Top Cat Breeds for Children

Introduction

I have republished this page on top cat breeds for children and brought it forward so that it gets more exposure. When parents are trying to select a suitable cat breed for their children they are no doubt thinking about a cat breed which is more pliable and friendly than average and a breed which is less likely to scratch, bite or retaliate in the interests of their child’s safety.

It is possible to try and select such a breed, which I do below, but it is a two-way street. Parents have an obligation to train their children to handle domestic cats properly, which means gently while respecting the cat’s innate behaviour. Children should learn about cat behaviour before interacting with domestic cats.


Children with an F1 Savannah cat "Titan"

Children with an F1 Savannah cat “Titan”. Photo: Kathrin Stucki.

Discussion on Cat Breeds Most Suitable for Children

There are cat breeds, one of which is the Pixie-bob, which are suitable as companions to children because of the character that has been bred into them. However, individual cats have their own personalities, which may override the cat breed characteristics or at least add to the underlying characteristics of the cat breed.

Secondly, neutered cats will tend to be less territorial and therefore less aggressive, which makes them more suitable for children.

Thirdly, many random bred cats particularly older unwanted cats at cat rescue centers will have as good a character as you can find for children. Please consider them.

Cats that are well socialised with respect to other animals and people are a pre-requisite  – a basic starting point – for all cats no matter whether they are purebred cat breeds or random bred moggies.

The character of the cat should be checked out before adoption through interaction between person and cat and in communication with breeder or cat rescue employee.

Tolerance, a laid back nature, loyalty to their human companion and a cat that likes to interact with people are some of the basic characteristics of a cat breed that is suitable to be a companion to a child.

The Selection

The well known website, catster.com recommends the following top cat breeds for children: Abyssinian, American Shorthair, Birman, Burmese, Maine Coon, Manx, Persian and Ragdoll.

I disagree a little with this choice. There is no doubt that a well socialized Ragdoll is suitable. This is a large, cuddly, teddy bear of a cat that is known to be laid back. My personal experience with this breed is that they are indeed very laid back.

The American Shorthair is a mainstream and popular cat cat breed selected as the very suitable for children.

American Shorthair. Photo: copyright Helmi Flick.

American Shorthair. Photo: copyright Helmi Flick.

American Shorthair Cat

The Birman is relaxed and easy going. They have balanced personalities and are tolerant. The Birman is an excellent choice.

The jet black, Bombay is another relaxed and friendly cat breed that likes to be close to people. They are less well known but a really nice cat.

I would like to recommend the British Shorthair. This is a very solid, reliable cat breed and the male Brit SH is said to be “especially friendly to people, even to the point of being mushy”. A very safe cat breed. They are also suited to an indoor life.

Pixie-bob cat

Pixie-bob cat. Photo copyright Helmi Flick

The Pixie-bob is a cat that is overlooked sometimes as has been the case at catster.com. Helmi Flick, the well known cat photographer, finds this breed very easy to deal with and Gloria Stephens a very experienced cat lady who wrote Legacy of the Cat says that the Pixie-bob (or Pixiebob) is an “excellent companions for children”. You will not get a better recommendation. The Pixie-bob is not a wild cat hybrid. The Pixie-bob illustrated is one of two cat breeds specifically recommended for children and one of the top cat breeds for children.

Pixie Bob

The RagaMuffin is a close relative of the Ragdoll. What I have said about the Ragdoll would apply to a certain extent to the RagaMuffin.

The famous Main Coon is just a good allround cat breed that is relaxed and easy going. They are large and I am sure a child would love to play with a nicely mannered, large domestic cat with shaggy long hair. They are probably the world’s most popular purebred cat. Gloria Stephens (Legacy of the Cat) says that Maine Coons get along well with children and dogs.

Finally I would go for the Manx as suggested by catster.com as they are playful and loyal. The Cymric is the long haired version of the Manx by the way. And we can’t overlook the loveable Persian. This is an indoor type cat breed that has been described as a piece of furniture, meaning docile. This makes it a suitable cat breed for children.

I have excluded the skinny cats and the wild cat hybrids. But that does not mean they are unsuitable. I am just trying to be selective. What about the world’s biggest domestic cat? She is Magic and she had a beautiful relationship with a six year old child or boy, Andreas Stucki.

See cat breed selector.




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