Header image

Best Cats for Apartments

Best Cats for Apartments

What Are The Best Cats For Apartments?

Finding out what the best cats for apartment living situations can be a joyful and rewarding journey.

Table of Contents


As a cat owner and lover, finding the best feline companion for your apartment living situation can be a joyful and rewarding journey. If you’re searching for the best cats for apartments, it’s vital to understand what makes a cat suitable for apartment living and the key factors to consider. We’ll guide you through the process of finding the perfect furry friend for your apartment lifestyle.

Understanding What Makes a Cat Suitable for Apartment Living

When we think about the best cats for apartments, what exactly are we considering? Size is often the first factor that comes to mind. It’s a common assumption that a smaller cat is a better fit for an apartment. However, it’s more about the cat’s temperament and energy levels than its size.

For instance, a large but calm Maine Coon could be a better apartment resident than a small, high-energy Abyssinian. The latter may require more play and exercise than your living space or schedule allows. Some cats are naturally more adaptable, comfortable with solitude, and less inclined to adventurous leaps and bounds, making them more suited to apartment living.

Key Factors to Consider for Cats in Apartments

Here are the most critical factors to consider when selecting the best cats for apartments:

1. Temperament

Cats, just like humans, have a range of personalities. Some are energetic and curious, while others are laid back and content. Breeds like British Shorthairs and Persians are known for their relaxed demeanor, making them excellent apartment cats.

2. Activity Levels

Some cats are born climbers and hunters, needing plenty of exercise and stimulation. For example, Bengals are a high-energy breed that may not be suitable for small apartments. In contrast, Ragdolls tend to be laid back and are less likely to become destructive if they can’t expend their energy.

3. Size

While not the most critical factor, size does play a role. Large breeds might need more space to move around comfortably. However, a large, lazy breed could be a better fit than a small, active breed. For instance, a lazy Maine Coon might be happier in an apartment than an active Siamese.

4. Adaptability

Some cats adapt better to indoor living than others. Breeds like the Russian Blue are known for their adaptability, making them one of the best cats for apartments.

5. Noise Levels

Some breeds, like Siamese cats, are known for their vocal nature, which might not be suitable for apartment living, especially if you have close neighbors.

6. Grooming Needs

Cats with long hair or breeds that shed heavily may require more maintenance. This factor might not affect their suitability as apartment cats but may affect your lifestyle and cleanliness of your apartment.

Understanding these factors will guide you in finding the best cats for apartments. Remember, each cat is unique, and these are general traits.

Individual cats can exhibit different characteristics within a breed. It’s essential to spend time with a potential pet to ensure it’s the right fit for both you and your apartment.

Choosing the Right Cat for Apartment Living

As an apartment dweller, selecting the perfect feline companion involves more than falling in love with a pair of sparkling eyes or a soft purr. Certain traits make some breeds the best cats for apartments, while others might pose challenges in a smaller living space. Understanding the importance of cat temperament, energy levels, and breed can significantly improve your search.

The Importance of Cat Temperament and Energy Levels

Temperament and energy levels are two fundamental attributes that greatly influence whether a cat will feel comfortable and happy in your apartment. Not all cats are the same; they have unique personalities and energy levels that must align with your living situation to ensure a harmonious home.

Low-Energy Cats

Consider a cat breed with a lower energy level when looking for the best cats for apartments. A breed like the Persian, known for its calm and laid-back demeanor, might be the perfect apartment companion. These cats are more than happy to lounge on a windowsill or your lap, making them well-suited for compact living.

High-Energy Cats

High-energy cats, such as the active and curious Bengal, might find apartment living restrictive. These cats often need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, which can be difficult to provide in a smaller space. They’re more likely to engage in destructive behavior if their energy needs aren’t met.

Size and Breed Considerations: Why They Matter

While it might seem logical that smaller cats are better for apartments, the reality is more nuanced.

