Low Energy Cat Breeds

These are the cats that will curl up beside you on the couch. Since they have a natural tendency towards inactivity, ensure that you provide these cats with a multitude of toys to make them be active otherwise you’ll end up with a fat cat. They may be cute to look at, but in the long run, a fat cat is not easy to live with.

BIRMAN

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Birmans do not like being the only pet in their home, they are much too social. They are active and playful, but they will be quiet if you’re busy. Birmans are medium to large in size (males weigh 9 to 15 pounds, females are 6 to 10 pounds) and have a semi-long silky coat. They do tend to shed. Their coats don’t often mat and Birmans have long bottle brush tails. They also feature brilliant blue eyes which seem to round out their sweet expression and dispositions.

BRITISH SHORTHAIR

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British Shorthairs have found the balance between being affectionate and clingy; they would rather curl up beside you than be on your lap. British shorthairs are a healthy, hardy breed that takes 3 to 5 years to mature. They are playful, alert, intelligent and adore children. They may take some time to warm up to strangers, but if you return their love, they’re good. British shorthairs are a compact well-balanced cat (males weigh 12 to 18 pounds/females 9 to 15 pounds). Their coats are short, dense, plush and they do shed.

EXOTIC SHORTHAIR

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Exotic shorthairs have been dubbed “the lazy man’s Persian.” They have the body type and easygoing Persian personality, without the coat length that requires all that grooming. exotic shorthairs are athletic — males weigh 7 to 14 pounds, females 6 to 10 pounds. They are fun-loving, loyal, affectionate, quiet and sensitive. Their thick, dense, plush coats and round face resemble a teddy bear look.

HIMALAYAN

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The Himalayan is one of the most beloved cat breeds. For good reason, Himalayans live for affection and loved to be petted! They make loyal, devoted companions that get along well with children and other pets. Himalayans are playful and active well into its senior years. They are poised, calm and self-assured. Himalayans have long coats that come in a multitude of colors. Males weigh between 9 to 14 pounds, females 7 to 11 pounds.

PERSIAN

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Under that long, thick, glossy coat is a muscular, sturdy body. Persians come in a variety of colors and coat patterns. Persians are affectionate and loyal; the typical sweet cat. The coat requires daily brushing, an occasional bath and should always be kept indoors. Persian males weigh 9 to 14 pounds, while females weigh 7 to 11 pounds.

RAGAMUFFIN

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Their large, expressive eyes match their large body. Ragamuffin males tip the scale between 12 to 20 pounds (!) while females are 8 to 15 pounds. Don’t dare be afraid of all that cat, Ragamuffins are sweet, loving and have been dubbed “teddy bears.” They flourish under human attention and make a wonderful family pet that gets along with other cats and even dogs. Ragamuffins are calm, easygoing and can be trained to walk on a leash, play fetch and sit up and beg. It takes four years for Ragamuffins to reach adulthood. Their coats are medium to long and are thick and plush.

RAGDOLL
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Affectionately dubbed the “puppycat,” Ragdolls can be taught to fetch and to come when called. Ragdolls are social, loving and affectionate, they get along with everyone — even dogs. They remain playful throughout their lives and mature slowly — at around 3 to 4 years. Ragdolls are large: males weigh 12 to 20 pounds while females come in at 8 to 15 pounds. Their coats are semi-long, plush and silky.

SELKIRK REX

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Selkirks are one of the newer cat breeds and are distinctive due to their naturally curly coat. Their coats are either long- or short-haired, but both varieties have dense, curly, soft coats. Selkirks adore people, other cats and dogs. They are patient and tolerant, adaptable to almost any living situation. They are clever, mellow and endlessly entertaining. A medium sized cat males weigh 11 to 16 pounds, females weigh 6 to 12 pounds.

 

Low Energy Dog Breeds

These breeds of dogs are for you if you don’t like spending the majority of your time with your dog outdoors. Now, they do still require exercise (every dog does to stay healthy mentally and physically), but these guys won’t run you ragged or require you to be an Olympic athlete to keep up with them.

BOLOGNESE

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Bolognese are said to be descendants of Bichon Frise. Bolognese originate from southern Italy where they were a popular companion dog among the Spanish royalty and moved throughout Europe. The average Bolognese weighs between 8 to 14 pounds and is playful, but not overly active. Bolognese’s long-hair is prone to matting, but they don’t tend to shed much and are considered hypoallergenic. Bolognese are very intelligent and easily trainable. They are reserved around strangers, but get along well with children and other pets.

