Smartest Cats: Top 5 Intelligent Breeds Most Recommended By Experts


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Apr 29, 2023

Smartest Cats: Top 5 Intelligent Breeds Most Recommended By Experts

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a furry friend. If you are

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a furry friend. If you are looking for your a new kitty to bring home, there are many amazing breeds to choose from. Cats are highly intelligent by nature, but some rise above the rest. If you are looking for a kitty that shows off his or her brains, we’ve rounded up the smartest cats to call your own.

They say cats can be curious, but this may just be their intelligence shining through! Highly intelligent cats will need to be challenged with learning tricks and play time. These breeds will keep you entertained and be a great companion with the right care. When choosing the right cat breed for you or your family, it is important to consider the cat's emotional and physical needs. Some intelligent cats may require more attention and mind-stimulating activities but are bound to keep you busy and loved!

A recent study even found that cats can remember each other's names and understand so much more. Cats often get a bad reputation for being antisocial and fairly uninterested in everything we lowly humans have to say. However, a new study finds cats really are listening and know exactly who their owners are speaking to. That aloof facade is really a cover for their smarts.

In the market for a brainy feline? StudyFinds set out to do the research for you, visiting 10 expert websites to put together this list of the smartest cat breeds that were recommended across these sites! If you have your own suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!

The Abyssinian breed is a beautiful breed inside and out. They are very intelligent cats that enjoy spending time with their family. "This sleek-looking cat is athletic, agile, and affectionate toward humans. Abyssinians are very intelligent and highly in tune with the activities of their families. This breed enjoys heights, perching above the room, surveilling everything. Of all the cat types, this one learns tricks quickly and will enjoy running a feline agility course," says The Spruce Pets.

Abyssinian cats also enjoy being challenged! "Regardless of where they come from, Abyssinian cats are known as the smartest cat breed due to their inquisitive nature and top-notch detective skills. They are incredibly independent, and they enjoy mind-stimulating activities like puzzle toys," explains News Week.

Playing toy hide and seek with an Abyssinian Cat is sure to keep both the owner and feline friend entertained. "Thanks to the Aby's excellent memory and learning capacity, he’ll know where toys are hidden and how to open doors. They’re also nurturing," adds Chewy.

Bengal Cats are large domestic cats known for their exotic looks. "The Bengal is perhaps best known for its exotic coat that resembles a jaguar or leopard. This breed originated from crossing a domestic cat with an Asian leopard cat. Bengals are highly intelligent, athletic, and still a bit wild. They love to run, jump, climb, and play. They require ample space for exercise (especially vertical space) and mental challenges, such as puzzle games and toys," explains The Spruce Pets.

"Highly intelligent, active, and curious, a single look at the beautifully spotted Bengal, and you might just mistake her for a wild cat—and rightfully so! Bengals are the only domesticated cat breed to have these eye-catching rosette markings due to their wild Asian leopard ancestry. However, the Bengal is a cuddly and chatty cat who tends to get along with everyone with proper socialization," says Daily Paws.

Luckily Bengal cats will catch onto rules as they are known to be curious and energetic, which can lead to cabinets being opened and rummaged through! "Need to lay down a few new house rules or teach it some tricks? No problem. Bengals pick those up lickety-split. Their athletic prowess is unmatched, but they need plenty of space to run, pounce, roam and jump—some even love to walk on a leash and explore the outdoors. Bengals are super sweet and often very chatty and happy to engage you in a conversation," adds Reader's Digest.

Burmese cats are an observant gentle breed which is a sign of their intelligence. "The Burmese cat comes in a variety of unique shades, including platinum, blue, and champagne. He's energetic, curious, sociable, and craves his family's attention. Kitty's extremely gentle and promises to make for a wonderful family pet for adults and children. They’re a responsive breed. He's capable of picking up on moods and responding accordingly. The ability to closely observe his surroundings is also applied to learning through trial and error. These traits are why the Burmese get cited as one of the most intelligent cat breeds in the world," adds A-Z Animals.

Burmese cats are known to be one of the smartest cat breeds. They adapt to change easily and love to entertain their owners. "One of the smartest cat breeds, the Burmese craves attention, something you can learn from its body language. ‘This intelligent breed loves to entertain its resident humans so much that it often checks to make certain someone is watching,’ says Keiger. They’re also known for being dog-like and enjoy a rousing game of fetch, an unusually quirky cat behavior. And they’re adorably stubborn. ‘When they make up their minds that they want something, they simply don't take no for an answer and usually figure out a way to get it.’ And that includes attention from you," explains Readers Digest.

Owning a Burmese cat may be like having a pet dog! "They love human company and attention. They interact well with children and dogs too – friendly dogs soon come to accept them as another dog," says Omelet. "Burmese cats have a reputation of being very energetic and active as a dog. They like playing games that keep their compact bodies on the move in addition to toys and games that challenge their intelligence," explains News Week.

Siamese cats have been a popular breed for hundreds of years. Not only are they known for their good looks, but also for how smart they are! "The Siamese is a breed of cat known for its affection, intelligence, and social nature. Believed to have originated in Thailand, the Siamese cat is a slim breed known for its distinctive head and face, short hair, blue eyes, and pale body that contrasts sharply with its darkened features. The Siamese cat is also highly intelligent and requires ample stimulation (mental) to keep their minds busy. As an energetic breed, failure to provide this stimulation often results in destructive behavior and mischief as the Siamese attempts to entertain itself through various means. For this reason, challenging puzzles and toys are excellent choices for this breed," explains Pet Helpful.

It is no wonder that the mischievous and intelligent side of Siamese cats are portrayed in movies such as "The Lady and the Tramp". "If you had to vote, the Siamese would come on top as the most intelligent breed of all. They are mischievous – a trait painted in a malicious light in Disney's Lady and the Tramp – with their inquisitive nature making them explore their surroundings with all the attention of a forensic scientist. Too clever for their own good? Nah! They’re superstars of the cat world," says Omelet.

Siamese cats love to explore and discover new things. "Due to her intelligence, the Siamese requires significant mental stimulation to keep busy. She craves exploration and learning and discovery. Energetic, not getting her needed mental play will force the feline to find some. That, not surprisingly, results in mischief and destructive behavior she perceives as entertainment," adds A-Z Animals.

The Cornish Rex is a highly intelligent breed combined with stunning looks. "The Cornish rex is a unique beauty with a taste for adventure and tons of mental enrichment. (So much so that you may have to cat-proof your home!) Fueled by her high intelligence and inquisitive nature, the Cornish Rex is constantly on the move, searching for a person or playmate to entertain. She's a social butterfly who has a lot of love—and energy!—to go around. You can always count on a Cornish rex to be up for playtime in the form of interactive toys (e.g. puzzle toys or battery-operated mice) or clicker training," explains Daily Paws.

The Cornish Rex has the ability to put their intelligence to use by completing puzzles and learning tricks. "As an intelligent breed of cat, the Cornish Rex also requires mental stimulation on a daily basis to prevent boredom. Experts agree that puzzle games and advanced toys that challenge the breed to think critically are the best option for the Cornish Rex. The cat is also one of the few breeds capable of learning tricks and is known to exhibit both verbal and non-verbal communication skills to get their owner's undivided attention," says Pet Helpful.

Teaching your cat to play piano? Now that is a viral video idea if there ever was one! "These cats are active and friendly, and some say they’re rather dog-like in their play, even into their senior years. Many enjoy games of fetch or performing tricks like playing the piano," adds The Spruce Pets.

Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

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2. Bengal 3. Burmese 4. Siamese 5. Cornish Rex