Kids and cats are more similar than one might think; they both love playing and getting attention, for one. It might be difficult to believe, but cats are more suitable to have in your house with small children than a dog because they are, in general, easier to maintain and care for since they take less frequent baths and you do not have to bring them outside to let them use the washroom. In actuality, you do not really need to take them out at all due to their relatively low energy levels, at least compared to dogs.
Cats can be beneficial for children not only because they now have a playmate, but also because they are able to learn responsibility at an early age by grooming, feeding, and taking care of them in general. It is important to note, however, that not all breeds of cat are suitable to have in a home with small children and you need a type that will match your kid’s character and age.
Ideally, a cat should be easygoing, sociable, playful, adaptable, loyal, and have a low temperament if you are going to bring them home with your child.
The following are the top 10 best breeds to have with children:
1 The Abyssinian
This cat actually has a demeanor similar to a dog’s and is smart, extroverted, and willful. They love to play and explore, and have a particular affinity for playing in the water (at least more than other breeds of cat). The Abyssinian requires low maintenance since it has medium length fur and a ticked coat so you would only have to groom them about once a week. They are an ideal breed to have with children because they are playful, smart, and curious, and they get along with other cats.
2 The Ragdoll
This cute cat was aptly named by a breeder in the early 1960s because they tend to become floppy and relaxed when they are picked. These cats are very gentle and affectionate, and will even follow you around like a puppy from time to time. It has relatively low energy but will not react in a negative way to overly energetic children so you will not have to worry about them using their claws or teeth in reaction to an excited child. The nature of a Ragdoll’s full and plush coat means that they are higher maintenance and will require more regular grooming.
3 The Maine Coon
This robust, long haired cat loves to spend its time hunting outdoors but is also known to be gentle, protective, energetic, loving, playful, and intelligent. They have very high energy levels, they love to roam around, and do not like being cooped up in one place or tied down, but they are also extremely loyal at the same time. Maine coons get along well with children, especially after forming a bond them with. A downside to this breed, however, is that it does not get along well with other pets so it is important to think about whether you will want another cat in the future.
4 The Siamese Cat
These cats were given a not so positive image in the Disney movie Aristocat’s. While Siamese cats are actually nervous, sensitive, and loves attention, just like they are portrayed in the movie, they are also social, loving, and can be very affectionate. They are creatures of habit and love their routine which means that they will become best friends with your child after establishing a bond. They are especially intelligent and playful with children, and with a little effort, you can teach them to play fetch!
5 The British Shorthair
This breed of cat is considered laidback, solid, and reliable. The males are particularly friendly and sociable to people of all ages, making them a great, safe choice to bring home to children. They like quiet, indoor settings but are adaptable and don’t mind busy, noisy environments.
6 The American Shorthair
As the name suggests, the American Shorthair is descended from the British Shorthair. They are quite similar except the American Shorthair is learner, more athletic, larger, and has shorter hair.
This breed gets along very well with kids and can even be friendly with dogs. Another advantage to this type of cat is its low maintenance due to the shortness of their hair, meaning you will not have to groom them as regularly.
7 The Persian
The Persian has become one of the most popular breeds among cat owners in history because they are so appealing. They are not only beautiful animals with long hair and squishy, cute faces, but also quiet with a calm temperament.
While they do not have a particularly high energy level they are generally playful and will always accept love and attention from both children and adults. Their long hair will require more maintenance, however, but this is just another activity you can do with your children.
8 The Sphynx
The Sphynx is a unique breed of cat that has big, pointy ears, and looks as if it does not have fur and comes in a variety of skin colours. Their body is covered in soft peach fuzz that you can see if you look close enough, and this means they mostly stay indoors since their lack of fur causes them to be sensitive to direct sunlight and other drastic climatic events such as the cold.
They are great with children, warm, love to cuddle, and affectionate, and you will often find them snuggling with you.
Sphynxes are also ideal for people who suffer from allergies since it does not have much fur.
9 The Cornish Rex
These cats are petite, have curly hair, and are considered to be friendly and inquisitive. Cornish Rexes maintain their ‘childlike’, kittenish temperaments as they get older so they will never tire of exploring and playing.
As stated before, they are very curious which can mean that there is a risk of having your furniture damaged. Their keenness to play and engage with others, however, makes them a great play partner for your children. Additionally, their short hair means that they require less maintenance and less regular grooming.
10 The Exotic Shorthair
The Exotic Shorthair is a short haired version of the Persian cats. Their cute rounded ears, face that looks as if it has been squashed, and their generally cuddly teddy bear like appearance makes them incredibly popular with children.
They have a similar temperament to the Persian Shorthair cat but are considered to be more playful, inquisitive, and curious while also being laid back.
There are a lot of things to consider when you want to bring a cat into your household. Ideally, you will want a breed that is playful so they will interact with children, but also gentle with a calm temperament so you won’t have to worry about the safety of your children.
Another thing to consider is how much maintenance you will have to give your cat because while you won’t have to take them for walks or let them our regularly to relieve themselves, you will have to groom them regularly for the sake of your home and health. Considering all these points should help you make an informed decision based on your own needs.
You may want to check out my list of the Top most dangerous cat breeds to own