10 best cats for apartments

best cats for apartments
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you’re looking for a friendly feline that will be happy with the size of your place, look no further than this list of the best cats for apartments. Cats may not take up much room, but not all of them are well-suited to living in a smaller space. For most breeds, as long as you make sure you’re giving them enough attention and that they’re mentally and physically stimulated, they’ll thrive. 

You’ll want to ensure they get plenty of interactive play and that they have lots of places for climbing and scratching. However, if you’ve got a highly intelligent or demanding cat, they will probably need a bigger living area. Your best option is to choose a laidback cat with a calm and friendly temperament that doesn’t need to be fussed over 24/7. Here’s just some of your choices.  

1. American Shorthair 

american shorthair cat

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The American Shorthair is a medium sized cat that doesn’t need too much room as long as you are by their side. This affectionate cat likes to be around people so while they’ll be happy in an apartment, they’ll want you at home with them. They’re not overly clingy, however. 

While they like to play, this breed can also entertain itself. They’re also less vocal than other cats, making them ideal for neighbouring flats. Flat-dwelling American Shorthairs will need a healthy diet as they are prone to obesity if they don’t get enough exercise and they’ll also need regular grooming to avoid too much shedding. 

2. Birman 

birman cat

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A typical lap cat, the Birman loves nothing more than to sit on your lap and cuddle you. This needy breed doesn’t need space to roam, as long as it’s with its owner. Birmans are social and like to play, especially chase. 

They’re intelligent cats so it’s important to make sure they have interactive toys. They won’t shed a lot or make too much noise as they’re calm and softly spoken, which makes them ideal for living in an apartment. 

3. British Shorthair 

British Shorthair in long grass

(Image credit: Getty Images)

While the British Shorthair also likes lazing around, this breed is not a lap cat.  They will however sit by your side affectionately waiting to be stroked. They’re more than happy to live in a flat as they’re very independent and are content spending most of their time by themselves. 

This cat is sweet, easygoing and happy to adapt. They are also quiet cats, but will need weekly brushing to keep your apartment free from too much hair. 

4. Burmese

burmese cat

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Burmese is another breed that craves the constant companionship of its humans. This friendly and social cat gets along with everyone including kids and dogs. They love to cuddle and play and will be happy in a smaller space as long as they’re getting enough of your attention. The Burmese is athletic however so as well as lots of love, make sure they have posts or cat trees to jump up and perch on.  

5. Exotic Shorthair 

exotic shorthair

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Known as the lazy man’s Persian, the Exotic Shorthair is similar to the Persian, but without as much fur and shedding. This breed is quiet and calm so it is well-suited for life in an apartment as it won’t disturb the neighbours. 

The Exotic Shorthair is an affectionate cat and loves nothing more than sleeping curled up on your lap or a cushion, but they do like a moderate amount of activity so make sure they have a choice of toys to keep them stimulated.  

6. Maine Coon 

Maine Coon

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Nicknamed the ‘gentle giants’ of the cat world, the Maine Coon is a friendly and sociable cat. This breed is large so you may think that they would be better suited to a bigger living space; however they’re super laidback and enjoy lying around. 

While they are social cats and they get on with children and other pets, they won’t demand too much of your time. Just make sure they have lots of toys to play with if they’re left alone.  

7. Persian 

Persian cat lying on hardwood floor looking at camera

(Image credit: Getty Images)

 Sometimes referred to as ‘furniture with fur’, this is one breed that you won’t have to worry about having in an apartment as they often sleep for most of the day so they don’t need lots of space. 

Persians are gentle-natured and calm. They are happy to sit on your lap for a cuddle, but also like to play. They’re not big jumpers or climbers so you don’t have to worry about cat trees and they’ll go with the flow if left alone. However this breed does need regular grooming.  

8. Ragdoll 

Ragdoll cat standing outside in amongst potted herbs

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Ragdoll is another large breed that you wouldn’t expect to enjoy a smaller size place, but this laidback, gentle cat is quite content without much room. As its name implies, just like a rag doll it loves to relax like a doll in your arms. 

If not enjoying cuddles on your lap, the sociable cat will spend its time following you around. They get on well with everyone – even dogs. Ragdolls will need to be groomed twice a week but they won’t shed much.

9. Russian Blue 

Russian Blue

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Known for its blue/grey coat, the Russian Blue is a smallish, quiet cat that doesn’t shed too much, making it perfect for apartment-living. They are affectionate, but not clingy or demanding.

 This calm and loving cat tends to bond with one human and avoid strangers. The Russian Blue will happily spend some of the day alone but they like to play and climb too as they still have their hunting instincts.   

10. Sphynx 

Sphynx cat

(Image credit: Getty Images)

While the Sphynx is a highly intelligent breed, they can be kept in a flat if you provide them with enough attention, as well as physical and mental stimulation. This cat may be small, but they have lots of energy and will enjoy leaping up on and climbing furniture so it’s a good idea to have a cat tree for them. 

The most noticeable feature of this cat is the fact that it’s hairless, which means there won’t be a lot of sweeping up to do in a small apartment. You will however need to clean their skin regularly to avoid oil build up.

Not every cat is suited to apartment living 

While these cats are ready for you to adopt them and take them to their new flat, there are some breeds that won’t take kindly to smaller spaces. 

The Bengal has too much energy for a flat, the Siberian needs space for adventures and the Siamese is very vocal – something your neighbours might not love. Other breeds to avoid for apartment living include the Abyssinian, Balinese and Savannah. 

Zara Gaspar
Zara is Editor on bookazines and covers a range of topics from cookery to travel and animals. Her latest first edition, What Your Dog Wants You To Know, is the ultimate guide to understanding your dog’s body language.  Former editor of World of Animals magazine, she has over 8 years of experience in publishing inspiring children and adults about the wonders of the animal kingdom as well as teaching them about their pets. She also has over 5 years experience working with vets, wildlife experts and animal behaviourists in her comms roles for various animal charities.  A keen animal lover, Zara can often be found researching her next wildlife destination to travel to. Having just moved into a bigger house she is currently looking at which dog and cats breed would suit her new family so she can fill her house with pets.