Purrfect Match – Easy Tips to Choosing the Right Cat for You

November 28, 2017

You are ready to add a furry companion to your household, and you know just what you want: an independent yet loving feline who will have few needs, bestow lots of attention on you, and won’t mind being left alone for long periods of time.  If it were only this easy! Before you go out looking for a feline companion, here are some easy tips to follow and important decisions to make when choosing the right cat for you.

Do you want a kitten or a grown up cat?  A kitten is just like a toddler and will get into everything and anything, given half a chance.  Similarly, it will require some training to get the kitten acquainted with the rules of your household and to assure that all will run smoothly. A mature cat will require less supervision and also will not have the hectic energy of a kitten.  If you have small children, an adult cat might be a better choice, especially if the kids want to carry it around.  A small kitten might get hurt by a fall, whereas a cat will most likely be able to not only withstand some rough handling, but also make her displeasure known quite memorably to a child who may thoughtlessly pull a tail.

Do you want a long haired or a short haired cat?  While any cat will require some brushing to keep its fur shiny, matt free and the number of hairballs to a minimum, those cats with long hair will require extra amounts of attention and grooming. If you have the time and willingness to take on more extensive grooming duties, then a long haired cat may fit the bill; if you are somewhat rushed for time, or cannot envision years of grooming, then perhaps a short hair is more up your alley.

How do the other household members feel about the coming addition?  If you have children, they are probably very excited, but your pet hamster, fish or bird may not feel quite so enthusiastic. Your dog may also be a bit apprehensive.  Work out the details of adding a cat before you bring home a cat!  If you have a fish tank, is it secure, so the lid cannot be pried open by a curious cat? Will the hamster and bird be safe?  Is there a safe room to put the cat while she and the dog work out the pecking order in the household?

Purebred or mix?  Do you want to enter your cat in shows and become an active member of a fancier club in your area?  If this is the case, you will want to make sure you visit a reputable breeder to purchase a purebred cat with a traceable heritage.  If, however, you simply want a companion and couldn’t care less about pedigree, please consider bypassing the lure of kittens in the pet shop window and instead visit the local animal shelter where many cats and kittens are in dire needs of homes.

As you can see, there is more to adding a feline companion to your household than simply picking one up from the nearest animal shelter. Don’t be enthralled by the first cat you meet, but instead walk past the cages and make eye contact with the cats.  Get a feel for them and gage their personalities. If you feel you find one that is compatible with your needs and wants, and that seems to display the personality traits you are looking for in a cat, ask a shelter assistant to let you hold the cat and see how she reacts to direct contact.  If she turns into a ball of claws and teeth, you will have an uphill battle on your hands and need to evaluate if you really have the time and patience to tame this little fur ball.  On the other hand, if she just melts into your arm and erupts into loud purrs, you might have found your perfect feline match. Please remember, whatever you decide, spay or neuter your new feline companion as soon as possible, unless you want to set up shop as a purebred breeder yourself. Before choosing to do the latter, however, please be sure to talk with some breeders in your area to find out about the rules, regulations, and also how to keep the animals safe and healthy.

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