How to Choose a Pet Cat

At the annual America’s Family Pet Expo in Costa Mesa, California, the Cat Fanciers’ Association gave a number of informative presentations on cats. One of the most interesting sessions, led by Joan Miller, covered choosing a pet cat. Here’s a summary of tips given at the session that you should keep in mind if you are thinking about getting a pet kitty.

Now, many times a cat will choose to adopt you—not the other way around. So if a stray cat shows up and just starts hanging around, then you’ve got your new friend. But if you need to choose what type of cat to get, remember the most important rule: A cat will not change, so it’s about you, not them. Think about your lifestyle, surroundings, and what type of cat behavior will fit in best with you.

For a lot of people (yours truly included), household cats make super pets. However, certain specific breeds of cats may be even more suited to your situation. For example, if you’d like a cat that will rest on your lap, consider a Tonkinese. Not all felines are lap kitties, but this breed is known to be a good lap cat.

If you want a high energy cat that loves to play, a Japanese Bobtail cat could be a good choice. The Cornish Rex cat likes people and is not afraid to be around folks. If you have a big family or have a lot of guest coming to your house, this could be the cat for you. For those who already have a canine member in the family, a Maine Coon cat might be just right for you. They have a reputation for getting along great with dogs.

Looking for strictly an indoor cat? Persian cats have no desire to go outside. They are happy indoor cats and are great if you live in a high rise building or don’t have much space outside. As Persian cats have longer fur, be sure to groom them often. In fact, whichever type of cat you get, it’s best to groom them every day if possible. Be sure to use a good quality comb. Grooming can be a great bonding time for you and your cat!

Finally, if you already have a cat and are planning to get another kitten, here is a plan of action you can take:

  • First, give all of your attention to your older cat. Don’t make your new kitten the focal point.
  • Start out keeping the two in separate rooms with their own litter boxes.
  • Put the new kitten in a carrier and temporarily take the kitten out of its room.
  • Bring the older cat into the kitten’s room and let her or him sniff around.
  • Then bring the new kitten in the carrier up to the older cat and let them sniff each other.
  • If there is no hissing at this point, you can introduce the cats at feeding time. Serve them their food in separate bowls.
  • If at any point above there is hissing or friction, just go back one step and gradually work your way up to having the cats live happily together.