Children and cats are a perfect match, just like peanut butter and jelly. A feline companion can be an adorable cuddler, a trustworthy confidant, and most importantly, a relatively low-maintenance addition to the family that teaches children patience and responsibility.
However, when deciding which breed of cat to bring into the home, families must consider their lifestyle and habits, advises Teresa Keiger, an all-breed judge with The Cat Fanciers' Association and the organization's Creative Director. She recommends that parents ask themselves some important questions when choosing the best cat for kids.
"Consider their age and activity level, as this will determine if you need a cat that can handle high activity levels or one that is more calm," Keiger suggests.
If you’re in search of a new family pet, continue reading to discover some of the best cats breeds for kids.
1. American Shorthair:
These laidback and easygoing cats are perfectly suited for family life. They top the list of the best cats for kids and are also one of the most popular choices. American Shorthairs are sweet, low-maintenance, and usually get along well with both humans and other pets. With their origins as working cats, they are skilled at catching rodents, making them a valuable addition to the family.
Described by The Cat Fanciers' Association as "mystical, magical, and enchanting," the Birman cat is known for its striking blue eyes and sweet face. They are easygoing, gentle, loving, and curious, making them great companions for children. Birmans are sociable and often follow their family members around the house, eagerly participating in activities and even "helping" with chores.
If you’re looking for a cat that resembles a baby doll, the Ragdoll breed is an excellent choice. These cats are usually large with bright blue eyes and have a habit of going limp when held, just like a ragdoll. Despite their size, Ragdolls enjoy human companionship and will often greet their owners at the door and follow them around the house. Smart and playful, they are content to snuggle up at night or learn new tricks during the day.
4. Maine Coon:
Known as gentle giants, Maine Coon cats can weigh up to 20 pounds. However, their playful and kitten-like temperament makes them beloved pets for families. Originally bred as working cats in Maine, their sturdy appearance and independent yet loving nature set them apart. Maine Coons are friendly towards everyone, making them a perfect addition to any family, and they are even popular as therapy cats.
Active, intelligent, loyal, and people-oriented, Abyssinian cats are a great choice for families with older kids. They may be less inclined to interact with toddlers and babies but are expert manipulators when it comes to humans. They tend to have their families wrapped around their paws. Despite their love for people, Abyssinians are more observers than lap cats.
Playful and loyal, the Manx breed originated from the Isle of Man and is another excellent option for families with kids. These medium-sized, rounded cats, often without tails, are active without being overly energetic. Their powerful hind legs allow them to jump to great heights as they zoom around the house, earning them a reputation for being dog-like in their playfulness and loyalty.
7. European Burmese:
Fearless and playful, European Burmese cats remain friendly and active even as they age. They love being around their humans and often follow family members, including kids and dogs, wherever they go. Rumor has it that once you own one of these elegant and low-maintenance cats, you'll never want to change to another breed.
Himalayans are a cross between Siamese and Persian cats, combining the best characteristics of both breeds. Known for their sweet and playful nature, they are no strangers to curling up on warm laps. With their captivating appearances, including round faces, blue eyes, pouty mouths, and snub noses, Himalayans are a popular choice for families.
In conclusion, finding the perfect cat breed for your family involves considering factors such as activity level, temperament, and compatibility with children. With the right cat, kids can experience the joys of owning a pet while learning important life lessons along the way.