Once you have decided that you want to get a cat you have to choose what kind of cat you want to get. You can choose gender, pedigree, breed, long or short hair, and colour. Once you have made all of these considerations you will be able to find the right cat for you and your family.
Show Cat or Pet Cat
You must decide from the outset if this will be a pet cat or a show cat. A show cat will need to be well cared for and groomed. It is a lifestyle not suited to every cat, and should be introduced right away if that is your intention. If you are going to have the cat as a pet, you can worry less about what it looks like and more about its temperament and how it will fit in with your family.
Indoor or Outdoor Cat
Some breeds are too fragile to do well as outdoor cats. Some breeds bond closely with the owner will be unhappy anywhere other than inside with their owner – preferably on their owners lap being fussed over. Other breeds with a stronger wild streak will be bored inside a house in keeping such breeds inside permanently will be distressing for everyone as they will make their displeasure at their imprisonment known. Cats are not cats are not cats.
If you would like to breed kittens you will definitely want to get a female cat. If you are not concerned with kittens or want nothing to do with them, you can get a male cat, or you can spay a female cat. If you decide to get a male cat you should have it neutered by the time it is six months old so that it will not spray everywhere or try to get out all the time. Male cats are generally more trouble than female cats.
Long or Short Hair
This choice will depend on your preference for appearance, but also on how much time and money you want to spend grooming your pet. A long haired cat is beautiful to behold, but you may not want to spend the hour a day brushing its fur. A long haired cat is also more likely to trigger allergies and asthma attacks. Long-haired cat breeds come with a single coat, a double coat, high maintenance fur, and low maintenance fur. Typically long-haired cats that have developed their long hair naturally from living in a cold climate will have low maintenance fur than a breed has long hair has been developed through breeding.
Kitten or Adult Cat
Yes, this is an important factor. There are plenty of people who love cats but who don’t wish to raise a kitten that all its mischief, requirement for toilet training et cetera. Of course when there are children involved there is little doubt that going to want a kitten. The reason I put this point in is that many people don’t think to get a cat, they think their only option is to get a kitten. I can tell you right now your local cat rescue will back me what I say this is very much not true. (Editor – my last cat(Romeo) was a beautiful Tabbie male who was equal parts Lion and petting toy. He was a cat rescue cat and the family loved dearly. We had gone to the cat rescue together kitten that when none were available we came home with Romeo and over the years everyone agreed this was a wonderful result.)
Cats come in so many colours, just about every shade except green. You can find brown, black, red, cream, red blues and grays. There are also many different types of coat patterns, such as tabby, pointed and spotted. There are also mixtures of various colours and patterns. However, colour is generally secondary to most every other consideration. Once you discover what type of cat you want, you will know more about what colours and patterns are common with that breed, and be able to make an informed decision about colour.
Buying a Pedigree Cat
Once you have decided what kind of cat you want you need to think about the cost of getting and keeping the cat. Show cats can be very expensive, but there is no need to pay these high prices if you are going to have a cat as a pet. Often you can get pedigree cats with a few flawed features for a fraction of the cost, and because you are looking for the breed as a pet rather than a show animal, these features are not necessarily an issue.
Sometimes you can find pedigree cats in a pet shop, but generally you will have to find advertisements for breeders that can provide you with the breed you want. It is best if you choose a kitten that has been raised in the house with humans so that human sounds such as the vacuum cleaner do not frighten it into permanent hiding.
When you arrive at the breeders you want to watch the kittens closely for about an hour if it is allowed. This is much better than making a snap decision as to which kitten you want to take. Studying the family can provide clues as to the temperament and physical health of the kittens, allowing you to better choose one that is right for you.