10 calmest cat breeds for relaxed pet parents

calmest cat breeds
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The calmest cat breeds are the perfect match for an owner looking to chill with their feline friend. Whether it's hanging out on the couch or cuddling in bed, these cats typically have laidback temperaments. 

As you may know, cats spend a good chunk of their day sleeping. However, many cats like to get a little wild while they're awake, running around the house, scratching things (hopefully scratching posts and not your furniture), and vocalizing. After all, cats are naturally playful, and they need to expel their energy during their waking hours.

Keep in mind that all cats are different; you may find that a stereotypically calm cat isn't as calm as you'd expect, or that your regular shelter cat is a total couch potato. We encourage you to look into adopting a kitten or senior cat instead of buying a cat from a breeder, but recognize that many of the calmest cat breeds featured on this list are also some of the rarest cat breeds. With that in mind, do remember you can still get a sweet laidback domestic shorthair from your local shelter; with plenty of love and care, any cat can become a lovely life long companion. 

If you're looking for your next friend, be sure to explore our guide to playful cat breeds too, or our affectionate cat breeds, the latter of which share quite a few breeds with this list below.

PetsRadar's pick of the 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 

One of the rarest cat breeds, 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

friendliest cat breeds: 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 

friendliest cat breeds: 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! 

Friend for life 

This list may help you choose the best cat for you, but a cat's demeanor will always vary based on the individual animal. Talk to a shelter before bringing a cat into your home, and do your research to make sure it's the best fit for you. All cats are different, and have a variety of personalities, but it's up to you to make sure they can have the best life possible in your home. Treat your cat with love and take care of them, and they'll show you some love in return. 


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