Which cat breed is the most aggressive (beware of false information)?

This article answers the question as to what single cat breed is the most aggressive but BEWARE of false information.

Warning about studies on cat breed personality

Before I attempt to answer the question in the title, I need to warn you that there is a plethora of false information on the Internet in response to the question that I have asked in the title. One site even refers to a species of wild cat as a cat breed. This is entirely incorrect because cat breeds are artificially created domestic cats through selective breeding. They are not wild cat species. Other websites purport to list the 10 or 15 most aggressive cat breeds. This is completely idiotic because they don’t exist. Think about it: if cat breeders were breeding 15 cat breeds that were mean and aggressive, they wouldn’t be able to sell a cat to anybody would they? They would be out of business in no time.

Turkish Van - most aggressive cat breed?
Turkish Van – most aggressive cat breed?
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats


And what is depressing is that the first five or six top listed websites by Google search results claim that they can list 10 or 15 aggressive cat breeds. That’s the first problem, there is a lot of false information out there because not only are these websites misleading the public in terms of the number of cat breeds that are aggressive, I would argue that you cannot provide a definitive answer even in respect of one cat breed that is aggressive.

The true answer is that there are no aggressive cat breeds. There might be an individual cat in one cat breed who is aggressive but to brand an entire breed as aggressive is silly. Once again, I stress that there is no point in a cat breeder breeding a cat who has even a hint of aggression. They do their best to breed the opposite; confident, friendly, loyal and pliable cats. Obviously, a purebred cat of a specific cat breed can sometimes become aggressive because of the circumstances under which they find themselves but that does not mean they are inherently aggressive.

Responses to questionnaires tend to be subjective

And here’s another point which has to be mentioned: the information about cat breeds being friendly or aggressive or quiet or noisy etc. all comes from questionnaires sent to cat owners. Even the best studies do this and the latest and perhaps best study on this topic did exactly that. But there has to be a warning attached to their conclusions and it is one they admit to in the report. When you ask people about the character or personality of their cat companion it is very difficult for these people to be objective. They love their cat. They want to say nice things about them. Or they are not very good cat caregivers for one reason or another and their cat responds accordingly which might mean aggressively from time to time. Or they’ve read about certain cat breeds being aggressive or friendly and that impacts on the way they complete the questionnaire.

All-white Turkish Van swimming
All-white Turkish Van swimming. Picture: Getty.

So, if a poor cat caregiver describes their cat as aggressive it might be the fault of the person. It might not be an inherited trait in that cat breed. As a result, these studies are rather fallible. Truthfully you have to take them with a pinch of salt. The whole subject of cat breed personality is fraught with difficulty.

Turkish Van most aggressive cat breed? Beware of this sort of information.
Turkish Van most aggressive cat breed? Beware of this sort of information.

Finnish Study

Having got those heavy and extensive warnings out of the way, I’ll tell you what a Finish study decided was the most aggressive cat breed. Researchers at the University of Helsinki sent questionnaires out to the owners of 4,300 cats of 26 different cat breeds. They asked questions on seven feline personality and behavioural traits: playfulness/activity, fearfulness, aggression towards humans, sociability towards humans, sociability towards cats, litter box issues and excessive grooming. The last two issues are indirectly related to personality. That point needs to be made.

Turkish Van most aggressive cat breed

They concluded that the Turkish Van was the most aggressive. If you look at the chart above which comes from the study you can see that it is outstandingly the most aggressive towards humans. And, by the way, I presume that the question in the title is a reference to aggression towards people. So, the Turkish Van is a standout aggressive breed according to this study. The same study also found that the Turkish Van was the least sociable towards other cats.

Distorted results due to breeder?

There is another point which may well have distorted the results of this study. Perhaps all the participants had bought their Turkish Vans from the same cat breeder in Finland. And perhaps that breeder was not that good and her foundation cats were not great. Perhaps her male foundation cat was a little aggressive? If that was the case and I am speculating, it would distort the results.

American Curl and Maine Coon

At the opposite end of the spectrum is the American Curl, a breed which is less well known in my view. Also rather interestingly, you can see that the Maine Coon is also quite highly ranked as being relatively aggressive. Correct? I doubt it.


I’m very dubious about these results I must say. As I said, take them with a pinch of salt. If you fall in love with a Turkish Van and adopt him or her, be an excellent caregiver and I will bet my bottom dollar that he or she will not be aggressive.


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