Cats as a whole aren't generally a go-getter type of animal. Give them a sunbeam-lit spot on the floor or a cozy section of the couch, and most of the time, they're content to settle in for a nap session. Still, there are certain cat breeds that are known for being lazy, even by feline standards, and that's something to keep in mind if you're looking to bring a new fur companion into the family.
"As far as cats go, damn near every one of them is lazy, in my opinion!" jokes veterinarian Jodi Holcomb Oliver, DVM, owner of the Traveling Paws, LLC, veterinary service in Sabillasville, MD. "Breeds have been developed to produce cats with a variety of traits, and that includes their activity level," adds Jennifer Coates, DVM, vet expert for the pet supply company Chewy.
Some specific cat breeds are more playful and high-energy than others. These are great for owners who have lots of time to devote to playing with their pet and who don't mind a cat who loves to climb, explore, and follow its people around everywhere. Other families, on the other hand, may find that a mellower and less active kitty is a better fit for their household; a rambunctious cat might pose a tripping hazard for an elderly relative, or intimidate a shy child. A low-energy cat is also nice for working parents, or for anyone who wants a lot of cuddle time with their pet.
The three cat breeds below are among those cited by our vet experts as being the most laid-back. "Of course, individuality also plays a role, so a particular cat from a traditionally active breed might be quite sedentary, and vice versa," says Dr. Coates. As with any pet, take some time to talk to the breeder or shelter about your family's lifestyle and preferences to make sure you're getting the cat that's right for you.
Both Drs. Oliver and Coates rank this beautiful breed among the top low-energy cats out there. It's a sweet-natured pet who prefers sitting in a lap to roaming and climbing, according to Vetstreet. "In my experience, the cats that tend to be the least active are the brachycephalic, or flat-faced, breeds like Persians, Himalayans, Exotic Shorthairs, and British Shorthairs," says Dr. Coates. "This may be true, in part, because they often have breathing problems that preclude lots of activity." Prospective owners should also keep in mind that the Persian's gorgeous coat needs daily grooming to prevent matting. And, as mentioned earlier, each cat is different even within a breed. "My mom had a Persian with tons of personality!" says Dr. Oliver.
With its striking bluish-gray coat and large appearance, the Russian Blue is hard to miss. And why would you want to miss such a pleasant member of the family? Dr. Oliver calls this breed "among the top" of the lazy kitties, because it doesn't mind lying about when its people are away, and will chatter a greeting and a request for a quiet petting session when you're home. This breed may also be good for families with cat allergies, according to Hill's Pet; it not only sheds less than other breeds, but also produces less of the allergen that typically causes respiratory trouble in humans.
Small wonder that both vets named this breed as great for families looking for low-energy cats. True to its name, the Ragdoll is so mellow that it actually goes limp when picked up. Like any cat, it needs at least a little daily playtime; PetMD noted that this breed can even be trained to walk on a leash. But once the workout is over, the Ragdoll is typically happy just to curl up next to the people it loves.
Getting honorable mention from our vet experts: the Maine Coon, Selkirk Rex, and Ragamuffin cat breeds are also easygoing and make excellent companions for a laid-back household.