Best 17 Cat Breeds for First-Time Owners

Written By Jill Taylor

Cats may have a reputation for being mischievous, which can be a bit of a headache for first-time owners. But not all cats fall into this stereotype, as some are actually pretty manageable. If you’re trying your hand at raising one, here are 17 cat breeds you can safely choose from.


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Siamese cats are a very social and affectionate breed that’s great with children and other pets. They’re also some of the most intelligent cats around. They enjoy interactive sessions with their owners and aren’t afraid to be vocal when they need something. Siamese cats also have a short coat, which makes them low-maintenance.

Oriental Shorthair

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The Spruce Pets describes the oriental shorthair as a breed that enjoys meeting people and could become depressed when left alone for a few hours. These vocal cats, with their different colors and patterns, give you a variety to choose from, and they also save you the stress of cleaning up after them.

Russian Blue

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The Russian blue is the complete opposite of the oriental shorthair. It’s an affectionate but shy breed that doesn’t immediately do well with strangers or unfamiliar situations. Nonetheless, Russian blues are a playful breed, great for people who want a cat they can play fetch with all the time.

American Shorthair

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The American shorthair has a reputation for being easy-going and adaptable. Its short coat means there isn’t too much you have to do when it comes to grooming, and you’ll also avoid constant visits to the vet thanks to its great health. Add the American shorthair’s social personality, and you have a cat that’s great for families, too.


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Gentle and adaptable, the ragdoll is another breed that syncs well with first-time cat owners. Although grooming requirements are low, you should get this cat only when you can give it a lot of attention. This is because the ragdoll is prone to separation anxiety when left alone for more than eight hours.

Maine Coon

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Commonly referred to as ‘gentle giants,’ the Maine coon is a large, friendly, and social breed that’s great within family settings. Some even say they’re great choices for people who love dogs but want to have a cat. However, you should note that the Maine coon requires regular grooming.

British Shorthair

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Even though the low-maintenance coat of the British shorthair is its best feature for first-time owners, it’s also a great choice for people who want an independent cat. The British shorthair has moderate exercise requirements, and, alongside an affectionate nature, you’ll have a cat that comes with great health.

Devon Rex

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Purina says the Devon Rex is an excellent breed for multi-pet homes. Its hypoallergenic nature makes it an open choice for people with respiratory issues, and despite its wavy coat, grooming isn’t a core requirement for this cat. The Devon Rex is also an affectionate breed that will seize every opportunity to be on your lap.

Cornish Rex

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The Cornish Rex is a close relative of the Devon Rex, and both share the same features—they have wavy coats that require little grooming, and they’re a social breed that gets along well with strangers. The Cornish Rex is also intelligent enough to learn tricks and is safe to have in a family setting.

Scottish Fold

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The Scottish fold’s moderate temperament and social personality make it an amazing pick for children who are first-time pet owners. This breed also adapts well to different environments and to other pets you have around you. Helpfully, it only needs a moderate amount of grooming to stay clean.


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Burmese are people-oriented cats that love to be the center of attention. They’re independently active and enjoy constant physical engagement, and their short coat makes them easy to maintain, too. With the Burmese, you’ll have an intelligent cat that adjusts to new environments easily.


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The sphynx, being a hairless breed, comes with peculiar skin care requirements. Regardless of this, though, it possesses a friendly and energetic personality, and it’s also an affectionate breed that loves to be around its owners. Sphynxes are intelligent enough to learn tricks as well.


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The Abyssinian is an intelligent cat that’s curious about its surroundings and isn’t afraid of exploring. The ASPCA calls it a generally healthy breed, and its fur coat is short and easy to care for. You also don’t have anything to worry about when it comes to sociability.


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If you would like a quieter cat, the Bengal is the perfect choice. You can get this highly intelligent and energetic breed to be busy with toys and games when you don’t have extra play time on your hands. It also doesn’t need any special treatment when it comes to feeding.


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The Birman is a beautiful, affectionate breed with striking blue eyes and a silky coat. It’s a curious, mild-tempered cat that enjoys being around people, which makes it great in a family setting. Like many others on our list, Birmans require little grooming, thanks to their short coats.

Exotic Shorthair

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According to iHeartPets, “the Exotic Shorthair is essentially a short-haired Persian, inheriting the Persian’s calm and affectionate nature but with much easier grooming.” The exotic shorthair is an adaptable, quiet, and generally healthy breed that settles well with strangers and saves you money on visits to the vet.


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A Tonkinese is an awesome choice if you’re looking for a cat that will keep you constantly entertained. This curious and mischievous breed loves to be involved with everything you do, even engaging in interactive games if it has to. Its short coat is another plus you get to enjoy when it comes to maintenance.

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