Subscribe to Your Pets UniverseNews Feed

How to Choose the Right Cat

Cats and dogs are oh, so different, but , are they? One usually does not associate the words "faithful", "companion" and "loyal" with cats. But if you’d like to have a great faithful and loyal companion, and you are not ready for a dog, a cat might be the right pet for you. True... you can't take your cat to the park and spend the day throwing a ball, but cats can also be your best friends.
It’s not just a cat, it’s a whole new personality

When you are choosing a cat, personality is very important. While at the shelter different cats will behave differently: some like to get attention, some will not stop mewing, others will be loving and some will just observe you from a distance. You can judge a cat’s personality by the way it responds to your touch. Ask the volunteers or counselor for some time alone with the cat. Notice if the cat likes to be played with and is alert to your movements or just sits there and ignores you. Does it look at you or acts aloof? Try dragging a string around, or see if the cat rubs on your legs. However, not all cats may respond normally, since they might be scared of the shelter’s environment. If you happen to like a cat that’s too timid, try interacting with it over a couple of visits to see any change in temperament. Just make sure you get what you want. If you like cats, but are not very keen on having one rub against you or look to get on your lap all the time, an aloof, independent cat might be for you, but it can be frustrating for someone that is looking for a friend to cuddle and play with.

Cute kitten or grown cat?

What cat to choose?

Ginger, Spot and Goliath

Both have their advantages. With a kitten, there’s never a dull moment. They are full of energy and can keep you laughing and entertained with their little antics. However, they need to be cared for, trained and fed. You are going to have to be their momma for a while. Young kids usually don't have the maturity to handle kittens responsibly, so a cat about four months old is the best choice for homes with children. A grown cat tends to be lazier and less mischievous, preferring to relax rather than chase a silly toy across the floor. An adult cat can fend for him or herself, so they can be left unsupervised without so much worry. An adult cat already developed its personality, so you will know what you're getting. A kitten will be an adventure. A grown cat will probably be independent and set on its ways. A kitten will grow up with you and get used to your lifestyle.

Hair raising factors

Cats groom themselves, in fact, they spend hours doing so, and therefore, their hair is pretty much their own business. However, since it’s living in your house, you will want to decide what kind of hair you want your kittie to have. Short-haired cats are more common than long-haired ones, and you will find lot's of these at the shelter. Long -haired cats require more grooming. Kittens are normally cleaned by their mothers for the first few months so you will have to play mommy and wipe them clean with a damp cloth. Thankfully, cats enjoy this practice and will very happily let you make all the effort.

Join the gang

If you have other pets at home – like a dog or another cat, then it’s very important that you introduce them to their new friend properly, lest the peace and tranquility of the house be disrupted. It usually takes some time for cats to get to know and like each other, and sometimes a little longer for dogs and cats. They can all happily live together and most of the times get along very well, but you have to start off on a safe note by giving the newcomer some room for her or himself till they're habituated to the house, and the other pets, habituated to his or her presence. Eventually, you can let them spend some time with the rest of the lot, starting with short supervised intervals of time until they're ready to be left alone. Be prepared to be patient.

Be responsible!

Cats are usually looked at as being low maintenance, however, they also come with their share of responsibilities for the owner. Cats have a tendency to roam about and don’t particularly mind leaving home. Do your best to keep your cat indoors from the very beginning. I'd recommend reading my article Good Reasons to Keep Your Cat Indoors. Spaying or neutering your cat will ensure that there are no new pregnancies to add to the millions of kittens born each year who are abandoned at shelters and never find a good home. Sapying and neutering also help cats live longer, healthier lives. You will need to take your cat to the vet regularly (especially when you get him or her home for the first time) and give it some exercise everyday to avoid health problems, especially weight issues. This can be easily done since most cats love to play.

Adopt a cat for life

Just keep in mind that although cats have this reputation of being "independent", they love and appreciate company and attention as much as the next pet. You will be sharing your life with this being for many years. So choose responsibly and you will have a wonderful and fulfilling time with your new adopted pet.