Cats have a reputation for being aloof, independent and unaffectionate — but that image is totally unfair and not true. There are cat breeds that have amazing personalities and aren't little jerks like the general population would have you believe.
Whether you're looking for a feline companion that is chatty and needs a lot of attention or prefer one that is a little mellower, there are so many cat breeds to choose from that will suit your personal taste and style. No matter what your personality type may be — there's a cat for that.
1. The oriental
Related to the Siamese, this cat has big pointed ears and an inquisitive personality. The oriental cat is smart and social and will bond deeply with its owners. The cat can be a loyal and playful companion. Its sleek body is more muscular than it would appear. It can be quite vocal and demanding — a very "dog-like" cat. In fact, these cats play well with other pets and are kid-friendly.
With an average adult weight of 5 to 8 pounds, the oriental has an average lifespan of about 15 years, though it can be plagued by dental problems and is prone to a hereditary disease of the liver and kidneys called amyloidosis.
2. The American shorthair
This athletic cat is descended from the British shorthair, but is larger, leaner and more powerful than its across-the-pond counterpart. It comes in a wide range of colors and patterns and is also a very long-lived kitty, with a lifespan of 15 to 20 years not being out of the ordinary. The American shorthair is great with kids and even gets along well with dogs, too. The American shorthair is healthy, gentle, easy going and low maintenance — grooming is not an issue with this breed, which weighs in at an average of 8 to 15 pounds, with males being significantly larger.
3. The Birman
This beautiful cat is thought to have originated from Burma. Legend has it the Birman cat was the protector of the Burmese temples. It's a large, long, sturdy cat with long silky hair (which isn't as thick as a Persian's) that does not mat. This cat is known for its blue eyes; dark points on its ears, face, legs and tail; and snow-white boots on all four paws. This is a loving, gentle cat that loves to play, but can stay quiet and out of the way when you're busy, which makes it the perfect kitty for families with children or other animals. The average Birman weighs about 8 to 12 pounds.
Next Up: The sphynx
Updated by Sarah Long on 2/17/17