Most Playful Cat Breeds: 18 Outgoing and Active Cats to Keep You Entertained

playful kitten
Stella Noble
Written by Stella Noble

When we think of a pet that follows our every step, plays fetch, and goes with us on vacations, we usually think of dogs. However, there are many cat breeds that can live up to these expectations while adding feline qualities to the mix. This article is for discussing most playful cat breeds that would rather spend time doing fun activities than snoozing on the couch.

Every being has a personality of their own, but some breeds are made, intentionally or unintentionally, to be more active and human-oriented than others. Those little monsters are beloved pets in households which enjoy interaction and group activities. Some cats like to be left alone, but the breeds we are going to present here are more than happy to be a part of every family happening.

This article will introduce you to the most playful and fun-loving breeds, while giving you a short description of the overall character and needs of each breed on the list. Hopefully, you’ll find a perfect match for your household somewhere along these lines.

Top 18 Most Playful Cat Breeds

All the breeds listed in this section have two things in common: high energy levels and friendliness toward humans. Other aspects of their personalities vary a lot, giving you an opportunity to choose a breed that perfectly suits your lifestyle.

#1: Siamese

Siamese cats playing

Always on the top of the list when we’re talking about feline power to induce havoc. Whether you please or you don’t please, the Siamese will find a way to keep you on your toes.

Those who wish to adopt a member of this breed should make serious adjustments to their home. Cat running wheels, shelves, scratching posts, and countless toys are a must and should be readily available.

Young Siamese cats are an unstoppable force of nature and can be very destructive if not provided with sufficient stimuli. They are also remarkably smart, so it’s important to present them with puzzles.

The Siamese love to be around their human family, so an active family with a lot of other animals, kids, and frequent visitors is a dream come true for this breed.

#2: Abyssinian

Abyssinian cat playing

This copper beauty is a very unique cat. Abyssinians are well known for their love of heights. A perfect home for this breed includes a kitty highway consisting of high shelves and climbers, because an average Abby would climb the ceiling if they could.

They also like to ambush their human roommates and play hide and seek, especially with toddlers.

Abbies are incredibly friendly and active cats, but good-natured. Sometimes they are seen as mischievous and mean, but this is not true. They just like to play and will happily take any opportunity to prank humans or other pets.

If you have a good sense of humor and don’t mind a good chase on a daily basis, this beautiful cat is the right choice for you.

#3: Japanese Bobtail

Japanese Bobtail playing

A breed with so many unique traits that we don’t know where to begin. First of all, this breed has an adorable bunny tail! Second, they have an adorable, chirpy voice and an amazing vocabulary.

Every owner of a Japanese Bobtail knows exactly what their bunny kitty wants because they have a different chirp for every single thing they want. They are not loud, just expressive.

The third thing that is unique about this breed is that they love to play with water and will appreciate a fish tank to observe and play with.

That is not all; if you travel a lot and think this is keeping you from having a pet, you’re wrong! Japanese Bobtails are very inquisitive and enjoy the thrill of traveling, visiting new places, and staying in hotel rooms.

The only downside is that a bored Japanese Bobtail is a destructive cat. If you have to leave your cat for long periods of time daily, consider adopting a dog or another equally lively cat, and cat-proof your home.

#4: Devon Rex

Devon Rex playing

A family cat through and through. Do you know the saying “Silence is deafening”? That is how a Devon Rex cat would describe a quiet household. They are just not made for serene contemplation and long days with nothing to do.

On the other hand, a dynamic family with a lot of kids or other pets makes a perfect environment for this breed. Devons are very curious and intelligent, and they love a good puzzle toy. They will also happily play fetch and learn tricks, but they get bored of repetition easily.

One of the trademarks of this breed is that they love sitting on their favorite human’s shoulder while overlooking daily activities.

#5: Bengal

Bengal cat playing

This large cat looks more like a creature of the jungle than a domestic cat. They are a cross of a domestic shorthair and an Asian leopard cat, bred specifically for their spotted coat. Make no mistake, this breed is not a wild cat, although it looks like one.

Bengals are very strong, confident cats who are amazing climbers and agile jumpers. A household with fragile decorations and delicate furniture is definitely not a good match for this adrenaline junkie.

