Whether you’re trying to decide which cat breed best fits your family or you’re just curious about cats, we’ve got the answers to some common cat breed questions. These are just generalizations about the breed, though. Every cat has their own personality, and your cat may defy their breed expectations and act totally different to other cats of their breed. It’s what we love about our pets — that every one of them has their very own personality.
Which Cat Breeds Are the Most Affectionate?
Cats may have a reputation as aloof and independent with a conceited desire to train humans to meet their every demand, but that’s not true of all cats. If you’re looking for a cat who loves chin scratches, snuggles on the couch and to be their human’s BFF, there are certainly plenty of cats that love to do just that.
Not surprisingly, the most popular cat breeds are also the ones that love human attention. Ragdolls, exotics, British shorthairs and Maine coon cats are all affectionate kitties that love cuddles with their favorite person.
Do Any Cat Breeds Like Water?
Cats and water typically go together like oil and water. But it’s not unheard of for some cats to curiously dip their toes in a puddle or to paw at water running from a faucet. Turkish van cats are sometimes called “swimming cats” due to their natural affinity for water and their water-resistant coat. Maine coon cats are also typically not afraid to get their paws wet and will even play in water with you. Learn more about water-loving cats in our myth-busting blog, “Do All Cats Hate Water?”
Which Cat Breeds Are Hypoallergenic?
There are no cat (or dog) breeds that are 100 percent hypoallergenic or allergen-free, but there are some cat breeds that release less allergen into the environment than others. Most people probably think of sphynx cats when they’re asked to name a hypoallergenic cat breed. It is true that breeds with very little hair like sphynx cats (yes, they do actually have a fine layer of hair), as well as Cornish rex and Devon rex cats, could be good choices for people who are allergic to cats.
As we explained in our blog about the best cat breeds for people with allergies, hair and dander aren’t what people are allergic to. The allergens are actually proteins found in cat saliva and skin glands (most commonly a protein called Fel d 1) that are spread when cats groom themselves. Some breeds, like Russian blue, Javanese, Balinese, Siberian and Bengal, typically produce less Fel d 1 than other breeds, so they may not spread as many allergens into the environment.
Which Cat Breeds Live the Longest?
You want your favorite feline to be part of your family for as long as possible, which is why the question “How long do cats live?” is a common one. There are many factors that influence the longevity of cats, including whether they spend time outdoors, receive preventative medical care and are fed nutritious meals, and their genetics.
The average lifespan of a housecat is 15 years while an outdoor cat’s average lifespan is just 4.5 years. Cats who are a healthy weight generally live 2.5 years longer than cats who are overweight. Some of the breeds that typically live for more than 15 years, and sometimes up to 25 years, include Siamese, munchkin, Balinese, ragdoll and Burmese.
Which Cat Breeds Have Unusual Characteristics?
If you like cats that look just a little bit different to your typical house cat, here are a few breeds to consider. Burmilla cats look like they’re wearing eye liner and makeup around their nose and lips. Pixie-bobs, American bobtails and toybobs all have short bobtails, and the Japanese bobtail is known for its cute bobtail that looks like a pom-pom.
If you’re looking for some unusual ears, the American curl has ears that curl back and the Scottish fold has ears that fold forward. Maine coon, Norwegian forest cats, pixie-bob and Turkish van all have ear tufts — fur that grows from the tip of their ears. The Turkish van also has unusual color markings — they are white everywhere except for their head and tail.
If you love blue-eyed cats, there are some breeds that typically have blue eyes, including Siamese, Persian, Birman and ragdoll. Keep in mind that if you see a young kitten with blue eyes, they might not stay that way. All kittens lack pigment in the iris of their eyes when they’re born, which means they have blue eyes to start with. The pigmentation (from melanin) doesn’t develop until they’re about six weeks old.
Which Cat Breeds Get Along with Dogs?
Do you have a dog and are considering adding a feline to your fur family? Some of the cat breeds that are more natural dog-lovers than others are Abyssinian, American shorthair, Birman, Maine coon, ragdoll and Siberian. But that doesn’t mean you should rule out other breeds of cats. Proper socialization of both your dog and cat can help ensure they will at least tolerate being in the same house as each other. If you’re adopting a kitten, we have some tips on introducing your kitten to your dog.
Cats of different breeds can look and act very different from each other, which can make it hard to grasp the fact that all domestic cats came from the same ancestor, the African wildcat. Cats have developed some charming and remarkable characteristics over the past 15,000 years, and new cat breeds are still being recognized.
However, we can’t forget that the vast majority of cats in the U.S. are of mixed-breed origin, each with their own unique combination of breed characteristics that can be just as perfect for a family as a pure-bred cat.
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