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Home > Cats > 20 Most Independent Cat Breeds (With Pictures)

20 Most Independent Cat Breeds (With Pictures)

Birman Cat

Cats have been domesticated for thousands of years, and they very much enjoy our company. However, unlike dogs, they don’t rely solely on us for food, safety, or entertainment. These curious, smart, and agile furballs can take care of themselves. So, while sweet, affectionate, and loyal, cats are quite autonomous.

And that’s great, especially if you’re looking for a low-maintenance, not-at-all clingy pet to join your family. Not all felines are this way, though: some cats need a little bit more care than others. And for that reason, we asked our experts to assemble a list of the most independent breeds. Read on to find your perfect fur baby!


The 20 Most Independent Cat Breeds

1. Russian Blue

Russian Blue cat with green eyes
Image Credit: Popova Lena, Shutterstock
Average Lifespan 15–20 years
Average Size 8–18 pounds
Coat and Shedding Short, very low
Temperament Loyal, tender-hearted, curious, smart, well-behaved
Origin Russia (Archangel Island)

If you spend the better half of the day working, the Russian Blue can be a great choice. This is a faithful, warm-hearted feline with a big brain, impeccable manners, and a short coat that requires little grooming. The Russian Blue is very well capable of spending long hours alone without getting bored or developing separation anxiety. This is true even if you live in a small apartment.

2. Siamese Cat

siamese cat sitting on a wooden table
Image Credit: Webandi, Pixabay
Average Lifespan 12–20 years
Average Size 6–14 pounds
Coat and Shedding Very short, moderate
Temperament Playful, loving, active, vocal
Origin Thailand

Hailing from Thailand, the blue-eyed Siamese cats are always happy to get some “me time” while you’re busy and the kids are at school. This doesn’t mean these majestic felines don’t like to get cuddly or take a nap on your lap, of course. The Siamese are playful, curious, and have a cute trait: they tend to get vocal. So, if you ever hear a Siamese meowing, best believe it wants to spend some quality time with you!

Oh, and they do especially well when paired with a fellow cat or doggo.

3. Persian

white persian cat outdoors
Image Credit: RebaSpike, Pixabay
Average Lifespan 12–17 years
Average Size 8–13 pounds
Coat and Shedding Long, moderate/heavy
Temperament Calm, quiet, playful, sweet
Origin Iran/Afghanistan

Folks in the market for a sweet, laid-back, and exotic cat should consider adopting a Persian. This feline has a loving, caring personality and creates very strong bonds with its favorite humans. However, it doesn’t require attention 24/7. This breed won’t mind spending most of the day dozing off, grooming its fur, or jumping around the house like it owns the place.

4. Himalayan

Himalayan cat
Image Credit: Nattapong Pongpiyapan, Shutterstock
Average Lifespan 9–15 years
Average Size 7–12 pounds
Coat and Shedding Long, moderate
Temperament Witty, faithful, affectionate, cheerful
Origin Iran/Thailand/United States

It’s not that easy to find a pet that can willingly become the guardian of the house while you’re away. Thankfully, that won’t be a problem with the Himalayan cat. This is an intelligent, loyal, and joyful pet that likes to take long naps, play around, and take care of other important feline business. If you travel a lot and need a fur bud that’s good around kids, quick to adapt, and mostly quiet, the Himalayan will be a perfect choice!

5. Abyssinian

Image Credit: tsapenkodg, Pixabay
Average Lifespan 9–16 years
Average Size 6–10 pounds
Coat and Shedding Short, low
Temperament Affectionate, inquisitive, a bit shy, energetic, intelligent
Origin Ethiopia/Southeast Asia

The fascinating Abyssinians are independent, self-sufficient felines. Now, like most smart and capable cats, they can be shy around strangers, especially humans. That said, this is an affectionate breed, one that likes to be cuddled and played with. If you’re lucky, you might even get a precious purr as a “thank you”. To help the Abyssinian cat beat boredom, ensure it has access to home-alone toys and lots of room to explore.

6. Birman Cat

Birman cat on sofa at home
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock
Average Lifespan 12–16 years
Average Size 7–12 pounds
Coat and Shedding Long, moderate
Temperament Friendly, very gentle, private, easy-going
Origin Myanmar/France

These lovely cats don’t need much to be happy. Birmans are very friendly and sweet and rock a silky coat with markings. With that, they appreciate privacy and don’t like to always be at the center of attention. Low-maintenance, quiet, and ready to share the house with a fellow pet, Birmans are truly amazing. Also, rest assured they will “hold it down” until you rush back home for a hug.

7. Bengal Cat

silver bengal cat laying down
Image credit: MaryBog-Shutterstock
Average Lifespan 12–16 years
Average Size 8–15 pounds
Coat and Shedding Short, very low
Temperament Sweet, sociable, alert, people-oriented
Origin United States

Some cats are startled by the slightest noise, but the Bengal doesn’t seem to mind it. This oh-so-cute companion is equally glad to play with adults, little children, and other pets. More importantly, it’s used to live independently and won’t cause a fuss when the entire family leaves the house for hours. So, when you get back from grocery shopping, you’ll find the Bengal lying comfortably in its favorite spot.

