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A lot of unfriendly stereotypes surround cats. They are lazy. They don’t play. They don’t like humans. That’s simply not true. The world is full of fun and friendly cat breeds. The list below showcases some of the most playful cat breeds.

Each cat breed has its own unique personality traits, preferred activities, and appearance. But, most cats share one thing in common – they are all playful, friendly, and affectionate.

If you’re interested in a new pet with a little bit of pounce in their paws, then check out the list below. You’ll find a bunch of adorable and playful cats who do much more than sitting on their hind legs all day.

Choosing The Right Kind Of Cat For You

New cat owners need to assess their home and lifestyle to determine what cat breed works for them. Do you have children? How about a dog? How often are you home? Do you want a cat that will snuggle or one that will be more independent?

Check out a few of these common characteristics below.

Common Kitty Personality Traits

Contrary to what some might think, domestic cats are highly sociable creatures – including with their humans. They often share many common personality traits that make them excellent companions.1

Cats love to play. Keep in mind that a playful cat is often an active cat. Males and females alike want to jump, climb, frolic, and even play fetch. Make sure that you have space for that kind of energy. And the energy to match.

Young woman sitting at desk and cuddling her lovely cat, togetherness and pets conceptAffectionate
Some cats are independent. Others are super affectionate and demand lots of attention. Think about how much scratching and cuddle time you can offer your kitty. If you are gone a lot at work, then an independent cat might be for you. For those with time at home, a loving, affectionate cat might be the way to go.


Dedication is what these friendly felines are all about. Keep in mind that loyalty is a two-way street, so be prepared to have this kitty by your side often.

Cats love to cuddle. Cat fanciers can almost all agree on that. For some of these breeds, the second you sit down, you can expect them in your lap. This is great for some people. For others, a more independent feline friend might be better.
Funny cat standing or catching and looking up isolated on white


Lots of play means lots of energy. For those bundles of fur that are extra energetic, they may want to rough house a little more than some of the calmer cats. If soft and gentle suits you and your home, opt for one of the lower energy breeds.


The Most Playful Cat Breeds – The Play By Play

Now that you know some of the common cat characteristics, it’s time to unveil a whole litter of fun. Here are some of the most playful cat breeds.

Japanese Bobtail – A Bundle Of Playfulness

Japanese Bobtail on white backgroundThese furry friends are famed for their sweetness, activeness, and insatiable appetite for play. Expect them to bring you toys and trinkets. Don’t be afraid to give those toys a toss, because these kitties love playing fetch.2

They fall on the extroverted side of the spectrum. Social, active, and affectionate best describes these critters. They will even respond to their name, so don’t hesitate to call.

Japanese Bobtail – Characteristics

  • Fur – Short, medium and long
  • Colors – Varied
  • Kid-Friendly – Yes
  • Dog-Friendly – Yes, but don’t be surprised if the cat decides it’s the boss

American Shorthair – A Tiny, Tough Guy

studio photography of an American shorthair cat on colored backgroundsThese critters are famed for their hunting skills, not just their short hair. Those instincts often translate into enthusiasm for playing games that mimic chases. Throw a ball or dangle a toy to see the feisty side of this active cat shine.3

American shorthair cats have a long history of being faithful companions. An independent streak runs through them, so they don’t require as much attention as others.

American Shorthair – Characteristics

  • Fur – Short
  • Colors – Varied
  • Kid-Friendly – Yes
  • Dog-Friendly – Moderate

Persian Cats – Kitty Royalty With A Fun Side

Persian kitten, 4 months old, with paw up in front of white background

Don’t let that grumpy-looking face fool you. These affectionate and exotic cats are very loving and loyal to their owners.

You can expect their energy levels to be lower than some of the other breeds. Still, they’re known to show off kitten-level bursts of energy. One second they might be lounging in your lap. The next, they’re jumping and running around the living room.4

Persians are often considered one of the prettiest cats around. Not to worry, they don’t let it go to their heads… too much.

