Skip to Content

What is the best indoor house cat?

What is the best indoor house cat?

As an SEO writer assistant, I will begin this article by answering some quick questions about the best cats for indoor living in the opening paragraphs. The most important factors when choosing an indoor cat are typically temperament, energy level, grooming needs, health issues, and compatibility with children and other pets. Some of the most popular breeds for indoor cats include the Siamese, Ragdoll, Persian, Sphynx, and British Shorthair. In terms of temperament, laidback and affectionate cats often make the best indoor pets as they crave human interaction and are happy to lounge around the house. Lower energy cats are also preferable as high energy breeds can become bored and destructive when kept strictly indoors. For those with allergies or who want a low maintenance cat, hairless or short-haired breeds like the Sphynx and British Shorthair shed less and require less grooming. Overall, defining the “best” indoor cat depends largely on an owner’s lifestyle and preferences. But by understanding general breed traits, cat owners can make an informed decision when choosing an indoor feline companion.

Ideal Temperament and Personality

When considering personality, ideal indoor cats tend to be those that bond strongly with their owners and enjoy affection and attention. Breeds like the Ragdoll and Persian are known for being calm, gentle and taking quickly to indoor environments. Here is a comparison of some popular breeds and their general temperaments:

Breed Temperament
Siamese Affectionate, social, vocal
Ragdoll Docile, relaxed, enjoys human interaction
Persian Calm, laidback, gentle
Sphynx Social, curious, stubborn
British Shorthair Easygoing, quiet, tolerant

As shown, breeds like the Ragdoll and Persian are known for being mellow and docile compared to more active breeds. They enjoy lounging around the house and make for ideal low-maintenance indoor companions. The social and vocal Siamese also thrives indoors with proper human interaction. Overall, indoor cats should have an easygoing but friendly personality.

Ideal Energy Level

Along with temperament, a cat’s energy level is key when choosing an indoor pet. High energy cats like Bengal cats and Savannah cats require lots of stimulation and activity. They can become restless or destructive if confined inside without outlets to expend their energy. On the other hand, low energy cats are perfectly content lounging around the house and taking occasional naps. Here are some breeds ranked from low to high energy:

Breed Energy Level
Persian Low
Ragdoll Low
Siamese Moderate
Sphynx Moderate
Bengal High
Savannah High

The Persian and Ragdoll are known as two of the lowest energy cat breeds, perfect for a peaceful indoor lifestyle. Moderately active breeds like the Siamese and Sphynx can do well indoors with proper enrichment and playtime. But high energy Bengal and Savannah cats may become destructive or anxious if confined to an apartment or house full time. Opting for a lower energy cat is ideal for strictly indoor living.

Grooming and Shedding

One practical concern for indoor cats is shedding and grooming needs. Long-haired cats like Persians require daily brushing to prevent mats and tangles. The Sphynx and other hairless breeds are ideal for those with allergies, as they produce less dander. Here is how some popular indoor cat breeds compare regarding shedding and grooming:

Breed Grooming Needs Shedding Level
Siamese Medium Medium
Persian High High
Ragdoll Medium Medium
Sphynx Low Low
British Shorthair Low Low

While the Persian has a lovely coat, it requires significant upkeep with daily brushing and is a heavy shedder. Low shedding breeds like the Sphynx and British Shorthair require little grooming and are less problematic for indoor allergies. So those wanting a low maintenance indoor cat may favor a short-haired breed that doesn’t require frequent brushing or trimming.

Health Issues

Health problems are another concern, as indoor cats don’t get as much exercise and sunlight. Brachycephalic (flat-faced) breeds like Persians are prone to dental issues and respiratory problems. The Sphynx can be susceptible to heart disease. Any breed can suffer obesity or arthritis if activity levels are too low. Here are a few common health issues seen in popular indoor cat breeds:

Breed Health Issues
Siamese Asthma, crossed eyes, heart defects
Persian Breathing difficulties, teary eyes, dental disease
Ragdoll Floppy Ragdoll Syndrome
Sphynx Heart disease, urinary tract issues
British Shorthair Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

No breed is completely free of health problems. But picking a breed less prone to obesity, joint issues, breathing difficulties, and heart disease can promote better health for indoor living. Proper diet, enrichment, and vet care are also essential for any indoor cat.