8. Somali

Somali cat sitting
Image Credit: R. Hutch Photography, Shutterstock
Average Lifespan 10–16 years
Average Size 8–12 pounds
Coat and Shedding Moderate, low
Temperament Tirelessly active, boisterous, sociable, mischievous
Origin United States

These fluffy fur babies are not only smart and energetic, but also highly sociable. Making new friends doesn’t take much effort for a Somali cat yet they don’t mind being left to themselves. Bred for their beautiful coat and witty mind, Somali cats are closely related to Abyssinians, by the way. And they’re also big fans of exploring the environment, climbing the shelves, and watching the outside world from a window.

9. American Wirehair

american wirehair cat sitting in the yard
Image Credit: Azovsky, Shutterstock
Average Lifespan 7–18 years
Average Size 8–12 pounds
Coat and Shedding Short, low/moderate
Temperament Laid-back, relaxed, very sweet, friendly
Origin United States (New York)

Do you dream of adopting a sweet, laid-back cat that’s naturally good at being alone? Then the American Wirehair is worth your attention. It has a friendly, outgoing personality yet won’t get sad, anxious, or destructive when left behind for a whole day. That’s right: this isn’t a clingy breed and will never give you “the look” if you arrive home late at night.

10. American Shorthair

American Shorthair cat
Image Credit: Lalandrew, Shutterstock
Average Lifespan 15–20 years
Average Size 8–16 pounds
Coat and Shedding Short, moderate
Temperament Sociable, open-hearted, playful, calm, gentle
Origin Europe/North America

The American Shorthair is playful, sociable, and adaptive to new environments. While it does like spending time with humans, by nature, this is an independent animal. Add a gentle, caring character, and you’ll see why it’s a great choice for a busy household or a family that likes to travel a lot. As for the round face, perky ears, and dense coat, they turn the American Shorthair into feline royalty.

11. British Shorthair

Portrait of a brown British Shorthair Cat
Image Credit: Heidi Bollich, Shutterstock
Average Lifespan 12–20 years
Average Size 8–17 pounds
Coat and Shedding Short, low/moderate
Temperament Very loyal, sweet-tempered, intelligent, playful
Origin Great Britain/Ancient Rome

This cat is even cuter than the previous one, but it has the same sweet and playful temperament. More than that, it’s an independent feline, one that can handle its business manually. The British Shorthair is equally well-suited for chilling on the couch with its favorite humans or watching over the house while the mom/dad is out running errands.

A calm, smart, and beautiful pet—that’s what you’ll get with the British Shorthair!

12. Exotic Shorthair

Exotic shorthair cat
Image Credit: Ewa Studio, Shutterstock
Average Lifespan 12–15 years
Average Size 8–15 pounds
Coat and Shedding Short, moderate
Temperament Friendly, laid-back, quiet
Origin United States

Up next, we have one of the most relaxed, content, and quiet felines to ever walk the planet. Adult Exotic Shorthair cats are perfectly fine with taking a nap, playing with toys, or interacting with other pets without any human supervision. That’s why active folks that only spend a couple of hours at home per day often opt for this breed. And don’t get us started on that adorable face!

13. Scottish Fold

white scottish fold
Image Credit: Pexels
Average Lifespan 11–15 years
Average Size 8–12 pounds
Coat and Shedding Short, moderate
Temperament Sociable, friendly, curious, playful, well-adjusted
Origin Scotland

Famous for their golden eyes and cute ears, these cats are playful, curious, and always ready to make new acquaintances. With that, Scottish Folds are well-adjusted, well-mannered, and more than capable of staying busy while the adults are out. It’s safe to say that these felines have found the perfect balance between affection and independence.

14. Norwegian Forest Cat

shaded silver norwegian forest cat lying outdoor
Image Credit: jsmars, Shutterstock
Average Lifespan 10–16 years
Average Size 12–16 pounds
Coat and Shedding Short, moderate
Temperament Loyal, family-oriented, even-tempered, curious
Origin Norway/Northern Europe

Do you feel bad for leaving your cat behind? Well, that won’t be an issue with the Norwegian Forest Cat. This is a loyal, energetic breed that always puts family first. But you won’t find it disturbed or anxious when you return home after a long absence. Instead, the feline will probably be curled up on the couch. These buds were brought up in the Norwegian outdoors and like to hunt/practice just as much as cuddling.

