They might not be the prettiest of animals but when it comes to friendliness, the hairless Sphynx is the cat’s whiskers. A survey of different types of cat found the pedigree breed to be the most affectionate, whereas Britain’s most common variety – the non-pedigree shorthaired domestic moggy – is the most unfriendly.
Despite their reputation for being aloof and solitary, the research found that many cats are far friendlier than they are given credit for. Pure-breeds were found to be the most amiable, with the Sphynx – which sell for around £800 – coming top of the list. It is thought the Sphynx’s affectionate nature, which even extends to a happiness to visit the vet or be bathed, is due to its reliance on humans to keep warm. Sphynx cats have become increasingly popular, especially with asthma sufferers because of their lack of fur.
The survey said pedigrees may also be friendlier because breeders tend to leave kittens with their mothers for longer, during a crucial period in their development when they are becoming used to humans. The animals studied ranged from kittens to more than 20 years old. They were a mix of males and females, with some neutered and some not. Some lived in homes with other animals and children, while others lived with only their owner.
In cases where there were more than a handful of a particular breed, they were found to be friendlier than moggies. Maine Coons and Persians, for instance, scored 20.76 and 20.38 respectively. Other pedigrees to score highly were Birmans, Somalis, Siamese, Russian blues and exotic shorthairs.
The study, which involved 129 cats from 14 breeds, as well as crossbreeds, ranked the felines in order of friendliness
1. The Sphynx
2. Maine Coons
4. Birmans, Somalis, Siamese, Russian blues and exotic shorthairs were all ranked fourth
5. The domestic shorthair – or the common moggy – scored lowest