See the Cutest Cat Breeds as Kittens
What do the Cat Fanciers' Association's 44 most popular cat breeds look like as kittens? Get ready for some adorable pics.
The Abyssinian is a regal-looking cat marked for being one of the oldest known breeds. This cat is recognized by its muscular body, arched neck, and large ears. Its eyes are shaped like almonds, and it resembles paintings and sculptures of ancient Egyptian cats. The Aby first made its appearance in America via England in the early 1900s. It makes a great pet, and you will likely agree with Carolyn Osier, author of Abyssinian Breeders International Kitten Buyer’s Guide: “There is probably no breed anywhere more loyal than the Aby.”
Commonly known for its wild appearance, the American bobtail is also seen as loving, playful, and really smart. They are medium to large cats, recognized by their rectangular bodies and broad heads with a clear whisker break above the muzzle. Their muscular appearance makes them seem heavier than they really are, and, as you may have guessed, their short tail makes them similar to the bobtailed wildcat. But don’t worry, these cats make great pets and enjoy playing games with their humans and even dogs.
The American curl can be short-haired or long-haired, but that’s not where the name comes from. The curl part was derived from its adorable backward-curling ears, which give it a happy look. According to Vetstreet, this cat first made its appearance in the early 1980s and, while it is family-friendly, it’s better with older kids.
As the name suggests, this cat has short hair, and it comes in a variety of colours and patterns. The American shorthair is full of muscle and gets up to 12 pounds. According to Hill’s, these cats are equally happy hanging out with the family and taking some alone time for naps in the sun. Its first recorded breeding record comes from 1904.
As the name indicates, this cat has a wired coat, though it varies in its colour and pattern. The American wirehair is descended from a spontaneous mutation from farm cats in upstate New York. According to the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), these cats are easy to care for and resistant to disease. They don’t talk too much and they are pretty mellow.
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This breed isn’t as well-known as the look-alike Siamese. The two share a similar body type, colouring, and striking blue eyes; the main differences are that the Balinese has a silky, flowing coat and its tail forms a beautiful plume—it might just be one of the cutest cat breeds around. Grooming is simple, because the coat does not mat, which is nice if you have a busy schedule. Even though this cat looks regal with its sapphire eyes, it’s known for being silly and having a big heart.
Oh no—it’s a wildcat lying on the couch! Not really, but the Bengal is richly coloured with vivid spots or marbling, making it another one of the cutest cat breeds. In addition to being good-looking, its playfulness and intelligence make it a great family pet. These cats are active and need a good bit of attention but get along well with other pets. Most Bengals like water, so they might enjoy watching you brush your teeth or even decide to jump in the shower with you.
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The Birman is long-haired and known for its silky coat, deep blue eyes, and white gloves or socks on each paw. Rumour has it these cats were companions of temple priests in northern Burma, but from there, their story takes a turn for the worse. During World War II, Birmans were nearly wiped out of Europe. But two were kept safe, so we still get to enjoy one of the cutest cat breeds today.
These mini panthers will steal your heart with their copper eyes and short black hair. According to the CFA, the goal is to produce cats who look like panthers; they don’t actually have any wild blood in them (but you don’t have to tell your Bombay that). These cuties can be leash-trained but are known for being mischievous. If you’re looking for an independent cat, keep going—this one wants to play and snuggle.
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Pet owners will get some laughs with this clumsy cat. But it’s also easygoing, calm, and quiet. British shorthairs are medium to large in size with dense coats, and the male gets up to 17 pounds. You might think of them as blue cats, but they actually vary in colour and pattern. The CFA refers to them as purring teddy-bear cats with large round eyes. Just don’t pick your British shorthair up; it’s not their cup of tea. They’re great with the whole family, even little ones and other pets, including dogs, rabbits, and birds.
Nothing says Burmese like its solid dark brown, silky coat. However, according to the CFA, the breed has expanded to include other colours: warm beige, pale gray, and medium gray. These cats make great family pets and do well with children but aren’t very keen on dogs. Ironically, you might notice yours following you around like a dog and jumping up on the couch to snuggle.
The Burmilla is known for its elegant appearance, according to Petfinder. These cats are playful and smart, so don’t leave your keys on the counter unguarded. A Burmilla might even challenge you to a game of cat and mouse. These cuties are affectionate and great around children. Their only crimes are being too loyal and cuddling too much in your lap. Don’t let their deep-throated purr throw you off; it just means they are loving the attention.
The soft, blue fur makes this kitty stand out. According to the CFA, this cat’s history is steeped in legend, originating in Persia. They were brought to French monasteries by knights returning from the Crusades. They may have been named after the Carthusian monks or, because of their woolly fur, some guess that their name came from a well-known Spanish wool from the 18th century. They’re pretty quiet and make gentle chirping noises when their food bowl is empty.