They need a lot of exercise daily and proper mental stimulation. Ideally, this cat will live in a house with a fenced yard with a pool where they can swim, run, jump, and hide in the bushes.

Small apartments will turn this cat’s adventurous nature into a whirlpool of demolition, so this breed is not recommended for small living places and a lot of alone time.

#6: Burmilla

Burmilla cat playing

This breed is an accidental cross of a Burmese and a Persian. Burmillas took the best from both worlds, bringing a lot of love and laughter to the household. They might not be super energetic, but they love to run around and suffer from a serious case of zoomies.

Just make sure to nail down everything that’s breakable, because this breed is a bit of an oaf.

The fact that they love to play and jump around doesn’t mean Burmillas lack the affection; if there’s a lap available, this kitty will gladly jump in for some snuggles.

#7: Cornish Rex

Cornish Rex playing

This curly feline belongs on the catwalk. Cornish Rex cats look very refined and graceful, but they are everything but decorative couch potatoes. They have long toes which enable them to do stuff you wouldn’t expect from a cat—opening doors and cabinets, throwing balls, and fiddling with objects in a very skillful way.

Thank the evolution they don’t have opposable thumbs, because this is the only thing stopping this breed from conquering the world. Cornishes are often described as being “doglike” because they love to play fetch and follow humans around the house.

Leash training? A Cornish is a perfect candidate. This breed loves attention and thrives in families where someone is always home. Loneliness will drive them into depression. Therefore they are not suited for busy humans who work long hours outside of the house.

#8: Colorpoint Shorthair

Colorpoint Shorthair kitten

Basically a Siamese with a different coat. This breed shares almost every trait with its aforementioned relative, except that Colorpoint Shorthairs take drama to a whole new level.

If they think they are not receiving enough attention, these cats will pout and even refuse to “talk” to you. And believe us, from their perspective, it’s the greatest punishment one can get.

This breed is very chatty and needs human contact all the time. Whatever you do, they’ll be by your side “helping” and supervising with constant remarks. Owning a Colorpoint Shorthair is a love affair of a new kind, so be prepared to give and receive a lot of love and a bit of drama.

#9: Sphynx

Sphynx cat playing

Attention makes the world go round… at least for this breed. Sphynxes seem to understand human laughter and are quick to join in on the fun. They will gladly do stunts and goof around if it draws attention and makes people smile.

This breed is very active and needs a lot of toys and at least one cat tower. If not provided with means of entertainment, a Sphynx will find a way to amuse itself, probably in a way you don’t find so charming.

Hanging on a curtain or climbing a chandelier is quite common for this breed because their slim body allows them to jump to amazing heights. But once a Sphynx is done exercising, they will snuggle under the bed covers and purr your ear off.

This breed likes warmth and enjoys sleeping with humans, dogs, or other cats—whoever allows them the spooning.

#10: Tonkinese

Tonkinese cats

AKA “the needy cat”; Tonks will take all the attention you are able to give. Some owners even make cat carriers so they can actually do things around the house instead of having the cat in their arms all the time.

And when they are not snuggling, Tonkinese cats are jumping, running, and playing with everything they can put their paws on.

The neediness has a positive side, though; this breed is very eager to please. If you want to teach a Tonkinese cat tricks, walk them on a leash, or take them on bicycle rides.

This breed is a perfect addition to a family which wants to spend time training and playing with a cat because solitude and independence are not what a Tonkinese needs.

#11: Turkish Angora

Turkish Angora cat playing

Clad in white and with impeccable manners, Turkish Angoras leave the impression of a refined house fluff incapable of mischief. But this is very far from the truth. It’s true that these cats have an innate gracefulness to their appearance, but they are also very active and inquisitive.

The intelligence of a Turkish Angora will challenge you on a daily basis. They are exceptional mousers and have a strong prey drive, so provide your Angora with a lot of chase toys. If they don’t get enough exercise, members of this breed can become naughty pranksters.

#12: Turkish Van

turkish van

This famous water-loving cat from Turkey is definitely one of a kind. Don’t be surprised if your Turkish Van joins you in the bathtub or jumps in the shower with you. If you provide this cat with a water bowl and floating toys, they will be amused for hours.

