As per a Finnish study, and on my reading of the findings, the Siberian, American Curl and Korat are the 3 calmest cat breeds. Please read on. Once again people searching for information about the character or personality of cat breeds should be cautious. You’ll see millions of pages on this topic on the internet written by people who confidently state this and that. It is a far from a clear cut issue. All the studies are based on the beliefs of the owners of these cats. Even with great care in carrying out the study they will tend towards being subjective. Also they are owner observations at home. Does the character of the person and the home they have provided for their cat influence the outcome of the study?
I am sure these points have been taken into consideration in a Finnish study called: Reliability and Validity of Seven Feline Behaviour and Personality Traits by Salla Mikkola and team. As you can tell from the title, the scientists worked on the reliability of assessing cat personality to ensure it was as accurate as possible.
Another aspect of this study which is important is that they used purebred cats in Finland. The cats probably came from European breeders rather than American breeders. There is a slight difference between these groups.
They looked at cat breed personality. This included fearfulness, shyness and neuroticism. This is the negative side to the bold/shy personality divide. The other side of this divide is playfulness which equates to confidence.
Confident cats will tend to be the calmest. Neurotic and shy cats will tend to be less calm. I think that is a far statement.
Behaviour which indicates stress due to a nervous character is over-grooming and litterbox issues (peeing outside the tray) although these are not 100% certainly due to character traits. I’ll take it that the study factored out environmental influences.
Playfulness indicates confidence and confidence leads to calmness. A potential negative with playfulness is that if a confident cat is kept inside all the time they may become frustrated and irritable if they can’t express their character. This may cause stress and be shown as being less calm. It shows how environmental factors play a huge role in calmness or the opposite: neuroticism. And confidence can present as overly forceful play which does not look calm. I guess confidence does not always equate to calmness.
You can see the difficulties in measuring personality.
I have taken three traits and merged them to come up with the list below. Below my assessment are the charts provided by the study on these three traits which allows you to see the full list and picture.
3 calmest cat breeds?
These may surprise readers. 2 and 3 are not as well-known as 1. The Siberian is also claimed to be somewhat hypoallergenic.
- Siberian and pointed Siberian (Neva Masquerade) – this cat scores well in both litterbox issues and excessive grooming i.e. they had less problems of this nature. This breed also did well on playfulness. Gloria Stephens, a cat show judge said that Siberians have a dog-like devotion to their caregiver.
- American Curl also did well indicating a calm character. They are the best for overgrooming and fourth best for litterbox issues. The breed also did fairly well on playfulness.
- Korat does well on litterbox and excessive grooming. This is quite a rare breed and spoken about less than the other breeds.
The British Shorthair does well in having less issues compared to other breeds on litterbox problems and are mid-range on excessive grooming but are poor on activity and playfulness but this makes them good for full-time indoor living.
P.S. The Ragdoll did poorly on excessive grooming and litterbox issues indicating a character that is not calm. This is completely opposite to that stated by the breeders and the conventional view.
ASSOCIATED PAGE: 10 friendliest cat breeds (towards humans).
All the breeds are discussed in detail on this website. Please use the menu at the top of the site or the custom search facility to find them.
I’ll leave it there I think. You can make you own decisions on the charts. An important last point to make is that it is wise to introduce yourself to the individual cat of your selected breed to decide on their character. Each cat has their own personality. Only the unwise state that all cats of one breed have the same character. It is unreasonable to believe that.
SOME MORE ON PERSONALITY:
Two thirds of domestic cats can form secure attachments to their human caregiver; the remainder cannot.