What cat breed is the most sociable?

Cats who are sociable towards humans and cats are friendly cats. A recent study of about 4,000 purebred cats living in Finland and carried out by scientists from the University of Helsinki, through questionnaires sent to the cats’ owners, concluded that the cats from the Far East were the friendliest. To be more specific they state that the Siamese and the longhaired variant of the Siamese, the Balinese, together with the Burmese and Oriental Shorthair, were the most sociable towards humans and cats. The Korat is also high up in rankings on sociability towards cats. But it is noticeable that sociability points to the ‘Siamese cat family’, as I call it.

Although this is a good study; it is a research project which is nonetheless reliant upon answers to questionnaires from cat owners. There is therefore a reasonable chance that the answers might be somewhat subjective which means that they might be coloured by personal preferences and biases, at least potentially. I have covered that point extensively in a previous post which you can read by clicking on this link (it is about the most aggressive cat breed). But to recap, people have to be cautious about branding a whole cat breed with one personality trait based upon a questionnaire sent to people in one country. There is also the issue of the quality of cat breeders in the country and whether a number of participants adopted cats from the same breeder or breeders.

That said, one well respected cat show judge and cat expert, Gloria Stephens, in her book Legacy of the Cat, describes the Siamese, Balinese, Oriental Shorthair and Oriental longhair as “vocal to the point of loudness”. Although this is not about personality directly, if a domestic cat likes to talk to their human caregiver, it does indicate a great need to be interacting; a clear sign of sociability. And she says that they like to sit on their owner’s lap and sleep in their owner’s bed. In short, “they want to be as close as possible, and their need for closeness verges on the desperate”.

Burmese ‘Raison’ standing on hind legs. Photo copyright Helmi Flick.

In other words, she agrees with the conclusions of the Finish scientists. It’s interesting that she goes on to say that they are ‘demanding’ cats. It’s a thought because when your cat comes to you and talks it’s a request for something; a polite demand. That is the point she is making. A consequence of friendliness might, on occasions, be demanding on a cat caregiver if they aren’t in the mood to interact. But all you have to do is to provide a bit of love by holding, stroking and talking to her.

Balinese cat Kareem
Balinese cat Kareem. Photo copyright Helmi Flick.

For the sake of completeness, the scientists concluded that the ever popular Persian and Exotic Shorthair (shorthaired Persian) were the least sociable towards humans. This is in line with the popular view that they are like pieces of furniture rather than interactive cat companions (an extreme description). The least sociable cat breed towards other cats is the Turkish Van. This is the other side of the coin to the finding that the Turkish Van is the most aggressive cat breed.


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