What Are The Smartest Cat Breeds?

Various cat breeds sitting next to each other.

Isn’t every cat clever and cunning? It takes a certain intelligence to train humans to respond to an individual cat’s needs. They all do this in spades. Are there breeds of domesticated cats that are smarter than the average house kitty? The team at Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates is here to help you find out:

Who’s the Brightest of Them All?

Although all cats have some inherently smart characteristics, there are a few that rise above the rest when it comes to intelligence. The following are considered some of the smartest cat breeds:

  • Abyssinian
  • Balinese
  • Bengal
  • Burmese
  • Cornish Rex
  • Havana Brown
  • Japanese Bobtail
  • Korat
  • Main Coon
  • Savannah
  • Scottish Fold
  • Siamese
  • Singapura

What Sets These Smarty Cats Apart From the Rest?

There are a few characteristics that really push these breeds above others when it comes to smarts. Here are just a few:

  • Adaptability
  • Energy
  • Easily bored
  • Mischievousness
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Social intelligence


Unlike most cats, many of these breeds adapt easily to changes in their surroundings. This means they can survive in many more situations than other animals who cannot change as quickly.


These breeds can be highly active and athletic. They’ll require playtime and climbing structures and other activities that keep them mentally stimulated as well as physically stimulated.

Easily Bored

Just like the smartest kids in class, these breeds could become bored with the same old toys and routines. Watch out. They could become destructive if not challenged! Make sure you are constantly giving them new puzzles to ensure they are exercising their big brains. 


You might think they’re naughty, but in fact, they are inquisitive explorers and can unearth things in your closets and drawers you meant to keep undercover! If you have one of these breeds, be prepared to be surprised by their mischievous behavior.

Problem-solving skills

These cats can master treat puzzles, find hidden tasty morsels, learn words, and figure out the household routine. Make sure you provide plenty of them so they get the stimulation they need.

Social Intelligence

Although cats have a reputation for being solo, they are not aloof as you might expect. They want to be with you and other animals and get a lot out of social interactions.

How To Prepare Your Life For a Smart Cat Breed

Make sure you do your research before bringing a new kitten or adopted cat into your home. You could be borrowing trouble if you don’t know what you’ve got!

  • Cat training—Some of these breeds will happily walk on a leash. You’ll need to stock up on challenging toys and learn smarty cat games. Start with the basics of training and reward with food puzzles or hidden treats.
  • Owner training—You’ll have the most success in training cats if you stick to a reward system. They like food, so treats will work best to reward desired behavior. They do not like punishment and will only come to distrust you if you spray at or even gently tap them as a correction.  
  • Toys and games—Keep plenty of stimulating toys on hand and rotate them, so they don’t get bored. Food puzzles are perfect stimulation for cats. Your smart cat will love interactive games like find the treat and hide and seek.
  • Climbing structures—For the athletic and high-energy cat, they’ll need more than mental stimulation. They’ll need physical activities to keep them engaged and away from destructive behaviors.
  • Human interaction—Many of these breeds like to be with their human companions and will be happy perched on your shoulder or following you around. Be careful not to step on your cat!

Pet Wellness and Smart Cats

Cat health is not only about physical wellbeing. Keeping your smart cat engaged in mental and physical activities will help keep them from anxiety, depression, and destructive behaviors. A smart cat will be a challenge for its humans but will reward the family with affection and entertainment!

Schedule a Wellness Consultation For Your New Cat or Kitten

At Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates, Inc., our staff and veterinarians are here to help you raise a healthy and happy cat. We encourage you to schedule a wellness visit before exposing other household pets to a new cat or kitten.

We’ll test for infectious diseases, parasites, and external pests to prevent exposure to other pets. We’ll start a vaccination protocol and discuss any questions you have about caring for your new pet. We look forward to greeting you and our new pet patient.