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How to choose a cat!

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There are plenty of things to consider before picking a feline friend. The first, and most important step, is choosing the cat that's perfect for you, your family, your lifestyle, and your household.

But how exactly do you do that? We're here to help! The Humane Society has laid out a handful of very important topics to consider - and from there, we'll guide you along the way:
  • Kitten or adult cat?
  • Family matters
  • Personality
  • Short or long-haired?
  • Purebred or mixed breed?
  • Room for one more?
  • Be responsible

Kitten or adult cat?
As we all know, kittens are beyond adorable, curious creatures who are playful and full of energy. This also demands a lot of attention and patience to keep them safe and out of trouble. Adult cats are usually much calmer and less mischievous. With an adult, what you see is what you usually get -- especially if they are one year or older.

Family matters
Kittens and very young children usually don't mix well, as kittens can be fragile and youngsters kind of rough. Babies, and even toddlers, like to grab tails, fur, and can upset your cat. A young child might not be best around a kitten.


"Cats, like people, are individuals," says The Humane Society. "No two are exactly alike, whether they're from the same breed or even the same litter. Some cats are very mellow and will tolerate any kind of handling. These cats are perfect for young kids or older people who want and appreciate this type of cat."

"Other cats don't like being picked up or held and will only come to you for petting when they feel like it. Cats also have varying degrees of energy: some prefer to nap all day, while others are constantly on the go."

"Personality can vary widely by breed, too. If you decide you want a purebred, do your homework so you end up with one that's right for you. Persians, for example, are typically laid-back and sedentary, while Bengals and other "exotic" breeds (created with wild cat genes) tend to be extremely active. Siamese have the reputation of being very talkative."

Short or long-haired?

This is mostly a matter of preference - especially if you have additional time to devote to grooming. Long-haired cats require frequent grooming sessions to prevent matting, either at home or by a professional groomer.

Short-haired cats don't require as much brushing, but it does help to remove loose fur, stimulate the skin, and distribute oils through the coat. A cat who likes being groomed will come running when they see the brush.

Purebred or mixed breed?

There are much fewer cat breeds than dog breeds, because dog breeds evolved from the type of work they were meant to do. Cat breeds were developed mostly for companionship, so there are fewer personality differences between cat breeds.

If you have your heart set on a specific breed, make sure you research that breed thoroughly as well as the breeder (if you choose to buy a purebred). Some breeds are prone to certain medical problems, and there are many breeders who aren’t careful about their breeding programs, resulting in injured or traumatized cats.

In general, mixed breed cats tend to be healthier, since their gene pools are much more diverse.

Room for one more?
If you already have pets, you have to consider them as well before bringing home a cat. Most cats can get along with other cats, while most dogs can get along with cats. But, that's not necessarily always true and you'll have to make sure to properly introduce them, gradually, to your household of critters.

Birds and cats have been known to co-exist peacefully, but remember that felines are hunters by instinct. A cat may traumatize your bird by trying to get at them through the bars of the cage.

Be responsible!

Once you've thought through all your options and carefully weighed the type of breed and cat you would like, make sure you can properly provide a safe, happy, and healthy life for your new fur-baby. Your pet experts at Pets Plus are able to help with any questions you may have. We hope to see you soon!

Want to research some breeds on your own? Here's a great guide for you!