The Role of Size

Generally, a smaller cat might have an easier time navigating a compact space. But it’s crucial to remember that a cat’s temperament and energy level are far more important. A larger, quieter breed like the Ragdoll might be a better choice than a smaller, more active breed like the Abyssinian.

Breed Specific Traits

Certain cat breeds have characteristics that make them the best cats for apartments. For example, the British Shorthair is a relatively small breed known for its calm and easygoing nature.

On the other hand, the American Shorthair is an adaptable breed comfortable in various living situations.

When choosing the best cats for apartments, it’s essential to consider both size and breed.

Breed can give you clues about a cat’s likely temperament and energy levels, while size can provide insight into the physical space a cat might need.

Remember, each cat is an individual, and these are general guidelines. Spending time with a potential pet will give you the best sense of whether they’re the right fit for you and your apartment lifestyle.

Top 10 Best Cats for Apartments

1. British Shorthair

When you’re seeking the best cats for apartments, the charming British Shorthair certainly stands out.

Overview and Personality Traits

The British Shorthair, one of the oldest and most well-known cat breeds, is renowned for its striking appearance and sweet disposition.

With their plush, dense coat and round, expressive eyes (usually in a captivating gold or copper color), they are undeniably appealing.

Their personality is as delightful as their appearance.

British Shorthairs are typically calm, easygoing, and not as hyperactive as other breeds.

They enjoy their own space and aren’t known to be overly clingy. However, they can be very affectionate and enjoy spending quality time with their owners.

Why They’re One of the Best Cats for Apartments

The British Shorthair’s temperament makes it a perfect choice for apartment living.

Their love for a relaxed lifestyle aligns well with smaller living spaces. They don’t need constant stimulation or vast spaces to roam, and they won’t get into trouble by climbing on top of high shelves or furniture.

Moreover, they are quiet cats and won’t disturb your neighbors.

If you’re looking for a cat breed that’s low-maintenance, friendly, and suited to the calm environment of an apartment, the British Shorthair is an excellent contender. Their contented nature and adaptability make them one of the best cats for apartments.

2. American Shorthair

In your quest for finding the best cats for apartments, don’t overlook the American Shorthair.

Overview and Personality Traits

The American Shorthair, known for its striking physical characteristics and engaging personality, has a rich history.

Originally a working cat on sailing ships, the American Shorthair has evolved into a cherished domestic pet.

They’re medium to large cats, robust and muscular, with a distinctive round face, full cheeks, and a variety of coat colors and patterns.

Personality-wise, the American Shorthair is the definition of an easy-going cat.

They’re friendly, adaptable, and enjoy a good play session but aren’t overly demanding of your time. They balance their desire for interaction with a love for their own independence, making them an excellent choice for busy owners.

Why They’re One of the Best Cats for Apartments

American Shorthairs are generally low-maintenance cats, which is an attractive trait for apartment dwellers.

They’re comfortable in smaller spaces and can adapt to various environments, which is a crucial aspect of apartment living.

These cats aren’t known to be destructive or particularly noisy, meaning your furniture and neighbors are safe.

If you’re searching for a breed that’s sociable, adaptable, and comfortable in an apartment setting, the American Shorthair is an ideal option.

Their easygoing nature and independence make them one of the best cats for apartments.

Best cats for apartments
American Shorthair

3. Ragdoll

When discussing the best cats for apartments, it’s impossible to leave out the Ragdoll.

Overview and Personality Traits

The Ragdoll, often hailed as the “gentle giant” of the cat world, is a large breed with striking blue eyes and a semi-long coat in a variety of colors and patterns.

Their name is a nod to their tendency to go limp, like a ragdoll, when picked up.

Personality-wise, Ragdolls are affectionate, calm, and sociable. Despite their large size, they are typically relaxed and laid-back.

They’re known for their loyalty and often follow their owners around the house. They also have a quiet and gentle demeanor, rarely resorting to using their claws.