Persian Cat – Characteristics

  • Fur – Long
  • Colors – Varied
  • Kid-Friendly – Moderate
  • Dog-Friendly – Moderate

Birman Cats – The Perfect Rainy Day Companion

Birman colorpoint catThis is the cozy, tea-sipping, bookworm of playful cats. Their energy levels don’t rank as high as some of the others. And, play for them may be better defined as cuddling and loving ear scratches.5

They tend to demonstrate their love through loyalty and dedication to an owner, rather than with playful paw pats. They love attention and aren’t afraid to show it.

Birman Cat – Characteristics

  • Fur – Long
  • Colors – Varied, with four white feet
  • Kid-Friendly – Moderate
  • Dog-Friendly – Low

Cornish Rex Cats – The Forever Kitten

Cornish rex cat sitting sideways on a sofa indoorThese cats never seem to grow out of their kitten ways. Long into adulthood they play and play and much like a kitten, they forever want your attention and affection.

These cats crave your attention so much so that they might be willing to wear a leash to go for a stroll, just so long as their owner is with them. Don’t be surprised to feel this cat’s tail brushing your leg often for attention.6

Cornish Rex Cat – Characteristics

  • Fur – Short
  • Colors – Varied
  • Kid-Friendly – Moderate
  • Dog-Friendly – Moderate

Munchkin Cats – Little Rascals With Little Legs

Munchkin Cat on white backgroundThese furry buddies are most recognizable by their short legs. Those little paws don’t slow this fuzzball down, though. They’re highly active and intelligent.

If there was a mischievous scamp in the bunch, it’d probably be this little one. They love to play puzzle games and hide shiny objects.7

They make great pets and tend to get along with all animals and people. That puts them on the loving and affectionate side of the room.

Munchkin Cat – Characteristics

  • Fur – Varied
  • Colors – Varied
  • Kid-Friendly – Yes
  • Dog-Friendly – Yes

Siberian Cats – Your Adventure Companion

Siberian beautiful adult cat over white backgroundThis is a rare, exotic cat breed. It is large in both stature and personality. Maybe it’s the extra courage they gain from their unusually large size, but they love a good adventure and aren’t afraid to play outside.

If you decide on a game of fetch, don’t be surprised if they fearlessly hurdle themselves in full somersaults after toys.

Like any great adventurer, they are always ready for a new challenge. Keep them happy by introducing new games and challenges.8

Siberian Cat – Characteristics

  • Fur – Long
  • Colors – Varied
  • Kid-Friendly – Yes
  • Dog-Friendly – Yes

Abyssinian – The Calm And Responsible One

Chausie, abyssinian cat on dark brown background.Cool, calm, and collected. That’s pretty much all cats Abyssinian in a nutshell. They know how to entertain themselves with less of the rambunctiousness as the others. And they’re one of the smartest cat breeds.

You may find them playing quietly in the corner with a ball or climbing up the bookshelf for a better view. The second you sit down, though, they will most likely navigate to your lap for an affectionate petting session. They love to be rubbed and will let you know with some satisfied purrs.9

Abyssinian Cat – Characteristics

  • Fur – Short, Medium
  • Colors – Varied
  • Kid-Friendly – Yes
  • Dog-Friendly – Yes

Scottish Fold Cat – The Sweetheart

Toned portrait of a cute cat with amber eyes. Scottish fold.

These fluffballs are all about charm. Scottish Fold cats are friendly and loving with just about everyone.

They won’t be overly needy or demand your attention at all times. Still, they aren’t opposed to some quality snuggling. They are highly receptive to some training as well.10

They are notable from the unique way their ears fold forward and downward.

Scottish Fold Cat – Characteristics

  • Fur – Short
  • Colors – Varied
  • Kid-Friendly – Yes
  • Dog-Friendly – Yes

Choosing The Right Kitty For You

These playful cats easily dispel all the misconceptions about felines. Turns out that cats are playful, fun, and loving.

There won’t be any denying it once you meet these pretty kitties. Like all of us, they define play in their own distinct way. Jumping, pouncing, purring, and lounging are all favorite pastimes.

If you’re interested in adding a cat to your home, consider the energy levels and characteristics of different breeds. You’re sure to find a prrfect match.
Learn More:

What is Cat Bunting?

Are Cats Loyal? Reasons Why Cats Make Good Companions

Understanding Cats: How To Read Your Cat’s Body Language