Off the Leash Off the Leash

It's National Hug Your Cat Day

Some felines actually do like to cuddle

By Vetstreet May 30, 2012 4:53PM
It's Hug Your Cat Day, and while that might send some of our more reserved kitties running for a hiding spot under the bed, there are certain breeds of felines who will gladly accept your affection. Typically, cats don't rush up and bombard you with kisses like some dogs, but many do display genuine friendliness. Happy-to-be-with-you cats range from the demure lap lounger to the chatty feline who escorts you from room to room. Vetstreet shines the spotlight on nine feline breeds with stellar reputations for thoroughly enjoying the company of their favorite people.
Photo: Alan Robinson, Animal Photography
Cornish Rex — Kitty Comedian
It’s hard not to stare or take a second glance at this cat with giant batlike ears perched on an egg-shaped head and a soft, curly coat. Go ahead and declare the Cornish Rex to be funny-looking. He won’t take offense. In fact, he is a happy-go-lucky comedian who loves to perform tricks and show off new antics to his favorite people. He may even outrace the family dog in a game of fetch. This is one cat who is never shy when it comes to demonstrating his delight in being with you.

Photo: Tetsu Yamazaki, Animal PhotographyEgyptian Mau — Outgoing and Exotic
Hailed as one of the oldest domestic cat breeds and the only one with a naturally spotted coat, the Egyptian Mau looks wild, but personality-wise, he is usually wild about the opportunity to spend time with his favorite people. It is not unusual for this cat to wag his tail like a happy dog, knead with his front paws contently on your lap or emit what sounds more like a chuckle than a meow. His reputation for friendliness also extends to other cats, making him a good pick if you are considering a second — or third — cat.

Photo: Alan Robinson, Animal PhotographyDevon Rex — Adorably Impish
Charming, good-natured and fond of cuddling, the Devon Rex sports more wave to his coat than his Cornish Rex cousin. And his cute alien look will have you describing him as the feline version of E.T. or Yoda. He behaves a bit like an adorable imp and is always ready for play. He loves to ride on your shoulder and never turns down your invitation to cuddle on the couch. Affectionate, intelligent and adaptable, this cat sheds very little and has minimal grooming needs.

Photo: Barbara O'Brien, Animal Photography
Maine Coon — Large and Loving
The Maine Coon packs plenty of pleasing personality. While they look tiny and adorable as kittens, these cats grow to be large in size as well as large in devotion. He wants to be where you are, but he can be a bit clingy. He appears to have never met a stranger and usually plays nice with children and dogs, which explains why he sports the nickname "Gentle Giant." He enjoys playing, delivering head butts and behaving like a raccoon by dunking toys in his water bowl. This all-American breed averages 16 pounds, a whopping four pounds more than the average cat. His flowing coat comes in a variety of colors and requires moderate grooming to prevent mats.

Photo: Helmi Flick, Animal Photography
Tonkinese — Lap Lounger
A blend of the Burmese and Siamese, the Tonkinese is a toned-down version of the always-chatting, extroverted Siamese and a more outgoing version of the usually shy Burmese. Extremely agile and graceful, the Tonk is easy to train and quickly masters walking on a leash and playing fetch. He races to you when called, and it is not uncommon for a Tonkinese to ride on your shoulder or lounge on your lap for hours. He happily greets houseguests and generally gets along easily with other cats, children and dogs. Extremely social, he thrives in active households.

Photo: Alan Robinson, Animal PhotographyPersian — Quiet Cuddler
There is no surprise why the Persian has remained near the top of the list in popularity in the United States — and the world — for decades. Behind his sweet expression, captivating round eyes and thick, luxurious coat, the Persian quietly and effectively displays his fondness for his favorite people. He will suddenly appear in your lap and serenade you with sweet, steady purrs or calm you down when you come home from a stress-filled day at work. He isn’t big on talking and lets his gentle nature speak volumes of his devotion to you.

Photo: Barbara O'Brien, Animal PhotographyRagdoll — Floppy and Friendly
Aptly named, the super-affectionate Ragdoll actually flops and hangs limply like a rag doll in your arms or at your feet. This cat lives for laps, will be by your side at bedtime and may even follow you into the shower. He plays sweetly and gently, rarely brandishing his claws or unleashing a temper. He sports an easygoing outlook on life. Despite his large, muscular physique, the Ragdoll is seldom looking for a fight and will happily greet all visitors when he hears the doorbell. His silky coat is surprisingly easy to maintain.

Photo: Sally Anne Thompson, Animal PhotographySiamese — Demanding But Devoted
Another highly popular pick, the talkative, outgoing Siamese candidly and confidently declares his loyalty to his chosen people. He craves attention and affection and delights in engaging in loud, yowl-filled conversations. This is not a cat who likes to catnap the day away. Super-smart and fiercely devoted, the Siamese is never far from you at home. This breed demands human interaction, does not enjoy being left home alone for long durations and will treat you like a rock star each time you walk through the front door.

Photo: Vidar Skauen, Animal Photography
Sphynx — Clownish and Curious
Sporting fuzz instead of fur, the Sphynx is on a constant search for warmth and enjoys spending time nestling with his people. His unique looks — lemon-shaped eyes, oversize ears, a wrinkle-filled face and a rounded belly — make him irresistibly adorable. His clownish personality is also well-documented and applauded. He is an entertainer by day and an under-the-covers cuddler at bedtime. His suede-like, nearly hairless coat is soft and warm to the touch. This outgoing cat is full of curiosity, affection and energy and is always ready to spend time with you.

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