Looking for the Right Cat Breed For Your Family
So, you’re thinking about getting a cat. Great idea! They’re great pets – they’re cute, provide companionship, cuddly, can be quite low-maintenance, and we’ve all seen the hordes of hilarious videos online. But you don’t just buy a cat… you might buy a Persian cat, a British Shorthair, a Siamese cat, a Tabby – the list goes on and on, and each breed could give you a very different pet experience.
So how do you find the right cat breed for your family? Here are some things to consider!
Your living space
First, consider what kind of living space you’re bringing the cat into. Do you live in an apartment that they would be spending a lot of time alone in? Then get a cat breed that wouldn’t mind this so much such as a British Shorthair, Burmese, Russian Blue or Ragdoll. They have lower energy levels and a greater sense of independence, so they’d be happy to spend the day snoozing (though, like all cats, they still need exercise!). But other cat breeds have more energy and a greater desire to explore the great outdoors such as the Siamese, Oriental, and Norwegian Forest Cats – so only get one of these if you have plenty of space and an area for them outside to spend some time in.
It's best to look up cat breed personalities and behaviour in more detail when you get a better sense of what you want, and keep in mind that every cat is still different. There are no guarantees when it comes to personality. That said, different cat breeds have typical traits that you are likely to get when you make your choice. Some cats, such as the Birman, Abyssinian, and Bombay are perfectly fine with having other pets around the house, but other cats may shy away from large dogs, or a lot of foot traffic and activity around the house. But maybe you’re looking for a social or affectionate cat, one that would be a companion for you to cuddle up with on the couch. Scottish Folds, Persians, and American Shorthairs are just a few examples of cute cat breeds that that love to cuddle. Ask yourself why you want a cat and choose one with a temperament that will fulfil this.
Cat breed specific health and maintenance needs
Some cat breeds have specific needs that need to be met for their health and happiness. A Sphynx doesn’t have any hair, which would obviously require a lot less grooming than one with lots of it like a British Longhair. However, Sphinx’s do need to be regularly bathed and cleaned due to missing hair which protects against grime on their skin.
They don’t have the same amount of variance as dogs, but cats still do have different size frames that can require dietary and exercise considerations. For example, an Exotic Shorthair is naturally heavier than others, and they have a flat face and nose, making it difficult to give them long bouts of strenuous exercise. This means it’s easier for them to gain weight and you need to put more thought into their diet. But it is a great example of why you must do some specific research on cat breeds to determine what suits you – because the last thing anyone wants is a pet owner being unprepared or not willing to make a commitment to a cat’s needs.