They say if you want an affectionate pet who’ll curl up at your feet and basically adore you, get a dog. Cats have a reputation for being independent, and sometimes snobby. But there are some affectionate cat breeds that are friendly (though they may be slow to approach strangers). In fact, my ragdoll likes to hop on my lap while I’m writing articles, or nudge me with her nose when she wants to be petted. If you’re looking for that kind of cat, consider these breeds.
Somali cats are not only affectionate, they’re very playful! They never lose that kittenish side of them—loves being the center of attention, active and eager to please and show off, and more often than not, will stay by your side. But needless to say, you need to be able to provide that kind of attention to your pet. Left alone the whole day—or ignored by busy owners—Somalis will become agitated and unhappy.
Persians are a little more “relaxed” than Somalis. They’re perfectly content to saunter around a room, swishing their beautiful fluffy tails. They can be affectionate, but from what I’ve experienced with two Persian pets, they tend to pick who to give their loyalty to. One of my Persians loved being with me but would snub any other family member who tried to pet her. And they’re not that patient with young kids—the noise and boisterous behavior puts them off.
The Manx cat is also a fiercely loyal cat. While they’re known mostly for being excellent jumpers (thanks to their strong athletic build) proud owners of the Manx say that their loyalty is unrivalled. They form fierce, lifelong bonds with whoever they recognize as their “master.”
The Main Coon has a reputation for being good mousers, and their population flourished on Maine farms where they were used to control the rats in barns. But while the hunting instinct runs strong in their blood, be forewarned: you can’t train a cat to chase mice, since this behavior is taught by a mother cat to her young during “kittenhood.” If the mother spent a good deal of time indoors, with no real exposure to rodents, your Main Coon kitten may ignore the mice. The good news? He will devote most of his attention to you, and cuddling with you.
Burmese are playful pets and never outgrow their kittenish love for play and even “fetching” things. They are quite sociable and are curious about human activity. I’ve never owned a Burmese but friends who have say that they seem to be “amused” by people and want to join in on the fun! Their antics make for good photos. (Read our tips on phoographing pets.)
And, of course my ragdoll. This is a very affectionate cat, though it has a nervous temperament and will become skittish if it is mishandled when it is a kitten. But through lots of petting and love, it will not only like to be around you, but will follow you around and even copy what you do. My ragdoll likes to sit on its behind while it’s on the sofa. I daresay he think he’s a human!