10 calmest cat breeds for relaxed pet parents

Maine Coon cat lying on a chair outside
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Selecting a kitty from amongst the calmest cat breeds is perfect if you're looking for a laid back and peaceful pal to join your family. While highly active and fiery felines will thrive in busy homes, chilled out cats will adapt beautifully to an environment where they can enjoy a slower pace of life. 

While ensuring you have plenty of the best cat toys and a quality kibble or wet food is important when adopting a cat, making sure you get the right cat is even more crucial. Many of us fall for the first feline we see, but taking your time and choosing a cat that's going to fit your personality, temperament and lifestyle will ensure you and your fur friend enjoy many happy years together. 

Although every cat has its own unique nature, many breeds have been deliberately bred to display fairly predictable personalities. With that in mind, we've rounded up our favorite calm kitties to help you find the right fur friend for you and your family. 

10 calmest cat breeds

1. Maine Coon

Maine Coon

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Maine Coons are considered the gentle giants of the feline world, as they can weigh up to 25 pounds! While they can be very playful and curious, they don't tend to be hyperactive. Most people report that Maine Coons are also fairly laidback. They are very people-oriented, and may follow you from room to room. 

2. British Shorthair 

A British Shorthair kitten lying down looking at camera

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British Shorthairs are a popular breed owing to their beautiful appearance and calm demeanor. They're famous for being very mellow and undemanding, and would rather sit right next to you than climb up into your lap. British Shorthairs are very calm and attentive, but they usually prefer to observe from afar, and can be quite lazy – you may have to encourage them to get active!

3. Himalayan 

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

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Himalayan cats are beautiful and calm cats that prefer quiet homes. The cats themselves are very quiet and easygoing, with many owners saying that they're incredibly sweet and affectionate, although they can be a bit picky about who gets their affection. While they can be energetic, they're often quiet and calm, making them the perfect companion for a Netflix binge. 

4. Ragdoll 

Ragdoll cat standing outside in amongst potted herbs

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Ragdolls are called Ragdolls for a reason: they're incredibly gentle and laidback, and will literally go floppy in your arms like a ragdoll. They're incredibly calm, and are considered some of the most docile cat breeds. Ragdolls are also very affectionate, making for great lap cats, and will probably follow you around, waiting for you to settle so they can snuggle. They will play fetch, and come when you call them, so they aren't just couch potatoes!

5. Birman

Birman cat

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Birmans are the sacred cat of Burma, and they're also one of the calmest cat breeds you'll encounter. They're incredibly adaptative, and don't need to be the only pet in the house – in fact, they love chasing dogs and other cats around. They can be playful, but they won't be too needy, and are incredibly patient and gentle. 

6. Persian 

Persian cat lying on hardwood floor looking at camera

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Persians are as cuddly as they are fluffy, and are widely considered to be a very chill
lap cat. The long-haired Persian loves to curl up with its owners for some cuddles and affection, and they tend to be very well-behaved. Persians are also very quiet, and don't really make a ton of noise. Overall, they're relaxed, laid-back, and not too clingy, even though they love affection. 

7. Japanese bobtail

japanese bobtail cat

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Japanese bobtails are one of the oldest breeds of domestic cats. They're incredibly good-natured and affectionate, but smart enough to learn tricks, and avid hunters. They adapt well to your routine, and will enjoy spending time with you, but aren't considered lap cats. Overall, Japanese bobtails make great companions with their calm and measured demeanor. 

8. Ragamuffin

Close up of Ragamuffin cat looking into the camera

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Ragamuffins are big and beautiful cats that are very calm and agreeable. They are very affectionate – some people consider Ragamuffins to be as cuddly as a teddy bear – so they make great family pets. They're intelligent, and can learn tricks, but also don't mind being carried around in your arms all day!

9. Exotic Shorthair 

Exotic shorthair

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The Exotic Shorthair is a rare breed that's a mix of Persians and American Shorthairs. Many people consider it the "lazy man's Persian", because they don't need nearly as much groomer thanks to their shorter coat. But just like Persians, Exotic Shorthairs are sweet, docile, and quiet. They love a good cuddle, and make great family pets because they're so affectionate, but are also happy to be left alone. 

10. Selkirk Rex 

Selkirk Rex

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A rare and fairly new cat breed, the Selkirk Rex is commonly referred to as a cat in sheep's clothing. They have curly soft hair, and a very gentle demeanor. They are incredibly relaxed and docile, which means they love to be held and cuddled with. As such, they're great with children. A Selkirk Rex can be a bit goofy and silly, but they don't tend to be hyperactive. They are incredibly social, however, and would prefer to be living with another pet if you'll be gone all day! 

Keen to find new ways to keep your fur friend entertained? Check out our guides on how to play with a cat and our favorite games for cats for plenty of inspiration and ideas.

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

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.