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Top Five Calm Cats for Kids

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Kid-Friendly Felines

We know from studies that children who grow up with pets are greatly benefitted. They tend to be more caring and empathetic towards people and animals, and more outgoing, with better communication and social skills. The following are five cat breeds that are known to interact well with children, especially quiet kids who are less likely to need an active playmate.


Just remember: Bringing a cat (or any pet) into the home is a big decision. Never choose a cat based on looks alone, always meet the cat or kitten before deciding, and ask the breeder or shelter worker lots of questions.

1. Birman

This cat breed loves to love – both giving and receiving it. The Birman is smart and very receptive to training. You may even be able to get your Birman to walk with a leash if you start early enough. Also in the Birman’s favor: It doesn’t run off and hide when company visits for play dates. In fact, he will probably want to greet all the guests personally. This is, however, not a cat for active children who want to play games with their pet. Instead, the Birman is highly recommended for helping children to practice their reading skills by reading aloud to the cat.

2. Ragdoll

There is a very simple explanation for how the Ragdoll got its name: When picked up, this breed goes limp, like a ragdoll. Soft voiced and gentle, the Ragdoll enjoys attention but will not demand it. All that is needed is a little “mouse fishing” before dinner, or a family walk around the neighborhood (Ragdolls tend to take easily to a leash if you start early), and then a soothing evening with your purring bundle as your children read and do homework.

3. Himalayan

More active than a Persian and quieter than a Siamese, the Himalayan falls into that easy place where an evening game of laser tag or “mouse fishing” is the extent of the activity you want, with lots of emphasis on quiet, relaxing time. The Himalayan takes well to the indoor life and gives and receives affection in equal turns. Be prepared for a cat that will bond and love you and your kids for life.

4. Maine Coon

One of the most beloved of American breed cats, the Maine Coon is also one of our oldest companion cats. Working side-by-side on the family farms of early settlers, the Coon has had a lot of time to get to know us and adapt to our needs. Patient with active children, the Coon will help to temper a child’s mercurial nature with its calm nature, while making sure that the child gets some exercise time with some catch and fetch games. The Coon is also an excellent friend on long, quiet winter nights.

5. Exotic Shorthair

A Persian without the pretensions, the Exotic Shorthair plays up the easy-going, laid back personality of the Persian, without the aloofness and grooming demands of the Persian. With a quiet "Welcome home" to greet your child at the end of the school day, the Exotic will be there as a soothing presence to help your family wind down and get back into the groove of family life. All it requires is a little bit of play time each evening, a warm lap and soft caresses.

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  • kitty
    04/26/2012 05:22pm

    This wasn't the best photo choice :S

  • Kid-Friendly Felines
    01/25/2013 02:40pm

    I was not impressed with your choices of breeds.
    Because all of them are pedigree breeds, and not one single mixed breed, or as we call them, "street cats".
    I think this article only promotes buying cats, preferably pretty cats with "snob appeal", and does nothing to help save lives.
    There are so many kitten and gentle older cats waiting for good homes in shelters, and roaming homeless on the streets.
    All three of my cats are originally street cats that I adopted when very young, and although I cannot vouch for their behavior around kids, since I don't have young children - I can vouch for their unconditional love and devotion.
    Anyone who adopts a cat should not expect the cat to live up to your expectations of how he/she should behave.

  • Pedigree vs. Rescue cats
    04/28/2013 04:50am

    You realize that there are also plenty of pedigree cats in rescues as well. Not just domestics. This article doesn't promote "buying" over adopting. There are breed specific rescues, and many times, one can find a pedigree or a mix of the pedigree at a shelter. I adopted my Persian from a shelter (an adult). I presently have a Siamese I rescued from an abandoned apartment (as an older kitten). Some people want to know what to expect of their pet and prefer to buy a pure bred over a domestic. That doesn't make them bad. For example, Siberian cats are known to be great cats for people who are typically allergic to cats. That person is going to go to a breeder to make sure they get a purebred Siberian. Want a purebred but not concerned about breeding? Try a breed specific rescue. Everybody knows that there are lots of beautiful cats in rescues. Not everyone has to own one though. This goes the same with dogs. I needed a blank slate border collie so I got a puppy from a reputable breeder. I needed to know what I was getting because I was training this dog to be a service dog for a disabled person. I'd do it again too. Would I ever rescue a mix breed for a pet? Sure. I had many growing up and most of them were great dogs. Instead of getting all defensive and jumping to conclusions, why don't you leave people the choice of how they want to purchase their pet and what they want for a pet. They are the ones taking it home and paying the money for it (be it rescue or breeder). All I want to say is for people to please not buy from pet stores.

  • Too high maintenance
    08/07/2014 06:49pm

    I was also not impressed with your choice of breeds. All these breeds are very mellow and agreeable breeds--but they are all relatively high maintenance breeds. Especially the Himalayan. All these cats will need regular grooming and/or bathing. Birmans are probably the easiest to care for out of the list, but they still require regular grooming maintenance.

    Why not suggest some easy care shorthair breeds that are higher energy and are still good around kids? Japanese Bobtails, Ocicats, both Devon and Cornish Rex--there are many shorthair, easier to maintain breeds that are excellent around kids.

    And Faith--there is nothing wrong with wanting a pet with a predictable personality. While I've rescued plenty of mixed breed cats over the years, they are generally not as well socialized and tend to be higher strung than the pedigreed cats that I have owned.

  • Top Five Calm Cats
    12/04/2014 04:25pm

    Of course its a universal fact and all people having children and pets together really know the difference it makes.