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You probably think of these cats for their red and cream points, but according to the CFA, the breed currently includes 16 colours. The Colourpoint shorthairs look identical to the Siamese in their body and head shape. These cats are affectionate and loyal, and almost like a mood ring, they can sense how their owner is feeling. They will sit by your side or on your lap offering encouragement on a rough day. Or, when you feel up to it, they’d love to play a game together.
The Cornish Rex is set apart by its soft, wavy coat. This cat is heavier than it looks and warm to the touch. According to Petfinder, they need lots of attention, because they are really active and playful. They might even sneak food off your dinner plate if you’re not paying attention.
The large eyes, short muzzle, and prominent cheekbones set the Devon Rex apart. Petfinder shares how they could be compared to an elf, a pixie fairy, or a space alien with their huge, low-set ears. But let’s not judge a book by its cover. Playing and giving affection make it onto their to-do lists. Plus, these cats are really intelligent.
The exotic appearance of the Egyptian Mau turns most heads. It’s the only natural domesticated breed of spotted cat. They are medium to large cats with silver, bronze, and smoke colouring. Their green eyes continue to darken until they are 18 months old. Since their back legs are longer, they look like they are on their tip-toes when standing up—this helps them with twisting and jumping. According to the CFA, they are somewhat stand-offish to strangers but select their “special person” at home, where they are curious and outgoing.
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Looking for someone to welcome guests to your house? The European Burmese loves to interact with the whole family, including friends who stop by to play some games. It’s a medium-sized, short-haired cat that varies in colour from light to dark. These cats are also loyal and very intelligent. They will likely sit in your lap and snuggle up to you in bed.
Trying to avoid hair drama? Go for the Exotic, who is short-haired but looks like a Persian. These cats don’t require daily grooming to keep their coats beautiful. These cats are quiet and peaceful, but they get pretty up close and personal—Exotics have been known to put their wet noses on their human’s face or to give an actual hug. According to the CFA, male Exotics are generally more affectionate than females.
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Grab some chocolate for S’mores. This medium-sized cat has a pretty brown coat that reminds you of a Hershey bar. It is known for its expressive eyes and its large ears that tilt forward. This cat is extremely intelligent and loves to play. Grooming requirements are very low, but its demand for attention is pretty high. According to Petfinder, this breed is originally from Siam.
A Japanese Bobtail cat comes in many colours and has two coat lengths: longhair and shorthair. Both are soft and silky. These cats will try to be a part of whatever activity you are doing, whether you are folding laundry, returning emails at your computer, or cooking dinner. According to the CFA, they are known as happy cats who enjoy carrying things in their mouths and even like a fun round of soccer. They travel well and are especially good with kids.
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Originating from Thailand, the Khao Manee is one of the cutest cat breeds with its white colour and bright eyes that look like jewels, ranging from any shade of blue to green or gold. They are referred to as the “White Gem” and have been known to bring good luck. But they can also be naughty, according to the CFA. Hopefully the former outweighs the latter.
The Korat cat is a medium-sized silver-ish blue cat. Their bright green or amber eyes are oversized for their face, adding to their alert and expressive nature. They are also affectionate, playful, and intelligent. They may jump up onto your shoulder, though, if you aren’t refilling their food bowl fast enough or give you a love-bite to let you know how they feel.
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The LaPerm cat came from the domestic “barn cat” stock. They come in every colour and pattern, and some are even born hairless. This breed can have wavy hair or a variety of tight or long and loose curls. The tightest curls show up on the underbelly, below the throat, and at the base of the ears. According to the CFA, many LaPerms are seen with a bottle-brush tail, especially the shorthairs, which have more texture to their coats.
Its partial hairlessness might not make it sound very tough. But the Lykoi’s “roan”-patterned coat and facial mask earned it the nickname “werewolf cat.” According to the CFA, this breed was discovered in a feral colony here in the U.S. in 2010. They have a medium build with thin legs and are quite friendly with their humans, other cats, and dogs. The black roan, which is a mix of black with white accents, is the most common colouring for this breed.
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Maine Coon cat
Myths and legends fill the air around the Maine Coon cat. They are sometimes referred to as gentle giants, but ironically they might be a bit stand-offish at first until they get to know you better. This cat has a rugged coat made of three different lengths of fur. It also has a long, bushy tail to help it stay warm and safe and large tufted paws for walking on snow.
The word “round” comes to mind when talking about the Manx, but most people obsess about its missing tail. According to the CFA, all Manx cats have at least one gene for a full tail, so it’s up to luck. But regardless of the tail situation, that doesn’t stop it from being one of the cutest cat breeds around. It is known for being friendly with children and also with other pets. This breed originated from the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea. More of a dog person? Check out these photos of the cutest dog breeds as puppies.