Why They’re One of the Best Cats for Apartments

The Ragdoll’s calm and gentle nature makes it an excellent fit for apartment living. Their low activity level means they’re content to lounge around, and they aren’t known to climb curtains or jump onto high shelves.

Additionally, their sociable nature and love for their humans mean they’re less likely to be bothered by the confined spaces typical of apartment living.

If you’re seeking a gentle, easy-going, and friendly cat for apartment living, the Ragdoll is an excellent choice.

Their docile temperament, combined with their stunning appearance, easily ranks them among the best cats for apartments.

Best cats for apartments
Beautiful Ragdoll

4. Scottish Fold

A unique charm coupled with a serene temperament makes the Scottish Fold another great cat for apartment living.

Overview and Personality Traits

The Scottish Fold is easily recognizable with its unique folded ears that give it an “owl-like” appearance. These medium-sized cats come in a range of colors and patterns, and their striking physical features make them a real crowd-pleaser.

As for their personality, Scottish Folds are known to be incredibly friendly, loving, and good-natured. They enjoy playing but also love lounging and curling up for a good nap. They’re also highly intelligent and curious, making them a joy to interact with.

Why They’re One of the Best Cats for Apartments

Their calm and friendly nature makes the Scottish Fold an excellent choice for apartment dwellers. These cats enjoy the company of their human companions and are less likely to get bored or anxious in smaller spaces.

Plus, they’re not known for being overly active or destructive, which bodes well for your apartment furniture.

5. Persian Cat

A quintessential lap cat, the Persian, is well-suited for apartment living, making it another great option for  your quest to find ‘the’ perfect puss.

Overview and Personality Traits

The Persian cat is a medium to large breed known for its luxurious long coat, expressive round eyes, and unique “pushed-in” facial structure. They’re often depicted in art and media due to their regal appearance.

Personality-wise, Persians are typically calm, gentle, and prefer a serene environment. They love lounging around and are not known for their athleticism or high energy levels. They’re affectionate with their family members and enjoy a good cuddle.

Why They’re One of the Best Cats for Apartments

Persians are ideal for apartment living due to their low-key, laid-back temperament. They don’t require much space to run around and are happy to live at a slower pace.

Their inclination towards peace and quiet means they’ll be less likely to cause a commotion that could disturb neighbors in an apartment setting.

They are a beautiful, affectionate, and calm breed for your apartment, hence a hard one to pass up. Their love for lounging and quiet demeanor makes them a perfect choice among the best cats for apartments.

6. Russian Blue

Another solid contender is the quiet and gentle Russian Blue.

Overview and Personality Traits

The Russian Blue, with its short, dense coat of shimmering blue-silver and mesmerizing green eyes, is quite the showstopper.

Medium-sized and muscular, they are as robust as they are graceful.

In terms of personality, the Russian Blue is known for being gentle, quiet, and somewhat shy with strangers but loving towards their family. They’re intelligent and playful without being overly active or demanding.

Why They’re One of the Best Cats for Apartments

The Russian Blue’s quiet and reserved nature makes it an ideal breed for apartment living. They are generally indoor cats and are quite happy in smaller spaces.

Their calm demeanor means they’re unlikely to cause any disruptions that might disturb your neighbors, another tick!

7. Siamese Cat

Renowned for their vocal nature and sociable demeanor, Siamese cats still make excellent candidates for the title of best cats for apartments.

Overview and Personality Traits

Siamese cats, characterized by their striking blue almond-shaped eyes, sleek short coat, and unique color points, are among the most recognizable breeds.

They are known for their affectionate nature, intelligence, and notably, their chattiness.

Why They’re One of the Best Cats for Apartments

Despite their vocal reputation, Siamese cats can thrive in apartment environments. They are sociable and require interaction, which can be a perfect fit for single apartment dwellers looking for a companion.

However, they are also able to amuse themselves with toys and windows views in smaller spaces.

8. Maine Coon

The Maine Coon, despite its large size, is an unexpectedly good fit for apartment living, making it another good choice.

