17 Best Cat Breeds if You’re a First-Time Pet Owner

Picking a cat breed that will be suited to your home is important for a first-time pet owner. With 73 different breeds to choose from, owners have plenty of choice in deciding what kind of cat will be best for them. Here are 17 of the best cat breeds for first-time owners.

American Shorthair

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Descended from the European cats brought on American settler ships to protect cargo from rodents, the American Shorthair is known for its adaptable and easygoing nature, making them perfect for first-time pet owners. Healthy Paws Pet Insurance praises the breed as “a friendly and social cat.”

Maine Coon

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The Maine Coon is one of the largest domesticated cat breeds. These cats are friendly giants known for their sociable nature and are often described as dog-like. The Maine Coone is prized for its robust health and has long hair that needs regular grooming. First-time owners will find them cooperative during grooming and great with kids and other pets.


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This carefully refined breed has piercing blue almond-shaped eyes, a triangular head, and a long, slender body. Siamese cats are very vocal and communicative with their owners, helping to build strong bonds. Their short coat requires minimal grooming for first-time owners.


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Originating in Myanmar, Burmese cats are known for their dog-like attachment to their owners, often seeking physical affection and companionship. Purina says, “Very playful and engaging, the Burmese will learn to retrieve toys, and will delight in playing with their family.” They are also generally healthy, lowering potential vet bills for owners.

Exotic Shorthair

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This distinctive breed is the perfect mix of the Persian’s sweet, gentle nature and the ease of a short coat that requires little grooming. Affectionate and loyal, Exotic Shorthairs will often follow their owners from room to room and are quiet, making them great for apartment living.

Russian Blue

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Russian Blues are known for their silvery gray coats and shy nature around strangers, but they are highly affectionate and loyal when with their families. Elanco notes that “despite their dense double coats, Russian blues rarely shed—making them a great cat for owners with pet allergies.” Their calm demeanor helps them fit into peaceful households.


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This Canadian breed is hairless, making it ideal for those with allergies. However, their lack of hair requires regular bathing to remove oil buildup on their skin. Known for its extroverted behavior, the Sphynx is a dog-like breed that will greet its owners at the door and be friendly when its family has guests around.

Oriental Shorthair

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The Oriental Shorthair is similar to the Siamese cat, with a sleek, short coat that requires minimal grooming, making them easy to take care of. Highly social and intelligent, the Oriental Shorthair remains playful into adulthood and enjoys playing fetch, making it an excellent alternative for those unsure about owning a dog.


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Famous for their distinct colorpoint coats and blue eyes, Ragdolls are known for their gentle and calm demeanors. Often referred to as “puppy-like,” these cats tend to follow their owners around. The Natural Dog celebrates the breed, saying they’re “great with children and other pets and are generally low maintenance when it comes to grooming.”

Norwegian Forest Cat

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The Norwegian Forest Cat has a thick, luxurious coat that makes them perfect for cold climates, with a wooly undercoat of insulation. They require regular grooming but enjoy the attention and handling of their owners. Adept at climbing because of their long claws, the Norwegian Forest Cat is a great first-time pet for owners with gardens.


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With their distinctive blue eyes and semi-long, silky fur that doesn’t mat easily, the Birman is a gentle, affectionate cat that is an excellent companion in family homes. Relatively healthy, this breed is great with other pets and is even-tempered and friendly with them.

British Shorthair

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The British Shorthair is known for its blue-gray coat and distinctive orange eyes. This ancient cat breed has a laid-back personality, which makes them less likely to climb around the house and more likely to curl up next to their owners. Untamed argues the breed is “perfect for first-time cat parents—they are easy-going, adaptable, and friendly, so you will have no problem connecting with them.”

Cornish Rex

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This slender cat can be distinguished by its slender body, small head, and large ears. Often compared to the Greyhound, the Cornish Rex has a unique coat that is low maintenance and sheds very little, making it ideal for a tidy household. This breed will provide owners with endless entertainment with its galloping run and acrobatic abilities.

Scottish Fold

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The Scottish Fold closely resembles the British Shorthair but is distinguished by its unique folded ears. Incredibly friendly and affectionate with their owners, this breed is moderately active and enjoys relaxing around the house. PopSugar notes they are “very comfortable in both a loud multi-person household as well as a quiet single-person household.”

Devon Rex

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The Devon Rex is an English breed that is similar to the Cornish Rex, with a short, curly coat that requires minimal grooming and sheds less than many other breeds. Affectionate and people-oriented, this mischievous breed is a joy to have around the house.


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This once-obscure breed is known for its striking, ticked coat and its active, curious nature that keeps it exploring. Their short coat requires minimal grooming, and they are incredibly social, making them ideal for busy work-from-home owners.

American Bobtail

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Known for their wild appearance and their short, stubby tails, the American Bobtail has a sweet, friendly disposition. They are highly adaptable to new situations and are great pets for owners on the go. Their coat can be long or short and requires regular grooming, but it is manageable due to their easygoing nature.

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