Top 10 Smartest Cat Breeds

If you share your home with a cat, you already know that cats often catch us by surprise with their kitty cleverness. While we can all agree most cats can be smart cookies (with the exception of the orange cats, let’s be honest), these ten breeds shine as the best of the best when it comes to smarts.


One of the world’s most popular and recognizable cat breeds, the Siamese is known for its beautiful coat, curious nature, and chatty tendency. These cats are intelligent, affectionate, and energetic. They love to play and crave attention and company. Keep this kitty’s brain busy with puzzles and teaser toys. If you can, get her a big cat tree for climbing; this kitty would appreciate it! If bored, a Siamese will entertain itself by turning on faucets, opening cabinets, or rummaging where she shouldn’t.


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The Bengal is perhaps best known for its exotic coat that resembles a jaguar or leopard. This breed originated from crossing a domestic cat with an Asian leopard cat. Bengals are highly intelligent, athletic, and still a bit wild. They love to run, jump, climb, and play. They require ample exercise space (especially vertical) and mental challenges like puzzle games and toys. Its nimble paws are almost as good as its hands; some can turn light switches on and off, pluck out pet fish from aquariums, and pull out small items from drawers. You should have easy success if you ever decide to clicker-train your Bengal!


The Korat, named for a province in Thailand, is another rare breed, considered good luck in its homeland. They’re brilliant and attentive to the world around them. Korats are moderately energetic and enjoy interactive games but love their naps. This breed can learn tricks, like playing fetch and walking on a leash. You can easily teach this cat the household rules if you reward it with praise or treats. This kitty loves its toys and is sometimes too stubborn to share with others. They thrive on attention and are typically affectionate with their families.


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This sleek-looking cat is athletic, agile, and affectionate toward humans. Abyssinians are very intelligent and highly in tune with the activities of their families. This breed enjoys heights, perching above the room, and surveilling everything. Of all the cat types, this one learns tricks quickly and will enjoy running a feline agility course. Generally, they’re not lap cats but love getting petted or brushed. They also tend to enjoy the company of other animals and adapt well to most living arrangements.


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As its name implies, the Singapura originated on the streets of Singapore. The breed came to the U.S. during the 1970s and is still considered rare. These small cats are generally playful, outgoing, and curious. And they love to be involved with what their humans are doing. They’re rather active and love to climb, so make sure to provide plenty of vertical space. This mischievous kitty will climb curtains or leap up to your shoulder as you walk by for a ride.

Cornish Rex

These cats are active and friendly, and some say they’re rather dog-like in their play, even into their senior years. Many enjoy games of fetch or performing tricks like playing the piano. This kitty’s long toes enable it to easily open doors and cabinets, which means child safety locks might be an option to consider. This spry creature has the uncanny ability to vault to the highest point in the room. The most unique physical feature of the Cornish rex is its wavy coat.


The Balinese is the longhaired version of the Siamese cat breed. They tend to be active cats that love to investigate everything their humans are doing. They’re also chatty cats, often vocalizing their opinions. Keep this kitty active with puzzles or teaser toys and a big cat tree for climbing. This breed can learn to fetch, walk on a leash, and figure out tricks quickly. They’re typically affectionate with their families but can get into mischief exploring their home if left unstimulated for too long.


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Havana Brown

The Havana Brown is a beautiful cat with a silky, chocolate-colored coat. This relatively rare cat breed originated from crossing the Siamese with several other breeds. They’re typically intelligent, inquisitive, and chatty cats that love socialization with their families. They’re moderately energetic and prefer interactive toys like teasers and puzzles to challenge them mentally and physically.


The Burmese is an energetic and friendly breed that loves to engage with its people. These cats are clever, adaptable, playful, and trainable. Besides sitting, rolling over, waving, and coming, this breed can fetch a small toy or walk on a leash. With early conditioning, car rides, and vet visits will be a breeze. They thrive on socialization and prefer company, including other animals. A companion at home prevents loneliness and boredom that often leads to mischief.


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The Savannah is a rare and exotic breed with high intelligence. Developed by crossing wild African servals with domestic cats, this large hybrid kept some of its wild sides in appearance and attitude. They need lots of space to run, jump, and play. And they get bored quickly; they require sufficient interaction and environmental stimulation. This breed will take walks on a leash; seek out water to play in; and rummage through nooks, drawers, cabinets, and boxes. It can even turn on the faucet! Ensure you protect fine china and other breakables on shelves since this leaping kitty loves climbing and exploring.


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The Less Bright Bunch

Generally speaking, all cats are smart creatures, but some breeds, including Birmans, Persians, Himalayans, exotic shorthairs, and ragdolls, are slightly less impressive in the brains category. Still, most of these felines are affectionate, playful, and easygoing companions.

Cats are not just cute and cuddly but also intelligent and inquisitive creatures. The breeds are among the smartest, with unique characteristics and behaviors showcasing their intelligence. If you’re looking for a clever kitty that can adapt well to your lifestyle and provide you with plenty of entertainment, consider one of these smart breeds.