Low energy cat breeds are ideal if you're the sort of person who's looking for a feline friend that's more chill than chase. While all cats can make wonderful companions, different breeds behave in different ways, so knowing what sort of cat would best suit your lifestyle can go a long way in ensuring you and your kitty get on.
While even cat breeds with relaxed and calm temperaments require a daily dose of exercise in the form of time spent with a few of the best interactive cat toys, low-key breeds tend to be well suited to those who live in small apartments, parents who are very busy with small children, seniors looking for a lap cat companion, or anyone who simply enjoys the peace and quiet.
These cats, while still having moments of playfulness, tend to be happiest when snuggled up beside the ones they love. Or, if they are more active, they're content to play independently, freeing you up to do your own thing. So, without further ado, here are the best low energy cat breeds if you're after a laid-back and easy going companion.
Beautiful in both looks and temperament, the birman is without a doubt one of the most affectionate cat breeds, and their easy-going nature makes them wonderful companions for people of all ages. Once devoted friends to temple monks, this breed is sweet, loving, and most content when curled up on a warm lap.
Quite possibly the most recognized cat breed on the planet, the Persian takes their role of calm, devoted, and loving companion very seriously and is always up for a snuggle. They adore being fussed over, so the more pets and cuddles the better where this elegant beauty is concerned. Affectionate and quiet, the only thing high maintenance about them is their coat, which requires daily brushing to prevent tangles. Be sure to check out a vet's guide to brushing long-haired cats for advice on this.
An affectionate, go-with-the-flow cat that will go limp with pleasure in your arms whenever you pick them up for a cuddle, the ragdoll has a relaxed and friendly nature. Because they're so gentle, calm, and patient, they're ideal for homes with children, and while they crave human companionship, they're very undemanding.
4. British shorthair
A stocky cat with a teddy bear-like appearance, the British shorthair has long been one of the most popular breeds in the world — and it's not hard to see why. They have a friendly but no-nonsense personality and manage to be affectionate without being demanding and very smart without feeling the need to show off. While this breed loves attention, they're also wonderfully independent and love nothing more than a good snooze in the sunshine.
Named for being such big, lovable muffins, the ragamuffin wears a perpetually sweet expression on its face that's matched by its incredibly charming personality. Super affectionate and friendly, they adore physical touch and will happily soak up as much petting and strokes as they can get — whether it be from their humans or a stranger passing by! They have a tendency towards laziness, so we recommend investing in a few of the best automated cat toys to encourage them to exercise.
6. Selkirk Rex
A gorgeous cat with a tousled coat, the loving and laid-back selkirk rex has a warm temperament and gets on beautifully with just about everyone. They are highly affectionate and have a curious and upbeat disposition that makes them a joy to have in the home. However, unlike other members of the rex family, they are delightfully easygoing and will love curling up on your lap for a cuddle.
7. Exotic shorthair
A cross between the Persian and the American shorthair, this sweet-natured feline lights up every room they're in thanks to their warm and loving personality. While they do have a playful side, they definitely won't you ragged as they tend to love one-on-one time with lots of cuddles. Affectionate, loyal, and laid-back, the exotic shorthair is a quiet breed that will lavish you with attention.
8. Siberian forest cat
A truly breathtaking breed with a rugged appearance, the Siberian forest cat is a big fluff ball full of contradictions. While it takes them a long time to mature, both physically and emotionally (they retain their kitten-like behavior until around five years of age), in between short bursts of energy, they tend to be very mellow and quiet. Sweet-natured, gentle, and hugely affectionate, these cuddly lap cats love snuggling with their humans.
9. Maine coon
The gentle giant of the cat world, the Maine coon may look like a kitty that needs to be on the go all the time, but for the most part, these huge softies are perfectly content chilling out with their humans. They expect to be part of the family (so if you're big on personal space, you'll want to steer clear) and are very kind and patient with children. This breed is also highly intelligent, so having one of the best cat puzzle feeders around will be something they appreciate.
10. Russian blue
An intuitive and devoted cat that's known for its loyalty, the Russian blue is a sweet feline that loves quietly following its owner around the house and greeting them at the door whenever they've been out for the day. Cautious and shy with strangers, this sensitive little kitty adores being on the lap of the person it loves most in the world, but their independent streak means they're also comfortable with being left alone.
The chartreux is known for its quiet and undemanding demeanor, so if you're looking for a sweetly silent feline friend with a calm and independent nature, this breed is well worth considering. While they love their humans and appreciate your attention, they're not ones to make a fuss and are perfectly content to amuse themselves or observe family life from the sidelines.
A cross between the Persian and the Siamese, the Himalayan has the best traits of both cats with the face and body of a Persian and the coloring of a Siamese. Gentle and sedate, but far from boring, they're very attuned to their owners and make for very devoted companions. The Himalayan adores attention and affection, and while they like short play sessions with the best cat toys, they're very happy to settle down for a long nap beside you.
13. Scottish fold
A charming breed that's incredibly easy to live with, the good-tempered and sweet-natured Scottish fold thrives on human interaction and yet they're completely undemanding. A low-maintenance kitty with an easygoing disposition, they're very affectionate cats with soft voices. Happy-go-lucky, they like being where their people are and they're super smart, so the answer to can you train a cat is a definite yes with this breed!
A cross between the chinchilla Persian and the Burmese, the burmilla is a friendly little feline who loves being a part of the family. With a super soft coat and striking green eyes, they get along famously with people of all ages and stages. Gentle, laid-back, and loyal, they adore lounging around on a warm lap but are independent enough that they don't need constant entertaining.
