Choosing a Cat Breed

You’ve decided it’s time for a pet and you know a cat’s for you! Picking the perfect cat can be tricky, but the tips below can help you choose.

Male vs. Female

It’s a common belief that male cats and female cats are very different – that males will be cuddly and friendly while females will be standoffish or want to be left alone. There’s no real truth to that stereotype, though. Male cats are generally larger than females and certain breeds favor a certain gender (male calico cats are extremely rare, for example), but cats’ personalities vary from cat to cat, not between males and females. An important thing to consider is that males are more likely than females to “mark their territory” or “spray” if not fixed, though females will occasionally do this. The problem is usually easily remedied if your cat is neutered or spayed at a young age.  

Cat Breeds

There are over 80 different recognized breeds of cat and it’s important that you do some research to make sure a breed is right for you. Ask yourself a few simple questions and you’ll be able to narrow down the list of possibilities.

  • Are you looking for a pet quality cat or a show cat?
  • Do you have allergies, and is this breed better suited for someone allergic?
  • Do you live in a home with children, and is this a good breed for kids?
  • Is this an active or mellow breed, and which one of those suits your personality?
  • Are looks important? Cats come with long, short or no hair, in a variety of colors and with a variety of styles.

Consider your family, your lifestyle, the amount of time you’ll have to spend with your cat and you’ll be on your way to finding the right cat.

Choosing a Breeder

Once you’ve narrowed down breed, you can begin to narrow down breeder. Cats and Kittens, Cat Fancy and several other publications have listings in their magazines as well as online. Kittens for Sale is also an excellent online resource for connecting with quality breeders. Make a short list of breeders who have the type of cat you want as well as available kittens. Once you’ve got that, begin to interview your potential breeders. In addition to being ready to provide you with references from vets and previous buyers, as well as papers for the cat, a reputable breeder will be open to your questions about their cats, their environment and the way they’re bred. A good breeder will also be willing to show you your cat's parents, let you see their cattery and be interested in learning about their buyers. A quality breeder will lead to a quality cat!

No matter which cat you choose, remember that he or she will be your companion for many years. A little bit of research and planning now will ensure you’ve got the right companion!