Smartest Cat Breeds: Find an Intelligent Cat You’ll Love

cat wearing glasses and lying on book
Steve Corelli
Written by Steve Corelli

We all know that cats are among the smartest animals on the planets. They exhibit this in numerous ways like following a daily schedule and feeding pattern. But perhaps you want to adopt a cat who’s ultra smart. That’s what our article on smartest cat breeds is for!

Smart cats are wonderful because they can exhibit ironically stupid antics. Smart cats are so curious they often get themselves into trouble, but they always come out on top! They can be pretty inspirational—teaching us never to give up and to keep a sense of good humor in life, even though we’re smart enough to understand all the things that can go wrong.

This post will list down the 15 most intelligent cat breeds today. You will learn more about these smart cat breeds as well as stories or anecdotes showing their intelligence. By the end of this post, you should not only have learned about the most intelligent cat breeds, but more importantly, find the right smart cat for your home.

15 of the Smartest Breeds

Love yourself a cat brainiac? Find 15 of the smartest cat breeds here!

#1: Abyssinian

Abyssinian cat

If dogs have the Border Collie, then cats have the Abyssinian. Athletic and highly intelligent, the Abyssinian cat is a unique combination of sheer intelligence and physical prowess. They are confident and will not hesitate to interact with people.

This smart cat is easy to train. They can quickly pick up tricks and commands. They also love to watch not just humans but also birds, so it is recommended that they are walked on a leash.

The Abyssinian is naturally curious. They also love being the center of attention. Their athleticism is in full display whenever they climb high places like the cabinets. They love to explore every nook and cranny of a house.

#2: Turkish Van

Turkish Van

The Turkish Van is a cat breed known for its boundless energy and smarts. They to climb, although unlike the Abyssinian, they are not as athletic. This is a big cat breed who is well-noted for its love of water.

The Turkish Van is intelligent and thus, should be given the opportunity to play with puzzle toys. They also love learning new tricks. You should start looking for toys like small balls for chasing and fetching or big peacock feathers if you think the Van is your next feline pet.

#3: Scottish Fold Cat

Scottish Fold Cat

Scottish Fold cats have become internet sensations because of their adorable and expressive faces. They are also well-loved because of their fondness for sitting awkwardly and still being cute. Despite those antics, however, the Scottish Fold is also highly-regarded for their intelligence.

This breed is very clever and curious. They love to open cabinets to check if they can get something to play with. Scottish Folds also love using their paws to play with water. And the sometimes mischievous cat won’t hesitate to steal food from other people’s plate when hungry.

Scottish Folds love playing a game of fetch. They also like food puzzles that can mentally stimulate them.

Another thing you would love about the Scottish Folds is their temperament. They are quiet and adaptable to almost any condition. They can live with dogs and other animals, too. And they don’t overreact to new environs.

#4: Siamese Cat

Siamese Cat

If the Scottish Fold is the type of cat who won’t distract you at all, Siamese cats are the complete opposite. This breed is noted for being loud. They are happy when humans interact with them.

Aside from being talkative and social, another standout trait of this cat is their intelligence. They are very inquisitive and would gladly follow their human masters around.

Because of their intelligence, Siamese cats need to be mentally stimulated or else they will get bored easily. If ever you do get one, make sure that you give them puzzle toys.

#5: Burmese Cat

Burmese Cat

The Burmese cat is related to the Siamese cat. Like their cousins, the Burmese cat has amazing intelligence. They also love to communicate with their human companions although not as loudly as the Siamese cats.

Burmese cats are so smart that they can easily learn tricks. Once they’ve learned tricks taught to them, they will be more than happy to show off for guests. This cat has that innate willingness to be the center of attention.

Just like the other cats on this list, the Burmese is so inquisitive that they would follow people around wherever they may go. They will also gladly explore their environment.

#6: Tonkinese Cat

Tonkinese Cat

The Tonkinese cat originated from a crossbreeding of the Burmese and Siamese cats. So it is not surprising that the Tonkinese makes this list because it came from two breeds known for sheer intelligence. The Tonkinese cat is curious and demanding of attention. They will ride on your shoulder and follow you around.

They have a reputation for being an innovator when it comes to games. They have the ability to come up with games involving toys and their human companions. They love playing fetch, tag, and hide-and-seek.

Tonkinese kittens are even more fun to be around. They are very enthusiastic and will gladly greet you as well as your guests at the door.

#7: Bengal Cat

Bengal Cat

One of the best breeds when it comes to learning tricks, the Bengal cat can easily learn how to turn off light switches and play electronic devices. Their intelligence can be a boon and a bane at the same time. They may easily assimilate new information, but they are also prone to getting into mischief.

Despite that, this is a breed known for being very affectionate with humans. They demand attention and want to be at the center of family activities. They love to shake hands and greet other people. They are also attracted to water and would follow anyone who goes into the shower or bathroom.

#8: Cornish Rex Cat

Cornish Rex Cat

Cornish Rex cats are not only intelligent, but they are also very active and curious. With their innate intelligence and long toes enabling them to hang on to most objects and open cabinets, the Cornish cat can retrieve foods and other items stored in a cabinet. They are also very observant and can learn how to open cabinet doors easily.

