Another key decision when getting a new cat or kitten is to decide whether a male or a female would suit your family and lifestyle best.
Since every kitten ever born is the most adorable ball of fluff with huge trusting eyes, it is much better to make a firm decision on this matter, before going to look at any cats or kittens.
It is important to remember that while all kittens are absolutely adorable, they are cats for significantly longer than they are kittens. So before you fall head over heels in love with a particular ball of fluff, make quite sure you have considered all the implications, and have firmly decided whether you want a male or a female cat or kitten, before making an appointment to go and look.
Of course, both genders have advantages and disadvantages, from both a personality point of view, as well as a physical standpoint and impact upon your family along with the care required.
Male cats tend to be larger (sometimes significantly so in some breeds, like the Maine Coon), so this is a point worth thinking about. If nothing else, you will need to feed a large male cat considerably more than a small female.
Much behaviour disliked in male cats (and here I am thinking of spraying or marking their territory) disappears when the cat is neutered (something most vets suggest at the age of about six months, regardless of sex). The procedure with male cats is simple and usually very inexpensive, but has significant advantages to the owners, as well as to the cat (although some men reading this may disagree with this point).
Female cats are smaller, and often exhibit maternal signs, such as enjoying a long cuddle on the lap of one of its adopted humans. They are often more vocal too, using their voice to show appreciation or to let you know what they need.
Male cats are supposedly better ‘mousers’ although having said that, I had two female cats that regularly caught many more mice than any of the male cats we had at the same time.
If you already have one cat, and are considering acquiring another, then your choice of gender for the second may depend upon the first. If you already have a middle aged neutered male cat, then a young female cat who is also neutered is always a good match. The male is protective of the younger female, and does not feel threatened in his role of ‘top cat’, thus creating harmony from the very beginning.