8 Best House Cats: Pets for Indoor Living

Key takeaways

Owning an indoor cat can be very rewarding for both you and your kitty. By preventing them from going outside, you are ensuring their safety and wellbeing.

However, your feline friend will need plenty of love, care, and stimulation to remain happy indoors.

There are certain cat breeds that are well suited to indoor living, and we're going to take a deep dive into each of them so you can determine which kitty is right for you!

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  1. Key takeaways
  2. Why should you own an indoor cat?
  3. 8 Best indoor cat breeds
  4. FAQs
  5. Final thoughts

Why should you own an indoor cat?

Cat owners are always asking the question, indoor or outdoor cat? It's an age-old consideration and one that differs for everyone's individual situation. But is it cruel to own an indoor cat? And are they happy?
Well, the truth is that cats kept inside can live very long, happy, and healthy lives. As long as they have plenty of:

Stimulation: Mental and physical stimulation is an important part of your cat's life. Without this, they can become bored, anxious, and withdrawn and even develop health issues. An indoor cat should be surrounded by toys and lots of space and should have regular play time to keep them interested.

Attention: Because cats kept inside won't be able to socialize with other cats, they need to get plenty of attention and affection from their owners. This means setting aside some extra quality time every day to make sure they are loved and cared for.

Space: Indoor cats will need plenty of space to explore. Their territories are usually much larger in the wild, and it's important to try to replicate this. Declutter your house, open up bedroom doors, and don't keep them in a small apartment.

A cat playing with toys inside a house
If you provide your cat with the above, then they will likely live a lovely life indoors. And sometimes, this can be the best option. If your cat is living with a disability or an infectious disease like FIV, it's important you keep them inside for their safety and other cats' safety.
Some benefits of keeping your kitties indoors include:

Less likely to be in a traffic accident

Less likely to be stolen

Less likely to get lost

Aren't vulnerable to predators

If your cat is living with a disability or an infectious disease like FIV, it's important you keep them inside for their safety and other cats' safety

Are there cat breeds better suited to being house cats?

If you're considering getting a house cat, you may want to find a breed that's more suited to staying inside. But does that exist? The answer is yes!
Certain breeds and their personalities, physicality, and predispositions make them more adaptable to living indoors. Although, it's important to note that all cats, apart from feral or stray, will be able to adapt to an indoor lifestyle.
A cat sleeping peacefully by a window

8 Best indoor cat breeds

Finding a feline friend who will be content staying inside can be tricky. Making sure they get the physical and mental stimulation they need is essential. So, let's take a look at the chilled-out kitties that make the best indoor cats.

1. Ragdoll cats

Ragdoll cats are a popular indoor cat breed with luscious long hair and deep blue eyes. They are loved for their docile and cuddly nature, which makes them the perfect companion around the house.
However, this floppy attitude means that they aren't much cop when it comes to the great outdoors. There are several factors that make these fluffy cuties suitable for indoor life and not so suitable for outdoor adventures. They include:

Upset stomachs: Ragdoll cats need a specific diet to remain healthy because they can develop tummy issues pretty quickly. This means any tasty treat they pick up off the street could make them ill very quickly.

Traffic accidents: Ragdolls don't really understand the concept of cars and traffic. Without experience, these furry friends won't understand the danger they pose and could easily end up in a sticky situation.

Catfights and predators: Natural survival instincts don't come easily to Ragdolls. In fact, if another cat chooses to fight them, they probably won't understand what's going on and instead flop down or panic.

It's also important to remember that Ragdolls are expensive purebreeds, meaning they may be more susceptible to theft.
With the right amount of attention, love, and toys, a Ragdoll cat will live a wonderful life within the four walls of your home.
a ragdoll cat

2. Sphynx

Sphynx cats aren't your average cuddly fluffball. Instead of a full coat, they have a light peach fuzz over their skin. While they are adventurous and outgoing, they aren't suitable for the outside world.
This is mainly because they struggle to keep their body temperature steady in cold or hot temperatures, and they can also get sunburned. Aside from this, they are more susceptible to injuries and scratches without any protective coat.
So, while a Sphynx is better suited to the indoors, they'll need plenty of attention and entertainment to keep them interested and mentally stimulated. You can expect these curious kitties to follow you around all day, taking an interest in your activities.
So, if you're planning on being out of the house a lot, they may not be the right kitty for you. They are the perfect companions for dedicated pet parents working from home.
A sphynx cat

3. Scottish fold

While Scottish fold cats are more than capable of facing the outdoors, they are still more suited to indoor living. They are tough-natured, thanks to their history of being Scottish farm cats, and can adapt to many different situations.
However, because they are a very recognizable breed, they are at risk of theft. This means for their safety, they shouldn't be allowed to roam free.
To allow their curious and energetic side to thrive, a secure or covered garden or cat run can be a great option. This means they can get all the stimulation they need and satisfy their fairly high prey drive without any of the risks. They are a relatively laid-back cat breed and make great snuggle partners.
A scottish fold cat

