If you’re looking for a pet, cats can offer great adaptability and companionship. For many, a cat breed for apartment living has less to do with the ability to thrive in an apartment or other smaller location and more to do with attention, enrichment, and engagement.

While some felines can be high-energy and require space to roam, many cats with adaptable temperaments and easygoing personalities will be delighted with apartment living.

Low to moderate activity requirements are best suited within a small space when it comes to energy levels.

That’s not to say that high-energy breeds can adjust to living in an apartment, but you will need to offer plenty of exercise and engagement throughout the day to keep them happy.

Consider adding plenty of mentally and physically stimulating activities throughout your home (especially near a window) to occupy your time.

Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that your new addition is given a space to scratch (carpet or rope towers are trendy).

What to Look for In A Cat Breed For Apartment Living

Whether you’re adopting a cat from the shelter or you want to purchase a kitten from a breeder, you’ll want to make sure that the cat’s personality matches the environment you can offer.

Highly intelligent breeds often require plenty of space and activities. They can become quickly bored in small settings and will often react to this boredom with destructive behaviors.

Adding a cat to an apartment or otherwise small space is possible, but you’ll want to avoid highly intelligent breeds for this reason.

To help you determine which cats are best suited for an apartment lifestyle, here are ten breeds that will adapt perfectly.

American Shorthair

The American Shorthair #1 Cat Breed For Apartment Living

Considered to be the pedigreed version of the domestic shorthair cat, this breed is an easygoing cat that is exceptionally social with its human family.

They typically adapt well to apartment living, although it’s essential to monitor their weight carefully to prevent obesity.

These cats are available in various colors and patterns, with the average cat weighing between 8-12 pounds.

These cats have a heavy muscle and bone appearance, with an overall round and thick appearance.

 The American is an affectionate cat that will attach to all family members, offering a pleasant companionship to all that interact.

This feline is easygoing and tends to be placid. This cat doesn’t mind being left alone and will often find entertainment with her toys or laying out in the afternoon sun.

Overall, this breed is an easy cat to care for and makes a fantastic companion for apartment living.

The Birman

The Birman, A Sweet & Gentle Cat Breed for Apartment Living

If you’re looking for a sweet and gentle companion, look no further than the Birman. This affectionate lap cat is happy to remain wherever their favorite humans are, regardless of the size of the home.

These cats are blue-eyed beauties that have four white feet and grey facial markings. These are large-breed cats with an average weight sitting over 12 pounds.

They are known for their unusual markings, with a medium-long coat.

This cat is known for being a territorial cat, but they are not usually aggressive. The Birman cat is a private cat that prefers to attach itself to one person.

Jealousy can occur if a pet parent doesn’t pay enough attention to the breed. Because of their fur, it’s essential to groom the Birman daily to prevent matting and tangles.

Although the coat doesn’t mat easily, it’s necessary to avoid them instead of dealing with them.

Burmese cat breed for apartment living

The Best Companionship Cat Breed for Apartment Living: The Burmese

This breed prefers constant companionship from their human family or another furry companion with their sweet and snuggly personality.

They can get lonely and may become bored if they’re not entertained. As an athletic breed, they thrive in homes with cat trees, toys, and other climbing locations.

They will often sit on the smaller side of the scale (between 6-10 pounds) but remains compact and muscular.

Younger Burmese cats are quite active and curious by nature, adapting quickly to changes and new environments.

They enjoy looking at the world around them, preferring windows to observe the world around them. Older Burmese cats are more likely to observe rather than actively participating in games and activities.

They can be pretty social, but they prefer Burmese cats over other breeds

Exotic Cat Breed for Apartment Living

The Exotic Cat Breed

One of the most notable features of the exotic is their extreme physical appearance. This breed is massive and heavily boned, with a broad chest and a seemingly larger size than it is.

The cat’s body is short but thick. It has a short wide neck, thick legs, and a heavy boning profile. Its ears are quite small about its body, and it has a flat face when viewed in profile.

It is known for needing a high degree of exercise, with kitten-like bursts of activity throughout the day.

The Exotic does well with changes of routine and can adapt well to new situations. She is a calm cat that enjoys sunning and curling up with her owner.

Likewise, she is affectionate and friendly to most people she meets. It’s not uncommon to find her sleeping one second and bursting through the house chasing toys minutes later.

Maine Coon

The Maine Coon, is The Largest Cat Breed for Apartment Living

Known as the gentle giant of the feline world, these friendly, easygoing cats are a sight to see. With an average weight above 12 pounds, this highly social breed has a beautiful flowing coat and sizeable fluffy tail.

This heavily boned and muscular cat was initially an outdoor cat that transitioned into a barn cat. She has a large head and tall ears, which made her perfect for hunting rodents.

Despite her history, the Maine Coon cat has a sweet and gentle personality that is affectionate and kind.

She adapts well to almost any living environment, providing her with enough physical activity to occupy her activity needs. This breed can become overweight if not monitored carefully, making exercise and nutrition important.

Thankfully, the Maine Coon loves interactive play, enjoying time with every family member whenever it’s offered. Due to her size, she can periodically knock things over unintentionally – so keep this in mind during playtime.

