Best cats for apartments: Low maintenance cat breeds for city life

When living in an apartment, it can be hard to justify having one of these fluffy fellows. Which cat breeds are good for apartments, low maintenance, and okay indoors all the time? Let's take a look.

You need to get a good apartment cat breed if you don't have much space.
You need to get a good apartment cat breed if you don't have much space.  © Ruben Santos / Unsplash

Cats make adorable roommates and an excellent antidote to loneliness, but that doesn't mean adoption is always a good decision.

While it's often okay for domesticated cats to live entirely inside, what happens if you have a small apartment?

In this cat guide, TAG24 takes a look at some of the best cat breeds for apartments, diving into low maintenance cats and whether it's okay to keep them when living that city life.

Trying to get a good apartment cat? Here are a few tips

If you want to get a cat for your apartment, there are many concerns you may have. Ultimately, it's important to keep your kitty happy, and many will be miserable if kept permanently in a small, cramped indoor space. That doesn't mean it is impossible, though, as we are here to prove.

If you're thinking about getting a cat but live in an apartment, there are a few things you should consider:

  • Keeping a cat requires a lot of time, money, and patience.
  • If you are living in a tiny apartment, like a studio flat, then it might not be a good idea to get a cat.
  • You should only get a cat if you will have plenty of time to spend with it in the evenings, or if you work from home.
  • When buying your cat, you should check with the shelter or breeder whether it has already been allowed outside. If it has, then this cat will get very restless if confined to an apartment.
  • Whether a cat can or cannot be kept home alone depends on its character and socializing.
  • Cats will not adapt to their owners, and will take time to get used to changes in their lifestyle and surroundings. If your cat is stuck inside, then even a new piece of furniture counts as a significant change.
  • Cats are a long-time commitment and not a one-time gift or simply a cure for boredom.

Make your decision based on your personal circumstances. Be careful, but also recognize the wonderful things cat ownership will bring.

Best cat breeds for apartments

There are many cat breeds that suit apartment life. None of these options are perfect. Cats are naturally outdoor animals and will often try to escape and explore if cooped up inside. They'll get used to it with time, but you need to provide plenty of opportunities for your kitty to explore.

Indoor cat breeds are not generally known for being low maintenance, as they often substitute that need for exploration with an intense need for attention. You can expect bad behavior galore, insistent meowing, and a lot of cuddles.

Let's take a look at a few relatively good apartment cat breeds.

The cozy British Shorthair will need plenty of exercise, but can still be kept inside.
The cozy British Shorthair will need plenty of exercise, but can still be kept inside.  © Unsplash / Boris Debusscher

The British Shorthair is the best indoor cat for apartments

British Shorthairs are calm and loving family cats which always seek closeness with people. These adorable little buddies are great for families, but will get scared by strangers. Luckily, though, they are adaptable and flexible and will get used to changes.

Make sure to allow a British Shorthair plenty of opportunities for playing, climbing, and hiding. They are loving cats, but they can get rather restless if kept in a small space with nothing to do. Their adaptability is also an asset as they will get used to the apartment environment quickly – if you provide them with enough to do.

One of the best house cats is the Persian

Persian kitties are okay as apartment cats, but shouldn't be left alone too much.
Persian kitties are okay as apartment cats, but shouldn't be left alone too much.  © 123RF / Lufimorgan

The popular Persian cat is an ideal apartment cat as it has relatively low interest or need for the great outdoors. These velvet paws have a relaxed and chilled-out disposition, and are generally very balanced. They need a lot of affection, attention, and care, though, so be prepared.

One way in which you need to be prepared is in the maintenance of your apartment. Persian cats have been bred to have very short heads and depressed noses. This can cause respiratory problems, so you need to keep your home as free of dust and particles as possible. Don't let it get too dirty, or you could be the cause of a cat illness!

A Russian Blue is a good apartment cat

Russian Blues are very clever and can get bored pretty easily.
Russian Blues are very clever and can get bored pretty easily.  © Unsplash / Jelena Senicic

Russian Blues are one of the calmest cat breeds ever to grace this great green globe, making them perfect as apartment cats. While they are often quite temperamental as kittens, these intelligent kitties can be kept inside without many problems, as long as they are challenged by games and not made to feel lonely or without company.

This family-friendly cat will often seek closeness to its owners, and will likely try to slip under the covers with you. It's a great idea to pair them with another cat so that they have a friend. A playmate will make sure your Russian Blue is not restless, and that it has plenty of space to climb.

The Exotic Shorthair takes the ticket for low maintenance cats

Exotic Shorthairs are proud, people-oriented, and great for apartments.
Exotic Shorthairs are proud, people-oriented, and great for apartments.  © Unsplash / Dan Wayman

Exotic Shorthairs feel very comfortable and safe in apartments, and are often better kept as indoor cats. These little "Garfields" (yes, Garfield was supposed to be an Exotic Shorthair) love coziness, quiet, warmth, food, and chilling out with their humans.

They are perfect for families as they get along wonderfully with children and love attention. They don't need much, either, as they are relatively low-shed. But owners of Exotic Shorthairs must keep in mind that they also have rather short noses, and keep their home maintained accordingly.

Maltese Cats are some of the best house cats to own

Maltese cats are quiet and mellow animals that typically work well in apartment settings.
Maltese cats are quiet and mellow animals that typically work well in apartment settings.  © 123RF / Pfotenweltfoto

Maltese cats are affectionate apartment companions, requiring a lot of attention, play time, and cuddling. They are also okay to be left alone from time to time, and will do just fine when you are off at work. Feel free to keep them along with another kitty as well, as they tend to be docile.

This uncomplicated kitty can quickly adjust to new environments, and while not scared of the outdoors, they don't necessarily need adventures to be happy. Instead, simply provide plenty of climbing, lying, scratching, and sleeping opportunities in your apartment.

Interesting fact: Maltese cats often enjoy playing "catch," rather like dogs. Give it a go! If your Maltese enjoys this game, then you will have a lot of indoor fun ahead of you.

Sphinx cats are non-shedding and great for apartments

Sphinx cats need a lot of care and affection, but are okay to stay in an apartment.
Sphinx cats need a lot of care and affection, but are okay to stay in an apartment.  © Unsplash / Dustin Humes

The Sphinx isn't just an Egyptian icon, but also a fantastic apartment cat breed as well. They are generally furless, making them great for owners with allergies, and will prefer to be indoors due to their high level of sensitivity. In fact, we'd even go as far as to say that they are indoor-only kitties.

You will find that Sphinx cats require a lot of food, encounter many genetic issues and diseases, and are a rather controversial and rare apartment cat breed. All of their faults aside, they are loving and funny kitties that will happily live alongside you and your family, will show you affection, and will be a great addition to your inner-city household.

What are the worst apartment cats in the world?

Indoor cats may be in less danger, but contrary to popular belief, that does not mean that they live longer than outdoor cats. After all, the latter get an opportunity to explore, strengthen their bodies, and gain real-world experience that indoor cats may go 20 years without.

Indeed, many people are strangely against letting cats outside. While in many cases this can be fine, it can also be cruel and lonely to keep your pet inside if you do it the wrong way. These fluffy fellows can be just as happy indoors, or even in an apartment, but it needs to be done right.

For starters: You should get your indoor cat a partner and have two cats. This will give them companionship, allow them to grow alongside each other, play, and keep each other company when you are out of the house.

An indoor cat needs to have a balanced and docile personality, needs to be kept healthy, and can't be a cat that's already used to being outside.

Here are a few cat breeds that are certainly not suitable for keeping in an apartment:

  • Bengal cat
  • Maine Coon
  • Norwegian Forest cat
  • Savannah cat
  • Siamese cat

Getting a good apartment cat breed doesn't equate to getting a small cat, in the same way that you can't solve cat allergies by simply getting a non-shedding cat. Be careful with your choice, consult a vet, and make sure that you have the best chance for success.

Apartment cats are important for city life

It's true that keeping a cat in the city can be challenging, but that doesn't mean it isn't rewarding. Life in the city can be lonely, and your home may be less comfortable than you'd like. With a cat, your mood will be improved, you'll have something to look after, and your home will suddenly feel a lot more "homey."

On top of that, apartment cats will snuggle up close at night, give you a lot of attention and affection, and bring near constant joy to your life.

Cover photo: Ruben Santos / Unsplash

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