This post was first published on That Little Cat.
Deciding on the best cat breed to suit your needs is a difficult task. There are many things to take into consideration, like how they behave around kids, if they are more allergenic, if they shed a lot and are harder to groom, etc. Here are 5 ways to choose the best cat breed for you.
These are just some of the things you need to think about before picking out a cat. It’s not as easy as might seem. A cat isn’t going to be a temporary visitor in your house. It’s going to become another family member. So you need to ask yourself these questions before deciding what breed of cat is for you.
» See our web story on choosing a cat breed.
Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Cat Breed
Here are a list of questions to ask yourself before choosing a cat breed:
- Do you want to adopt a cat or kitten or pick one from a litter?
- Do you want to have a pure bred from a breeder with papers or just get a free tabby?
- Does the cat breed have a boisterous or quiet personality?
- Are they okay with other pets in the house?
- Will they be okay around children?
- Are they okay with staying indoors – or mostly being an outdoor cat – depending on what you prefer.
- Do they need any special considerations?
You also need to make sure that once the cat is home you can provide food, toys, and vet cost. Cats need shots and wellness check ups too. Also think about grooming costs for a longhaired cat. It can get expensive. A free cat is not free, it costs money to own a pet and be a good pet owner.
5 Ways to Choose the Best Cat Breed For You
There are thousands of types of cats out there to choose from. Even a domestic cat comes in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Choosing a breed really is a personal option.
If you are looking for a pure bread cat and are willing to pay good money for it, then you want to research the different breeds and what to expect. Each breed has its own unique things to consider that may make the difference when adopting.
Some breeds have a longer life span. Some are more territorial. Some are more aggressive. Some have a tendency to go blind. Some do not like other pets or children. Some have higher pitched meows, like a Siamese cat.
Most pure bread cats come with health and purity certificates. If you are picking a kitten from a domestic litter or adoption then it is more of what color and hair length do you want. Most domestic cats are free and can be found listed in the paper, grocery store bulletin board, or word of mouth.
Remember a free cat really isn’t free, it may require flea bath before coming home and will need to go to the vet immediately if not adopted from a shelter.
When choosing a cat, pay close attention to what their personality is. Is the animal playful, skittish, rough, quiet or loud?
If you have children you may want to go with a more mellow and relaxed cat. One that isn’t bothered by noise and sudden movements, it will be less likely to scratch or hiss at the kids. If you are picking out a kitten than it can be hard to know which ones are going to be what as they grow.
The kitty that pays you the most attention should be the one you get. Let your cat pick you out. Have patience with your cat as you discover his/her personality. Nighttime friskiness is to be expected and even the mellowest cat will play through the night.
2. Kitten or Cat?
Many people want a sweet little kitten. What is not to love about kittens? Well, for starters they attack everything, including the baby, the plants, your clothes, your body, and just about anything that peaks their fancy at that moment.
If you can handle picking up after your new little tornado and can handle litter box training (not all kittens come trained), then you might enjoy the playfulness a kitten can bring. If you don’t want to deal with those things and are worried about small children getting scratched than adopting a mature cat might be a better option for you.
Adopting an older cat cost less initially as well. You will pay an adoption fee, usually somewhere between $30-$50, and your cat comes with all its shots and fixed. You will be responsible for the cost of all that when getting a kitten.
Older cats also tend to be more passive and instead of scratching kids, they know how to simply avoid them.
3. Short Hair or Long Hair?
Long or short hair, now that’s the question. It can be hard to tell if a kitten is going to be long or shorthaired, they all are fluffy and fuzzy when they are little. Also with domestic cats you can’t rely on what the parents look like either. Shorthaired kittens tend to look a bit less fluffy than longhaired.
All cats shed no matter what hair type they have and so cleaning will be a must for both. Shorthaired cats seem to have hair all over the place, where longhaired cats seem to have clumps here and there. Longer haired cats also require more maintenance. Some require daily brushings to keep the hair untangled and clean.
Grooming visits to trim the cat’s hair from the back end helps fervent nasty litter box mishaps, but can be costly. Shorthaired cats require hair brushing too, to minimize their shedding.
Another thing to consider is a hairless cat, which are great if you are allergic to cat fur. Grooming is a part of any pet owner’s life, how much time you want to invest is what you need to figure out.
4. Buying vs Adopting
It will be quite a bit more expensive to buy a cat that is a purebred and you should be diligent to find an ethical breeder. But this route will allow you to find the perfect breed for you, to know where it came from, and to plan for its arrival.
Rescuing a cat from a shelter can be very rewarding and heartwarming. To know that you saved a cat and gave it a loving home is a great gift. However, it doesn’t come without possible issues.
It’s possible that rescue cats will come with mental or behavioral issues from their last home. They may also not be properly trained, which can be a hassle to rectify.
5. Commitment Level
Cats live ten to fifteen, sometime twenty years. When you are adopting a cat, you are adopting a long-term commitment to care for that cat.
You are adopting a commitment to feed that cat. You are adopting a commitment to protect that cat. You are taking on the responsibility to provide medical care, love, and time to care for this pet.
Cats may be lower maintenance animals but they require all the same things other animals do. Their litter boxes need regular cleaning and they need affection. Being a pet owner is a big commitment and should not be taken lightly.
Stock up on Cat Supplies
Our favorite place to buy pet supplies online is Amazon because you can Subscribe & Save to automatically reorder everything you need at a great discount.
Meow Mix Dry Food (save ~$9) Purina Fancy Feast Pack (save ~$18) Fresh Step Litter (save 5%)
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