There are many cute cats in the world, but is there one definitive “cutest cat”? Cat cuteness is subjective, but there are some characteristics that many people find adorable in cats. This article will explore what traits tend to make cats cute to humans and look at some of the most popular breeds and individual cats that are considered extremely cute.
Traits That Make Cats Cute
There are some common physical and behavioral traits that humans tend to find endearing in cats:
Big eyes – Cats with large, round eyes tend to be perceived as cuter. Kittens naturally have big eyes proportional to their small faces, which triggers an instinct in humans to want to care for them. Big eyes can remain a cute feature in adult cats.
Fluffy fur – Soft, fluffy fur makes cats look cuddly and pettable. Long-haired cat breeds like Persians and Maine Coons have an abundance of fluff that contributes to their cute appeal.
Rounded features – Small, rounded ears, facial features, paws, and body shape look cute compared to more angular features. For example, the Scottish Fold cat’s rounded ears are a large part of its cuteness.
Playfulness – Kittens especially are very playful, full of energy and curiosity. Their frisky antics and clumsy attempts at “hunting” toys make them entertaining to watch. Even adult cats can charm their owners with playful behavior.
Clumsiness – Kittens don’t have full control of their limbs and sometimes tumble over themselves. This awkward clumsiness makes them look helpless and cute.
Meows and purrs – Cats’ signature vocalizations can melt hearts when kittens meow for attention or content adult cats purr loudly. The sounds add an audible charm.
Kneading – The rhythmic kneading motion cats make with their front paws when happy or nursing looks like a cute habit.
Curled up sleeping positions – The curled shapes cats make when sleeping look small and precious.
Head tilts and ear movements – When cats tilt their heads curiously or twitch their ears, it adds endearing expressiveness.
Affectionate behavior – When cats snuggle up to their owners for pets or curl up on their lap purring, it conveys cuteness through affection.
Breeds Known for Being Cute
Some cat breeds have gained a reputation for being especially cute:
Persian – Persians are extremely fluffy with a rounded head and snub nose. Their luxurious coat combined with doll-like facial features make them look plush and cuddly.
Ragdoll – Known for being docile and going limp when picked up, Ragdolls often have bright blue eyes and pointed color patterns that look visually appealing against their silky semi-long fur.
Scottish Fold – Scottish Folds have folded down ears that make them look perpetually sweet and innocent. They come in many colors and patterns.
Maine Coon – As one of the fluffiest breeds, Maine Coon cats have an abundance of fur cuteness. Their affectionate personality also wins over many owners.
Sphynx – While hairless, Sphynx cats have extremely cuddly personalities and often sleep in silly positions or under blankets. Their underdog appeal makes them cute to many.
Munchkin – With their stout little legs and low-riding long bodies, Munchkin cats look like kittens their whole lives. Their proportions give them maximum cuteness.
Exotic Shorthair – Similar to Persians with a flatter face, Exotic Shorthairs share an endearing squished look and plush coat.
Siamese – Known for their talkative voices and striking colorpoints, Siamese cats have a distinct appeal thanks to their silhouette and chatty nature.
Ragamuffin – As close cousins to Ragdolls, Ragamuffins are equally soft, docile, and endearing with their tendency to go limp in arms.
British Shorthair – Round faces, eyes, and bodies combined with fluffier fur give British Shorthairs a famously cute look.
|Breed||Traits that Make Them Cute|
|Persian||Fluffy fur, rounded features|
|Ragdoll||Bright blue eyes, relaxed personality|
|Scottish Fold||Folded ears|
|Maine Coon||Abundant fluffy fur, affectionate|
|Sphynx||Cuddly personality, silly sleeping positions|
|Munchkin||Short legs, kitten-like proportions|
|Exotic Shorthair||Fluffy fur, squished face|
|Siamese||Talkative vocalizations, striking colorpoints|
|Ragamuffin||Docile, cuddly nature|
|British Shorthair||Round facial features, fluffy fur|
Individual Cute Cats
While breed traits contribute to cuteness, some individual cats also stand out as extraordinarily cute:
Lil Bub – This Instagram-famous cat has unique physical features like bulging eyes, a short snout, and a permanently sticking-out tongue that make her extremely endearing.
Maru – A Japanese cat famous on YouTube for his love of boxes and other antics has huge expressive eyes and a round shape accentuated by fluffiness.
Grumpy Cat – She went viral for her perpetual scowl, but her grumpy face ironically came across as cute. She had an undershot jaw contributing to her pout.
Venus the Two-Faced Cat – With one half of her face being calico and the other half black, Venus has a uniquely adorable split face.
Pisco – Born with shortened legs, Pisco’s dwarfism makes her have a cute waddling walk and always look like a kitten.
Lottie – This British Ragdoll is notable for her very human-like facial expressions and emotive green eyes.
Smoothie – His flattened furless face makes Smoothie look like a cute alien creation. His wrinkly skin adds to his charm.
Lilu – A Norwegian Forest Cat famous for “singing” loudly when brushing her teeth has a beautiful fluffy coat and adorable vocal tic.
Cole and Marmalade – This pair of cat brothers have appealing opposite “ginger and white” coats and are always getting into cute mischief together on camera.
Hosico – With massive eyes, a pushed-in snout, and tiny teeth that stick out, this established Instagram cat has extreme cuteness.
|Cat||Traits that Make Them Cute|
|Lil Bub||Bulging eyes, short snout, sticking-out tongue|
|Maru||Big eyes, round fluffy body|
|Grumpy Cat||Scowling face|
|Venus||Two-faced calico and black coat|
|Pisco||Dwarfism gives her a kitten-like look|
|Lottie||Expressive human-like face|
|Smoothie||Wrinkly flattened face|
|Lilu||Fluffy coat, singing vocal tic|
|Cole and Marmalade||Ginger and white coat colors, mischievousness|
|Hosico||Huge eyes, tiny teeth, pushed-in snout|
There are some scientific theories for why humans find cat traits cute:
Kindchenschema – This phenomenon means that babies’ physical features like large eyes, chubby cheeks, and small nose and mouth instinctively trigger caregiving responses in adults. Cat faces can mimic these traits.
Play signaling – Playful behavior engages attention and promotes social bonding. Kittens especially use exaggerated clumsy movements to solicit play from their mothers.
Courtship parallels – Cats can mirror some motions they would use toward potential mates during human interactions, like kneading blankets or showing their belly for rubs. This signifies bonding.
Neoteny – Traits that make an animal seem more juvenile and helpless appeal to humans’ instincts to nurture. Kittens are the epitome of neoteny but cats can retain cute neotenous features into adulthood.
Vocal mimicry of infants – Some cat vocalizations utilize higher pitches that loosely resemble human baby cries and invoke protective instincts. The melody and tone sound cute.
So in summary, cats often hit our buttons for finding babies adorable and wanting to nurture vulnerable young animals. Their interactions with us also take advantage of behaviors that forge social bonds. All of this makes many cats extraordinarily cute to humans.
While cuteness is subjective, cats often have traits like big eyes, round features, fluffy fur, playfulness, affectionate behavior, and vocalizations that humans psychologically perceive as cute. Specific breeds like Persians, Ragdolls, and Scottish Folds are bred to maximize these endearing qualities. And certain viral cats like Lil Bub, Maru, and Grumpy Cat have unique features making them exceptionally cute. But any cat can potentially capture an owner’s heart by being curious, clumsy, snuggly, and attentive in its own way. A cute cat gives us joy and lightens our lives. And for most cat lovers, their own cat will always be the cutest in the world.