There are lots of important things to think through before picking your new pal. The first step to starting a long and lasting friendship with a cat is choosing the cat that's right for you. It’s the most important decision you'll make because a cat is a living, breathing being who will need your care and attention for the next 10, 15 or even 20 years. There are so many kinds of cats to choose from, it can be hard to know where to begin. Here are some tips to help you choose the right cat for your lifestyle.
Kitten or adult cat: Kittens are adorable, curious, playful and full of energy. They can also be exasperating at times, demanding lots of supervision to keep them out of trouble and patience when they get into it. A kitten is an unknown entity, so you really don't know what kind of cat you'll end up with once she outgrows her kitten personality. Adult cats are usually calmer, less bouncy, and less mischievous. With an adult, what you see is usually what you get, so if you are looking for specific qualities, consider cats that are a year and older.
Family Matters: When choosing a cat, keep your family in mind. Kittens and very young children usually don't mix well. Kittens can be fragile and youngsters kind of rough. Babies and toddlers tend to grab the closest part of a cat, be it tail, ear, or fur, and they can't resist giving the cat a great big hug. Always supervise any interaction between your youngster and your cat.
Personality: Cats, like people, are individuals. 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. There are cats who live to nap and cats who are perpetual motion machines.
Short Fur Or Long:This is mainly a matter of preference and your willingness to devote time to regular grooming. Long-haired cats require frequent grooming sessions to prevent matting. Not all cats enjoy being brushed and you could wind up having to take your long-hair to a groomer. Short-haired cats don't require as much brushing, but it helps to remove loose fur, stimulate the skin, and distribute oils through the coat. A cat who likes being groomed will come running when she sees the brush.
Special Needs Cats: Many cats with special needs make wonderful companions. They might be older, deaf, blind or have an illness that requires regular medication. Their condition doesn't affect the amount of love and pleasure they have to give. It just means extra commitment on your part to meet their needs for the rest of their lives.
Room For One More: If you already have pets, you have to consider them as well before bringing home a cat. Cats can get along with other cats and dogs can get along with cats. But it's not necessarily easy to get them used to one another, and sometimes it can be impossible. Some cats may be perfectly happy as an only cat and could resent a newcomer. The more cats you have, the more potential problems you invite. Dogs and cats can become best friends, but some dogs with a high prey drive may not be able to resist chasing or terrorizing the new cat.
Write down some notes about your needs, living situation and lifestyle and bring them with you to the shelter so our staff can help you find the perfect cat for your situation!
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