While the beloved house cat can be great company for a small child, not all breeds are alike. Cats with certain dispositions simply aren’t wired to put up with the attentions of kids, and some will get downright violent if a youngster crosses the line. On the other hand, some cat breeds don’t seem to mind at all and get along with children famously. Here’s a few of the most child friendly cat breeds.
The American Shorthair is arguably the best cat for children and is at the top of the list of recommendations from veterinarians and cat product experts. The American Shorthair is actually of European ancestry and was an early immigrant to the colonies. Their resilient coat can be found in a wide variety of colors and pattern. Unlike the famously snooty longhairs, this breed is a simple, domestic animal that will befriend each member of the family if treated affectionately. Although some American Shorthairs really like to get out of the home for a prowl, the make for a well adapted house or apartment cat if kept indoors from a young age.
The ennui eyed British Shorthair is equally well suited for a home full of children with it’s calm, playful temperament. The British Shorthair even enjoys playing with the family dog! Be aware that this particular breed does like to have a little more square footage at home if permissible.
The Abyssinian is one of the most social cat breeds, and the combination of its easy going temperament and need for frequent play and attention makes it ideal of household with small children. Unlike most cat breeds, Abyssinians really prefer to have owners who are home and within view as much as possible, and they seem to get depressed if ignored for very long. Although quite devoted and tender, they are energetic climbers and rambunctious playmates, which is great for a young and active family.
Some cat breeds to avoid for a child’s home include the Cyrmic, the Bombay, and the American Shorthair. These are still fine breeds, but their aloof nature may make being a kid’s best bud a hard sell.
Remember, you don’t need to go to a cat breeder to get a particular breed of cat. Cat adoption agencies are filled with cats and kittens that really need a home, and the helpful folks volunteering at these shelters can identify cat breeds for you.
Pugnetti, Gino. Simon and Schuster’s Guide to Cats. New York, New York: Simon and Schuster. 1983