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12 Best Cat Breeds for First-Time Cat Owners (With Pictures)

Nicole Cosgrove

According to the world-famous psychologist Sigmund Freud, “time spent with cats is never wasted.” Cats are known to be relatively easy to care for, but some are much easier than others. So, we’ve researched the best cat breeds for first-time owners and separated the easy felines from the picky kitties. Let’s take a look at which breeds are your best introduction to the world of cats.

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The 12 Best Cat Breeds for First-Time Cat Owners

1. Ragdolls

ragdoll cat lying relaxed in the garden in summer
Image Credit: absolutimages, Shutterstock

The Ragdoll is a large and robust cat breed, but they are known to be the best mix of calm and relaxed. They are known to be one of the best cats for families, and they are very sociable and sweet, too. They have big blue eyes and a thick and silky medium-length coat. Let us bust a Ragdoll myth – this kitty is NOT hypoallergenic.


2. Maine Coons

a tabby maine coon cat at home
Image Credit: Daniel Zopf, Unsplash

Also known as the gentle giant of the feline kingdom, Maine Coons are the largest domesticated cat breed. They are known for their hunting skills, which is great if you appreciate their thoughtful wildlife gifts in the morning. They are also very friendly and are known for their playful yet intelligent characteristics. If you’re used to having a dog in the family, this would be the best feline alternative of all the cats on this list.


3. American Shorthairs

American Shorthair cat
Image Credit: Lalandrew, Shutterstock

Although American Shorthairs are medium-sized cats, they are very thick-boned, muscly, and heavy. This type of cat has a rounded and thick appearance but is incredibly easy-going and calm. This cat does not require much attention from the family, and they are recommended for singletons or busy families as they can keep themselves entertained for hours on end.


4. Sphynxes

Sphynx Cat
Image Credit: Igor Lukin, Pixabay

Allergic to cats? Don’t let that stop you from getting a four-legged friend. If so, the Sphynx cat is the best feline option for you. Although not entirely hairless, they are better for individuals with cat allergies. The Sphynx breed might lack fur, but they make up for it in personality. Bright, friendly, and hyperactive, this cat craves human company, so they are ideal for a household that has lots of people around.


5. Abyssinians

Abyssinian cat
Image Credit: Osetrik, Shutterstock

If you’d like a cat that is playful into adulthood, the Abyssinian cat is the one for you. Lovable, intelligent, loyal, and devoted, this cat is the perfect kitty sidekick. They are incredibly affectionate and love to be with their humans. This cat breed is the ideal addition to any family setting and would fit effortlessly into a warm home.


6. Birmans

birman cat sitting outdoors
Image Credit: Jeannette1980, Pixabay

Birmans, more commonly known as the Burmese breed, are known for their striking features – fluffy and bright blue eyed. They come in four official colors: sable, champagne, blue, and platinum. Typically, they have golden or yellow-colored eyes. Interestingly, all Burmese cats are born entirely white before they grow into their colors. These are sweet and calm cats.


7. Somali

blue Somali cat
Image Credit: Nataliya Kuznetsova, Shutterstock

Like the Abyssinian cats, the Somali cat breed is mischievous and loves to play. They are athletic and well-muscled yet surprisingly graceful. They are known to be peaceful kitties whose meows and purrs are quiet. They are one of the slightly higher maintenance cats on this list, but only because their gorgeous fur requires regular grooming.


8. Siamese

Siamese cat_Andreas Lischka, Pixabay
Image Credit: Andreas Lischka, Pixabay

Made famous by Disney’s The Lady and The Tramp, you might remember them as the evil twin cats. They are strikingly beautiful with their bright blue eyes and cream coats. This breed is very vocal, especially when they are playing. If you have noise-sensitive neighbors or housemates, you might want to reconsider this breed. They are incredibly easy to groom, so if you’re worried about lots of excess cat hair lying around your house, this is the second-best cat breed for you (after the Sphynx).


9. Scottish Folds

Scottish-fold_mdmmikle_shutterstock
Image Credit: mdmmikle, Shutterstock

Named because of their cute folded ears, these cats are sensitive and humble. They need companionship and would love a feline sibling to keep them company. If you’re seeking a cat that you can spoil, this breed would be a great choice as they’re the most affectionate on this list. They are also a fantastic choice to keep children entertained as they are an active breed.


10. Persians

Persian cat_blue-chinchilla-with-green-eyes_OksanaSusoeva_shutterstock
Image Credit By: OksanaSusoeva, Shutterstock

A longer-haired breed, the Persian is another muscly yet glamourous feline. A quirky fact about this cat is that they have five toes on their front paws, but only four on their back ones! They have always been very popular, and they are stunning kitties. Due to their long-hair, they will need daily grooming, and so, they are not the best choice for owners who are always on the go.


11. Exotic Shorthairs

Exotic shorthair cat
Image Credit: Ewa Studio, Shutterstock

Similar in appearance to the Persian cat, the Exotic Shorthair breed differs in that they are the short-haired version. If you like everything about a Persian cat but are concerned about the daily groom, this breed is the option for you. They are sensitive, so this breed of cat will need time to become accustomed to heavy-handed and curious youngsters around. But it won’t take long for them to become super affectionate.


12. Bengals

bengal cat walking on plank outdoor
Image Credit: Seregraff, Shutterstock

Saved the best to last? Many would agree! The Bengal is a unique wildcat hybrid who is known as the ‘House Tiger’ cat. This breed is significantly larger than most of the other domesticated cats on this list and they have robust and athletic bodies. Although they are tame, they are known to have a temperamental character. Bengals are clever and curious cats who need human attention. They can be territorial and would be best as the only cat in the home or a tranquil cat companion.

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From furry Persians to beautiful bald Sphynxes, dependent on your needs and living situation, you are spoilt for choice with this list of wonderful first-time cats. From sensitive kitties to outgoing companions, there is also a variety of personalities to choose from too.

Cats tend to live for around 10 to 15 years. So it is essential to research them before you decide which breed is best suited to you and your family’s needs.

For more on cat breeds, check out these helpful posts:


Feature Image Credit: Altsva, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.