A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

12 Most Affectionate Cat Breeds That Love Snuggles and Pets

Updated: Jun. 28, 2024

Not all cats want their space. These affectionate cat breeds are totally into you—and aren't afraid to show their love.

Cute ginger cat lies on woman's hands. The fluffy pet comfortably settled to sleep or to play. Cute cozy background with place for text. Morning bedtime at home.
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The most affectionate cat breeds that want all the cuddles

Let’s be honest: Cats have a bit of a reputation. Despite their cuteness, they often seem aloof, and based on their behavior, we’re not even sure they like us half the time. They don’t greet us at the door when we come home, and they seem downright moody and uninterested in us—unless we’re opening a can of food. But not all cats are like that. (Really!)

In fact, some cats are super friendly and rarely leave the side of their favorite human. Teresa Keiger, a judge with the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) who has lived with and shown several cat breeds, is keenly aware of the feline psyche and which are the most affectionate cat breeds. If you’re looking for a cat that loves to cuddle, these breeds are your best bets.

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Russian Blue Cat
Dmitry Zinoviev/getty images

Russian Blue

Talk about a head-turner! The Russian Blue’s plush silvery blue coat and piercing green eyes are positively gorgeous. And though it seems to emit a “look but don’t touch” vibe, Keiger says not to let its aloofness toward strangers fool you. The Russian Blue is acutely perceptive and knows if someone is a friend or foe. “Once a Russian Blue considers you a friend, you’ll never have an empty lap again,” she says. “They bond completely with their owners.”

Breed overview Russian Blue
Height 8–10 inches
Weight 7–12 pounds
Life expectancy 15–20 years
Funny Devon Rex kitten is looking what is going on. Cat portrait with curiosity expression

Devon Rex

The Devon Rex will never be described as being distant or cold. In fact, this small cat’s profile would be peppered with adjectives like affectionate, fun-loving, playful, lighthearted, spirited and prankish. Devons are interested in everything and everyone in their sphere, and they’re happy to be your sidekick all day, every day. They’re just as eager to play games with you as they are to be your permanent body hugger. “They love their owners and really wish to be with them all the time—as in all the time,” says Keiger.

Breed overview Devon Rex
Height 10–12 inches
Weight 5–9 pounds
Life expectancy 9–15 years
Birman cat
Sylvia Adams/Shutterstock


One look and you’re done. Those wistful blue eyes, that cute button nose and the gorgeous long coat—how could you not want to cuddle? Luckily, the Birman is one of the most affectionate cat breeds and will beckon you to the sofa for snuggle time. One of the most famous Birmans out there? Choupette, who was owned by Karl Lagerfeld and acted as the late designer’s muse for a line of feline-inspired accessories. Rumor has it that Choupette had two personal assistants to tend to her every need.

Breed overview Birman
Height 8–10 inches
Weight 10–12 pounds
Life expectancy 13–15 years


The Abyssinian owns the catwalk. Maybe that’s a little too on the nose, but you can’t deny that the Abyssinian has the cred to pull it off. The Aby possesses an elegant, long, lean muscular physique and an arched neck that emits a supermodel vibe. Yet the Aby’s striking appearance is just one of the appealing things about this breed. Cats can go from aloof to lovey-dovey in the blink of an eye. Check out, do cats like being kissed?

These cats are also smart, loyal, loving and outgoing. “If there were a Miss/Mister Congeniality award for a breed, the Aby would win it,” says Keiger. According to Purina, Abyssinians get along well with cat-friendly dogs, as well as other pets, like large parrots and ferrets.

Breed overview Abyssinian
Height 12–16 inches
Weight 6–10 pounds
Life expectancy 9–15 years
Maine Coon cat on white background
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Maine Coon

The Maine Coon was first recognized as a specific breed in Maine, where it was named the official cat of the state. That’s a big honor for a giant-size cat. According to the Veterinary Centers of America, males tip the scales at around 20 pounds and females at about 12 pounds, and they can be almost 40 inches long!

But despite their size, they still think they’re tiny kitties. “They truly have no idea how big they are as they try to ease into your lap or your bed,” says Keiger, whose own Maine Coon acts as her armrest on the sofa every evening. Plus, they are very laid-back and easygoing, she adds. Oddly enough, they even like water and are noted for their raccoon-like ability to scoop up food and water with their paws.

