Monday, March 12, 2012

Family Friendly Cat Breeds-A Guest Blog By Heather Kalinowski Of Trupanion Pet Insurance

Heather Kalinowski is a pet lover and new mom who spends her days helping other pet owners protect their pets with Trupanion pet insurance. Trupanion offers 90% coverage for diagnostic tests, surgeries, and medications if a pet becomes sick or injured.

Cats can be an excellent pet for families with children. There are many different breeds to choose from, and it’s important to do research on the personality and health characteristics of any certain breed when making your decision. Some characteristics to look for include:

·         Tolerant
·         Not Territorial
·         Affectionate
·         Sociable
·         Easy Going
·         Adaptable

You will also need to decide whether to choose a kitten or an older cat. Many families instantly fall for the endearing nature of a kitten, and like the idea of the kitten growing up with the children. However, there are a lot of benefits to choosing a cat that is slightly older. For example, with an older cat, the temperament is fixed – you are more likely to know exactly what you are getting yourself into right away and whether the cat is truly family friendly or good with other family pets. Health issues will have more than likely shown up already, and training has already been ingrained.

So, with all that said, which breeds are good breeds to start looking at when making your decision? The following are the top five most family-friendly cats based on the traits mentioned above.
Abyssinian Cat

The Abyssinian is one of the oldest cat breeds in the world. They are believed to have originated in Africa and to be descendants of a sacred Egyptian cat. They are quiet yet very playful. They are people-oriented, intelligent, and enjoy being around their families. They are compatible with other household pets. They require minimal grooming, but their large ears must be cleaned on a regular basis. They are a healthy breed, but may be prone to gingivitis (inflammation of the gums due to tartar buildup), so regular visits to the vet to check teeth and gums would be necessary.

American Shorthair
The American Shorthair is an ideal family pet with its good natured, calm, and intelligent personality. They are a gentle, family oriented, quiet, and affectionate breed. They get along extremely well with other pets and children making them ideal companions for families and first-time cat owners. They are a healthy breed, not prone to any specific health conditions, but their thick coats require weekly combing.
"Max" owned by Jackie Wilson

Maine Coon
The Maine Coon is native to the United States. They are very intelligent, devoted, and loving cats. While they may be reserved with strangers, they are very playful with their family members. They can adapt to new people and other pets, and are compatible with children. They actually enjoy playing with water, as their thick coats are water repellent. That coat does, however, require brushing several times per week. Be aware that this breed can be prone to gingivitis, hip dysplasia (a hip condition that causes lameness), and polycystic kidney disease (cysts in the kidneys that leads to kidney failure).

The Persian is an old breed, introduced by the Romans and Phoenicians during the 1500s. They are calm, sweet tempered cats who enjoy their lounge time, but also love playing with their family. They are very intelligent and very devoted. They get along well with children and other pets, even dogs. Their long, soft coats require daily grooming, so be aware of the time commitment there. As far as their health, they can be prone to entropion (an eye condition), epiphora (the overflow of tears), and heart disease.
"Ragdoll" Boomer Burk from Facebook

The Ragdoll is a sweet and laidback breed – very friendly and a fantastic companion. They are a large breed, which makes them strong and resilient. They are playful, but not overactive and adapt easily to their environment. They can be trained quite easily, which can be a fun activity for children. They get along great with other pets and with children, and are a great option for first-time pet owners. Grooming is required several times a week. They are a quite healthy breed, but may be prone to cardiomyopathy.

What do you think? Did you bring one of the breeds above into your family? Do you have another breed you believe should be on this list? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


  1. Aunty Caren,
    Err...what about the rest of know...the moggies...the "off the street" breed? purrr....meow!

  2. I think my family made an excellent decision to get a Maine Coon. It's the Hammy Ragdoll I'm not so sure about... heh heh heh...

  3. Before I move in, My daddy almost get the Ragdoll !

  4. I had a ragdoll a few years ago and she was the sweetest cat ever but a little on the clingy side so I'm not sure if that breed is for everyone.I loved her dearly.

    My favorite breed however is the domestic mix, usually found at the local animal shelter. They can be the most loving cats of all.

  5. Our cats were all from the streets and we think they make great companions. :)

  6. @Cat from Sydney and The Furries, tabbies are considered to be American Shorthairs...that is what Cody is! That is what MOST kitties are and they are listed FIRST!!! This is just informational because there are some who do like "breed specific" pets.

    @Mr.Puddy my Mom loves the Ragdolls too! Good to see you! Where in the world have you been? I haven't had time to read some of the blogs in the past week but I am planning on coming around late today or tonight! xoxoxo

    @Squirrel Queen you are absolutely correct about the "domestic mix"...I have had two tabbies and they fall into the American Shorthair category listed first :)

    @Rumblepurr lol!!!

  7. Some interesting information on a few cat breeds we're not totally familiar with. Thanks!! Always good to learn about the grand diversity of felines.

    Pam (and Sam)

  8. I just met my yoga's teacher Ragdoll, she's 12 years old and gorgeous!

  9. A former co-worker has a Ragdoll (and three other cats) and he's the sweetest feline...a terrific uncle to the kittens she's fostered.

    Our mom isn't hung up on breed, though, is happy just to have plain old shelter kitties of very mixed parentage. Of course you can find purebreds in shelters and rescues too, we know this!

    P.S. Please note our new URL: -- thanks.

