Best Cat Breeds For Seniors/Retirees

Birman

Birman cat

  • Energy: Low to moderate
  • Temperament: Sweet, loving, easygoing
  • Weight: Males 6-9 kg (13.2 – 19.8 lbs), females 4-6 kg (8.8 – 13.2 lbs)
  • Coat: Semi-longhair
  • Grooming: Daily
  • Similar breeds: Ragdoll

The Birman is an affectionate, gentle and intelligent cat who are playful, but not over the top. They enjoy the company of people and can form close bonds with one person in particular.

Ragdoll

Ragdoll cat

  • Energy: Low to moderate
  • Temperament: Loyal, easygoing, calm, affectionate, playful
  • Weight: Males 6-7 kg (13.2 – 15.4 lbs), females 5-6 kg (11 – 13.2 lbs)
  • Coat: Longhair
  • Grooming: Daily
  • Similar breeds: Birman

The Ragdoll is dog-like in personality and thrives on companionship. They will greet their family at the door and follow them around the house. Ragdolls get along well with children and other pets, and unlike other breeds, don’t tend to play favourites.

Ragdolls are a bit of a contradiction as they are both playful and relaxed. It is said that they are easy to train and enjoy playing fetch with their owners. Ragdolls are lovely lap cats and quite happy to curl up on the sofa with you.

The Ragdoll makes an excellent apartment-dwelling cat due to their quiet and relaxed nature as well as being happy to spend time with their human companions.

British Shorthair

British Shorthair

  • Energy: Low to moderate
  • Temperament: Good-natured, quiet, independent, amiable
  • Weight: Males 6-9 kg (13.2 – 19.8 lbs), females 4-6 kg (8.8 – 13.2 lbs)
  • Coat: Shorthair
  • Grooming: Weekly
  • Similar breeds: Russian blue, American shorthair, European shorthair, British longhair

The British shorthair is a friendly, independent, laid back and amiable breed of cat who is playful as kittens but tend to be less active as they mature. British shorthairs are less clingy than other breeds and are happy to amuse themselves when left alone.

Russian Blue

Russian Blue

  • Energy: Moderate
  • Temperament: Loyal, easygoing, gentle
  • Weight: Males 5 kg (11 lbs), females 4.5 kg (9.9 lbs)
  • Coat: Shorthair
  • Grooming: Weekly
  • Similar breeds: Russian blue, American shorthair, European shorthair, British longhair

The Russian blue is a sweet, quiet and loving breed who can be somewhat reserved around strangers but loving with humans they are familiar with. In their family environment, the Russian blue likes to be close to their family.

Moggy (domestic shorthair or longhair)

Domestic cat

  • Energy: Low to energetic
  • Temperament: Loyal, easygoing, gentle
  • Weight: Males 4-6 kg (8.8 – 13.2 lbs), females 3.5-5 kg (7.8 – 11 lbs)
  • Coat: Shorthair and longhair
  • Grooming: Daily or weekly depending on coat length
  • Similar breeds:

Moggies come in all shapes and sizes; some are active, some are more laid back. The best place to adopt a moggy is from your shelter, where they can match you with the right cat to suit your needs. An older moggy is a great idea for people looking for a quieter and more laid back cat.

Persian

Persian cat

  • Energy: Low
  • Temperament: Loyal, easygoing, gentle
  • Weight: Males 5-6 kg (11-13 lbs), females 4-5 kg (8.8-11 lbs)
  • Coat: Shorthair and longhair
  • Grooming: Daily
  • Similar breeds: Exotic shorthair, Himalayan, Chinchilla

The Persian is one of the most placid and laid back breeds, words used to describe them include gentle, docile and sweet.

Persians are well behaved and don’t generally get themselves into trouble. While quiet and calm, the Persian does have a playful side also and are always interested in a game but will wait until asked.

Burmilla

Burmilla cat

  • Energy: Medium
  • Temperament: Playful, laid back, intelligent, calm
  • Weight: Males 5-6 kg (11 – 13.2 lbs), females 4.5 – 5 kg (9.9 – 11 lbs)
  • Coat: Shorthair
  • Grooming: Weekly
  • Similar breeds: Persian, chinchilla, Burmese

The Burmilla is the result of an accidental mating between a Chinchilla (silver Persian), and a Burmese, but is now a breed in its own right. Burmillas are more active than the Persian but quieter than the Burmese. Playful without being overly active. Burmillas are affectionate, gentle and enjoy being a part of the family.

Scottish Fold

Scottish Fold

  • Energy: Low to medium
  • Temperament: Intelligent, affectionate, sweet and loyal
  • Weight: Males 5 – 6 kg (11 – 13.2 lbs), females 4 – 5.5 kg (8.8 – 12.1 lbs)
  • Coat: Shorthair and longhair
  • Grooming: Weekly
  • Similar breeds: Scottish straight

The Scottish Fold is a unique breed with folded down ears. A quiet, loyal and intelligent breed of cat who gets on well with people and other pets. The gene responsible for the folded down ears affects cartilage throughout the cat’s body, putting the cat at increased risk of the development of early-onset arthritis.

Snowshoe

Snowshoe cat

  • Energy: Medium
  • Temperament: Playful, outgoing, curious, loving
  • Weight: Males 4.5-5.5 kg (9.9 – 12.1 lbs), females 5-5 kg (8.8 – 11 lbs)
  • Coat: Shorthair
  • Grooming: Weekly
  • Similar breeds: Siamese, American shorthair

The snowshoe is a gentle, loving, affectionate breed with a temperament somewhere between that of the Siamese and the American Shorthair.

Snowshoes get along with other cats and dogs and is a great cat for children and tend to form a bond with one particular member of the family.

Exotic Shorthair

Exotic cat

  • Energy: Low to medium
  • Temperament: Easygoing, sweet, loyal, quiet
  • Weight: Males 11-6 kg (8.8 – 13.2 lbs), females 4.5 -5.5 kg (9.9 – 12.1 lbs)
  • Coat: Shorthair
  • Grooming: Weekly
  • Similar breeds: Persian

The Exotic shorthair is placid and laid back, although it is said they are livelier than their Persian cousins. They are sweet, affectionate, loyal, fun-loving and get along with people, including children and other pets. The Exotic is not as demanding or obtrusive as other breeds of cat but it is said they do like to follow their human companions around the house.

Things to consider

Grandchildren are often a big part of their grandparents’ lives, when looking for a breeder, try to find one whose cats have been raised around young children.

It is important to think about what will happen to the cat if and when you go on holiday. Is there somebody who can come to the house and feed the cat or a nearby boarding facility?

Seniors usually would prefer a mellow cat over an active one. Several cat breeds are very laid back, some are still affectionate and love a lap, others are a little more independent.

Longhaired cats will need to be groomed regularly (either by you or a pet groomer) to ensure their coat remains mat free. Mats are more than just a nuisance; they can become quite painful as the tangled up fur eventually begins to pull on the skin.

Most kittens, even those from the breeds listed below, are playful and active. Some breeds remain active well into middle age while others calm down once they reach adulthood.

Consider an older cat if you would prefer to avoid the playful kitten stage. Breeders sometimes look to re-home ex-breeding cats once they are a few years old and shelters are always full of adult cats looking for a second chance in life.

Author

  • Julia Wilson, 'Cat World' Founder

    Julia Wilson is the founder of Cat-World, and has researched and written over 1,000 articles about cats. She is a cat expert with over 20 years of experience writing about a wide range of cat topics, with a special interest in cat health, welfare and preventative care. Julia lives in Sydney with her family, four cats and two dogs. Full author bio