Persian Cat Breed for Apartment Living

The Persian

If you’re looking for the couch potato of the feline world, look no further than the Persian. These cats understand the true meaning of rest.

They would much rather find a comfy place to enjoy than to climb or jump. While these cats do enjoy the company of their humans, they’re also quite content to spend an afternoon alone too.

Due to her oversized coat, the Persian is often seen as larger than she physically is. The thick, full, long coat does require daily maintenance; brushing to avoid tangles and mats is mandatory.

Likewise, due to the flat nature of her face, the Persian will need her face cleaned regularly to prevent tear stains or deposits on her face.

This cat can be prone to gaining weight, especially when she prefers to sleep her afternoons away instead of physical activity.

Toys filled with catnip or interactive games are the best bet to prevent obesity. 

Ragdoll Cat Breed for Apartment Living

The Ragdoll Cat Breed for Apartment Living

As a heavily boned and plush coat feline, the Ragdoll is often seen as bigger than she is. She has a medium-sized head with a triangular face.

She has a unique color point, light body, and contrasting mask, ears, and extremities. Their coat can range from semi-long to long, with a soft, plush, and silky appearance.

Although the Ragdoll has an impressive coat, it’s much easier to care for than other breeds. It should be brushed daily, but keeping tangles to a minimum isn’t difficult.

This placid feline is a beautiful addition to any home environment, offering an even temperament and positive attitude. She gets along well with all family members and can adapt to change quickly.

The Ragdoll enjoys interactive exercise, in addition to playing space. It’s essential to give her daily activity to limit any obesity or overweight tendencies.  

Russian Blue

Our Pick on a Beautiful Cat Breed for Apartment Living, The Russian Blue

The Russian Blue cat is a beautiful cat with a dense, soft double coat. It doesn’t shed much and produces lower allergen levels than other cat breeds, making it an excellent choice for allergy sufferers.

With her long slender body, she has a regal appearance that stands out above other breeds. While she is slender, this breed is very muscular and strong.

This breed is brilliant and requires constant physical and mental stimulation to keep her occupied. The Russian Blue does maintain a strong hunting breed, so toys geared at hunting are ideal.

The Russian Blue cat is a loyal, devoted cat that has a sweet temperament. It will often attach to one parent in the family and often offer affection to all family members.

She does demand a return of respect and can be pretty persistent if she doesn’t receive it. Although this breed is exceptionally social, she can do well alone and enjoys hiding somewhere private to nap.

This breed avoids strangers and large gatherings, shying away from the attention of people she doesn’t know.  

Scottish Fold

The Scottish Fold

With a round head and folded ears, the Scottish Fold has an illusion of roundness. This cat has very prominent, round eyes that sit bright and clear.

In fact, most of this cat appears to have a rounded appearance. This breed is known to develop stiffness in the tail that can cause significant pain, so it’s crucial to handle it gently and with care.

The Scottish Fold is an easy cat to live with. It is comfortable and welcoming of all family members, with a sweet and charming personality.

Interactive play is essential for her, especially when it comes to her breed’s roundness.

British Shorthair

This Adaptable British Shorthair is An Ideal Cat Breed for Apartment Living

This extremely adaptable feline is a wonderful addition to any home environment, including apartment living.

While the British Shorthair cats are quiet and laid-back, they often get spurts of energy, leaving them racing around their homes.

They periodically have bursts of physical and mental energy that need to have a positive outlet. Food puzzles are great for occupying their mind in a small space.

Her thick coat does need daily grooming, especially during the changing seasons, when shedding can cause mats or tangles.

The British Shorthair is a fiercely loyal and loving cat with a solid attachment to her family.

Although she loves to play and have fun, she doesn’t have a high need for constant interaction. When she wants to play, the British Shorthair will get a toy or create one from a piece of string, fluff, or another exciting object she finds lying around.

She enjoys being with her family but has no issue with being left alone either. Sleeping in the sun is a favorite pastime, especially after a busy afternoon.

Consider This Before Choosing a Cat Breed for Apartment Living

Although most people believe that all cats are suitable for apartments, the breed’s energy level, curiosity, and intelligence are all important factors that need to be considered before bringing a new companion home.

It’s also important to consider how often you will leave the animal alone due to work schedules or otherwise.

While most cats are content on their own for a few hours, some cat breeds can be more socially demanding than others, which can cause destructive behavior if they’re alone for long periods. 

Any cat you’re bringing into an apartment needs to maintain proper physical activity levels, especially if they’re prone to obesity or weight problems.

These weight problems can add extra stress to their joints, causing long-term health problems if left uncorrected.

It’s also important to talk to your vet about proper nutrition for your animal. Most cats are overfed, often left to self-serve their food. 

While some animals won’t overeat, others may be susceptible to eating out of boredom or simply because it tastes good.

This, combined with lack of physical activity, can be a concern if left untreated. As such, always investigate the proper physical and mental needs of any breed before taking them home.

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 Cat Breed for Apartment Living

Kelly works as a veterinary technician in Austin, TX as well as regular animal rescue volunteer. She's been an animal lover and dog owner since childhood, and has worked in different dog related fields over the last twenty years. Currently she lives with three dogs and a cat.