GREYHOUND

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Ignore the fact that Greyhounds are “designed” to race; they sprint fast but are not high-energy. Greyhounds can be traced back to ancient Egypt and Greece where they were used for herding and hunting. Despite the fact that they can reach a height of 2 1/2 feet and weigh 60 to 70 pounds, Greyhounds make better apartment dwellers than most small breed dogs. By nature, Greyhounds are quiet and gentle and very obedient. You may need to train them or supervise with smaller pets or young children, but they make excellent companions for school-age children and other dogs. They do well with strangers. They do like to run, but a 20 to 30 minute walk most days is sufficient exercise for them.

BULLMASTIFF

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These large guard dogs are a cross between an English Mastiff and an English Bulldog. They were bred to stand in front of an intruder, knock them down and hold them, not to attack. Bullmastiffs typically weigh 100 to 130 pounds and stand 21 to 27″. They are calm, low-key dogs that can do well in an apartment provided it’s large enough for them to move around in. They should live strictly indoors. Bullmastiffs are very loyal and they live for attention. They adore children, are very calm and will return your affection. You might actually have to convince your Bullmastiff to get off the couch; as in any large breed, obesity is always a concern. Don’t let him be a couch potato!

PUG

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These Chinese pets were once used as royal gifts or for bartering in the Orient. They quickly spread throughout Europe because they are very affectionate. If not overfed, Pugs shouldn’t weigh more than 18 pounds. Pugs are pretty low energy, but their wrinkles do require some cleaning to avoid infections and their pinched faces lead to breathing troubles — so no strenuous exercise! Pugs have  a tendency to be stubborn and can snore pretty badly.

BULLDOG

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Originally bred to fight, Bulldogs have since thrown down the gloves and have been bred with gentler personalities. Bulldogs are small and muscular, typically weighing between 40 and 50 pounds. Bulldogs are very loyal and affectionate and get along with everyone. They do require some cleaning attention for their wrinkles on their face. Without frequent casual walks (they can’t handle strenuous workouts), Bulldogs can grow obese.

CHIHUAHUA

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Chihuahuas are the smallest dogs in the world. They were named after the state of Chihuahua in Mexico where they were discovered in 1850. Chihuahuas are thought to have descended from the dogs of Chinese or Spanish explorers. Chihuahuas max out the scale at 2 to 6 pounds and reach a height of 9″. Chihuahuas are not meant for families or even couples; they bond to only one person only and are fiercely loyal to that one person. Personality-wise, they are very high-strung. Both the short- and long-haired varieties require little grooming and an occasional walk will suffice. (In fact, Chihuahuas may end up logging more miles in your purse than on the ground.)

YORKSHIRE TERRIER

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Surprisingly, the long-haired Yorkie does not need regular grooming. Regular brushing and a monthly trim is enough grooming to keep them looking sharp. (Once you learn how, you can easily trim a Yorkie at home yourself.) Yorkies require little space and don’t require much training or exercise. Yorkies max out at 7 pounds and 6 to 7″ in height. Yorkies are quite adventurous and brave. They are also very affectionate. It is imperative with Yorkies that you establish that you are the leader and the one in control. If you don’t, a Yorkie will change its temperament and become demanding, dependent, jealous and will snap at people. As long as you establish your gentle leadership, your Yorkie will be the sweetest, most adorable dog on the block.

BEAGLE

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Everybody loves a Beagle; it is the most popular dog breed in the U.S. Their short coats ensure very little shedding. Very loyal, great with kids and doesn’t require regular grooming — what more could you ask for? Beagles make wonderful trackers — once they pick up a scent, they must follow. Males are slightly bigger than females and weigh a bit more. They can handle life in an apartment as long as they receive plenty of time outdoors, but they do best in a house with a fenced-in yard. (Beagles can suffer from “selective” hearing where they might not respond to you if they’re following a scent.)

DACHSHUND

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These small dogs love people, but do not do well with children. They come in three different coat distinctions — short-, long- or wire-haired. None of the coat types require much grooming (they rarely shed), but regular brushing and bathing are essential. They don’t require much space and need minimal exercise. There are three varieties of Dachshund — the Standard 8 to 11″ in height that weigh over 11 pounds, the Miniature is 5 to 7″ and weigh less than 11 pounds and the Toy reaches up to 12″ and weigh 8 pounds.

Best Cat Breeds for Kids

If you’re looking for a new cat for your family, the following breeds do best with children:

ABYSSIAN

Abyssians love the outdoors and are therefore best for older kids who can play outside on their own. They are playful and are natural hams. They take their time getting to know you, so have patience. Once you bond though, it’s forever.

