Most Energetic Cat Breeds

It's too bad that cats have a stereotype of being cold, indifferent, and lazy. That's not true! Many cat breeds love to run, jump and play, and even play fetch and go for walks! If you have an active lifestyle and are looking for the purr-fect companion, then this list is for you! Please note that this is NOT a measure of how "good a pet" these breeds are. Both athletic and more laid-back cats can make great pets. Also note that while activity level is important in picking out your new friend, also consider the grooming required, how vocal they are, and independence. For my original rankings, I will only consider cats that are in CFA's 41 championship breeds. Therefore, exotic hybrids (Savannah, Bengal, Chausie), which are not fully domesticated, dwarf breeds (Munchkin, Skookum, Napolean, etc.), and other lesser-known breeds (Arabian Mau, Mekong Bobtail, German Rex, among others) will not be listed. Also note that "tabby" refers to a coat marking, not a breed.
The Top Ten
1 Abyssinian The Abyssinian is a breed of domestic short-haired cat with a distinctive "ticked" tabby coat, in which individual hairs are banded with different colors. It's thought to have been originated in Southeast Asia.

This elegant cat breed is easily recognizable by its long legs, large ears, and distinctive ticked coat. Abyssinians are very playful, athletic, and have a short attention span. Owners of the Aby describe their companions as busy; they always seem to be on a mission, whether it's sprinting laps around your house, scaling the bookshelf, or pouncing out at you from inside a tunnel. Abyssinians can be trained to play fetch, and some even like water.

I have a cat who is part Abyssinian and he is always on the go.

2 Somali A breed of domestic cat that originated from the longhaired variant of the Abyssinian, the Somali is characterized by its bushy tail and tufted ears. Known for its playful and intelligent nature, this breed has a medium-length, ticked coat and enjoys interactive play.

This long-haired cousin of the Abyssinian is purr-fect for anyone who wants a cat with a high activity level, but also wants to spend some time grooming. The Somali, with its vibrant coat and plumed tail, is said to look like a fox! The Somali, like its Abyssinian relatives, is extremely smart and has been known to be able to open cabinets and doors. While this may sound annoying to you, it also means that they can be easily trained to play fetch or run an agility course. At a recent cat show, I even saw one Somali being walked around on a leash!

3 Cornish Rex A Cornish Rex is a breed of domestic cat. The Cornish Rex has no hair except for down. Most breeds of cat have three different types of hair in their coats: the outer fur or "guard hairs", which is about 5 cm long in shorthairs and 10 cm+ long in longhairs; a middle layer called the "awn hair"; and... read more

These curly-coated cats act like kittens their whole lives! Despite their slender appearance, these cats are extremely muscular athletic and they love to play fetch! The Cornish Rex loves people and is purr-fect for a family who wants an active cat who will be right in the middle of the action.

4 Devon Rex The Devon Rex is a breed of intelligent, short-haired cat that emerged in England during the 1960s. They are known for their slender bodies, wavy coat, and large ears.

Although they share a similarly curly coat, the pixie-like Devon is an entirely separate breed from the Cornish Rex. The Devon Rex is always full of mischief, which has earned it its name, "monkey in a cat suit". These cats love playing interactive games with their humans, including fetch and hide-and-seek. The Devon Rex isn't all active all the time. They take it slow from time-to-time by perching on the shoulder of their favorite human.

5 Burmese A breed of domestic cat originating from Burma, the Burmese is known for its muscular build and short, fine coat. This breed is often sable in color and is characterized by its affectionate and social behavior, making it a popular companion animal.

These muscular cats with one of the softest coats around are like "bricks wrapped in silk". Confident, spirited, and fearless, Burmese cats never fail to amaze their humans to jump like a pro. Burmese love interacting with their humans and will readily engage you in a game of fetch. Unlike some of the other athletic breeds, Burmese are very affectionate and will always be ready for a cuddle.

Please note that this also applies to the European Burmese, which comes in six additional colors.

