Finding The Perfect Cat For You
Your First Pet: Finding The Perfect Cat For You
Approximately 60% of households in the United States own a pet. And, in those households are nearly 75 million cats and 60 million dogs. Before you adopt a cat, there are a few questions to ask yourself to ensure that you and your family can find the best match.
Some Questions To Ask (and Answer) Before Adopting a Cat
• Do you have children under five years old in your home?
Young children and kittens can be a tricky mix. Tots may love their new kitty so much that they forget how gentle they must be. And, naturally rambunctious kittens may swipe at your little one in play, giving hurtful scratches rather than giggles.
• Are you willing and able to financially support a cat: food, veterinary care, vaccinations, spaying/neutering?
Owning a cat requires a financial commitment that is important to consider as a family. Your new kitty will need regular vaccinations, veterinary care and, if necessary, an operation to spay or neuter to avoid behavioral problems and unwanted litters of kittens.
• Do you want a kitten or an adult cat?
Cuddly, bouncy kittens are a delight. But, you may not feel the same way when they climb up your new curtains, have an accident on your favorite rug, or scratch your little one. Older cats have the benefits of being already trained to use a litter box, spayed or neutered, and mellowed out.
• Do you want a male or female?
Once spayed or neutered both males and females are equally loyal and loving. However, if you leave your cat whole, meaning neither spayed or neutered, you will have to contend with males spraying throughout your home to mark their territory and females howling when they come into season, making everyone miserable.
• Is anyone in your family allergic to cats?
An important thing to know before bringing a new kitty home!
• Would you prefer a active, talkative kitty to a quiet but social one?
Think about what kind of temperament you prefer. Cats are often thought of as aloof but they can also be very chatty and social.
Most Popular Breeds with Children
There are over 40 breeds of cats recognized by the Cat Fanciers' Association, each with a different temperament and characteristics. Here are three of the most popular breeds that are also great with children.
The Maine Coon, the third most popular cat in the United States, is one of the largest domestic cats, weighing in at 10-20 pounds. They have a thick coat, tufted ears and fluffy tail. Often considered very dog-like, they are gentle, affectionate, playful, good with children but not overly talkative. Grooming is required.
The Ragdoll is another large breed, also topping the scales at 10-20 pounds. They are typically a fawn color with black markings on the tips of their ears, like a Siamese. Ragdolls are docile, loving, good with other pets and children and are not overly wild or chatty.
The American Shorthair is another very common breed in the United States and is also known for getting along very well with children and other animals. They come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. And, while they are playful and affectionate, they also have a reputation for being equally mellow, quiet, and independent. Grooming needs are very minimal.
Finding Your Match
Once you are certain that you are ready to become a cat owner, the only thing left to do is find one! Please consider adoption before you consider purchasing a cat through a breeder. Each year millions of unwanted cats and kittens are euthanized because a suitable home could not be found. Great resources for adoption and cat care include: