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How To Choose The Right Cat – The Guide To Finding Your Purfect Match

Owning a cat is one of the most beautiful things a person can experience. But how should you choose the right cat for you? What are the factors one should consider before getting a cat? Is getting a kitten the best option for you? Read on and discover everything you need to know before choosing your lifelong purring friend.

Cats make wonderful friends despite their reputation of being too independent and emotionally detached. That is simply not true. They need as much affection and care as any other animal.

You know you want to get a purring companion that would play and cuddle with you as soon as you come back home, but how do you choose the right cat for you? What are the factors you should consider before adopting a pretty kitty-cat?

We will go through every step of choosing the perfect and help you determine which cat breed, age or temperament you should be looking for. Let’s start!

If you’re a first-time soon-to-be cat-owner you should inform yourself on differences between cats that can affect your final choice. When it comes to choosing a cat, there are several questions you should be asking yourself before welcoming a cute kitten in your home.

But, the first you should think of is:

Can I Care For A Cat?

Cats are much more independent than dogs and can often tolerate better having some alone time. But, this doesn’t mean cats don’t require care and maintenance.

Just like any other animals, cats also need to be taken care of and be provided with good food and environment in order to be healthy and happy.

Training a Cat

No matter how smart cats can be, you should still spend some time in housetraining them. If you want to avoid having scratches on furniture you will have to establish rules that your cat will have to accept. Feline independence will make this slightly harder, as they are not big fans of being told what to do.

So, if you want a well-behaved cat that will respect your house environment, you will have to be patient and spend some time training your cat. Tray training a cat is what most owners say to be a real breeze. And, indeed, our feline friends actually pick up the habit of using the tray quite quickly. Still, that means that you will have to clean or empty the tray every day so the bad smell doesn’t ruin the comfort of your home.

Grooming A Cat

Cats groom themselves on a daily basis. It’s the time when they lick their paws and make sure their fur looks its best. However, most cats, and especially long-haired ones leave a lot of hair around. In order to minimize the amount of hair on your furniture and clothes, it is necessary to groom your cat on a regular basis.

Activity Requirements

Another thing that often comes overlooked is that cats need to spend time outdoors too. They should have enough freedom to run, play and hunt on insects and small animals. As felines are really flexible and can easily escape from the yard, it will be smart to have a safe, fenced place outdoors where your cat could easily exercise.

Even if you won’t walk your cat as you would do with a dog, cats will still need a fair amount of play and running time. This is especially true for kittens that are really energetic and will need someone to look after them for quite some time.

A Life-long Friend

Most cats live longer than 15 years, and some even reach the age of 20 or more. That is why you should be aware that when you’re adopting a kitten, you are choosing a companion that will stay in your life for a long time. If your living situation or lifestyle requires frequent traveling or you simply move a lot, getting a kitten might not be the best idea. In that case, an adult cat might be a better solution.

Vaccination

Just like dogs, cats need vaccination too. Inform yourself about the major feline diseases that are preventable and ensure your kitten a healthy life with no frequent sneezing, coughing or feeling ill. Your vet will surely make this easier for you.

Now that you’re aware of what getting a cat means and which responsibilities it might bring to your life, it will be easier for you to know if you’re ready for a feline pet or not. Now, it’s time for you to know what cat to choose. Let’s continue!

Should I Get A Kitten, An Adult Cat Or An Older Cat?

When thinking about adopting a cat, most people think about kittens first! But, the truth is that it might not always be the best option. Getting an adult or older cat can also be a great choice for people of certain lifestyles.

Get a kitten if:

  • You’re ready to spend a lot of time in playing with your kitten and making sure they don’t hurt themselves.
  • You have enough time to train your cat the basic house rules.
  • You’re patient.
  • You can bring your kitten to regular vaccinations and visits to the vet.
  • You want to have a cat that will learn to live by your rules.
  • You (or someone from your household) can spend most of your time of the first few months with the kitten.
  • You’re ready to have a lifelong friendship that can last up to 20 years or more.

Get an adult cat if:

  • You want a cat with a developed personality.
  • You want a cat that is already trained and used to common house rules.
  • You really want to spend time to play with your cat, but can’t do it all time.
  • You work full-time and can’t spend time in training and monitoring your cat’s behavior.
  • You don’t mind having a cat that has accepted house rules from its previous owner.

Get an older cat if:

  • You want a cat with a developed personality.
  • You want a cat that is already trained and used to common house rules.
  • You prefer a rather laid-back cat that would sleep more rather than play.
  • You work full-time and can’t spend time in training and monitoring your cat’s behavior.

Have you realized which cat age is the right for you? Now let’s continue to more specific questions that you might want to consider.

Should I Get A Male Or A Female Cat?

When it comes to cats, choosing a male or a female cat won’t make a big difference if they are neutered. Male cats are usually a bit bigger than females and have larger heads. But both can be cuddly and loving the same, just as they can both be equally independent. And that seems to be it!

So why is this topic important then? Well, if you don’t want to neuter your cat, the differences in the behavior will be likely bigger.

Un-neutered females might be hard to handle and keep indoors when they come into season. They might also escape and return being pregnant very early in their lives.

Un-neutered males will also have a tendency to wander away from home or to fight with other unspayed males in the neighborhood. Males that are not spayed will also have quite a pungent urine that might be uncomfortable for homes without terraces and yards.

How Much Cat Grooming Am I Ready To Do?

You can probably guess what are we talking about here. Sure, longhaired cats are stunning, but they will require daily grooming, and probably daily vacuuming if you like to keep your flat clean.

Short haired cats will be much easier to groom, but that doesn’t mean they won’t shed. However, occasional grooming will decrease the amount of hair found around your home.

There are also hairless breeds such as the Sphynx cat that requires no grooming at all but needs frequent bathing.

What Is My Family Environment?

This is a topic that should mostly concern you if you have small kids in your household.

If you have young kids in your home, getting a kitten might seem like a great idea. But here’s the truth. While the kitten will most likely get used to interacting with young children and enjoy their presence, the kids might be too rough to a kitten and actually injure it accidentally.

That’s why it’s not advisable to adopt kittens while kids are too young.

On the other hand, an adult cat that hasn’t been around kids much may get too defensive if suddenly found among young kids. If you’re adopting an adult cat, check with the shelter or the previous owner if the cat has been exposed to children in past.

Also, there are certain breeds that are more child-friendly than others.

Should I Get A Purebred or a Mixed Breed Cat?

Another question that a first-time cat owner might think of is whether to adopt a purebred or a mixed breed cat. This will mostly depend on your wishes and of what you’re looking for in a cat.

If you want a cat of certain features, i.e. long hair, fluffy fur, folded ears, then you might be more satisfied with a purebred kitten. On the other hand, if you don’t care as much how your cat looks and want to have a good buddy to play with and cuddle, then go for a mixed breed cat. Choosing “moggies” is also a life-saving decision that will rescue a kitten from the streets.

However, health issues might be unpredictable in mixed breed cats, but still, some cat breeds can be more prone to developing certain types of health conditions. For instance, Persians are brachycephalic cats that tend to develop breathing difficulties with time.

This choice might influence your finance the most, as getting a purebred kitten will likely be quite expensive, meanwhile adopting a mixed breed won’t cost you money.

Should I Get My Cat From A Breeder or A Rescue Shelter?

Finally, you should decide if you want to get your cat from a breeder or you prefer to adopt a cat from a rescue shelter.

But what should you have in mind when thinking about this last step in getting a cat?

If you already decided to adopt a purebred cat, then you will have to contact a breeder. Make sure that the environment where the kitten will spend its first weeks is stimulating and full with fun challenges. The unstimulating environment might produce anxious cats in the future. So if your breeder has other pets or children around too, your kitten will probably become a friendly and cuddly adult.

If you want a “domestic cat” also known as moggies, it would be quite logical to opt for a rescue shelter. There are a lot of cats waiting to have a new home and family to adapt to. Also, animal shelters often have purebred cats too, so you might still want to check and end up doing a good deed.

Conclusion

Getting a cat is getting a life long companion. It should be thoroughly reflected before impulsively choosing that cute fluffy kitten you just can’t resist!

Remember to be honest with yourself and admit how much you are ready to commit to your new pet. As soon as you get the answer, it will be much clearer to you which cat you want to have: a kitten, an adult or an older cat.

A mixed breed cat will bring surprises in the matter of personality and physical traits, while a purebred cat will probably give you what you expected. However, there are a lot of differences between cat breeds and you should do your research on each breed’s temperament and preferences before choosing a cat solely on its fur length or color of eyes.

Finally, it is a very nice thing to adopt an adult cat from a rescue shelter, but if you’re ready to have a kitten that will stay by your side for another 20 years, then you might prefer contacting professional breeders.

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