6 Tonkinese Tonkinese are a domestic cat breed produced by crossbreeding between the Siamese and Burmese. They share many of their parents' distinctively lively, playful personality traits and are similarly distinguished by a pointed coat pattern in a variety of colors.

Originally a mix between the Siamese and Burmese cats, the Tonks, as they're lovingly called, inherited the voice of the Siamese and the playfulness of the Burmese. These cats love to play fetch, hide-and-seek, and tag. They're superstar climbers, so your Tonk (and your curtains) would greatly appreciate cat trees and scratching posts. Similarly to the Burmese, Tonks will enjoy some lap time to break up their workout. Tonks are highly in-tune with their humans' emotions, which is why they are also highly sought after as therapy cats. Tonks get along with everyone, from small children, to other pets.

7 American Bobtail Developed in the United States, this cat breed is notable for its short, "bobbed" tail, which is a natural genetic mutation. The American Bobtail has a wild appearance but is known for its friendly and intelligent demeanor, making it a suitable pet for families.

While many of the cats at the recent show ignored the toys when placed on the judging table, the American Bobtail stole the show by leaping and batting at the toy, and when the judging was finished, sealing the deal with giving the judge a high-five! No wonder she was chosen as best in show. Whether strutting its stuff in the show ring or in your home, the American Bobtail is a great companion. American Bobtails are sturdy, muscular cats. Combined with that short to semi-long-haired coat and bobbed tail, these cats look almost like a lynx! American Bobtails can play for hours on end, whether its game of choice is fetch, hide- and-seek, or taking a swim. American Bobtails have powerful hind legs, enabling them to leap to amazing heights (teaser toy, watch out.) As a large breed, (a healthy male cat can weigh around 20 pounds), American Bobtails are slow to mature. If you want a playful cat, the American Bobtail's being a kitten for several years is an added bonus.

8 Egyptian Mau Egyptian Maus are a small- to medium-sized short-haired cat breed. Along with the Bahraini Dilmun cat, they are one of the few naturally spotted breeds of domesticated cat.

While these cats are not hyper and active all the time, the Egyptian Mau is an incredible athlete. The Egyptian Mau is more than just muscle, however, they are incredibly beautiful, as the only naturally spotted breed of cat. Egyptian Maus have a Cheetah-like build, enabling them to run over 30 miles an hour, making them the fastest domestic cat. They can jump, too! With powerful hind legs allowing them to leap over 6 feet from a standstill, there is no perch in your house that the Egyptian Mau will leave unexplored. Egyptian Maus love interacting with their humans, especially with their favorite humans. Playing with a teaser toy helps Egyptian Maus to fulfill their daily quota for exercise, interaction with you, and sharpening their excellent hunting skills.

9 Singapura The Singapura is one of the smallest breeds of cats, noted for its large eyes and ears, brown ticked coat and blunt tail.

With adult females weighing in at as little as 4 pounds, the Singapura is the tiniest of all cat breeds. They don't let their size limit them, however, they can run and jump with the best of them. Puras, as they're affectionately called, love their humans and are known as "pesky little people cats". Puras keep their kitten-like playfulness and curiosity their whole lives. They love being in the middle of the action and will follow you everywhere and help you with your household chores.

10 Bengal The Bengal is a domestic cat breed developed to look like exotic jungle cats such as leopards, ocelots, margays and clouded leopards.

Although I didn't personally add Bengal to this list, it is fitting that someone has, because on April 30, 2016, Bengals have been added to CFA's miscellaneous class. The Bengal was originally developed in the sixties, when Jean Mill bred a domestic cat to the Asian Leopard Cat. While the Asian Leopard Cat is a shy, timid creature, the Bengal is bold and outgoing. Those wild roots make the Bengal an extremely athletic and energetic breed, and they stay this way their whole life. Bengals love to play and learn tricks, and their love for water means they'll even follow you into the shower. Most Bengals considered "domestic enough" to be pets are four generations removed from the wild (F4). However, please keep in mind before inviting a Bengal into your home that this does not compare to the thousands of years of domestication of the standard house cat. 

