5 Low Maintenance Cat Breeds

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Written by: Carlee Linden | Best Company Editorial Team

Last Updated: July 30th, 2020

Sleeping cat lies on its back

If you're a first-time owner, you will soon wonder how you ever lived without a cat in your home. While cats are often labeled as aloof, indifferent, and withdrawn. Cat owners will tell you that cats make excellent companion animals. Cats are incredibly affectionate, loving, and sensitive to human emotions. Plus, they're a lot less work than a dog.

While many people want to bring a pet into their home, life often keeps us busy. Whether you're dealing with work, school, dating, or family life, it can be challenging to commit your time to a high-maintenance pet. That's why we've put together a list of low maintenance cat breeds that are magnificent companion animals but don't require a ton of maintenance.

Japanese Bobtail

japanese bobtail cat
Coat length: Short, Medium
Tendency to shed: Low
Grooming needs: Low
Social needs: High

What we love about the Japanese Bobtail is its dog-like personality. This breed loves to play — one of its favorite games is fetch — and loves to do tricks for treats. While it is an active breed, Japanese Bobtail owners don't have to worry about grooming maintenance. This breed doesn't shed too much and its short fur is easy to keep clean and knot-free.

This breed loves a set routine. As long as you spend plenty of time playing with them, life should be pretty easy. Japanese Bobtails are highly intelligent, so pet owners should make sure to provide plenty of games and toys to help keep this breed mentally and physically stimulated.

Conclusion: The Japanese Bobtail does require a lot of social interaction and exercise, but doesn't require a ton of grooming maintenance and usually keeps itself busy throughout the day by exploring or playing with toys. The Japanese Bobtail is a good option for someone who doesn't mind coming home and spending a few hours playing fetch.

Bombay

bombay cat
Coat length: Short
Tendency to shed: Low
Grooming needs: Low
Social needs: Moderate

The Bombay cat is friendly and easily adapts to change. Unlike other cats, the Bombay seems to have a signature walk. The cat almost seems to sway as it walks, resembling an Indian black leopard. This breed isn't known for shedding and its short black coat is relatively easy to maintain.

Curious, active, and adaptable, this breed is excellent for those with young children. They love to play outside and their favorite spot in the house is usually near a window. After the Bombay is done playing, you can find them spreading themselves over their owner's laps for a nice long nap.

Bombays are highly intelligent and will play fetch with their owners. However, this breed needs to have a dedicated family to help keep this cat from getting bored. Bombays love to learn tricks, play games, and are intrigued by interactive toys.

Conclusion: Yes, this breed does need someone who is willing to spend some time playing and keeping this cat entertained. However, once its social needs are met, the Bombay is a calm, relaxed, and affectionate cat. Plus, the fact that it requires little grooming maintenance is great for those with a busy schedule.

Scottish Fold

surprised scottish fold cat

Coat length: Short, Medium
Tendency to shed: High
Grooming needs: Moderate
Social needs: Moderate

A sweet and delicate breed, the Scottish Fold is a great family member. Less active than other cat breeds, owners will have to make sure this cat gets enough exercise (as this breed can easily become overweight). Scottish Fold owners will also need to brush their cat throughout the week to avoid knots from forming.

This breed is charming and will show affection toward all family members. If you're single, this breed's quiet and calm personality makes for a great roommate. While they love to be around people, Scottish Folds are highly adaptable and don't mind being left alone. However, if someone is home, the Scottish Fold will happily follow them around and keep them company.

Conclusion: The Scottish Fold makes for a great roommate and family cat. Whether you're in a small apartment with no other pets or a large family home with multiple pets, this breed is capable of adapting. They don't mind being left alone but tend to stick close to anyone who is home. This cat breed does tend to shed and its owners will need to brush its fur to keep the coat shiny and healthy.

Russian Blue

russian blue kitten in a blanket
Coat length: Short
Tendency to shed: Low
Grooming needs: Low
Social needs: Moderate

The Russian Blue is an ideal fit for a busy young family. Social and even-tempered, this breed does great around adults and children. Its soft and dense coat doesn't require constant upkeep — meaning you won't be needing to visit the groomer every six weeks. Additionally, the Russian Blue does not shed as much as other cat breeds due to the lower levels of glycoprotein Fel d 1, making this an excellent choice for those with family members who are allergic to cats.

While this breed is independent enough to take care of itself while the kids are at school and the adults are at work, don't be surprised if your cat wants to play as soon as you walk through the door. They are fairly social and will often follow you around the house.

The Russian Blue is a brilliant breed and needs a surplus of toys that keep their mind and body busy. They have a strong natural hunting instinct and love playing with feathered fishing poles.

Conclusion: Although the Russian Blue is fine being alone for long periods of time, you'll need to keep them busy with plenty of mind-stimulating toys. Otherwise, they may get into trouble. Along with that, the Russian Blue is a social cat, and they'll want your attention as soon as you get home — however, you won't have to spend hours grooming your cat, so you can spend that time playing.

American Shorthair

american shorthair cat looking ticked off
Coat length: Short
Tendency to shed: Moderate
Grooming needs: Moderate
Social needs: Low

The perfect companion for a single adult or a family. This breed has an easy-going, relaxed personality, and can often be found bathing in the sunshine. Even with its short coat, this breed does need to be brushed daily. If owners neglect to brush their American Shorthair, this breed will develop knots.

The American Shorthair is a quiet cat that doesn't mind being left alone. You'll often see a Shorthair sitting or laying nearby their favorite family member, but only on occasion will you see them on someone's lap.

Shorthairs are great at playing by themselves, whether they find a string, feather, or crumpled up piece of paper, they'll happily entertain themselves for hours.

Conclusion: Although you may need to spend a few hours a week brushing the American Shorthair's coat, you don't need to spend a lot of time keeping this breed entertained. The Shorthair is happy to find toys or take an afternoon nap in the sun.

While it's an exciting time bringing in a new feline family member, it's extremely important to find a cat that has a temperament that correlates well with your lifestyle. If you're busy and can't spend every waking moment catering to your cat's needs, then it's best to avoid a high maintenance breed. Don't get a Persian if you don't want to take it to the groomers every few weeks. Don't get a Sphynx, Javanese, or Korat cat if you aren't a fan of yowling at 2 a.m.

Owning a cat is a rewarding experience — mentally, physically, and emotionally. There are numerous stories about cats helping people get through tough times. If you struggle with daily stress, anxiety, or depression, a purring cat can actually lower your blood pressure and help slow down rapid breathing. One study even found that owning a cat will reduce the risk of a heart attack and stroke by more than a third.

If you're wondering if getting a kitten or cat is the right choice, we can help. It is. These furry companions are an excellent addition to any household. There are even hypoallergenic breeds for those with allergies. If you're still on the fence, we recommend volunteering at your local shelter or fostering an older cat to see if a cat is the right pet for you.

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