The kids have begged. The time seems right. Now all that’s left is finding the perfect pet to add to the family. But which one? The pet you choose depends on a lot of factors, like your family’s activity level, time you have to devote to care, and general personality traits, but a few cat and dog breeds have already earned a stellar reputation as great family pets. Check them out below, in no particular order.


BirmanLong, silky fur, bright blue eyes, and a super-social personality make the Birman one of the best cat breeds for families. They’re generally well-mannered, calm, and are known to have sweet dispositions.

Burmese: Not to be confused with the Birman, the Burmese is a shorter-coated cat, with Siamese roots. They’re people-oriented and bond closely with their family. Some even like to play games, like fetch.

Ragdoll: With an unquestionably pettable coat, and an agreeable nature, Ragdolls make a great family cat. Their name is even an indicator of their personality, as they’re known for going limp and relaxing when they’re picked up.

Maine Coon: Maine Coons are large, and long-haired, with signature tufted ears. They’re known among cat lovers as “Gentle Giants” with a calm, intelligent disposition, and can get along well with dogs as well as kids. Fun fact: Many of them even love water!

Abyssinian: They’re agile, athletic, charming and curious, but Abyssinians are also affectionate, loyal and love being around people. They do best with older children (think 6+), and make a great choice for an active household.

Manx: Don’t let their squat appearance or lack of a tail fool you. Manx cats are agile and athletic, and love a good romp around the house. They’re social, super playful (some have even been said to play fetch from time to time), and love their people families.



Golden Retriever: Quintessential family pets, Golden Retrievers are friendly, intelligent and eager-to-please. Patient, and loving to boot, this dog’s personality traits have made him one of the most popular family dogs in the United States.

Newfoundland: Who wouldn’t fall in love with that sweet face? Patient, cuddly, and kind, Newfoundlands are devoted, friendly and easy to train. But they are quite big, so plan on lots of walks or outdoor romps.

Beagle: Sweet, intelligent and active, they’re known as one of the best small dogs for kids, with a trainable temperament, and sociable personality. Plus, a short coat makes the Beagle an easy-to-groom companion.

Dachshund: They’re playful, active and compact, with lively personalities that tend to do well with kids. Plus, the Dachshund’s small size suits them for families who live in apartments.

French Bulldog: They’re funny, they’re silly, and they love to play, plus the Frenchie is sturdy enough to make a great all-around family pet, with minimal grooming needs to boot!

Pug: They’ve been family favorites for some time, and it’s no wonder. Pugs are hilarious, affectionate, fun and silly—the perfect companion for kids.


It’s worth noting that there are also plenty of sweet, good-natured dogs and cats in need of a home at your local shelter, and when it comes to adding a furry friend to the family, there’s no need to overlook mutts, mixes or rescue pets either.

If you’d rather adopt, check out these 4 quick tips for finding the right pet for you, or check out adoptable pets in your area, then schedule a visit to your local shelter, and bring the whole family along so that everyone can meet with potential pets. Expanding your crew by four furry legs should be a decision everyone feels good about, and taking the time to consider what’s right for you is the key to a long and happy “tail” for the whole family.