The Contenders
11 Siamese The Siamese cat is one of the first distinctly recognized breeds of Asian cat. Derived from the rtgs: wichianmat landrace, one of several varieties of cat native to Thailand, the Siamese became one of the most popular breeds in Europe and North America in the 20th century.

The Siamese is one of the most recognizable cat breeds due to their unique appearance which includes their long, svelte body, wedge shaped head, deep blue eyes, and dramatic color points. Nicknamed Meezers, these aristocratic cats are mostly known for how vocal they are. Meezers have more than a beautiful singing voice, they are also active and love jumping.

Oh EspioTheChameleon, that is so sad but 20 years of age is a very good innings for a cat. My oldest one lived 'til he was 17 & then he only died because he caught cat flu when he was boarding at a pet motel while we were on holidays. It must've been wonderful that your 2 Siamese cats were twins. R.I.P. to all the Siamese cats in the world that have died.

12 Balinese The Balinese is a long-haired breed of domestic cat with Siamese-style point coloration and sapphire-blue eyes.

Essentially a long-haired Siamese, the Balinese is named for the graceful dancers from the island of Bali. These cats are just as athletic as they are graceful, and would enjoy many of the same games as their Siamese cousins. They are also just as smart as the Siamese, in fact, they're considered the most intelligent of the long-haired breeds.

13 Japanese Bobtail Originating from Japan, this cat breed is recognized for its distinct, short tail that often resembles a pom-pom. The Japanese Bobtail is an energetic and playful breed, commonly featured in traditional folklore and art in Japan.

Say hello to the feline agility master! Japanese Bobtails can be easily trained to run the course that includes stairs, hurdles, and weave poles. They are a purr-fect pick for anyone who wants to teach their cat tricks, which can include walking on a leash!

14 Ocicat The Ocicat is an all-domestic breed of cat which resembles a wild cat but has no wild DNA in its gene pool.

When breeders bred an Abyssinian to a Siamese, in the hopes of producing an Abyssinian pointed Siamese, they were shocked when a spotted kitten was the result! This new breed was called Ocicat, because it resembles the wild Ocelot. American Shorthairs were later added to the Ocicat lines, which gave them their muscular build. Ocicats are said to have inherited the American Shorthair's affectionate nature as well as the crazy antics of the Abyssinian and Siamese cats. Ocicats are active cats, and love climbing! They also are bonded to their humans, and follow them around like dogs.

15 Norwegian Forest Cat

While touring Norway with my family as a child, something I remember most is the Norwegian Forest Cat who lived at our hotel and who, every morning, would wander into the dining room in the hopes of snagging some tasty human food. This is a very old breed in Norway, although they are still fairly new, and quite rare in the US. Norwegian Forest Cats are moderately active. They will tear around the house during playtime, and then restore their energy with a long nap.

16 Turkish Van
17 Oriental Shorthair The Oriental Shorthair is a breed of domestic cat that is closely related to the Siamese. It maintains the modern Siamese head and body type but appears in a wide range of coat colors and patterns.

Orientals are like the Siamese in designer jeans. Originally bred as an experiment in color, Orientals come in over 600 color and pattern combinations. Orientals are playful, intelligent, and vocal, just like their Siamese cousins.

18 Colorpoint Shorthair A variety of domestic cat similar to the Siamese, the Colorpoint Shorthair is distinguished by its pointed coloration on the ears, face, paws, and tail. This breed is vocal and social, often forming strong bonds with its human caregivers.

Also cousins of the Siamese, these cats love working out! Playing fetch with you is a great way for them to keep in shape and show off their intelligence.

19 Russian Blue The Russian Blue is a cat breed that comes in colors varying from a light shimmering silver to a darker, slate grey.
20 Maine Coon
21 Siberian The Siberian is a landrace variety of domestic cat, present in Russia for centuries, and more recently developed as a formal breed, with standards promulgated since the late 1980s. Siberians are average sized cats, and are considered hypoallergenic.
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