Norwegian forest cat
Coming from Norway, this cat is semi-long-haired to keep warm. These cats love their human and other pets but can be described as “on their own terms.” The Norwegian forest cat comes in many colours, from pure white to jet black, with a variety of coat pattern possibilities and isn’t fully mature until age five.
This spotted and wild-looking cat is medium to large in size and comes in 12 different colours. Known for its playfulness and high energy level, the Ocicat generally picks a favourite human, but also enjoys time with other pets, especially if they’re left alone. They are recognized for being quite vocal but not necessarily annoying. According to the CFA, the determining factor for the colour of an Ocicat is based on the colour of the tip of its tail.
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This cat is sleek like a race car: It has an angular head with large, flaring ears and tall, thin legs. Incredibly, this breed has over 600 combinations to choose from, based on colour, pattern, and coat length. Though they may look fragile, they are heavier than you might think and quite muscular. According to the CFA, your Oriental will probably find a way to interrupt you; they have been known to open a drawer or to dump out the contents of handbags.
Originating from Persia and Iran, the Persian continues to win hearts as one of the cutest cat breeds around. Hieroglyphics date this breed back to 1684 B.C. Its furry face is sometimes compared to a pansy flower. These cats require daily grooming to avoid tangles and hairballs, but a bath can help—start that regimen from a young age so they get used to it. Persians love to pose and can be seen draping their bodies over a couch or armchair.
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The Ragamuffin cat is quite large and has big eyes, but it is very gentle. These cats come in a variety of colours and patterns, and their coats are medium-long and fully furred like a rabbit. Even though they are thick and plush, they are easy to care for. Since they are so soft, they get a good bit of attention, which leads to a good bit of purring.
Their pretty blue eyes will catch your eye. The Ragdoll cat is a medium to large cat with point markings that include a variety of white overlay patterns. These cats reach their full coat and colour at around three years old. Their activity level is somewhat low compared to other breeds, but they are still playful. They are not especially vocal and are known for being pretty laid-back.
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The Russian blue cat is known for its blue coat, green eyes, and short hair. They love to greet their owner at the door but will run away from a loud noise. According to the CFA, many believe this breed originates from the Archangel Isles in northern Russia—some even believe this breed comes from a lineage of cats kept by the Russian Czars.
Those adorable, folded ears make this breed stand out as one of the cutest cat breeds (though some have straight, normal ears). According to the CFA, the folded ears on many Scottish Folds can lead to a higher wax buildup in their ears, so make sure to do periodic checks, but fortunately, it does not make them more susceptible to mites or ear infections. Those famous ears can swivel to listen and will still prick up when a can of food is opened.
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Hairstyles come and go, but the Selkirk Rex cat is recognized by its curly fur; however, a straight-haired kitten can come from the same litter. Right away, the breeder knows if the cat will have curly hair based on its curly whiskers. The curling is generally the most noticeable on the legs, tummy, and around the neck.
Siamese cats are known for their almond-shaped, deep blue eyes and their large ears. They are long and muscular, and their hips are never wider than their shoulders. They have a pointed pattern in seal, blue, chocolate, and lilac. Aside from being really playful, they talk a lot.
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Russian fairy tales and children’s books would not be complete without the Siberian cat. According to the CFA, they are medium to large cats with great strength and balance. The Siberians are long-haired with a triple coat and come in a variety of colours and pattern combinations.
This medium-sized cat comes in one colour, sepia agouti, and it has very short, silky hair. The Singapura has hazel, yellow, or green eyes, which are quite large, like its ears. They are known as little lions of love and they definitely want to please their owners. Not only are these one of the cutest cat breeds, but they might be the most loving as well.
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Often referred to as a little fox, the Somali cat is a medium to large cat with ruddy, red, blue, and fawn colourings. The dark-coloured bands contrast with the lighter ones, giving it a vibrant coat. This cat is very soft to the touch and is known for its gold or green eyes and its plume tail. The CFA says this cat is “a combination of beauty and personality.”
The Sphynx cat is known for its hairlessness, though there are differing degrees of it. What this cat lacks in hair, it makes up for in playfulness and intelligence. They have been compared to monkeys for being acrobatic and lively, and these cats will demand your full attention. Because most lack hair, which would normally absorb body oils, they need periodic bathing from a young age.
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A truer friend cannot be found, given the Tonkinese cat’s goodness and loyalty. Because Tonks are quite playful, while they do get along with other animals, they do best with those who share a similar temperament. The colours vary for these cats, from natural or champagne to blue or platinum, in three patterns: solid, mink, and point. Their grooming needs are simple, and their colouring darkens with age.