They are also good with other pets and love well-behaved dogs, especially if they have a pool to swim in together. These cats don’t require an insane amount of exercise but will demand a daily play session and a couple of toys to be happy and well behaved.

#13: Manx

manx cat

Another tailless breed. The Manx cat looks like a bunny rather than a house cat. This is because they have longer hind legs, making their movement style very specific. They pounce and hop a lot.

This breed is incredibly fun to be around and play with because they love human company. Manx cats love to hunt and will chase their favorite toy all day long, but never straying too far from their human.

This breed is not assertive or needy but deeply suffers if their human family neglects them. Let them play catch around your legs while doing stuff around the house and you’ll have the happiest Manx alive.

#14: Ocicat

Ocicat playing

Although they look wild, Ocicats are very sweet and friendly. In fact, they might be overly friendly with strangers, and if not confined to your own yard, you might realize that they “adopted” a couple more human families.

This breed is very active and has a lot of stamina, so if you don’t have a yard, make sure to invest in a running wheel. Ocicats need at least an hour of intensive exercise a day. If not provided with enough physical activity, they might start pestering other pets or kids.

As an alternative, you can take your Ocicat for a daily walk, because they quickly adapt to a leash and love investigating the neighborhood. You can even take them for a jog; Ocicats are very good runners.

#15: Munchkin

Munchkin cat playing

Do you think short legs are making this breed slow and clumsy? Think again. Just like sports cars, the Munchkins are close to the ground and faster than a bullet. Sure, they are not the world’s best jumpers, but you will be amazed with their agility when it comes to horizontal surfaces. If you want a true zoomer but not cat paws on shelves, here is your number one pick.

Munchkins are very playful and full of energy. They love tunnels and caves, much like a ferret, and can squeeze into the smallest of places. Just make sure to buy from a reputable breeder because irresponsible breeding can lead to many health problems, even untimely death.

#16: Siberian

Siberian cat playing

As the name suggests, this breed comes from Siberia. It’s a very old breed and has been known for centuries. Russians love their Siberian cats so much that they made them famous through fairy tales and legends.

This breed is very outgoing and loves guests, children, other cats, and even dogs. As long as there is someone to play with, a Siberian is the happiest cat in the world. But they are far from needy.

If you need to leave your cat for 8 hours a day, a Siberian will not complain. Just make sure to install enough shelves and cat towers for them. Ideally, another cat will keep your Siberian company so they can entertain each other.

#17: American Bobtail

American Bobtail cat playing

Want to take your pet on a hike but can’t afford a dog? Here’s what you do—get an American Bobtail. These cats are very muscular, adventurous, and loving. They are very stable and confident in unfamiliar situations, acting more like a well-trained dog than a regular cat.

Bobtails are also great with kids, other pets, and new people, but can be equally happy with just one human as long as they get enough activity. If you are a hiker or spend a lot of time in the car, you won’t find a better companion than the American Bobtail.

#18: American Curl

American Curl

The American Curl has unusual-looking ears—they are curled backward! Furthermore, this breed stays kitten-like forever, playing and goofing around throughout their long and healthy life.

This delightful Peter Pan of the feline world comes in long hair and short hair variety, so you can choose whichever fits you best. They are great with kids but can also tolerate a one-person household, as long as they have enough toys to keep them occupied.

Wrap Up

kittens playing

There is no guarantee that a cat of a certain breed is going to be exactly what the standard says. After all, every cat is a person of its own. This is why it’s preferable to personally go to the breeder (or the shelter) and pick a kitten that you like, rather than taking the first one that comes your way.

Spend some time with your potential new cat and watch their behavior closely; you’ll get a good picture of the personality within an hour.

Of course, even when you know all of the predispositions of your new pet, keep in mind that training and conditioning go a long way. Love is unquestionably there, but every pet also needs exercise and discipline to be happy and well behaved.

Which of the playful cat breeds we’ve listed above do you find most attractive? Do you know of any other playful breeds? Let us know in the comments section below! Also, check out our article on how to play with your cat to prevent boredom.

About the author
Stella Noble
Stella Noble

Stella Noble lives in Warren, Michigan with her family and three cats. She is a Certified Cat Trainer and a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.