4. Devon Rex

Devon Rex cats are one of the most popular cat breeds for indoor living. Their unique look, with soft curly hair and affectionate and playful nature, means they're a lovely addition to your home. They are incredibly loving and like nothing better than curling up on their owners' laps or taking part in their daily routines.
They can be left alone for a few hours at a time, meaning despite their attentiveness, they may be more appropriate for a busy owner.
The reason they aren't suited to living outdoors is mainly down to their coat. The thin fur is not particularly waterproof or protective.
If you wanted to give your Devon Rex some extra space, then a covered and secure garden, balcony, or cat run would be a good choice! Without security, their inquisitive and curious nature may take them on long solo adventures and, as a sought-after breed, may make them vulnerable to theft.
A devon rex cat

5. Siamese

Siamese breeds have long been a favorite among dedicated pet parents. They are renowned for being unlike any other breed because of their distinct, and sometimes needy, personality. But owning a Siamese cat can be incredibly rewarding.
They need almost constant attention and stimulation, so if you're looking for a laid-back moggy who'll snooze for most of the day, this breed probably isn't for you.
The reason many owners choose to keep their Siamese cats inside is due to their love of adventures. They are very friendly and will happily wander up to strangers to make friends, risking being stolen, and may be unfazed by busy roads and town centers. They are intelligent cats, but it’s not worth the risk!
However, if you keep them indoors, you will need to make sure they have enough stimulation. Be sure to get:

Puzzle feeders

Climbing blocks

Scratching posts

Cat toys

Cat tunnels

A siamese cat

6. British Shorthair

British Shorthair cats make fantastic lap cats. While enjoying playtime and being highly intelligent, they will also happily cuddle up and snooze for hours in the comfort of their secure home.
They are a breed that's easy to get along with, making them a perfect addition to the family, even if you already own other pets. This makes them a great choice for dog owners looking for a little kitty.
There are a couple of reasons why they should be kept indoors. These include:

Body temperature: British Shorthairs have very thick and dense coats. This means regulating their body temperature in hot weather can be very difficult, and they may risk overheating.

Docile: Because this breed is quite heavy and also docile, they are not very agile! This means they won't be able to run away from predators, other cats, or traffic very quickly, making the outside world too dangerous for them!

These affectionate cats make great indoor companions. Perfect for those wanting a laid back cuddle buddy!
british shorthair cat

7. Persian

Potentially the most laid-back of them all, Persian cats are a low-maintenance feline friend who loves lounging in a sunny spot. Don't expect this kitty to play all day long or be exploring and jumping around your house.
Like many cat breeds, the Persian needs a comfortable sofa, and that's about it! However, their long, luscious coats will require a lot of grooming to prevent matting and to keep them comfortable.
These large, fluffy felines are not suitable for the outdoors and should be kept inside at all times. This is because of their docile nature and their lack of athleticism. This means they won't be able to escape tricky situations and may become subject to other neighborhood cats looking for a fight!
persian cat

8. Russian blue

The Russian blue cat is a gorgeous cat with very thick, dense fur. They are very sociable and love playtime, so we advise investing in plenty of cat toys! This will also help satisfy their strong hunting instinct and keep them mentally stimulated, as they are very intelligent.
Despite this, they won't mind curling up and snoozing for most of the day if you're busy. But prepare to be welcomed home with loud mews and lots of love!
This is a great option for pet parents with allergies, and their fur rarely sheds. Luckily, this breed will happily remain indoors. They are very loyal and love spending time with their owners instead of going on solo adventures. If you live in a hot country, then this kitty may struggle to regulate their temperature outside, so keep them in a nice, cool house!
Russian blue cat


What cat is best for indoors?

Many cats suit an indoor lifestyle. However, one breed that can make the perfect indoor companion is the Ragdoll. These gorgeous, fluffy kitties are the perfect cuddle buddy, thanks to their docile nature.

What is the most friendly house cat?

Siamese cats are incredibly friendly house cats. They'll want to spend the whole day with you and are fiercely loyal to a loving owner.

What cat makes the best house pet?

A ragdoll cat makes the best house pet. This is because they are fluffy, affectionate, and docile. This makes them the perfect indoor companion.

What breed of cats don't go outside?

Many breeds of cats shouldn't go outside, either because of their lack of street smarts, their type of coat, or their vulnerability to theft. These include Russian Blues, British Shorthairs, Devon Rex, Sphynx, and Scottish folds.

What is the best cat for a first-time owner?

The Persian cat is the best cat for a first-time owner. They are very laid back, easy going, and love a cuddle. Also, they don't tend to go outside, so owners won't have to worry about their safety.

Final thoughts

These indoor cat breeds will all make wonderful and loving pets. So, it's important to consider your own situation and decide what personality traits would fit best into your current lifestyle.
If you work from home and want a constant buddy purring on your lap, then a laid-back fluffball may be the best choice. However, if you're an active go-getter, ready to play with your kitty every minute of the day, then why not opt for an energetic attention seeker?
Remember, if you keep your cat indoors, you'll need to take extra care to make sure they get all the stimulation they need around the house. This means cat trees, climbing blocks, and lots of toys!

Written by

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Lauren Jeffries

In this blog, I combine my two areas of expertise: pets and writing. I share my personal experiences alongside plenty of animal behavior research to help owners look after their pets. I have always lived with furry friends and am now a loving cat mum to two orange kitties.

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