15. Japanese Bobtail

Japanese Bobtail Cat
Image Credit: slowmotiongli, Shutterstock
Average Lifespan 15–18 years
Average Size 6–12 pounds
Coat and Shedding Short, low
Temperament Incredibly intelligent, energetic, sociable, gentle
Origin Japan/Southeast Asia

Ever-busy—that’s the best way to describe the Japanese Bobtail. It’s one of the smartest, strongest, and most active cats out there. Naturally, that makes it an autonomous pet that rarely asks for help or attention. The Japanese Bobtail is sociable and friendly with children, yet you’ll never have to worry about it when leaving the property. This kitty is always up to something!

16. Manx Cat

manx cat in the living room
Image Credit: PradaBrown, Shutterstock
Average Lifespan 10–16 years
Average Size 8–14 pounds
Coat and Shedding Short/long, heavy
Temperament Playful, affectionate, very inquisitive, placid
Origin The Isle of Man

The Manx represents everything we love about cats. It’s equally cheerful and curious and has great manners. When this kitty is in the mood, it can quickly light up the day. However, you won’t have to “babysit” it all the time. Self-efficiency is one of the biggest traits of the Manx cat. It’s a strong, capable, and gracious feline that stays busy. So, don’t let that short tail fool you!

17. Maine Coon

white maine coon cat in gray background
Image Credit: Kanashi, Pixabay
Average Lifespan 10–15 years
Average Size 15–22 pounds
Coat and Shedding Long, moderate/heavy
Temperament Social, family-oriented, even-tempered
Origin United States (Maine)

Praised for the long, luxurious coat, the Maine Coon is a lovely cat with a witty personality and big love for its human parents. The fur sheds quite heavily, but other than that, this is a low-maintenance pet. Plus, it thrives equally well in busy companies and when curled up in a ball somewhere in the attic. Oh, and by the way, this cat is recognized as one of the heaviest breeds.

18. Ragdoll Cat

young ragdoll british shorthair cat sitting on wooden stool head tilt
Image Credit: Natasha Marie, Shutterstock
Average Lifespan 12–16 years
Average Size 10–20 pounds
Coat and Shedding Long, moderate
Temperament Sociable, sweet, extremely affectionate, calm
Origin United States (Riverside)

Ragdoll cats are among the sweetest, most affectionate, and most loyal fur babies you’ll ever meet. More than that, they are low-maintenance, quiet, and independent. You’ll rarely see a Ragdoll depressed because it doesn’t get bored or anxious when left alone. These kitties are big and fluffy yet quite agile and self-contained. So, while you’ll be putting in extra hours at work, this cat will look after the property.

19. Ocicat

Image Credit: dien, Shutterstock
Average Lifespan 12–18 years
Average Size 6–15 pounds
Coat and Shedding Short, low
Temperament Intelligent, loving, devoted, easy-going
Origin United States (Michigan)

Specifically bred to look like an ocelot, this feline isn’t aggressive or clingy. Instead, it stands out as an intelligent, loyal, and easy-going pet. Often praised for its dog-like traits, the Ocicat likes nothing more than playing with the people that it trusts. But don’t worry: this spotted beauty won’t steal all your free time or become destructive the second you leave.

20. Devon Rex

Devon Rex
Image Credit: Oleksandr Volchanskyi, Shutterstock
Average Lifespan 14–17 years
Average Size 6–10 pounds
Coat and Shedding Very short, very low
Temperament Hyperactive, playful, outgoing, intelligent, family-oriented
Origin UK (Buckfastleigh)

Easily recognized by the sphinx-like ears and extremely short coat, the Devon Rex is a hyperactive, overzealous cat with an outgoing personality. It likes puzzle games and activities that involve a lot of jumping and running. Also, just like the Ocicat, this feline strives to be a part of a big family. Yes, it’s a social creature, yet it won’t get restless when left all by itself in an empty home.


Prepping the House for the Cat: A Quick Guide

First, check the temperature. It should be within comfortable levels for a feline: 85–100° degrees. A clean, well-placed litter box is a must. Also, see that the cat’s dishes are full of water and food that will last until you get back. Scratching trees/posts and puzzle toys will come in handy as well. Lastly, the cat needs to have enough space not to feel cramped up.

Leaving the TV on is another great idea. The background noise will help the fur baby avoid anxiety. Just don’t crank the volume up to 11! Lastly, make sure there aren’t any poisonous plants or sharp objects in the house that can hurt the cat. And remember: most cats don’t mind being alone for up to eight hours, while fully independent felines will happily spend 24 hours in solitude.



Cats are independent, solitary creatures. Hunters by design, they cherish freedom and like to always stay on their feet (even when dozing off). These four-legged wonders rely heavily on their heightened senses, wits, and flexibility when facing danger or walking on uncharted land. Even after spending so much time as domestic pets, cats are still not fully tamed.

They do their own grooming and prefer to hide it when scared, anxious, or in pain. But that doesn’t mean cats are standoffish. On the contrary: the most independent felines often create the strongest and most meaningful bonds with humans. So, pick a breed from our extensive list based on its activity, intelligence, and other traits, and go from there!

Featured Image Credit: Borkin Vadim, Shutterstock

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