The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association's 2009-10 Pet Owners Survey reports that there are approximately 93.6 million cats living in US households, while there are only about 77.5 million dogs. Part of the reason cats have overtaken dogs in the house pet popularity contest is that cats adapt more easily to indoor life and can cope better with their humans' busy lifestyles. However, some cats still make for better apartment housemates than others.
The Apartment-Friendly Personality
When choosing a feline roommate, look for the following temperament traits:
- Adaptable, easygoing disposition
- Doesn't need to be highly active to be happy
- Can tolerate being alone for up to eight hours at a time (particularly if you work or are away a lot during the day)
- Not overly territorial
Be sure to take your lifestyle into account when selecting a cat, too. If you plan to entertain a lot, be sure your cat will be able to tolerate --or even enjoy-- other people and the potential noise and chaos of parties (even a sedate dinner party is chaotic as far as some cats are concerned).
Below is a list of several breeds that are known to be good companions for apartment dwellers. Of course, personalities and temperaments will vary somewhat within each breed, so be sure to talk to your breeder to ensure that your feline friend will be a good fit for your living situation.
The British Shorthair is particularly known for its ability to adapt well to apartment life. Quiet and friendly with its owner, this hardy breed is also a good fit for first-time cat owners. If you want a lap cat, this breed is for you.
The easygoing and affectionate Persian , with its relatively placid demeanor, is a good fit for apartment life. However, the Persian does need attention and will not thrive in an environment where its owner is away a lot. The Persian requires daily grooming to prevent mats. If you like the Persian personality but would prefer a lower-maintenance coat, check out the Exotic, the short-haired version of the Persian.
The Russian Blue is an affectionate but independent cat, well-suited for a life with working singles. They are known to be shy with strangers but very loyal to their favorite person. Their plush blue coat requires very little maintenance. They are moderately active and enjoy playing.
The Javanese is playful, affectionate, and vocal. Although the Javanese can tolerate being alone during the day, they do need daily one-on-one time with their owners to be truly happy. This breed is best suited for first-time cat owners and would do best in the household of a retired senior.
The Ragdoll is known for its laid-back and gentle temperament. If you're looking for a lap cat that enjoys playtime but isn't especially demanding, a Ragdoll could be your ideal companion. These cats should be kept indoors only and adapt well to apartment life.
Other Apartment Cat Options