Cats can make excellent companions. They’re loving and affectionate, fun, and depending on the breed, they can be easy to care for, being quite independent. In fact, some only lean on their human companion for food, water, and the occasional cuddle.
Some breeds like to be around their human owners without wanting to curl up on their knees. Others will want to sit on a lap all day, every day. Some are highly inquisitive and bring sense to the term “curiosity killed the cat” while others are more at home when they’re at home. You should choose an appropriate breed based on the lifestyle you have.
Generally speaking, the best cats for seniors are those that do not have high energy requirements, do not need regular brushing and coat maintenance, and that enjoy spending time with their humans but not necessarily on their lap at all times of day and night.
Below, we have identified 17 of the best cat breeds for seniors to help you choose your next feline companion.
The 17 Best Cat Breeds For Seniors
1. Russian Blue
The Russian Blue is a striking gray color and is considered a quiet but loving breed. They do like to be close to their human owner and are not excessively energetic or needy. They will also get along with other cats, all humans, and can even get along with dogs, although this depends on the temperament of the other party.
The Snowshoe is a relatively new breed. It was created as a hybrid of the Siamese and American Shorthair. They have similar markings to the Siamese but have four distinct white paws that give the appearance of snowshoes. They do require a daily brush to remove dead and loose hairs, but they are affectionate and form a close bond with their owner. They will get along with dogs and they do tend to vocalize their opinions on everything.
3. Scottish Fold
The Scottish Fold is named for its distinctive folded ears, similar to those of the American Curl breed. It is a mild-mannered breed, which makes ownership easy. It does require daily brushing but it is good with kids and other pets. Although it won’t charge around the house looking for things to play with, it can be coaxed into a little daily activity when you want, and the Scottish Fold isn’t really given to vocalization.
4. British Shorthair
This is one of the oldest English breeds that can trace its history back to Roman times. If you want a cat that is easy to look after and care for, the British Shorthair is a good option. It is playful as a kitten, as are the majority of breeds, but it will quieten and calm down quickly, leaving you with a sensible, even austere cat. They are very independent, and you will often find them relaxing and napping somewhere in the line of the sun. They only require weekly brushing and are generally easy to care for.
5. American Shorthair
The American Shorthair is another affectionate breed that is considered an independent cat. In fact, it is suitable for owners of all ages because it can easily tolerate being left alone for several hours at a time without causing mischief. It does have higher energy levels than a lot of the cats on this list but this is tempered by its low maintenance levels. Weekly brushing should suffice to ensure that your American retains its coat sheen.
6. Exotic Shorthair
The Exotic Shorthair is essentially a shorter-haired version of the Persian. It is also a little livelier than the Persian, but not excessively so. Overall, it is a friendly and amenable cat that will get along with most people and other animals. It is suitable for a multi-pet household, although this, as always, depends as much on the temperament of the other animal. Daily brushing is required to maintain the attractive short coat.
7. American Wirehair
The American Wirehair is a medium-sized cat. It is a powerful breed with heavy muscles and bones. As the name suggests, the American Wirehair does have wiry hair and this coat can be more difficult to care for than some other breeds. It is more brittle and prone to snapping or breaking when you brush, but this needs to be done weekly to remove loose hairs. The Wirehair is described as being hypoallergenic because the wiry hair does not shed as often as smooth hair.
8. Australian Mist
The Australian Mist is usually described as a cross between the Abyssinian and the Burmese breeds. But, in truth, more than 30 breeds went towards this particular crossbreed and it takes some of the best features of each. The end result is a short-haired cat that is attractive to look at. They love to spend time with their family, and if you are looking for companionship, the constant chatter afforded to you by this breed will make you feel like you have a house full.
The Balinese is a long-haired breed. Many people shy away from cats with long coats because they believe it takes a lot more care and attention. While the Balinese does shed, and its fur can be as long as 2 inches, a quick daily brush should be ample to ensure that it is maintained in a good condition. This cat is friendly and affectionate, will follow you around, and enjoys chatting and answering you back.
The Bombay looks like a leopard but, despite looking wild and untamable, the breed has a very pleasant and easy going demeanor. The breed will live with other cats, dogs, children, and virtually anybody or anything else. However, it can have a dominant nature, will expect some exercise, and will enjoy learning tricks and playing games. The Bombay also demands attention so be prepared to dedicate a little time to your feline companion every day.
It is surprising, considering their long and luscious coat, that the Siberian is actually known as a low-maintenance cat. It only requires weekly brushing to remove stray and loose hair and to ensure that the coat remains mat-free. You may need to brush daily during shedding season, but the cat will love the experience and bond closely with you as a result of the attention. Although the breed is usually quiet, it will follow you all around the house and may vocalize a demand for attention or food once in a while.
The Chartreux is a muscly cat that is not prone to vocalizing its emotions, although may chirp at you once in a while. It does enjoy exercise and will benefit from some daily playtime. The breed is also quite canine in the way that it forms a close bond with one owner, rather than with all members of the family and other visitors. It is low maintenance, really just needing to be fed and watered, and most cats of this breed can tolerate being left alone for some time.
The Havana Brown, usually shortened to Havana, is a muscular cat with a short coat. The breed is quite playful but also independent, so as long as you provide enough scratch posts and other appealing toys, your cat will likely meet its own play and exercise requirements. This is another breed that will usually form a close bond with one owner, although its high levels of independence mean that some examples of this breed can end up being loners that do not spend a lot of time with their humans. Weekly brushing should be adequate for this breed.
The Persian is a surprisingly easy cat to own and care for. It does have long hair, and this will require daily brushing especially during shedding season, but it only needs a quick brush and the low energy levels and affectionate nature of the cat mean that it is very easy to bond with. The Persian will get along with most other animals, even dogs, and will get close to children, although they will usually stay out of the way of more energetic kids.
The Manx can appear rough because of the lack of a tail, but this cat is very affectionate and friendly and is likely to get along with all family members, whether human, feline, or even canine. The breed is playful and can often be taught to play fetch. He will enjoy carrying his toys around in his mouth and his intelligence means that he may be able to get his own food out of the cupboard. The breed is also friendly, enjoys spending time with his family, and he only requires weekly brushing to maintain his stunning coat.
The Birman is gentle and loving. It is a playful breed, so do ensure that you have plenty of appealing toys or that you have another cat as a companion for the latest addition to your family. They usually form a very close bond with one specific person but will get along with all family members and are usually quite keen to meet visitors. They do require daily brushing, but this should be a relatively simple task.
The Ragdoll is a beautiful-looking cat with a long coat. The coat requires daily brushing, but as long as you keep on top of it, this should be a fun activity that you both enjoy and that won’t take too long. The loving cat will follow you around and is always available to give you a hand with any job you’re doing.
The ideal breed will depend on exactly what you’re looking for. Some cats prosper as indoor cats while others will do well with the daily, independent exercise that is afforded when being let out. You might enjoy the regular grooming that some breeds require, or prefer the weekly 5-minute brush of a lower maintenance breed. Some cats like to lay on their owner’s lap, while others are more independent. Determine what is important to you and what you want from your next feline friend and then choose the breed that best matches these requirements.
Featured Image Credit: Miljan Zivkovic, Shutterstock