Breed overview Maine Coon
Height 8–16 inches
Weight 10–25 pounds
Life expectancy 10–13 years
American Short Hair
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American Shorthair

If you’re looking for a family-oriented feline who loves to cuddle in your lap but isn’t always in your face, the American Shorthair may be for you. An added bonus: These adorable cats are also proficient mousers. “The American Shorthair is another breed that’s easy to live with and good in an active household,” says Keiger. “Nothing much bothers them, and they enjoy hanging out with their humans.” Shorthairs can live 15 years or longer when they’re in a nurturing home and eat a quality diet.

Breed overview American Shorthair
Height 8–10 inches
Weight 7–12 pounds
Life expectancy 15–20 years
Siamese Cat
Tsuji/getty images


When you think of Siamese cats, you probably think of their deep blue eyes and affinity for “talking” via high-pitched yowling. These cats thrive on companionship and conversation, making them one of the most affectionate cat breeds. “Our Southeast Asian ‘slinky cats’ (including Orientals, Balinese, Javenese and Colorpoint Shorthair breeds) love to be with each other and with their owners,” says Keiger. “They have the magical trick of being able to slowly slide into your lap, and their loud purrs of contentment convince you that that’s exactly where they should be.”

Breed overview Siamese
Height 8–10 inches
Weight 6–12 pounds
Life expectancy 15–20 years
Beautiful bombay black cat portrait with yellow eyes and attentive look in green grass in nature
Viktor Sergeevich/Shutterstock


With its glossy black coat and copper-colored eyes, you might think the Bombay originated in an exotic and mysterious location. But believe it or not, the Bombay actually hails from Louisville, Kentucky, according to the CFA. Back in 1958, cat breeder Nikki Horner bred an American Shorthair and a Burmese. The combined genes created a stunning panther-like cat that just happens to be one of the most affectionate cat breeds. “It gets its wonderful nature from both sides of its family tree,” explains Keiger. “Friendly and outgoing, the Bombay expects you to like him.”

Breed overview Bombay
Height 9–13 inches
Weight 6–11 pounds
Life expectancy 12–16 years
The burmese cat at home.; Shutterstock ID 1387238975; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): RD


The Burmese is the cat that acts like a Labrador retriever. It loves to play fetch and is super outgoing. And like Labradors, Burmese are highly social and love to have conversations with their humans—look out for those sweet meows. Keiger says, “It’s another breed that genuinely wants—no, insists—on being with its owners.” Wherever you go, the Burmese will follow.

Breed overview Burmese
Height 10–12 inches
Weight 8–12 pounds
Life expectancy 9–13 years
breed of European Burmese cat, gray, sitting on a brown wooden background

European Burmese

Keiger says the European Burmese has the same big, loving personality as its American cousin—just in a slightly different package. Appearance-wise, the body of the European Burmese is slightly longer with soft curves, as opposed to the American breed, which is more well rounded. Plus, the introduction of the red gene gives the European Burmese a wider variety of colors than its cousin.

Both types of Burmese, however, are lovers and snugglers that want nothing more than to be your adoring companions. When your normally cuddly kitty doesn’t feel like cuddling, it could be a sign your cat isn’t feeling well.

Breed overview European Burmese
Height 10–12 inches
Weight 8–12 pounds
Life expectancy 9–13 years
Chocolate Cream coloured Tonkinese Cat sitting on a chair under the table
Belle Ciezak/Shutterstock


What you lack in social skills, the Tonkinese has in spades. “This cousin of the Burmese has an incredibly outgoing personality, with as much love for their family as visitors,” says Keiger. “They’ll bring the party to the house and serve the snacks. Later on, they’ll curl up with you and tell you all about the day.”

Just don’t leave them alone too long or they could get into mischief. They despise being ignored, according to the CFA, and prefer the company of other cats and cat-friendly dogs.

Breed overview Tonkinese
Height 8–11 inches
Weight 6–12 pounds
Life expectancy 12–15 years
Ragdoll cat sitting on a window
Julia Gomina/Getty Images


You’ll never hear “She’s just not that into you” from someone who has a Ragdoll cat. Female—and male—Ragdolls tend to be more interested in their humans than some other breeds of cats. The mutual fondness goes both ways, as it’s easy to get lost in their intoxicating blue eyes and glorious fluffy coat.

Underneath that fluffy coat is a hefty cat: Males weigh around 20 pounds. “They’re a large cat, so while they might not prefer to be on top of you, they certainly really want to be with their people,” says Keiger.

Breed overview Ragdoll
Height 9–11 inches
Weight 10–25 pounds
Life expectancy 12–17 years