  10. Jen says she's never had anything other than an adopted stray cat.

  11. My Mom had a Ragdoll. She got it in Idaho and of course called it Ida.

  12. Thank you for publishing my post, Caren! Just wanted to pop in and say that I, too, love the mixed breeds and I should have included them in this list! But like Caren mentioned, this list was just a brief look into certain breeds for those who either want a purebred or want more information on a breed their cat is mixed with. Thanks! ~Heather @Trupanion

  13. @Heather you are welcome! I was always under the impression that American Shorthair ARE mixed breed! :)

    @Sharon "Ida" for it!

    @rumpydog, my first cat was a stray and cody was adopted at an adoption drive. There are some that prefer to go that route and others that do "shop"...all that matters is that they are loved and given a good home :)

    @Fuzzytales aren't I subscribing to the new blog? I am sure that I am. I just haven't been around visiting in a few days due to a lack of time. Sorry!

    @Priscilla I love ragdolls they are so adorable!

    @Pam and Sam there ya go! My sentiments exactly!

  14. We just have feral cats and yard cats and porch cats. We think those are the very best breeds. MOL. Great info. Thanks .

  15. Austin says he is a purebred moggie :) That should be on the list lol

  16. Orange may not be a breed but it sure is a way of life! We love the oranges.

  17. I agree with Brian. If someone insists on a specific breed, there is a rescue group for everyone. Personally, O'm a life-long meezer lover.

  18. @Layla that is true but we have no control over what people do! Both of my boys are "mutts" cats, but not my dog.

    @Brian I agree! But as Layla said if someone wants breed specific they can go to a breed specific rescue too! This post was just done to tell those who want a certain breed about some of the cat breeds that exist.

    @The Whiskeratti I love ALL kitties!

    @Carolyn i AGREE! Cody is a "pure bred silver gray tabby" WITH A BIG BELLY, is THAT on the list? lol

    @Marg I agree! I had a street cat the first time around and Cody is a rescue cat!

  19. Fanks fur incloodin' mai pikshur in da post, Miss Caren! I alwayz enjoy readin' about AWL kindz uv kittehz... whefher dey'z 100-purrcentz pure-breed (liek me), or 100-purrcentz pure-moggie. It dun reely matter where u come frum... wat'z impurrtant iz where u endz up! :)

  20. Dear Caren
    Me is a pure bred. Mommy had never had one before and since me was a rescue and such a horrible cat, we is not sure if all pure bred Lilac points would be like me! Kozmo is Domestic Short Hair, but he's also a Tuxi. Me thinks Tuxis and Tabbys and Torties and Calicos all has their own personalities. Me thinks Tuxis is the clowns of catdom!

  21. I think my favorite cat breed would have to be siamese, short of bengals(which aren't "pure" domesticated cats). I also like maine coons. As far as the other breeds.. In my experience, purebred long haired cats tend to be a little bit more high maintenance. They are the cats that hide when I visit their house, and growl/scratch the quickest when they don't want to be messed with. Mixed breed long hairs (DLHs) and maine coons seem to be the exception. But that's just my opinion.

  22. We would hope that if someone wanted a pure bred, they would check to see if there was a rescue group for that breed. Lots of times there are!

    About our scratcher...we got it from when they were offering it. But now we see Amazon is carrying it too. It's made by Pet Fusion. It's a little pricey, but it's well made and we love it!!

  23. @GlamKitty I like that, "it isn't important where you come from but where you end up!!" Brilliant! xoxoxo

    @The Island Cats thank you for the info! It is just fabulous!

    Hi Everyone, this is about dogs but I have to make a comment about "buying" first cat was a stray, my second rescued...our dog however was bought. Why? We TRIED to find a rescue Sheltie and there were NONE near us. We weren't going to have a dog shipped to us because we don't believe in that. The Sheltie we BOUGHT was being sold because he couldn't be shown. In my opinion because he wasn't being "favored" like the other dogs who were going to be shown, our purchasing him WAS a rescue. He came where he was WANTED.

    We had every intention of rescuing a Sheltie but it just didn't work that way. Some people "buy" not because they want to but because that is how it happens.

    Ultimately it is about the animals...that they are LOVED. PERIOD.

  24. The Human thinks ragdolls are the cutest kittehs ever. She's never had one though--all her kitties have been mutts and strays. Except ME, of course, cause I am the KING. Well, okay, yes, technically I was a mutt too, but I think my blood is blue.

  25. @Spitty YES YOU ARE THE KING!! That is for sure!

  26. how love your post is... we chose Birmans... not so unlike Ragdolls. We have always gone the rescue route, and will again, but the two little Birman kittens were in need of a home and we thought being able to car train them as kittens would be useful. It was. We take them on holiday to Cornwall (a 4 hour drive) regularly and they are fine in the car because they have travelled from young. They go everywhere with us. Love Helen, Darcy and Bingley xxx

  27. FaRADaY: B-b-bbut...what about MEEEE???

    Maxwell: oh get over it, Squeaks.

    Allie: *pats coiffure* Grey tuxedo girls are evidently All The Rage, as we're on the list! *giggle*

  28. Cloon's Human: All of my cats have been domestic short hairs that have been strays prior to Neytiri who I did get from a Ragdoll breeder. All different breeds of cats are so special, I love so many of them. And having a Ragdoll has been a very wonderful experience, they are such a majestic breed.


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