6 Best Cat Breeds for People with Children

Written by: Ejay C
A college graduate with a degree in Electrical Engineering, Ejay has a diverse background that combines technical expertise with a passion for pets and is now one of the content writers at IHD. Read more
| Published on February 6, 2024

Finding the perfect pet for a family with children involves selecting a breed that is not only gentle and patient but also playful and tolerant of the bustling energy young ones bring into the home. Cats, with their diverse range of personalities and temperaments, can be wonderful companions for children, offering comfort, friendship, and valuable lessons in responsibility and empathy. However, not all cat breeds are suited to the lively atmosphere of a family home. This article highlights six cat breeds known for their affable nature, resilience, and ability to bond with children, making them ideal choices for families looking to add a feline member. From the affectionate Ragdoll, known for its docile nature, to the energetic Abyssinian, who thrives on play, these breeds exemplify the qualities that make cats fantastic pets for families with children. Additionally, we will explore why mixed breeds and rescues often make equally wonderful family companions, emphasizing the importance of personality and compatibility over pedigree.

1. Ragdoll

Ragdolls are renowned for their gentle disposition and floppy nature when picked up, traits that make them particularly suitable for families with children. These cats are large, fluffy, and have striking blue eyes, but their most notable characteristic is their calm and loving temperament. Ragdolls are known to follow family members around the house, seeking attention and interaction, which makes them great companions for children. Their patient and placid nature means they tolerate cuddling and handling well, which is ideal for younger, more energetic kids. Additionally, Ragdolls are not as prone to using their claws aggressively, reducing the risk of scratches during play. Their preference for indoor living and moderate activity level align well with the indoor environments of family homes. This breed’s affectionate and gentle manner, combined with its stunning appearance, makes the Ragdoll an excellent choice for a family pet.

2. Maine Coon

Maine Coons, one of the largest domestic cat breeds, are known for their friendly, outgoing nature and impressive tolerance levels, making them fantastic pets for families with children. Their size and robust health mean they can handle playful interactions with children who are taught to be respectful of pets. Maine Coons have a dog-like personality, often engaging in games of fetch and responding to their names, which can be delightful for kids. They are also known for their sociability and enjoy being part of family activities, whether it’s sitting quietly by someone’s side or actively participating in play. Their thick fur and tufted ears add to their appeal, making them not just pets but also cuddly companions for children. Furthermore, Maine Coons are adaptable and can thrive in various living situations, making them well-suited for the dynamic nature of family life.

3. Abyssinian

Abyssinians are perfect for families seeking an active and engaging pet. Known for their playful and curious nature, Abyssinians thrive on interaction and are always ready for a game or exploration. This breed’s high energy level and intelligence make it an ideal playmate for older children who understand the importance of gentle play. Abyssinians are also known for their loyalty and tend to form strong bonds with all family members, ensuring that no one feels left out. Their sleek, short coat is easy to maintain, which is beneficial for busy families. The Abyssinian’s love for adventure and play can encourage children to be more active and engaged, making this breed a wonderful addition to a family with energetic kids.

4. British Shorthair

The British Shorthair is well-suited for families with children due to its calm and easygoing nature. This breed is known for its tolerance and patience, making it capable of handling the sometimes unpredictable behaviour of children. British Shorthairs are not overly demanding of attention, which can be ideal for families with busy schedules. However, they do enjoy affection and are happy to spend time sitting on a lap or playing with toys. Their sturdy build and laid-back attitude mean they are less likely to be startled or irritated by children’s sudden movements or loud noises. Additionally, the British Shorthair’s dense coat and round, teddy bear-like appearance make it an irresistible cuddle companion for kids and adults alike.

5. Burmese

Burmese cats are known for their affectionate nature and tendency to form strong bonds with their families, making them excellent pets for households with children. These cats are playful and energetic, often seeking out human interaction and affection. Their sociable nature means they integrate well into family life, participating in activities and often following family members around the home. Burmese cats are also known for their patience and tolerance, important traits in a family pet. Their soft, short coat is easy to care for, and their expressive eyes and loving demeanour can captivate any child. Burmese cats’ love for play and cuddles makes them not just pets, but true members of the family.

6. Scottish Fold

Scottish Folds are distinguished by their unique folded ears, but it’s their sweet and mild temperament that makes them ideal for families with children. These cats are known for being affectionate, relaxed, and incredibly patient, qualities that make them perfect companions for kids. Scottish Folds enjoy being involved in family activities and are comfortable being handled, as long as it’s done with care. They are playful and curious, but not overly energetic, making them suitable for indoor living and compatible with the family lifestyle. Their adaptability and loving nature help to foster a strong bond between the cat and family members, enriching the lives of everyone involved.

Mixed Breeds and Rescues

While purebred cats offer certain predictable traits, mixed breeds and rescues can also be wonderful additions to families with children. These cats often bring a blend of characteristics from different breeds, potentially offering a perfect mix of temperament, energy, and affection. Adopting a mixed breed or rescue cat not only provides a loving home to a pet in need but also teaches children valuable lessons about empathy and responsibility. Many mixed breeds and rescues are known for their adaptable and grateful nature, qualities that can make them excellent family pets. It’s important to consider the individual personality of any cat, regardless of breed, to ensure a good match for the family environment.

Choosing the right cat breed can significantly enhance the family experience, offering children a chance to grow up with a loving, gentle, and playful companion. The Ragdoll, Maine Coon, Abyssinian, British Shorthair, Burmese, and Scottish Fold each offer qualities that make them well-suited to life with children, from tolerance and patience to playfulness and affection. However, it’s not just purebreds that can bring joy and companionship to a family; mixed breeds and rescues also have a lot of love to offer. Ultimately, the best cat for a family with children is one whose personality and energy level match the family’s lifestyle, ensuring a harmonious and happy home for everyone.