Which cat breed is the laziest?

In order to answer the question in the title, I have taken the liberty to refer to a chart concerning activity levels of 17 mainstream cat breeds. The chart shows us the most active cat breeds and the least active breeds from those selected. I have made the presumption that the least active cat breeds are in human parlance the laziest. The selection is relatively small considering there are over 100 cat breeds.

I may be stretching the imagination a bit but in general I think it is fair to state that activity levels can be cross-referenced to laziness. Although I do have some concerns about the use of the word ‘lazy’ in respect of domestic cats. It is a word which is really suited to people. But that said the purebred cats have been selectively bred to behave in a certain way and look according to the breed standard.

The chart comes from the book, The Domestic Cat: The Biology of Its Behaviour. My aplogies for the poor image quality but it does transmit the message.

The chart is based upon an interesting study. Eighty “authorities” were consulted over the telephone in 30 minute interviews. The authorities were feline veterinary practitioners. They had seen many cats of different breeds. They had heard what their clients hand told them about their cats. Therefore they had acquired a good knowledge of the breeds in terms of behaviour and of course in terms of health generally and predispositions to certain illnesses.

Quite naturally, early experience and the environment in which the cat lives can and often does influence behaviour as well as genetic inheritance but in surveying a large number of authorities it is believed that the conclusions reached are fairly accurate with respect to genetic inheritance which defines the breed.


The shorter the bar, the least active the cat.


You can tell right away from the chart that the Bengal and Abyssinian rank highest on activity level. Also unsurprisingly, for me, the Persian and Ragdoll are the least active purebred cats. They pretty much lie around most of the day. Although, there are misconceptions about the Ragdoll. The name is a misnomer.

An interesting result is the Maine Coon ranked as one of the least active cats just above the Ragdoll. This looks incorrect to me. Although I have to agree that the Siamese and Oriental are known to be more active. Both the DSH and DLH are random bred cats. It is interesting to see that the long-haired random bred cat is less active than the shorthaired. I’m not sure that is easy to explain. Would the length of fur on a cat have an impact upon his/her activity levels?

Note: apologies for lifting the chart from the Kindle version of the book referred to above. It seemed the only and best way to deal with this quickly and efficiently.




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Which cat breed is the laziest? — 2 Comments

  1. Michael, when I read the title to this article, my first choice for *laziest* cat was the Persian. . . I have read this on many articles and read it in many cat magazines that the Persian, is, in fact, the laziest breed. . . maybe it is the long hair — LOL!! I have a Maine Coon mix who is quite lazy!! I get her fur trimmed about every 8 to 9 months because it mats so easily. I also have a bengal mix, who, along with her *husband*, Vegeta (one of my polys and an Oriental mix), are very active!! Another thing I take into consideration for laziness is age. It seems the older the cat, the lazier he/she tends to be. . .great article!! BTW, the image is great on my end. . . ♥♥♥

    • Diane, you have first-hand experience of what this chart states so your comment is extremely useful. Although that said, by now, with the Internet and the education that that brings, most people realise that Persians are lazy (or less active) and the wildcat hybrids are the most active. Also Siamese cats are known to be active as well so I’m not sure the chart tells is anything new but it is quite nice to see the information presented like that.

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