The Most Playful Cat Breed In The World

"I simply can't resist a cat, particularly a purring one. They are the cleanest, cunningest, and most intelligent things I know, outside of the girl you love, of course." So said Mark Twain, who loved cats dearly, including a kitten who used to take up position in one of the pockets of his pool table and participated in the game by "changing the direction of a passing ball." Twain certainly isn't the only cat fan who found courses of mutual amusement in his pets; Ernest Hemingway said, "one cat just leads to another." 

Playfulness isn't necessarily restricted to certain breeds of cats — lots of play is on hand at your local shelter. Nevertheless, some breeds of cats are perhaps more inclined to goofy fun than other calmer cat breeds might be. As in all things, there's significant variance of opinion on the subject — experts don't even agree on how many breeds are recognized these days — but even so, there are some strong contenders for the title.


One side note: "playfulness" is a cat descriptor often associated with "high energy." Be warned. As Animal Wised points out, individual cats have individual personalities, and "discovering the most playful breeds is not an exact science." That site is fond of Abyssinians, Maine Coons, and the Manx, among others. Purina concurs that the Siamese is a strong bet for playfulness, as is the Bengal, which is described as "playful as a direct result of the breed's intelligence" — they need the stimulation of playful interaction. Bengals are also described as "extremely athletic." Let the owner beware. And finally, the Japanese Bobtail is not only playful, but apparently a water lover too. Nevertheless, the breed is prone to obesity, too, if left to its own devices.

Even though cats were domesticated more recently than dogs, they clearly have the ability to see humans as family and engage in play, whether a purebred or rescue. Though some breeds are more likely to engage in play than others, the most guaranteed way to see an active kitty is by keeping it engaged and giving it plenty of attention.