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Home > Cats > 10 Best Cat Breeds for Families: Pictures, Facts & History

10 Best Cat Breeds for Families: Pictures, Facts & History

Cat and owner sleeping together on bed

Nobody likes a sour puss, and it’s especially important for families to consider the personality and character of any cat they choose to welcome into their home. You don’t want a grumpy or fearful cat, which tends to be common in certain breeds. On the flip side, some cat breeds are perfectly suited to family life, getting along famously with kids and even other pets too. For more info on that, let’s take a look at what makes a good family cat and what breeds you need to check out.


What Makes a Good Family Cat?

The humble cat domesticated itself thousands of years ago and got to work as a rat catcher, but they’ve become so much more. Like any dog, cats are beloved companions and easily become part of the family. Certain personality traits in a cat are better suited for family life than others, so let’s take a brief look at how to spot a good family cat.

jealous cat being possessive of its owner
Image Credit: zavalnia, Pixabay

Traits of a Good Family Cat:

  • Friendliness
  • Approachability
  • Confidence when around people or other animals
  • Playfulness
  • Patience
  • Gentleness
  • Likes physical contact like petting or snuggles
  • Tolerance for children

The 10 Best Cat Breeds for Families

1. Maine Coon

maine coon cat lying on the floor
Image Credit: Remark_Anna, Shutterstock
Weight: 12–25 pounds
Lifespan: 10–13 years

Maine Coons are one of the most perfect breeds for family life, and their fun-loving personality has been called dog-like more than a few times. They have a shaggy, long coat perfectly suited to cold climates, but they prefer spending time with their humans. That said, Maine Coons love a little mischief, and you’ll usually find them hunting for vermin in odd places. They get along great with most mild-mannered dog breeds too.

2. Bengal

bengal cat on carpet
Image Credit: Elena Sonmez, Shutterstock
Weight: 8–15 pounds
Lifespan: 12–16 years

Bengals are a rare spotted cat breed known for their agile athletics and sociable personality. Unlike other cats, Bengals are notably easy to train and may walk great on a leash. Bengals are a relatively new breed that was created by crossing a “generic” Domestic Shorthair with a spotted Asian Leopard Cat. The result was the Bengal’s adventurous persona and luscious spotted coat. They’re another breed that’s been called dog-like for their behavior.

3. Abyssinian

Abyssinian cat in the kitchen
Image Credit: Ingus Kruklitis, Shutterstock
Weight: 8–12 pounds
Lifespan: 9–15 years

Abyssinians have a vivid, ticked coat pattern that makes them stand out, called Abyss by their devotees. They’re thought to be one of the oldest cat breeds, tracing their lineage back to ancient Egypt. Today, they’ve adapted wonderfully to modern family life, and they’re definitely one of the most active and playful breeds you can own.

4. American Shorthair

an american shorthair cat being cozy at home
Image Credit: Clement Morin, Shutterstock
Weight: 15–20 years
Lifespan: 10–15 pounds

American Shorthairs have one of the most balanced cat personalities. They’re not especially needy but have a gentle, sociable character. Don’t let their soft appearance fool you, though, because this breed originally made its bones as a mouser on colonial ships going to the US from England. That makes them a very playful breed, and they’re charming enough for smaller kids too.

5. Manx

manx cat lying on the floor
Image Credit: Seattle Cat Photo, Shutterstock
Weight: 8–13 pounds
Lifespan: 9–12 years

Hailing from the Isle of Man, the Manx breed is mostly known for being tailless, but they also have a reputation for being the dogs of the cat world. Manx are gregarious and very loving, and you’ll fall in love with their adorable little bunny hop. Manx are adept at hunting and come in nearly all colors, though white individuals are very rare. The most common Manx look is generally tabby, though.

Similar Cat Breeds:

6. Siamese

siamese cat resting on the floor
Image Credit: Voraorn Ratanakorn, Shutterstock
Weight: 8–15 pounds
Lifespan: 12–15 years

Siamese have a bold, inquisitive nature beyond most breeds that fits in great with any lively household, and they have an insatiable need for play too! They love being the star of the show or the center of attention, and they’re not afraid to be vocal with you either. They’re something of a clown around the house, getting into antics you’d mistake for a dog’s work. Siamese are remarkably tolerant of children, especially if raised together with proper socialization.

7. Birman

birman cat sitting in the garden
Image Credit: Patrik Slezak, Shutterstock
Weight: 5–12 pounds
Lifespan: 9–14 years

Birmans are sometimes confused with Siamese because they have the same distinctive color point patterns, but they have shaggier fur and classy fur “gloves” on each paw. Birmans are very curious, and you might find them trying to puzzle out one of your human contraptions or cuddling up to one of their favorite humans. A Birman’s coat may look high maintenance, but they keep it admirably clean, and it doesn’t shed as bad as you might think.

8. Persian

persian cat lying by the window
Image Credit: Jose Manuel, Pixabay
Weight: 7–13 pounds
Lifespan: 12–17 years

Persians are a long-lived ancient breed with a modernly photogenic grumpy face and lusciously soft coat. They’re so popular that they’re the most popular pedigreed cat in America, with a very chill, relaxed nature unbefitting of their resting scowl. Persians are an excellent choice for any family looking for a lap cat since Persians aren’t as active as other breeds. Despite their popularity, or perhaps because of it, Persians are one of the most affordable purebred cat breeds.

9. Russian Blue

Russian blue cat striking a pose
Image Credit: Rob Rye, Shutterstock
Weight: 8–12 pounds
Lifespan: 12–15 years

The most famous Russian Blue is easily Tom from Tom & Jerry, but the average Russian Blue makes a spectacular family cat too. They’re very relaxed and affectionate kitties with a mesmerizing gaze and beautiful trademark blue-gray coats. Historians aren’t sure, but Russian Blues are thought to come from Arkhangelsk in Russia. They’re long-lived kitties, with more than a few Russian blues making it to 20+ years old!

10. Bombay

bombay cat sitting in a brown background
Image Credit: Ton van de Blaak, Pixabay
Weight: 8–15 pounds
Lifespan: 12–16 years

Bombays are another very long-lived cat breed known to make it to 20 years old, making them a perfect family cat. Bombays look like a little panther and act like one too, with a sweet, curious personality and a ton of playfulness. They’re sometimes confused with stereotypical black cats, but you can tell Bombays apart by their silky-smooth, sable-black coats. Bombays are low maintenance and shed very little, making them ideal if grooming is a concern.divider-cat


Cats are more independent family pets than dogs, and certain breeds like those above are perfectly suited for any home with or without kids. They have super gentle personalities and are playful, and the majority of them are very low maintenance as far as grooming.


Featured Image Credit: Marina mrs brooke,Shutterstock

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