"Cats are a mysterious kind of folk." - Sir Walter Scott
Cat breeds and personalities include affectionate, shy, outgoing, snuggly, independent, energetic, relaxed, and more. Cats can have short, medium, or long hair. So many to choose from! And there are many opinions about the personalities of different breeds. But a study by the American Veterinary Medical Association found there are 5 feline personality traits (Feline Five) in cats:
- Neuroticism: Cats that show traits of insecurity, anxiety, fear of people, suspicion, and shyness may be helped by additional hiding spaces in the house.
- Extraversion: Cat extroverts are active, vigilant, curious, inquisitive, inventive, and smart. These cats need extra room to play and enjoy playing with their toys.
- Dominance: A dominant cat will show bullying and aggression toward other cats.
- Impulsive: Cats that are reckless and nervous usually are stressed by their environment and need extra care.
- Agreeable: A friendly, happy well adjusted cat is affectionate and gentle with their owners and other cats.
Active Cat Breeds
Abyssinian: Busy, active, affectionate, energetic, intelligent, and talkative
American Bobcat: very intelligent, dog-like, loves games and walking on a leash
Bengal: Curious, energetic, athletic, needs to run, jump, and romp
Devon Rex: Friendly, comical, silly, playful, loves toys, and dog-like
Norwegian Forest Cat: An active breed that loves hunting and climbing
Manx: social, outgoing, dog-like, loyal, affectionate
Ocicat: A strong, active, and sociable cat
Ragdoll: Lots of energy, curious cat - like to know what’s going on
Siamese: Determined, vocal, active, affectionate, and likes company
Balinese: Intelligent, inquisitive nature, and enjoys being petted
Relaxed Cat Breeds
American Shorthair: Even-tempered and quiet
American Wirehair: Even temperament
Bombay: Playful and affectionate, great lap cat
British Shorthair: Curious and likes to relax, good companion
Burmese: Quickly attaches to their family, and outgoing
Chartreux: Gentle, playful yet quiet
Himalayan: Likes peaceful environments, good senior companion
LaPerm: Affectionate and gentle, lap cat, active, and enjoys games
Maine Coon: Gentle, good companions, enjoy mental games, and play
Ragamuffin: Affectionate, docile, and loves people
Ragdoll: Calm, even-tempered, good-natured, friendly, and loving
Turkish Van: Athletic, intelligent, independent, sweet and curious
Purebred Cats vs. Mixed Breed Cats
When choosing a new cat, there are a lot of questions, including should you get a purebred or mixed breed? Because there are so many cat breeds to choose from, do your research before deciding on what type and personality you want. And, after you get your kitty home, basic cat care is easy.
The way a cat behaves is a combination of its genetic make-up and experiences during its socialization period. This is short for kittens, ending at about 8 weeks of age. But the kitten will accept behavior modification (replace undesirable behavior with more desirable behaviors) until it is about 6 months old.
Here are the pros and cons of both purebred cats and mixed breed cats
There is a huge variety of breeds to choose from and each has its own distinct look and personality traits. If you know what you want your cat to look like and have an idea of the ideal personality you would like, then you can narrow down your search to a certain breed.
Each purebred cat has a few different coats, colors, patterns, and personality traits specific to its breed.
In general, purebred cats are more affectionate and friendlier than mixed breeds. This is because purebred cats have been selectively bred for desirable traits. Over many generations, the characteristics that are preferred become more consistent and eventually become part of the breed's identity.
Choosing a purebred cat reduces the risk of getting a cat with an undesirable temperament. If it is an adult cat then you can get an idea of its temperament before you buy it, and if it is a kitten then you can usually meet both parents to judge whether they have good temperaments.
A downside to getting a purebred cat is the cost. Purebred cats or kittens can be very expensive, but it is important to realize that it can sometimes be worth spending the money, and this cost is relatively low compared to the annual upkeep of a cat. If the price is too high, then think about adopting a purebred cat or kitten who had a previous home, rescue, or shelter. Many purebred cats can be found in shelters because they are homeless.
Mixed Breed Cats
Mixed breeds come in all shapes, sizes, colors, personalities, and temperaments. They can be friendly, timid, bold, quiet, noisy, or aggressive. They also come in both short hair and long hair. Most often, mixed breed cats can be found in shelters. There are thousands of mixed breed cats found in shelters, waiting to be adopted who become wonderful pets. If you adopt a rescue cat, you are doing a good deed by saving a life.
A good reason to get a mixed breed is the reduced risk of health problems. Of course, some mixed breeds will be unlucky with diseases and some purebreds will live a full life disease-free, but the risk of disease is reduced in mixed breeds. Because they come from a larger gene pool than purebred cats, mixed breed cats generally will have fewer genetic defects and other health ailments.
Generally, a mixed breed cat will have a longer average life expectancy than purebred cats, but purebred cats can also live a long and happy life.
A downside to a mixed breed is that they can be more unpredictable than a purebred cat. Due to their wide gene pool, you will often get kittens in the same litter that have completely different temperaments. This can mean that a kitten may grow into an angry and aggressive cat even if their parents were well behaved and lovely.
When choosing a mixed breed or purebred cat, all cats are individuals, and their personalities or living requirements may be different from the norm.
- Cats are believed to be the only mammals who don’t taste sweetness.
- Cats are nearsighted, but their peripheral vision and night vision are much better than that of humans.
- Cats are supposed to have 18 toes (5 toes on each front paw and 4 toes on each back paw).
- Some cats have more than 18 toes. These extra-digit felines are referred to as being "polydactyl."
- Cats can jump up to 6 times their length.
- Main Coon cats are the largest domesticated cat breed - about 10-16 inches tall and about 38 inches in length.
- Cat claws all curve downward, which means that they can’t climb down trees head-first. Instead, they have to back down the trunk.
- Cat collarbones don’t connect to their other bones, as these bones are buried in their shoulder muscles.
- Cats have 230 bones, while humans only have 206.
- Cats have an extra organ that allows them to taste scents in the air, which is why your cat stares at you with her mouth open from time to time.
- Cats have the largest eyes relative to the head size of any mammal.
- Cats make very little noise when they walk around. The thick, soft pads on their paws allow them to sneak up on their prey.
- Cats' rough tongues can lick a bone clean of any shred of meat.
- Cats use their long tails to balance themselves when they’re jumping or walking along narrow ledges.
- Cats use their whiskers to sense the world around them to determine which small spaces they can fit into. A cat’s whiskers are generally about the same width as its body. (This is why you should never cut their whiskers.)
- Cats have whiskers on the backs of their front legs, also.
- Cats walk like camels and giraffes: They move both of their right feet first, then move both of their left feet. No other animals walk this way.
- Male cats are more likely to be left-pawed, while female cats are more likely to be right-pawed.
- Maine coon, Bengal, Turkish van, Savannah, Manx, Norwegian forest cat, Abyssinian, and Japanese bobtail cats like to swim.
According to the Cat Fanciers’ Association some of the most popular breeds for 2020 are:
Persian, Ragdoll, Exotic Shorthair, Abyssinian, Maine Coon, Sphynx, Devon Rex, American Shorthair, Scottish Fold, British Shorthair, Siamese, Cornish Rex, and Bengal.