Overview and Personality Traits

The Maine Coon is one of the largest domesticated cat breeds, known for its lion-like mane, tufted ears, and bushy tail.

They have a friendly and outgoing personality, often described as “dog-like” due to their loyalty and playful nature.

Why They’re One of the Best Cats for Apartments

Despite their size, Maine Coons can adapt well to apartment life.

They’re generally good-natured, friendly, and not prone to destructive behaviors. They’re comfortable staying indoors and can find joy in simple activities, making the best out of compact living spaces.

Their gentle and affectionate nature also adds to their appeal as a great apartment companion.

9. Exotic Shorthair

The easy-going nature and adorable looks of the Exotic Shorthair mark it as another great pick for your apartment.

Overview and Personality Traits

The Exotic Shorthair, often referred to as the lazy man’s Persian, sports a similar look to the Persian, with a distinctive “squashed” face, expressive eyes, and dense, plush short coat. They’re a medium to large-sized breed with a robust build.

Personality-wise, Exotic Shorthairs are easy-going, quiet, and friendly. They love to play but are equally happy lazing around.

These cats tend to form a strong bond with their humans and often follow them around the house…because they can.

Why They’re One of the Best Cats for Apartments

The Exotic Shorthair’s placid nature makes it a good fit for apartment living. Their preference for a quiet life and affectionate demeanor make them an ideal companion in a small space. Their activity level is moderate, meaning they’re content with indoor life and don’t need expansive space to roam.

10. Burmese Cat

With a charming personality and compact size, the Burmese cat easily secures its spot to round off our top 10 list of the best cats for apartments.

Overview and Personality Traits

The Burmese cat is medium-sized with a muscular build, short, glossy coat, and expressive gold or yellow eyes. This breed is renowned for its playful and friendly disposition.

As for personality, the Burmese are outgoing, sociable, and love human interaction. They’re known to be ‘people cats’ who thrive on companionship.

These cats are also intelligent, playful, and retain their kitten-like energy well into adulthood.

Why They’re One of the Best Cats for Apartments

The Burmese cat’s sociable and friendly nature makes them a good fit for apartment dwellers. They enjoy interacting with their human companions and can adapt well to the confined space of an apartment.

Their engaging personality and love of play mean they’re often less interested in their physical surroundings and more in their human counterparts. Their playful yet gentle nature makes them a delightful addition to any apartment home.

Apartment Cat Care

While choosing the best cats for apartments is the first step, creating an ideal environment and meeting their exercise needs are essential for their overall wellbeing.

Creating a Cat-Friendly Apartment Environment

Cats, regardless of breed, love a little adventure, and even the most compact apartment can be transformed into a feline-friendly environment. Here’s how you can make your apartment more appealing to your cat:

  • Vertical Space: Cats enjoy surveying their surroundings from a height. Incorporate cat trees, shelves, or window perches. This also takes advantage of vertical space in smaller apartments.
  • Hideouts: Like humans, cats also need some alone time. Provide boxes or cat caves where your cat can retreat for solitude.
  • Scratching Posts: Cats need to scratch to stretch their bodies, maintain their claws, and mark their territory. To protect your furniture, invest in a few scratching posts or pads.
  • Interactive Toys: Toys that engage your cat’s natural hunting instincts can be a great source of amusement for them. Puzzle feeders can keep them occupied and stimulate their minds.

Meeting the Exercise Needs of Your Apartment Cat

Regardless of being one of the best cats for apartments, your feline friend still needs regular exercise to stay fit and healthy. Here are some tips to keep your apartment cat active:

  • Play Sessions: Engage in daily play sessions with your cat. Use interactive toys like feather wands or laser pointers that encourage jumping, chasing, and pouncing.
  • Cat Exercise Wheel: If you have the space, a cat exercise wheel can provide an excellent outlet for your cat’s energy.
  • Puzzle Feeders: Make your cat work a little for their food. Puzzle feeders or treat-dispensing toys make your cat physically engage to get their food, providing mental and physical stimulation.

