From the moment that you decide to adopt a cat, the choice is yours as to which breed, age, gender you want to adopt! It is very important not to base your decision on their appearance because although all cats are cute, not all cats will correspond to your lifestyle - if you own lots of expensive vases, it wouldn't, for example, be a great idea to adopt a bengal! So, what kind of cat suits you best?
Should I adopt a kitten or an adult cat?
Generally, when people adopt a cat for the first time, they prefer to get a kitten. This is usually the case for many reasons: you can educate them from a young age and see them grow up etc. Kittens are generally easier to educate, while an adult cat can have developed annoying habits.
However, adopting a kitten can have its downsides, notably on the subject of education. You'll have to put up with certain difficult traits that occur from time to time and take the time to teach the kitten that they are bad. You also have to be more available for a kitten than for a cat because they are more lively and need more attention. You will need to play with them as often as possible to socialise them properly. If your timetable is already crammed, consider getting an adult cat instead.
If you choose an adult cat, you have the chance to ask yourself about what kind of traits would suit you and your environment best. Try to find out if the cat lived in a flat or a house, if they are use to children, if they like cuddles...
Should I adopt a female or a male cat?
The behavior of your cat can depend on their sex and also their sexual behavior. If your cat, however, has been spayed or neutered, their sex will have very little effect on their behavior.
For a non-sterilised cat, the tomcat can present very dominant behavior in order to mark his territory. They could also escape the house and only return days later. They would also be more inclined to fight with other males, notably in the mating season.
To find out more: The mating season for cats
However, if your cat was neutered at a young age, this kind of behavior will be exhibited much less strongly.
It has been said that male cats have a more lively disposition than female cats. In reality, however, these character traits are more often linked to breed rather than sex.
Should I adopt a pedigree or mixed breed cat?
Many future owners prefer to adopt mixed breed cats rather than pedigrees for many reasons. Only a third of adoptions are pure breeds.
Cost of a cat
A pedigree cat will have to be paid for. Their price can be more or less expensive depending on their physical attributes. The more closely a cat resembles the specificities of its breed, the more expensive they will be. You can find 'faultless' kittens from $1000 to $1500.
If you wish to adopt a mixed cat, the cost will be a lot less. However, adoption is never free because you need to pay for vaccination and spaying which will cost about $100.
The breed can define the behaviour
Genetic predisposition is very prevalent in the physical appearance of a cat, but equally in its behaviour.
When you take a look at our breed profiles, you will notice the kind of behaviour associated with each breed. Cat breeds can be reserved, intelligent, active, sociable, calm, suspicious etc.
These however, are stereotypes, however closely they resemble the truth. Even cats of the same breed are not necessarily exactly the same in terms of character. So many things can influence the character of a cat, just like humans!
It has been said that the color of a cat's coat can indicate their personality. For example, a ginger cat would be more active. The best way to find out a cat's character, however, is to learn as much as possible about their current lifestyle. Knowing how they were raised will help you on this point.
Know that there are numerous breeds, each having their own distinct physical attributes. People adopting mixed cats are often less interested in their physical attributes, but there are still different kinds of cats in terms of their patterns, colour, fur type etc.
Caring for your cat
Maintaining quality of fur
According to the breed, their fur will need to be brushed more or regularly.
If your cat has long and dense fur, you will need to brush it more frequently. Certain breeds need this care, such as the Persian, Scottish Fold or Birman. These grooming sessions don't need to be a trial for you or your cat. It can be a calming moment for both of you. If you know that you don't have a lot of time to dedicate to grooming, choose a short-haired cat.
For example, if you want to adopt a Persian, you should know that they need a lot of time to maintain the glossiness of their fur. They need to be brushed every day to prevent knots from forming. Extra attention needs to be paid to their tail, which can quickly become a flea nest if not taken care of. These knots are very bad for a cat's health as when licking themselves they can swallow these knots, causing intestinal problems.
Your cat's health
Just like a cat's coat, their health is also strongly linked to their breed.
It is often said that mixed breed cats are the least fragile. They are without doubt able to develop certain illnesses because their genealogy is hard to discern. It is hard to tell, therefore, if the cat will be ill or not.
With regards to pedigree cats, certain breeds are more subject to certain illnesses than others. These illnesses are often likely to occur in breeds with extreme standards.
For example, the Sphynx cat is often diagnosed with a hereditary illness called CMH.
Cat breeders cannot guarantee whether their kittens carry the disease or not because it can skip generations. This illness is characterised by shrinkage in the walls of the heart. There are, of course, treatments, but these can become very expensive as the medicine is often prescribed for life. It is therefore necessary to learn about the different illnesses that different cat breeds can develop.
The cat's lifestyle
This factor is very important in the choice of your cat. Your cat's lifestyle can be completely different in terms of breed, behavior or age.
For an adult cat
If you adopt an adult cat, you will need to learn about the life they lead previous to their adoption. Did they go out a lot? Were they a homebody? You should learn the answers to these questions to see whether this cat suits your lifestyle, and indeed, if you suit theirs! It is best not to try and change a cat's habits because they can develop behavioral difficulties.
If the cat you are thinking of adopting was used to going out into a garden and you live in a flat in the city, for the good of the cat, it is best to reconsider.
You should also learn about that cat's behavior, because even within a breed, some cats can be very active and others not, while others were used to roaming around and others staying in. The first kind would be very unhappy in a small apartment while the second one would be just fine.
For a kitten
If you adopt a kitten, if will be easier for them to adapt to a new environment. If you live in an apartment, this would be ideal because the kitten will never have lived outside and will adapt very well to life at home.