There are two parts of the question. I’ll answer the first part first. The question is; what is the best cat breed for a beginner? I take this to mean a person who has not owned and cared for a domestic cat before.
Cat breed or random bred?
Excluding wild cat hybrids, there is no difference among all the breeds and between cat breeds and random bred cats in respect of the difficulty or ease of caring for that cat. There will be differences between individual cats because each cat has her own temperament. Depending on the individual cat’s character, random bred cats can be suitable for indoor living. For instance a blind cat (from blind cat rescue) would be ideal. Older rescue cats who have lived their lives indoors would also be suitable.
There are slight differences between the breeds in terms of temperament and of course in terms of appearance.
To return, therefore, to the question asking about the best cat breed for a beginner, the answer is any cat breed except the wild cat hybrids (e.g. Bengal or Savannah). The wild cat hybrids are more of a handful and need more input.
However, beginners may favor the more placid, docile cats. This of course leads me directly to the sort of breed which doesn’t mind living indoors all their lives. The more placid and docile a cat is more likely he or she will fit nicely into indoor living.
One cat breed comes to mind immediately. This is the Ragdoll. The reason why this cat breed is the most suitable above all others for indoor living is because she is a very docile, amiable cat. Indeed, the breed itself is built upon that docility (hence the name).
A world-renowned expert on the cat breeds, Gloria Stephens, writes in her book “Legacy of the Cat” that Ragdolls “usually show little or no interest in the great outdoors and therefore are perfect for house, apartment and even RV living”. Therefore, the Ragdoll is my first choice in answer to the second part of the question.
There are other rather placid breeds which the experts recommend are suitable for indoor living. One of these is the British Shorthair. Gloria Stephens writes, “British Shorthairs are well-suited for apartment life, provided the apartment is not kept too warm”. The reference to warmth is because this cat has a very dense coat.
Another purebred cat known for being docile is the Persian. However, in my opinion this breed is not as healthy as the other two that I have mentioned. If you choose this breed, select the old style variant: the Doll Face.
A fourth breed is the RagaMuffin, which is a variant of the Ragdoll. The character of the RagaMuffin will be similar to that of the Ragdoll. However, as breeders have outcrossed the RagaMuffin to other breeds, there will be differences.
I hope that this helps. I would like to reiterate that there will be differences between individual cat within a breed. This should be borne in mind. Also it will be easier for a cat to live full-time indoors if they have never been an indoor/outdoor cats.
You will have to ensure the cat’s life is enriched and that she is stimulated.
Did you find this article useful and interesting? Can it be improved? Please tell me in a comment. I am always keen to improve the site for animal welfare and reader enjoyment.