The Most Vocal Cat Breeds
These felines do more than just meow and purr—they're conversationalists. Siamese, the Bengal, and Tonkinese, among others, all make talkative companions for you at home.
Cats, like us, are individuals. Even within breeds, cats will have their own personality traits and preferences. But why are some cats, like the Siamese or the Cornish Rex, more talkative than others? "Vocalization in cats has been an area of interest for a long time and the differences in vocalizations between wild cats and domestic cats," says Becky Mossor, RTV, head of feline education at Basepaws. "What we are learning is that cat vocalizations are more for communicating with their people than for communicating with each other."
Mossor points out that breed designations for cats are not as well-defined as they are for dogs. The concept of cat breeds is actually based on a combination of traits for particular cats that were emphasized through selective breeding; Basepaws is studying the phenotype data to link noted feline behaviors to their DNA lineage.
While we love cats in general, talkative cats tend to be popular because people enjoy their meows, chirps, trills, and purrs—plus, chatty pets can help ease loneliness. You can learn to understand your cat when you pay attention to all of their cues, both verbal and nonverbal, and this can deepen the relationship between cat caretaker and feline. It's also fun to have conversations with our cats and get responses.
How can you get your cat to be more vocal with you? Mossor recommends positive reinforcement. "We often forget our cats can be trained just like dogs can!" she says. "Anytime you want to encourage a behavior, we positively reinforce it with treats, love, or whatever it is your cat is asking for when they are 'telling' you all about it!"
If you're looking for a cat that likes to talk and can be trained to walk on a leash, look no further than the American Bobtail. This breed is also very good with children.
Talkative? Check. Slim, lithe build and regal appearance? Check. The Javanese, now a sub-breed, generally a Balinese-ancestry cat, is every bit as much of a demonstrative talker as the Siamese, although comparatively softer in tone.
The Bengal cat—just like its distant ancestral leopards, jaguars, and ocelots—is an attention-seeking climber that will call out to you from its perch. You can train some cats to walk on a leash during outside adventures, and they maintain their playful attitude well into their senior years.
Playful and people-oriented, the Burmese will be the first to give and receive affection in the household. This cat has a softer meow and has no trouble making their presence known, enjoying good conversation with their human caretakers.
The Ocicat may be a house cat, but she's close to her ancestral roots in appearance with coat types like tawny, cinnamon, lavender, and ebony silver. Self-confident and highly intelligent, these cats will readily greet you and any visitors who arrive at your door.
The svelte Oriental breed enjoys human company and will develop a close relationship with at least one member of the family. They will readily offer a comforting purr as much as a chastising yowl if you leave them at home alone for too long.
A hairless cat breed, the Peterbald needs regular grooming to keep her skin soft and comfortable. These cats tend to get along with just about everyone—adults, children, dogs, and other pets—and they'll meow loudly in your company.
Famously, Siamese cats are known for their talkative personalities. These felines are incredibly social, intelligent, and vocal—they'll talk to anyone who wants to listen and, frankly, even those who don't.
The iconic Sphynx is not always hairless as their appearance would seem—many of them have a very peachy, fine down to their skin. This cat breed is sweet-natured and lively and meows loudly, so you'll have plenty of opportunities to talk with your cat.
The Tonkinese cat is a master at playing games of fetch, tag, and hide-and-seek. With this gregarious personality comes meowing and happy purrs, which will help endear themselves to both family and friends.