10 best indoor cat breeds: Friendly felines who want to stay close

Persian cat, one of the best indoor cat breeds
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Researching the best indoor cat breeds is well worth taking the time to do if you’re after a feline friend who will be content to spend their days watching the world go by from the windowsill, curling up beside you on the couch and happily munching away on the best dry cat food

When it comes to indoor vs outdoor cats, more and more pet parents are choosing to opt for the former - and for good reason. Indoor cats have an average lifespan of between 10-15 years, whereas outdoor cats, who are exposed to the risks presented by traffic, disease and wild animals, tend to live up to five years. 

While it’s true that outdoor cats do get more sunshine and exercise, as long as you provide your feline friend with plenty of physical and mental enrichment, they’re likely to live longer and experience greater levels of health and wellbeing than their outdoor-dwelling brothers and sisters. 

Below, you’ll find our favorite indoor cat breeds, from the affectionate Sphynx who has a reputation for attaching to its humans like velcro to the sweet-natured Ragdoll who loves nothing more than a good cuddle. Ready to find the purr-fect feline for your family? Let’s take a look….

1. Sphynx

Sphynx cat peeking out from blanket

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The hairless Sphynx may not look like the cuddliest cat, but believe it or not, it's one of the most affectionate cat breeds and has been nicknamed the ‘velcro cat’ because of how it sticks to its owner’s lap. Sphynx cats are friendly and sociable. They love to play, but are just as happy to relax and stay indoors. Plus, it’s better for them as this cat has sensitive skin that doesn’t do well outdoors. They need to be bathed at least once a week so oils do not build up.

2. Ragdoll

Ragdoll cat

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If you’ve not owned a cat before, the Ragdoll is one of the best cat breeds for first-time owners. Just like their name implies, like dolls, this long-haired breed makes for sweet-natured and loving cats that enjoy cuddles. They’re much more suited to life indoors as they’re gentle and not savvy, streetwise cats. Plus they’re pretty low maintenance, so they're easy to look after inside. Just make sure you brush their coat at least twice a week

3. Scottish Fold

Scottish Fold rolling on their side on floor

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With its signature folded ears and yellow/orange eyes, the Scottish Fold is not only adorable, but a loveable, playful pet. This cat loves to be around people, which makes them good indoor cats. They’re great with kids and other cats, but also happy to be the only cat in the house. While they are curious cats and can often be found exploring your cupboards (so be careful to store things away), they’re also happy to laze around all day on the couch as long as they have company. 

4. Himalayan

Close up of Himalayan cat with blue eyes lying down and looking at the camera

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The Himalayan is descended from the Siamese and Persian breeds and has the best characteristics of both. They are sociable, talkative and playful like the Siamese and calm and gentle like the Persian. These cats are loyal and affectionate so as long as you’re giving them lots of attention they’ll be happy to stay indoors whether it’s playing or relaxing. They will need daily grooming to ensure their soft coat isn’t matted and bathing about once a month. 

5. Devon Rex

Devon Rex

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Known as the ‘pixie of the cat world’, this mischievous cat makes for a wonderful companion or friend for your kids. They’re loyal, loving and lots of fun. The Devon Rex breed is intelligent so, while they’re happy to be indoors, they’ll need lots of mental and physical stimulation. The playful cats like to jump and play hunt, so make sure they have cat trees and interactive toys. They have lots of energy, so they’ll need the space to exercise if they’re not outdoors. 

6. Siamese

A siamese cat outdoors

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While Disney’s Lady and the Tramp may have given this breed a negative reputation, Siamese cats are actually one of the friendliest cat breeds. These highly intelligent cats are super vocal and chatty. They love to be around their owner and will happily follow you around all day. Siamese love to play so they’ll need lots of interactive toys and they’ll enjoy cuddling too. Just make sure to keep them entertained. The only thing you can’t do is leave them alone for long periods of time. 

7. Burmese

Burmese cat

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If you don’t like cats, this friendly breed will change your mind. They make great indoor cats as they love people and want to get involved with everything that you do. They are kind and affectionate, but not clingy. The sociable cat loves to play, jump and climb so it’s a good idea to have cat trees or perches. As they get older they’ll enjoy lazing around in the sun instead. Thanks to their short and silky coats, Burmese cats are also low maintenance. 

8. Persian

Persian cat lying on hardwood floor looking at camera

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The Persian cat is a quiet, gentle cat that wants nothing more than to relax and be pampered. They are not known for being very active and instead enjoy cuddles and being spoiled. The more love and attention you give them, the more affectionate they become. This breed likes a quiet environment and will need some time to warm up to you, but after this you’ll have a loving companion. They also need daily grooming for their long, thick fur.

9. British Shorthair

British Shorthair in long grass

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The British Shorthair is a laidback, easygoing cat that will be content to be kept indoors as long as you play with them and make sure they’re getting enough mental and physical stimulation. These gentle giants are friendly and affectionate, which makes them great companions but they aren’t overly needy or demanding as they like their independence as well. Because of their short hair they’re easy to look after too and won’t need too much grooming. 

10. Russian Blue

Close up of Russian Blue cat crouching on the floor looking ready to pounce

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This beautiful cat with its blue eyes and soft, grey coat makes for a loving indoor companion. They’re not overly active and quiet, but still inquisitive. They’ll follow you around the house and want to help with whatever you are doing. Russian Blues are intelligent cats so they’ll need lots of stimulation. They enjoy jumping so make sure they have a cat tree or high up posts to get to. You’ll enjoy plenty of cuddles with this breed. 

Outdoor cats

There are lots of choices for indoor cats, but a few breeds you may want to let roam. Cat breeds that like water, for example, like the Norwegian Forest cat, will want to explore and go fishing with you, Bengals are like little leopards and will want to be wild outside and the Abyssinian will enjoy climbing trees so these are not breeds you want to keep inside. Whether they’re indoors or out, the important thing is to choose a breed that suits both your and their lifestyle. 

Looking for tips on how to ensure your indoor-dwelling feline friend stays happy and healthy? Then be sure to check out the nine reasons to use a cat puzzle feeder toy, written by our expert vet. You might also enjoy our guide to how to entertain indoor cats.

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.