Compatibility with Other Pets

Those with children or existing pets should ensure their indoor cat has a compatible personality. Playful breeds like British Shorthairs often enjoy living with cat-friendly dogs. But antisocial or skittish cats may become stressed sharing an indoor space. Here are some breeds and their general compatibility with children and other pets when kept indoors together:

Breed Compatibility
Siamese Good with kids but may fight with other pets
Persian Prefers a calm environment, gentle with kids
Ragdoll Very tolerant of children and other animals
Sphynx Tolerates kids but can be independent
British Shorthair Good with kids and likes other pets

Breeds like the tolerant Ragdoll and easygoing British Shorthair readily accept children and other household pets. Outgoing Siamese thrive with kids but may fight with cats and small pets they view as rivals. Calm breeds like Persians and independent breeds like Sphynxes are often content keeping to themselves. Prioritizing an indoor cat with a personality that meshes well with the whole family is key.

Ideal Living Spaces

The ideal living space for an indoor cat depends on the breed and individual personality. Active and intelligent breeds appreciate multi-level homes with cat towers, perches, tunnels, and toys that allow climbing and mental stimulation. Shy cats need hiding spots and cozy corners. Talkative breeds enjoy rooms where they can interact with the family. Access to a window for bird watching can provide important environmental enrichment for indoor cats. Here are some living spaces tailored to popular indoor breeds:

Breed Ideal Living Spaces
Siamese Active household with conversation and playtime
Persian Calm home with soft beds and hiding spots
Ragdoll Relaxed home with access to couches and laps
Sphynx Climate controlled space they can freely explore
British Shorthair Multi-level home with toys and cat trees

Owners should tailor their space to an indoor cat’s personality. But access to perches, toys, and windows generally enriches any indoor cat’s environment. Providing activities that mimic hunting, foraging, and climbing promotes good physical and mental health.

Feeding Tips

Diet is vital for indoor cats, as lack of exercise can lead to obesity. Measuring food portions rather than free feeding helps control calorie intake. Wet and raw foods with high protein and moisture content can prevent urinary tract diseases common in indoor cats. Supplements mimicking outdoor grazing on plants, like cat grass, can also aid digestive health. Here are some diet tips for common indoor breeds:

Breed Diet Tips
Siamese Feed frequent small meals due to high metabolism
Persian Avoid overfeeding; prone to weight gain
Ragdoll Free-feed dry food due to laidback nature
Sphynx High protein diet supports muscle mass
British Shorthair Monitor portions to prevent obesity

Portion control, wet food, and plant supplements help keep indoor cats healthy without outdoor exercise. Tailoring the diet to the breed’s activity level and health tendencies optimizes nutrition.

Enrichment Tips

Physical and mental exercise are essential for indoor cats. Cat towers, scratching posts, and interactive toys provide important enrichment. Puzzle feeders that make cats “hunt” for meals mimic foraging. Here are some enrichment ideas tailored to popular breeds:

Breed Enrichment Tips
Siamese Chatty toys, puzzle feeders, feather wands
Persian Low-placed food bowls, gentle toys, catnip
Ragdoll Floor level scratching posts, hanging bird feeders
Sphynx Heated beds, crinkle toys, tunnels
British Shorthair Cat trees, food balls, interactive toys

Unique forms of exercise and mental stimulation tailored to each breed keeps indoor cats active and engaged. A properly enriched environment is key to behavioral health.


The ideal indoor cat depends on individual lifestyle factors and preferences. But low-maintenance breeds with friendly, mellow personalities often thrive best indoors. Providing a stimulating environment enriched with climbing structures, puzzle toys, and window access promotes health and happiness. With proper care, breeds like the Persian, Ragdoll, and British Shorthair that enjoy lounging and human companionship can live full, content lives as indoor-only cats. While no breed is 100% perfect, picking a cat tailored to the home and family can lead to wonderful indoor companionship.