Cats aren’t always portrayed as being snuggly; in the great meme battle between cats and dogs, it’s usually puppers who are represented as energetic and affectionate, while cats are shown as aloof, sedate, and often just plain cranky. But while it’s true that some cats don’t really do PDA, there are a number of cat breeds that are surprisingly affectionate — and as any cat person will tell you, cats who have a good relationship with their humans do tend to show affection regularly, whether by snuggling up with you on the couch or by bringing you toy mice they think are real because they’re convinced you’re incapable of feeding yourself.
Cats, interestingly, seem to have domesticated themselves — or at least, that’s what a study of cat DNA published in 2017 suggests. Humans and cats have lived alongside each other for many thousands of years; once they came in regular contact with each other, it became quickly apparent that cats could help humans and vice versa, and voila: Years of domesticated cats. Given all that history, it’s only to be expected that cats and humans would both start to show their affection for each other in demonstrable ways — grooming, purring, gifting presents, and, of course, snuggling.
These days, many people rank a snuggling, purring cat cuddled right up next to as one of the greatest things in the world — and if that’s one of the reasons you’re interested in getting a cat, then you’ll probably want to look at breeds that are known for their affectionate natures. It’s true that if you adopt a cat from a rescue organization (always something I advocate), there’s a good change you’ll never know exactly what breed your new buddy is; based on their appearance and temperament, though, you, the organization, and your vet will probably be able to make some educated guesses.
Here are 10 surprisingly affectionate cat breeds to get you started: