9 Easy-Going Cat Breeds
Feisty, standoffish and grumpy are just a few of the fun terms you may have heard to describe cats. The truth, however, is that there are plenty of breeds known to be laid back and easygoing.
“It’s important to note that any cat, pedigree or not, has the innate ability to be a super sweet, laid back kitty,” says Cheryl Hogan, a specialty judge with The International Cat Association. “Just remember that for every rule of thumb, there is a group that breaks those rules.”
If you’re looking for a cat to call your own and you’re interested in a breed that is generally known for its laid-back nature, check out the following breeds:
Known for their gentle personality, Hogan says any list of laid-back breeds must surely start with this one.
“They are a large and sturdy cat, but they adore kids and other pets,” she says.
Ragdolls are also relaxed and quiet, and can be very tolerant of being carried around. Their semi-long hair doesn’t require too much grooming, and they blend easily into any family household.
This established breed comes from Burma via France, and it looks a lot like the Ragdoll, but with some subtle differences.
“They tend to be a quiet cat, but love to engage in long conversations with their people,” says Hogan. “They will sit and listen to your day’s adventures with great interest.”
Birmans are relaxed and comfortable in a home with kids and other pets, or equally as happy in a less busy, quiet home.
“The Birman is a constant companion cat with a kind and sweet nature. They have a loving and playful disposition, and they enjoy sitting on your lap or being snuggled in your bed,” says Karen Lane, the Birman breed council secretary with The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA). “They love being the center of your attention.”
This shorthaired cat is medium in size and round, well muscled and compact. Convenient, says Hogan, since most Burmese cats have never met a lap they don’t like to curl up in.
“They are soft spoken and very sweet, but also playful, making them perfect for kids,” she adds. The breed is also quite social, so it’s not best to leave them alone for long periods of time.
Hogan calls the Tonkinese breed warm, loving, intelligent, playful and gregarious.
“This shorthaired breed is equally happy inventing new games of chase and fetch and running through the house as they are curled up in your lap, knowing your whole purpose in life is to adore them,” she says.
Tonkinese want to be a part of everything you do, and they will oversee all household activities.
Also known as the “gentle giant,” the Maine Coon is a semi-longhaired cat and is the largest of all the breeds. They’re also known for being very gentle mannered and affectionate.
“Intelligent and highly people oriented, the Maine Coon is relaxed and easy going in every area of its life,” says Hogan. “While not overly dependent or demanding, they do want to be with their family, and while not being a lap cat, they can often be found following you from room to room.”
Maine Coons are sometimes referred to as the “Golden Retrievers” of the cat world because of how family oriented they are, says Trudie Allen, the Maine Coon breed council secretary for the CFA.
“They are great family members getting along well with kids, dogs and various other domestic animals,” she says.
With unique ears that fold forward and down, Scottish Folds are quiet, loving cats with a clown-like personality, Hogan says.
“This is another breed that loves children. They are not terribly fond of being picked up, but you will seldom be without their company, as they patiently follow you throughout the house,” she says.
Scottish Folds might display quick bursts of running and playing, but in general, they’re very relaxed and laid back, and enjoy just waiting to keep their owners company.
A combination of the Persian and American Shorthair, Exotic cats are the epitome of laid back and loving, says Penni Richter, the Exotic breed council secretary for the CFA.
“Exotics fit into a family or single lifestyle very well,” she says. “They adapt to your schedule, and if you work away all day, they are at the door to greet you when you arrive home. If you spend your days working at home, they will greet you when you wake up, spend your quiet time with you, and nap away while you’re working around the house.”
The breed does have a fun, playful streak as well, and they enjoy a game of fetch, or just watching you while you work.
These plush, feline teddy bears want to be in the middle of their human family, says Cyndy Byrd, the British Shorthair breed council secretary for the CFA.
“They are even known to take ‘fake’ naps,” she says. “These naps seem to coincide with their humans’ movements during the day—a Brit will appear to be peacefully ‘napping,’ but the minute their people move to another room, the Brit is sure to follow closely behind.”
American Shorthairs are very patient cats and, unlike more demanding breeds, they will wait for their turn at a pat or to play with cat toys, says Charlene Munro, a longtime American Shorthair breeder.
“They are calm and friendly cats, and they want to be with you and spend some time in your lap, although not 24/7,” Munro says. “Although far from aloof, they are totally fine by themselves as well.”
Additionally, they make wonderful companions for other cats and dogs, and they’re good with children, too.