They may not be the prettiest cat breed in the world, but what the sphynx lacks in looks it makes up for in personality. A hairless feline known for their goofy natures, their lack of fur means they're always up for a cuddle — we like to think that's because they love us so much but we have a feeling it's at least partly to stay warm! Either way, they make excellent snuggle buddies and they are exceptionally friendly and loving.
16. American shorthair
A robust and companionable kitty with a sweet rounded face and short ears, the American shorthair is affectionate, intelligent, and low-maintenance. Quite happy to be carted around the house by young humans, they are patient, docile, and easygoing, and while they love attention, they're very quiet and undemanding.
When you think of low energy cat breeds that will let you relax, the bengal isn't exactly the first feline that springs to mind. But bear with us! Yes, this is without a doubt an active cat, however, as long as you provide them with plenty of climbing spots and toys to play with, they'll be quite content to get on with things. Sweet, soft, and gentle, if you learn how to leash train a cat, your curious and adventurous bengal will certainly thank you for it.
A medium-sized cat with a robust build, the korat hails from Thailand and has a silver-tipped, blue-grey coat. Intelligent and loving lap cats who form strong bonds with their humans, this breed has a thoughtful nature and is very laid-back. While they enjoy playing and being active, they're equally content to curl up on a comfortable lap and while they do best in homes with other korats, as long as they're properly socialized and you know how to keep the peace in a multi-cat household, they should mix well with other felines.
The chantilly also known as the Tiffany is a rare breed that has come close to extinction on more than one occasion — which would be such a shame as they make the most devoted companions. Gentle, sweet, and devoted to their humans, they use adorable chirping noises to communicate and are very people-orientated.
20. Norwegian forest cat
An absolute beauty to behold, the large and fluffy Norwegian forest cat has a kind, calm, and gentle temperament that has made them popular around the world — although they are particularly revered in their home country of Norway. They require a lot of grooming so having one of the best cat brushes will come in handy. If you don't mind dealing with all that fur on a daily basis, this affectionate and undemanding kitty will reward you by being the most loving of companions.
A longer-haired version of the manx, the cymric is the most placid of cats. Very little upsets this breed, making them an absolute joy to have in the home. Friendly, sociable, and with huge hearts, they love giving and receiving affection, and because they're so easygoing, adaptable, and flexible, they're great for almost any living situation — including families and people who have other pets.
A hybrid of the Persian and the munchkin, the minuet (also known as the Napoleon) is a new breed with a charming personality. People-orientated, they thrive on human companionship and are hugely affectionate. Known for being glued to the lap of their owner, they make exceptional family pets thanks to their outstanding temperament and because they're so relaxed, they're fantastic with young children.
With all the best traits of the Siamese and the American shorthair, the gorgeous snowshoe adores people and gets on well with absolutely everyone — including other pets. Devoted to their humans, they thrive on affection and attention and are never happier than when in the company of those they love. Deeply social, separation anxiety in cats is a real issue with this breed, so we recommend them for living situations where there's always someone home to keep them company.
Known for their missing tail (the result of a natural genetic mutation that shortens it), the manx is well known for their sweet and unassuming disposition. Gentle and easygoing cats that have a strong independent streak, are very undemanding and quite happy to make their own fun if their people are occupied with other things. Placid and even-tempered, the manx has a fantastic personality and gets on famously with everyone.
25. American wirehair
Calm, intelligent and affectionate, the American wirehair is a true companion breed. With their adorable crimped coat and loving and easygoing temperament, it's hard not to be completely besotted with them. Laid-back, mellow, and able to get along with everyone, they are very chilled. Since they have a nice independent streak, they'll be quite content to occupy themselves when you're out and about.
Looking like it's wandered straight out of the jungle, the occicat looks like a big wild cat but don't let that fool you — these friendly, dog-like kitties adore a good snuggle and will happily curl up on your lap. While they are very accepting of all family members (including other pets) they tend to choose one person to form a deep bond with and will follow them about wherever they go.
27. Exotic longhair
Part of the Persian family, the exotic longhair is known for its sweet flat face, big eyes, and fat cheeks, and just like the Persian, they require a lot of grooming daily to stop their coats from getting matted and tangled. But, if you don't mind that, the exotic longhair is the most wonderfully calm, quiet, and gentle cat who's very relaxed and never happier than when they're snuggled up with their chosen human.
First things first — the Abyssinian is not a low-energy cat breed, however, they are very independent, and as long as you set your home up with plenty of spaces for them to climb and toys to play with, you'll find they're quite happy to let you chill while they explore. You'll also be delighted to discover that the Abyssinian is very quiet and highly affectionate, and despite their active natures, they're very low-maintenance.
29. Havana brown
With a name like Havana brown, you'd be forgiven for thinking this kitty hails from Cuba, but they originated in England of all places! While they have a playful side, they're perfectly content to fly solo on that front and tend to be a breed that enjoys their own company — although they will attach strongly to one person and remain loyal and devoted to them throughout their life.
A curious cat that loves watching the world go by, the Bombay's favorite spot is a window where they can spend hours sitting enjoying all that's happening in the great outdoors. They are very adaptable cats and highly affectionate, and they're well known for jumping on a lap and spreading themselves out across a newspaper or laptop — which means chilling out when you have a Bombay in your family is pretty much compulsory.
31. European shorthair
An adaptable, people-pleasing cat that does well in all living situations, the European shorthair is very low-maintenance and easy to keep happy, so they're a lovely companion to have about. Tolerant, friendly and intelligent, this kitty is super devoted to those they love and are known for forming strong attachments.
32. German longhair
The German longhair looks very similar to the Siberian forest cat with its muscular frame and abundance of fur, but they're more closely related to the Persian. They are very even-tempered and friendly and are known for their calm, sociable and balanced personality.
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Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.