Even when living in an apartment, ensuring your cat is active and content is crucial.

Regular play sessions and a stimulating environment can help keep your cat’s weight in check, prevent destructive behaviors, and enhance their overall happiness.

From the British Shorthair to the Burmese, every cat deserves a loving, stimulating home environment, especially when living in an apartment. Understanding and catering to your cat’s needs can truly make your apartment the best home for your feline companion.

Conclusion: Your Role in Making Your Apartment a Home for Your Cat

Choosing one of the best cats for apartments is only half the battle.

As a responsible pet owner, your role extends far beyond selecting a suitable breed. From creating a stimulating environment to providing regular exercise and maintaining their health, each aspect contributes to making your apartment a true home for your cat.

Remember, cats aren’t just a possession but a lifetime commitment and a part of your family. So, it’s essential to ensure their needs are met and they’re comfortable and happy in their surroundings.


FAQs: Best Cats for Apartments

What makes a cat breed good for apartment living?

Certain traits make a cat breed well-suited for apartment living. These can include a calm temperament, low to moderate energy levels, and adaptability to indoor environments. Additionally, breeds that are less vocal and sociable can also be ideal for apartment settings.

Are certain cat breeds more suited to indoor living?

Yes, certain breeds are more adaptable to indoor living. These typically include cats with lower energy levels and those who enjoy a more sedentary lifestyle, such as the British Shorthair or Persian cats.

How do I meet my cat’s exercise needs in an apartment?

Meeting your cat’s exercise needs in an apartment can be achieved by daily interactive play sessions, investing in a cat exercise wheel, and using puzzle feeders that encourage physical engagement.

Can large cat breeds like the Maine Coon live comfortably in apartments?

Yes, large breeds like the Maine Coon can live comfortably in apartments, provided they have enough space to move freely and their physical and mental stimulation needs are met. They are relatively adaptable and can adjust to smaller spaces if adequately stimulated.

What are some tips for creating a cat-friendly apartment environment?

Creating a cat-friendly environment involves using vertical space like cat trees or shelves, providing hideouts for solitude, having scratching posts or pads to cater to their natural scratching behavior, and providing a variety of interactive toys.

How does the temperament of a cat affect its suitability for apartment living?

Cats with a calm, laid-back temperament are often more suited to apartment living. They are less likely to become stressed in a confined space, can adjust better to indoor environments, and are generally less destructive.

Are there health concerns specific to cats living in apartments?

While not specific to apartments, indoor cats are at a higher risk of obesity due to lower activity levels. Ensuring regular exercise and a balanced diet can help mitigate this risk.

How can I minimize my cat’s noise levels in an apartment setting?

Selecting a naturally quieter breed, providing ample stimulation to prevent boredom-related vocalization, and training your cat from a young age can help minimize noise levels.

How do I handle litter box placement and odor control in an apartment?

Choose a quiet, low-traffic area for the litter box. For odor control, clean the box regularly, invest in a litter type that clumps well and controls odor, and consider a covered litter box or an air purifier.

Can kittens of any breed adapt well to apartment living?

Generally, kittens are more adaptable than adult cats and can adjust well to apartment living. However, individual personalities and breed traits also play a significant role.

Remember, a kitten’s energy levels are high, so they’ll need plenty of stimulation and space to explore.

Choosing one of the best cats for apartments is an exciting journey, but ensuring your feline companion’s happiness and wellbeing is the ultimate goal. Regardless of the breed, every cat deserves a loving, stimulating, and comfortable home.

About the Author

Nat Lilly

Feline lover for 23 years, expertly grooms and cherishes her American Shorthair and regal white Persian. Amidst the hustle of city living, their poised personalities provide purr-fect serenity in her urban apartment.

What about other pets?

See our other guide pages for more information on what you can and can’t do with other pets:

DogsCats | Fish | Birds

More posts that might interest you...