Cat skeptics seem to always say the same things. To them, cats are lazy, boring and mean, but cat owners know this to be far from the truth. We know cats to be intuitive, curious, loving, agile, and the list goes on.
In an article for petMD, Dr. Lorie Huston, DVM, explained that a cat’s brain accounts for just 0.9 percent of its body mass. Small, yes, but ask any cat owner if they think their cat is intelligent and the answer will likely be a resounding yes. Sure, they spend a fair amount of time snoozing, but cats can learn to perform some pretty amazing skills when they’re awake, like ringing a bell for food.

That said, much like people, some cats are smarter than others. Here are six of the most intelligent cat breeds, according to Purina’s research. Other resources feature additional breeds, but these six managed to make multiple experts’ lists.


Abyssinian cat aby.licious
The Abyssinian’s origins are somewhat difficult to trace, but they are commonly thought to be from Egypt, a country which was known to worship cats, Ethiopia or Southeast Asia. Sometimes referred to as the Border Collie of the cat world,” Abyssinians are energetic and intelligent. They can jump up to 6 feet, and have been known to open doors and play fetch. Abyssinians usually don’t like to be cuddled, but their loyalty and curiosity will have them following you around everywhere you go. Paws off” doesn’t mean much to Abyssinians; they love exploring and getting into things, which also makes them good candidates if you’re looking for a cat who can be leash-trained.
Featured: @aby.licious


Bengal Cat "Kawa" of yoshi.and.kawa

The Bengal cat came to be after an Asian Leopard cat was bred with domestic cats in 1963. Its exotic, leopard-like spots make the Bengal one of the most popular breeds today, but owners must be prepared for more than good looks with this cat. Bengals are high-energy, athletic cats. Much like the Abyssinian, they are great jumpers and like to follow you around and investigate whatever it is you’re working on. Bengals love getting into things when they’re bored, and will even take things apart to see how they work, so don’t leave them alone for too long. Bengals have also been known to have secret hiding places–you might just lift the couch one day and find a pile of kitty collectibles!

Featured: @yoshi.and.kawa


Jasper Cream Burmese Cat
Yet again, the Burmese is a cat you can expect to become your furry feline shadow. Their origins are in Southeast Asia, and they are extremely vocal and affectionate cats. Burmese are highly intelligent learners, and owners are encouraged to present them with food puzzles and teach them tricks because they love to exercise their brain.
Featured: @mrs_sophie_jones

Cornish Rex

Edwin the Cornish Rex Cat of crx.ru
The Cornish Rex originates from Cornwall, England. They’re social cats, and like to be involved in all your household happenings. The Cornish Rex can often be found perched up high, where they can easily track their surroundings. Their intelligence manifests in a desire to be the center of attention; they will play fetch and can be taught to do tricks to wow their audience.
Featured: @crx.ru

Scottish Fold

Teddy, a Scottish Fold Cat via teddyscottishfold

You guessed it–Scottish folds are from Scotland. They are social and like to follow their owners around, and when they’re not actively entertaining you, you can expect to get a good laugh from their odd resting positions, one of which has been coined the Buddha.” Scottish Folds are known to open cabinets in hopes of finding something to play with, or better yet, something to snack on. Like the Burmese, Scottish Folds do well with food puzzles.

Featured: @teddythescottishfold


Ume the Singapura Cat via ftmrthkr52

The Singapura’s origins are up for debate. Some say they’re from the U.S., and others insist they’re from Singapore. They are thought to be a mix of the Burmese and the Abyssinian, so it’s no wonder they’re regarded as one of the smartest breeds. They’re also one of the smallest, weighing just four to seven pounds as adults. Singapuras are vocal busybodies, and live by the phrase what’s yours is mine.” They will consider all your belongings theirs to play with, and if you tell them no” now, they’ll probably come back later.

Featured: @ftmrthkr52
Even the smartest cats have their quirks, and it’s important to be aware of them and make sure you can properly care for the breed you’re considering. Check out  Vetstreet.com for additional information on these six cats’ personalities, health concerns, care tips and more.

About the author

Dana Mack is a freelance writer and copy editor living in Illinois. She recently graduated from Columbia College Chicago, where she studied multimedia journalism. Dana enjoys arts & culture and outdoor/recreation writing, and aspires to move out West in the future.

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2017-08-25T17:18:48+00:00 June 13th, 2017|Categories: CAT BEHAVIOR, CAT NEWS, Learn|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |8 Comments


  1. Karen Blanchett June 13, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    I’m sorry to disagree with you about the smartest cat breed. My 3 legged, 1 eyed, once feral tiny abandoned baby kitten who had just been run over, has me expertly trained. (He’s now 10 years old.)

    • The Catnip Times June 14, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      Awww – love it! My cats are all rescues and they are all brilliant! I am also very well-trained!

  2. Elizabeth Schumann June 14, 2017 at 4:28 am

    Do not support the breeding of cats, specially those who have been ctossed with a wild animal such as Bengals or Savannahs. It is cruel and they are not HAPPY in a domestic environment.

    • The Catnip Times June 14, 2017 at 12:03 pm

      Thanks Elizabeth. I agree with you – I do not support breeding when there are millions of homeless animals in shelters. There are many breeds that are available for adoption at shelters…and can be found using petfinder.com or other resources. The truth is, most cats are really smart!!

  3. Deborah L. Garrison June 14, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    My tortieshell came to me by way of the local shelter. I had lost a tortie 2 months before to bladder cancer. Heidi (I named her that because of her penchant for hiding!) is the new true love of my life. I always get adult strays or shelter cats because they are often overlooked as everyone wants kittens.

    • The Catnip Times June 14, 2017 at 7:00 pm

      Shelter cats are the best!

  4. Rebecca Walkden June 20, 2017 at 8:26 am

    I also own a tortie. I find them to be a little different than other cats i have had and lost. She fetches like a dog, she sings through the house, and she absolutely loves bells! She came to us from a litter a friend of mine found in his basement. Her mother was hit by a car while out tryin to get food. Those poor babies crying for their mother is hard to think about. They were alone for a day or two before being found. My husband bottle fed her, and my other cat, Monkey, took over the bathing part. Monkey is a Norwegian Forest Cat, so she was large and soft for the baby to snuggle with. They are my girls, and they gave my heart!

  5. Jackie McMillan July 9, 2017 at 12:27 am

    You clearly haven’t owned a Turkish Angora. We have two of the breeds on this list; plus an Angora and a Turkish Van. The latter two run rings around them. Look for naturally occurring breeds for smarts.

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