in seal, chocolate, blue, and lilac with blue eyes

    Life Expectancy: 8 to 12 years

  • 07 of 10


    A small black cat with large eyes

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    This breed is still relatively rare in North America, but it has a dedicated following. Bombay owners love the fact that these cats are so loving and people-oriented. Their sleek, black coat and stunning copper eyes also make them stand out among some other breeds. Once you meet a clever, cute, and cuddly Bombay, you’ll be hooked.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 9 to 13 inches

    Weight: 6 to 11 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short, sleek coat, usually solid black coat; large, copper eyes

    Life Expectancy: 15 to 20 years

  • 08 of 10


    A cat with perked ears

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    Breeders wanted to create a loving, affectionate cat breed that was intelligent and less vocal than the Siamese cat. The Tonkinese resulted from crossing the Siamese and Burmese breeds for the best characteristics of both. Affectionately called Tonks, these cats love their humans. They are known for being friendly, active, and exceptionally affectionate. They love attention and will demand it.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 7 to 10 inches

    Weight: 6 to 14 pounds

    Coat and Color: Coat can be seal, blue, lilac, and chocolate with points around the face, ears, paws, and tail

    Life Expectancy: 13 to 18 years

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  • 09 of 10

    American Shorthair

    A grey, striped cat with green eyes

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    When you say “housecat” in the U.S., you're likely talking about an American shorthair. They are extremely common pets in North America, primarily due to their affectionate personality and distinct coats that come in a wide variety of colors. American shorthairs are exceptionally adaptable, making them great pets for families with growing kids or those who are routinely on the move. American shorthairs love attention and love to be held, but they do not demand it, unlike other breeds. They are always happy to lay perched in the sun when you don’t have time to give them love.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 8 to 10 inches

    Weight: 6 to 15 pounds

    Coat and Color: Shorthaired coat with a wide variety of color possibilities, including white, black, cream, blue, brown, chinchilla, tortoiseshell, cameo, and many more

    Life Expectancy: 15 to 20 years

  • 10 of 10


    A long-haired cat with a black face

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    Birman cats are stunning. While showing off piercing blue eyes and a long silky coat, Birmans also exude elegance. Like the American shorthair, this breed loves to be around people and is highly adaptable to any type of home. Birmans are friendly with anyone and everything, including other pets. They like to play with any companions, no matter their breed.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 8 to 10 inches

    Weight: 10 to 12 pounds

    Coat and Color: Long and silky coat in seal, blue, red, chocolate, cream, and tortie colors, including standard or lynx pattern points and deep blue eyes

    Life Expectancy: 13 to 15 years

Breeds to Avoid

Cats that tend to be less affectionate are more independent-minded or task-oriented, like the Norwegian forest cat; the curly LaPerm breed descended from barn cats; and the active climber, the Abyssinian. Other breeds to avoid are cats that have had very little to no socialization with humans. These cats were left to fend for themselves and are feral or wild. Most have difficulties trusting humans and may never be tamed, but you can try.