11 Best Cat Breeds for Apartments (Because Not All Cats Are Fit for Small Spaces)

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Because cats generally take up very little space, it’s easy to assume that any and every breed will flourish in an apartment. However, that’s not necessarily true. Depending on the type of apartment you have, you may need to consider several factors before you bring a feline into the home. Take Abyssinian or Balinese cats for example. These breeds are hyperactive and will need tons of room to run around and play. If your space doesn’t accommodate that, then they’re not the best choice. Other breeds such as Siamese are known to be extra vocal, so if you live in a building with thin walls, your neighbors won’t be too happy.

There are, however, calmer, more docile breeds that don’t need as much attention and may make better roommates for small apartment living. It’s not just about the size of the place, but the level of comfort each cat can achieve in the space. Keep in mind, less energetic cat breeds still need exercise and interaction to keep them nice and healthy—less attention doesn’t mean no attention. Check out the 11 best cat breeds for apartments below.

The 11 Most Affectionate Cat Breeds (Yes, They Do Exist)

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1. Persian

  • Average weight: 7 to 12 pounds
  • Average height: 10 to 15 inches
  • Personality: Quiet, docile

Known as “furniture with fur” Persian cats are among the more docile cat breeds, making them perfect for an apartment. While they don’t leap, climb and scour nooks and crannies like other cat breeds, Persian cats are just as intelligent and do require some play time. For the most part, however, Persian cats are master nappers and are known to remain inactive for long periods of time.

best cat breeds for apartments exotic shorthair
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2. Exotic Shorthair

  • Average weight: 10 to 12 pounds
  • Average height: 10 to 12 inches
  • Personality: Calm, affectionate

If you love everything about Persian cats but don’t want to deal with the excessive fur portion, get yourself an Exotic Shorthair. Dubbed, “the lazy man’s Persian,” these demure felines have all the attributes—quietness, calmness, affectionate—of a Persian cat, but come with a shorter, less demanding coat.

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3. American Shorthair

  • Average weight: 10 to 15 pounds
  • Average height: 8 to 10 inches
  • Personality: Calm, adaptable

American shorthair cats are an easy-going and adaptable breed, so they’ll adjust to any environment. Not only are they affectionate, but they also have a compact build—with round faces and short ears—which means they won’t need too much space to sprawl out.

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4. Maine Coon

  • Average weight: 8 to 18 pounds
  • Average height: 10 to 16 inches
  • Personality: Social

These guys tend to grow big, but that doesn’t mean they’re out to take over every bit of space you have. Large as they may be, Maine Coon cats are actually gentle giants who enjoy lounging around and get along with children and other pets. If you’re a lone apartment dweller, just make sure you supply them with an adequate amount of toys, and they’ll be happy to keep their own company for a while.

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5. Russian Blue

  • Average weight: 8 to 12 pounds
  • Average height: 8 to 10 inches
  • Personality: Calm, affectionate

Also super chill and easy-going, Russian blue cats are the affectionate but not clingy type. You can expect them to follow you around the house or wait for you by the door when you get home, but you can also find them curled up in a corner, playing with their favorite toy. Though they are moderately tempered, Russian blue cats are climbers, so it’s worth investing in a nice cat tree for them to get a good stretch.

best cat breeds for apartments sphynx
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6. Sphynx

  • Average weight: 6 to 14 pounds
  • Average height: 8 to 10 inches
  • Personality: Energetic, affectionate

Famous for being hairless, these felines are perfect for people who don’t want fur balls lurking in the various corners of their apartments. However, when you adopt a sphynx cat, you trade in the grooming brushes for major play time, because what they lack in fur, they make up in personality. These kitties are small and have a high energy levels, so they’ll need an abode that allows them leap and climb without too much restrain.

best cat breeds for apartments ragdoll
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7. Ragdoll

  • Average weight: 10 to 20 pounds
  • Average height: 9 to 11 inches
  • Personality: Gentle

Like Maine Coon cats, Ragdoll cats are also large. However, these gentle toms are very accommodating, super sociable and ultra-affectionate so you won’t have worry about them feeling trapped in your apartment. They’re easy to bond with because they love to curl up in their humans’ laps for a good pat down and some always welcomed cuddles.

best cat breeds for apartments scottish fold
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8. Scottish Fold

  • Average weight: 6 to 14 pounds
  • Average height: 8 to 10 inches
  • Personality: Quiet, affectionate

Perfect for those apartments with thin walls, your neighbors will barely notice you have a cat if you have a Scottish Fold in your home. With a squat face, big round eyes and stocky build, these cuties will lavish in all those hugs you’ll be inclined to give because they are also affectionate. Scottish Folds have been known to pick up a few tricks so you may be able to teach them how to play fetch.

best cat breeds for apartments birman
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9. Birman

  • Average weight: 10 to 12 pounds
  • Average height: 8 to 10inches
  • Personality: Hyper-affectionate, sociable

Birmans are renowned lap cats, so as long you make your lap available for them to stretch out on, give them major belly rubs and hearty kisses, the size of your apartment shouldn’t really be a problem. These clingy kitties are also quite the social creatures and have a playful streak, so don’t be surprised if you see them playing chase with other pets in the home.

best cat breeds for apartments burmese
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10. Burmese

  • Average weight: 8 to 15 pounds
  • Average height: 9 to 13 inches
  • Personality: Sociable, playful

These gorgeous, short-coated, big-eyed felines have been known to win the hearts of even the staunchest dog lovers. Between their sweet disposition, playfulness, interactive nature and ability to play fetch and tag, it’s no wonder dog lovers gravitate towards them. Burmese cats are not major space mongers and will find entertainment in the day-to-day activities of your apartment.

best cat breeds for apartments british shorthair
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11. British Shorthair

  • Average weight: 7 to 17 pounds
  • Average height: 12 to 14 inches
  • Personality: Laid back, friendly

Like their American counterparts, British shorthairs prefer lounging than racing around the house. They’re quiet, laid back and will play with other cats and kids when they feel like it. They’re not too keen on being lap cats or being cuddled too much, but you’ll find them curled up next you, patiently waiting for that (occasional) affectionate rub.

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Stephanie Sengwe

Resident Hufflepuff, Beyonce historian, self-proclaimed tea sommelier

Steph is a native of Zimbabwe who is both enamored and genuinely baffled by the concept of silent letters. From 2020 to 2022, she served as Associate Editor at PureWow covering...
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