How To Choose A Cat For Your Family

There are a lot of important things to think about before picking your new cat.  Unlike dogs, most cats are the same basic shape and size but breed, personality, and the make-up of your home and family should all be considerations. Asking yourself some basic questions and thinking through things before seeking out a new friend should help.

Kitten or Older Cat

Kittens are adorable there’s no doubt, but there are some disadvantages to starting out with a kitten versus a full grown cat.  For one, a nine-week-old kitten is approximately two years old in human terms and who can predict what the personality of a two-year-old is going to be? Kittens are also full of energy and can be exasperating at times, demanding lots of supervision and patience to keep them out of trouble.   Adults cat, on the other hand, are usually calmer and less mischievous.  With an adult, what you see is usually what you get so if you’re looking for specific qualities, consider a cat that is at least one year or older.


For some people, a particular breed is the only cat that comes to mind – either because you just like that breed, grew up with that breed cat in your own family home, or you know a lot about that breed.  Just remember, there are currently 40 breeds listed as officially recognized cat breeds, so take some time to familiarize yourself with a few before deciding.  Once you do decide on one, make sure you research and find out the pros and cons of that particular breed as some are more prone to medical issues, or have specific grooming issues, for example, that you will need to be aware of.

Short or Long Hair

This is a matter of preference but think about your willingness to devote time to regular grooming.  Some owners enjoy spending time keeping their cat’s fur looking it’s best, while others consider it a burdensome chore.  All cats should be groomed regularly, to keep their fur from becoming matted, but with short-haired cats, this can be done less frequently.   The other thing to think about is shedding and hairballs can be more of a problem with long-haired cats as well.    

Kids? Other Pets?

Do you have children or other pets already?  You will need to consider this when choosing a cat.  Cats get along with other cats for the most part, but some cats do better as a single rather than part of a pet family as it were.   Kittens who were exposed to cats early have a better chance of fitting in with children in a hosehold.  And some breeds do btter with children than others, so make sure you keep that in midn when researching breeds to look at.




Cats, like people, are individuals and no two are exactly alike even if they’re the same breed or even from the same litter.  Some are mellow, while others are hyper.  Some appreciate older people while some tolerate, even love, younger children.  Some cats love being handled and petted while there are others that would rather be left alone and come to you for attention.  Personality can vary widely by breed, age, and by the cat so do your homework and decide what you and your family are looking for in a cat before going out to look.

The cat you bring home will, hopefully, be part of your life and your family for many many years and this is an important choice so don’t go in willy-nilly.  Make sure you know what you want and spend some time searching, reading, adn thinking bfore brining a new friend into your life.  The best choices are informed choices, for everyone involved – including for the cat.  

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