AMERICAN SHORTHAIR

Very playful and even-tempered, they are extremely loyal and develop deep relationships with all family members. They love children and other pets. these were the cats who roamed the farms of the original 13 colonies and caught the mice, they’ll do the same for your family if needed.

BIRMAN

A cross between Siamese and Persians, Birmans are super soft with their face, paws and tails darker than their bodies. They love to cuddle and will sit for long periods. They require a lot of grooming for their long-haired coats. They aren’t much of a match for active kids, but they are extremely friendly.

MANX

Considered to be tailless, they actually have either a short tail or a stub. They can either be long or short-haired. Tall hind legs allows Manxes to jump very high. They are very playful and highly interactive. It’s said Manxes have a dog’s personality: they enjoy burying and digging. Keep in mind that they may only bond to a certain person and that bond is forever and unlikely to be transferred. The Manx does best indoors.

MAINE COON

This is the cat for you if you love the outdoors. They are extremely playful and tend to chirp, much like a bird. They love water. Hugely loyal, they are so entertaining. If they were human, they might suffer from restless leg syndrome or they would toss and turn all night. You will definitely be entertained by the position they sleep it and it will probably be different every time.

PERSIAN

Very docile and low energy; they aren’t likely to follow you around, but they love affection and attention. Persians are to be kept strictly indoors. They do need proper attention to their hair, but other than that, are a low maintenance pet.

RAGDOLL
Don’t be alarmed: When you pick up a Ragdoll, they go limp. Best suited to indoors, they will follow you around. They are easy to get along with and they tolerate children and other pets well. They can be taught to fetch. They also make great cuddlers.

SIAMESE
Siamese are the most popular short-haired cat in the U.S. Siamese tend to converse with you; it’s quite a vocal breed. They love attention, but tend to be shy and take time to warm up. Once they do, it’s a strong, forever bond. Extremely curious, Siamese are able to raise a child’s activity level.

BRITISH SHORTHAIR

Much like their American counterpart, they require little grooming and faithfully bond to family members and are great “workers.” British shorthairs aren’t the healthiest cat breed out there: they are all prone to sunburn while white cats are prone to tumors and white cats with blue eyes are prone to deafness.

TIFFANY (or CHANTILLY)

A semi long-haired cat, their fur is silky soft. Tiffanys are active and curious, but not mischievous. They play well with kids, but won’t wear them out.

Best Dog Breeds for Kids

If you’re in the market for a new dog, the following breeds do best with children.

BULLDOG

Bulldogs are very sturdy and can pretty much take anything that a kid can throw at them. Bulldogs also tend to have low energy. They can tolerate living in a small apartment as well as they can in a large house.

BEAGLE

It’s a pretty safe bet that your child will tire before your beagle. Beagles are extremely energetic and friendly. They’re a sturdy breed and can even help you to corral your kids at bedtime.

BULL TERRIER

These guys can handle much roughhousing and are still able to remain calm and in control. Bull terriers are intelligent, energetic, friendly and adorable. These dogs are particularly suited for large families — they have plenty of love to share. Once your bond is established, they will become quite protective of you.

COLLIE

Though their coat is high maintenance, they are not. Like a beagle, they have herding instincts. Easily trainable — you can train a collie to do almost anything; collies live to please.

NEWFOUNDLAND

They are very large, drool and shed a lot but these guys aim to please. Newfoundlands also have a natural love of children.

VIZSLA

Vizslas are a middle European (Hungarian) hunting dog. They are gentle, loyal and affectionate. They require lots of exercise but prefer to stay indoors.

IRISH SETTER

Playful and energetic, Irish setters adore being outside. Of the larger dog breeds, Irish setters have the shortest lifespan — only about 12 years.

POODLE (The Standard Poodle that is.)

Standard Poodles are gentle giants that make excellent pals for kids. They also make a great pal to kids with allergies. (Other Poodles breeds tend to be high strung and don’t tolerate children well.)

LABRADOR RETRIEVER

One of the most popular dog breeds and  it’s no surprise why. Labs live to please, are playful yet protective and reliable. They love to learn and they adore showing off.

GOLDEN RETRIEVER

They are like Labs but only have a ten-year lifespan. Golden retrievers are extremely patient and great with all personality types.

MIXED BREEDS

Good news for all you rescuers: any mixed breed (or mutt) dog is a great choice for families. Just make sure you match your dog to your family’s activity level. Keep in mind, that the smaller the dog, the more high strung or high maintenance they are. Above all else, remember that you need to ensure your dog understands that the humans (all family members) are in charge.