The intelligence of this cat is not only in full display when retrieving foods stored in a cabinet. They also love to retrieve toys and play fetch. With their agility, Cornish cats can easily move around corners. They are also people-friendly cats who love to show affection to their human masters.

#9: Singapura

Singapura Cat

Singapura cat is the product of a crossbreeding between the Burmese and the Abyssinian cat. Thus, it is not surprising that this breed also makes it to the list of the smartest cats. Sharing the intelligence of their ancestors, the Singapura cat is also known for being the smallest in the world.

Don’t let their frame fool you; the Singapura cat may be small, but they have a big personality. They are also very hyperactive. They are always busy and playful.

#10: Persian Cat

Persian Cat

The Persian cat is always in the list of the most beautiful cat breeds what with their big eyes and luxurious coat. Yet it is not only their appearance that makes them very much well-loved; they also have the smarts to endear themselves to many pet lovers.

Persian cats may not be the best when it comes to learning tricks, but they are very responsive to human language. They have shown a unique responsiveness to the word ‘no.’ They are very sensitive and cautious; if a door is left open, they will peek first to determine if it is safe to dart out.

#11: Japanese Bobtail

Japanese Bobtail

The Japanese Bobtail has a long history, having been treasured pets in the Asian country for more than a thousand years. They are known to be inquisitive, active, and adaptive.

This breed can easily learn tricks. Just like the other cat breeds on this list, they love to be the center of attention. They also won’t back down from any challenge that can please their human companions. They love to show off with their crazy antics.

#12: Korat Cat

Korat Cat

Similar to the Siamese and Burmese cats, the Korat originated in Thailand. It is one of the oldest and rarest breeds in the world. Aside from their shimmering silver-blue coat, the breed is also noted for its intelligence.

Korats are great at observing people. They love to mimic human activities and for the most part, can easily learn how to do these. They can open cabinet doors and turn on lights and faucets simply by looking at how humans do it.

Korats are indoor felines who like to stay at home with their human companions. They are also very cautious about new environments and experiences.

#13: Javanese Cat

Javanese cat

Javanese cats won’t just win your affection with their cute soft voice; you will also fall for their intelligence. They can be trained to remind you of your daily routine tasks such as dinner and playtime.

Speaking of playtime, this breed is also known for its hyperactive ways. They love to play with toys. Using their paws, they can also easily open drawers, cabinets, and cupboards. Their intelligence is also in full display when they bond with their human companions.

#14: Savannah Cat

Savannah Cat

The tallest domestic cat breed in the world, the Savannah cat is best known for its spotted body that makes them look like a miniature tiger. And just like tigers, the Savannah cat is blessed with high intelligence. They are naturally curious and would observe people around them.

Their natural curiosity also gets them into mischief most of the time. Because of that as well as their boundless energy, this breed is highly recommended for active cat owners.

#15: Balinese Cat

Balinese Cat

The Balinese cat is not only smart; they are also sweet and sociable. Just like the Siamese cat, they are capable of communicating vocally with the people around them. At times, they can meow and purr nonstop. Therefore, this breed may not be for everyone.

Agile, athletic, and fun-loving, the Balinese cat loves to play. They need lots of puzzle toys to keep their brain active. They also love playing fetch and walking on a leash. They can also train themselves to learn tricks thanks to their highly-observant ways.

There you have it—15 of the smartest cat breeds in the world. With such a comprehensive list of intelligent cat breeds at your disposal, you should be able to determine which breed is best suited for you given your current needs.

One thing’s for sure—you better be ready to mentally stimulate a smart cat! In the following section, you will learn some tips and tricks to engage a smart cat and prevent them from getting bored.

Tips for Stimulating a Smart Cat

cat using laptop

As you may have realized upon reading this list of the smartest cat breeds, one issue you would likely have to deal with with an exceptionally intelligent cat is that the feline may easily get bored.

Here’s something you should realize—smart cats need a lot of mental stimulation. While they will likely initiate a game or two so they can be busy, you might want to keep in mind the following tips to help keep cats mentally spry:

  • Give them something to watch. You can put bird feeders and birdbaths outside the windows to stimulate their brain and simply to keep them engaged.

  • Set up obstacle courses by placing cat trees, paper bags, empty boxes, among others. These can also serve as hiding spots for your feline where they can climb, lounge, and explore.

  • Train them with treats. Every time you try to teach them new tricks, don’t forget to reward them with snack.

  • Give them more puzzle toys. These toys should not only keep them busy but also mentally sharp.

Wrap Up

orange cat sleeping on book

There’s no question that all cats are smart, but science tells us that there are a few cat breeds gifted with superior intelligence. These cats can easily learn tricks, perform simple tasks by observing other people, and hang out with humans and other animals without getting into trouble.

Now that you have learned of the smartest cat breeds, go ahead and find one now. Soon you’ll realize how fun it is to be around an intelligent feline. Share your breed of choice with us below. Or do you have another breed in mind? Do talk to us! And check out our article on how big is a cat’s brain next.

About the author
Steve Corelli
Steve Corelli

Steve Corelli is a Pet Nutrition Expert from Allentown, Pennsylvania. He is the author of many nutritional strategies for different breeds and a member of some Pet Food development teams. His Maine Coon Stephan, as you might guess, is always well-fed.