There is no doubt that cats can be intelligent companions. And ‘though whether cats are smarter than dogs has always been and will remain a hot topic of debate, after coming home from a hard day at work to find the cat napping in a sunbeam, it’s hard not to start questioning if cats are even smarter than humans.
There are several different factors that scientists look for when determining feline intelligence like memory, sociability or inquisitiveness, and the ability to learn and adapt to their environment. And some cats receive consistently high scores on all that and more.
So if you’re bored by a feline who’s all purr and no brains or simply need a partner in your quest for global domination, you’ll love this list of the smartest cat breeds in the world.
Just keep in mind that these smart cats can be a little more…high maintenance than felines who fall lower on the kitty IQ scale. As with clever humans, intelligent cats need constant stimulation, play and can be even more curious than the average puss.
So when shacking up with one of the smartest cat breeds, be prepared to bring your A game. Oh, and expect a lot of gravity tests on all your favorite objects. You might also want to get a lock on cabinets and doors – even the most intelligent cat hasn’t figured out keys. Yet.
You’ve been warned.
Smartest Cat Breed #1. Abyssinian
I’m not one to laze about – I like to keep moving so I can explore the world around me. That doesn’t mean I don’t like you though, I’d just prefer you play with me rather than cuddle together all day.
I’m great at learning tricks if you teach me and I might try to train you too, if it helps me get something I want. I like people watching almost as much as I like watching the birds in action outside my window. I’ll even go for a walk on a leash if it means I get to investigate the outside world and spend time socializing with you. Read more about the Abyssinian.
Smartest Cat Breed #2. Bengal
I look like a wild cat – and to let you in on a little secret- I think I am one, too! I like to be outdoors where I can watch the birds and run and play. However, I will jump and climb to an off-limits part of the room or find out how to get into the cabinets to cause a scene if you don’t give me enough attention as well as physical and mental stimulation.
Teach me tricks with a clicker and I will be happy. I like puzzles and toys to keep my sharp brain active and I want you to interact with me while I play! Read more about the Bengal.
Smartest Cat Breed #3. Savannah
I’m part African Serval so adventure is in my blood! My curiosity leads me wherever I want to go, and thanks to my magnificent jumping ability I am free to follow it, even to the top of the refrigerator.
I prefer high places, but I won’t leave you hanging. I’m also very socially smart; I know how important it is to be loyal to your family. Give me the chance to love you and I’ll follow you around the house and let you take me on walks with you. Read more about the Savannah.
Smartest Cat Breed #4. Cornish Rex
I may look a little strange, but my egg-shaped head is anything but empty. Teach me tricks and give me puzzle games to activate my mind. I love your attention and I want you to play and be active with me as much as I want you to hold me.
I may not have very thick fur, but that just means I’m extra warm to the touch. I am an excellent communicator and I will do everything in my power to win you over with my charm and intelligence. Read more about the Cornish Rex.
Smartest Cat Breed #5. Balinese and Javanese
I want to be involved in everything you’re doing, and I won’t be shy about letting you know! I’m inquisitive and friendly, and if you give me the chance I will show off by performing tricks for you!
I might use my big brain to get into trouble, but I’m only trying to help you with the chores, really! I have a great sense of humor and I promise to keep you entertained if you give me your consideration. I’m very loyal, and if I had my way I’d be sitting on your lap and chatting to you 24/7. Read more about the Balinese.
Smartest Cat Breed #6. Sphynx
Those who know me describe me as being part monkey, part dog, part child, and part cat. That’s ’cause I’m as agile and nimble as a monkey, using my dexterous jumping and climbing skills to tirelessly perform gravity-defying feats.
I’m also as sociable as a dog and mixing and mingling comes naturally to me – I’m as socially intelligent as a feline can be. As for the child part, I posses an insatiable curiosity to learn about the world – and the humans – around me. And of course, I conduct everything I do with graceful poise – that’s the cat in me. Read more about the Sphynx.
Smartest Cat Breed #7. Japanese Bobtail
Confidence is key and I have it in spades. Which makes socializing, adapting, playing well with others, and public speaking – with my characteristic sing-song coo – a breeze for me.
My confident sociability also makes me extremely easy to train for shows since I’m friendlier and more amiable than most other cat breeds. The best part? I’m self-assured enough to enjoy solitude as much as company – I’m rarely ever a bother. Read more about the Japanese Bobtail.
Smartest Cat Breed #8. Somali
Vibrantly colored and with a full-plume tail, I look like – and have the cunningness of – a fox. Yes, I’m a clever cat and like with most intelligent beings, curiosity rules my life. I use my smarts to investigate every nook and cranny of the house, figure out how to open closed cabinets and doors, and knock various objects off high places to see how they land.
I admit, my big brains and endless curiosity can be a handful but mygood-natured, sociable nature makes me worth the trouble. Read more about the Somali.
Smartest Cat Breed #9. Burmese
Curious, trusting, and very playful, the world is my playground and I spend my days in active pursuit of new things to discover and new beings to befriend, which never gets old – even well into adulthood.
My intelligence makes it easy for me to learn a trick or two and I’m a master of reading my human’s moods. I’m wonderful fun to be around, I hear, ‘though admittedly, I have no sense of boundaries. Read more about the Burmese.
Smartest Cat Breed #10. Singapura
I am a pint-sized bundle bursting with energy. Not shy at all, I’ll use all my above-average intelligence and nimble agility to jump and pounce my way into the center of all household affairs where all eyes will be – and will remain – focused on me.
I love attention! And I’ll do anything for it, which is why I’ve been dubbed the ‘pesky people cat.’ Pesky, I may be, but I’m also unbelievably lovable. Read more about the Singapura.