Best Playful, Friendly, and Affectionate Cat and Kitten Breeds For Kids and Families

Your kids are constantly nagging you about getting a fluffy little furball for a pet and you’re finally starting to give into their pleas.

(And you should! We did an infographic on why pets are good for kids.)

But there’s one big problem – you don’t know which cat breed is going to be suitable for you and the kids.

Should you get a tiny Munchkin or opt for a big fluffy Persian? Should you adopt a young playful kitten or look for a laid-back adult cat?

For starters, not all breeds are necessarily appropriate for children.

A cat’s personality and breed is of extreme importance when it comes to kids. Felines are quite capricious and they can be dangerous predators. As such, they may pose a danger to young kids, especially to those children who don’t know the meaning of boundaries.

However, there are a number of breeds which are less independent, more affectionate, and quite playful and energetic, making them ideal for families with young or older kids.

So, what are the best cat breeds for families with kids? Here are our top picks!

Maine Coon

The large Maine Coon is a notoriously big cat. In fact, it’s among the biggest breeds.

These kitties are extremely sociable and love every second of attention directed towards them, making them the purr-fect family companions in a household full of curious and playful children who want to pet and play with the cat all the time.

Maine Coons are not only active and affectionate, they are also patient when it comes to kids. They mature slower than other breeds and can weigh more than 15 lbs. The fluffy fur coat will make your kids fall in love with the Coon instantly and in return, it will cater to their every playful whim.


The Birman is a majestic, eye-catching breed that loves to receive and return affection.

Birmans are ideal family companions as they are notoriously smarter than other cat breeds and can be quite receptive to various tricks and training. Unlike other breeds, this cat won’t hide or act all high and mighty whenever the kids want to stroke and train it.

On the other hand, this attention-loving cat isn’t the best option for younger kids who can’t tell the difference between playtime and aggravating a kitty.

Nevertheless, the Birman will help you teach your children responsibility and patience. And most of all – it will love being the center of attention in any house or apartment! (For a fun way to teach your children about the responsibilities of owning a cat, check out The Cat’s Meow Rescue Children’s Book!)


If you’re looking for an extremely curious, energetic, playful and kid-friendly cat, then the Abyssinian is definitely the best option.

This short hair, mid-sized cat is not only extremely active, but it also doesn’t shed as much as the Maine Coons or the Birmans. In terms of vocalization, the Abyssinian is a quiet cat and it’s among the most fearless felines out there.

The Abyssinian will never miss a chance to jump around, explore, and chase everything in sight. This is one of the main reasons it’s a perfect fit for families with younger, energetic children. It’s far from your typical lap cat, but it’s still a loyal and affectionate breed.

Before you actually welcome a cat into your family, you should prepare your home, your kids, and yourself for what’s to come. Are you going to allow the cat outside or is it going to be an indoor cat? Are any of your household members allergic to the Fel-d1 allergen agent which is released by cats? Can you commit properly to taking on a kitty and to teaching your children how to handle a pet?

Cats are capricious and fragile creatures which need attention, regardless of the fact that they are often low-maintenance pets. They need proper care, regular grooming, high quality nutrition, and lots of love.

However, these things shouldn’t scare you out of getting a feline pet!

Cats are the perfect domesticated animals for children, as they don’t require as much care as dogs do. They are quite independent and can teach your kids a number of valuable lessons, like how to be more affectionate, how to become responsible, and how to be respectful of boundaries. On top of that, kitties bring joy and happiness wherever they go.

Allow your feline pet to get accustomed to its new surroundings and don’t put too much pressure on it during the first couple of weeks. Once your kitty gets used to its new home and to your kids, it will cherish you for all the love and care you’re showing to it. After all, as majestic and whimsical as cats can be, all they really want is for somebody to love them and show them the affection they deserve.

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Emily Parker

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!

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