10 Smartest Cat Breeds: Find Out If Your Kitty Is on the List

Pet cats are a lot smarter than you think, and these 10 breeds are the most intelligent ones out there.

Published August 11, 2023

Every cat has their unique quirks and strengths. Some are better hunters, some are more athletic, and some even reach the top of their class when it comes to intelligence. All cats are inherently clever — they can even remember each other's names! — but in our opinion, these 10 breeds have official bragging rights as the 10 smartest of all time. 

10. Sphynx


What the sphynx lacks in fur, they make up for in intelligence. The hairless Sphynx is an affectionate companion that loves to play and becomes very attached to their owners. Many people successfully clicker train their Sphynx cats, which can come in hand when needing to bathe and groom them.

Fast Fact

Unlike dogs, cats usually weren't bred to perform specific trained tasks or jobs. It isn't as easy to rank cat breeds in terms of intelligence because they don't interact with us in the same way dogs do.

9. Singapura


If you haven't heard of the Singapura before, you're missing out. These petite cats pack a whole lot of fun into a very small package. They're energetic, curious, loyal, and incredibly smart. You can easily teach yours how to fetch and even how to use the toilet instead of a litter box.

8. Maine Coon


Maine coons are big cats with equally large brain power. They are easy-going and obedient, which makes them a lot like a dog. Because of this nature, you can easily train your Maine coon all sorts of commands, but they'd also be happy napping in your lap all afternoon.

7. Turkish Angora


The Turkish angora might look like a simple house cat, but they're anything other than that. This breed is incredibly smart, social, and outgoing. They are also very inquisitive and have a knowing look. Not to mention these cats are excellent swimmers. Cool, right?

Quick Tip

Intelligent cat breeds can get bored very easily, which means you'll need to provide these cats with plenty of enrichment to keep them busy and out of trouble.

6. Burmese


Looking for an intelligent cat breed that's also long-lived? Look no further than the Burmese. These cats love to get into stuff and are known for being curious — though maybe not quite as curious as their cousins, Siamese cats — which is a sign of intelligence. They also like to chill, too. Not only are these cats smart cookies, but they hold the title as the cat breed with the longest lifespan.

5. Tonkinese


The Tonkinese is a cross between the Burmese and Siamese breeds, which means they have the best of both. They're laid back like Burmese cats with the curious nature of the Siamese, and because both of these breeds are on our list, the Tonkinese is no doubt very smart, too.

4. Bengal


Bengals are super smart but also very demanding. This breed is sometimes curious to a fault, which means they need a lot of physical and mental exercise to keep them out of trouble.

Quick Tip

A lot of bengal owners teach their cats tricks or even how to walk on a leash.

3. Siamese


Siamese cats are known for being vocal, but they are also one of the smartest cat breeds around. Siamese are very eager to please, which you can use to your advantage when training them. Many owners describe these cats are being incredibly dog-like. They're also famously curious and inquisitive. This certainly doesn't sound like a bad thing to us!

2. Russian Blue


Russian blue cats are highly intelligent, but even though they're smart, these cats tend to be kind of aloof. That means they might not be willing to show off their intelligence to strangers. However, they do bond deeply with their owners, so you're looking at a loyal and smart companion with a Russian blue.

1. Abyssinian


And the smartest cat breed in the world is the one and only Abyssinian. Abys are inquisitive cats who excel at problem-solving, which can get them into trouble. These felines need a lot of attention and interaction to keep them happy, but if you're looking for a cat you can easily train and bond with, the Abyssinian might just be your best friend.

Fast Fact

While domestication seems to have made dogs more intelligent than their wild ancestors, the opposite appears to be true for cats. Our house kitties appear to be more intelligent than their wild counterparts.

Training Smart Cats Still Takes Time


Regardless of whether your cat made the list of the smartest breeds or not, you'll need to be consistent and patient with their training. Cats are a lot more independent than their canine counterparts, so if you ask your cat to do something, they might refuse out of boredom or laziness, not necessarily because they're not smart enough. Find something your cat loves and use it as a reward to reinforce the behavior. Once you find what motivates them, you'll really see their intelligence shine.

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10 Smartest Cat Breeds: Find Out If Your Kitty Is on the List