Before you reach the stage of ‘going to pick one out’ you have many decisions to make. Firstly, you have to decide whether a cat or a kitten would fit in best. Kittens generally require more planning and attention, but will be a ‘new slate’ upon which you can write your own rules. But they can be quite a handful, depending upon the breed.
Grown cats present their own challenges too. It is best to find out as much as you can about a grown cat’s background before adopting it, since its life up to the point you take it home could affect its behaviour in its new home. But most cats are highly adept at fitting in, and after a week or so, fit in perfectly.
Assuming you have now decided on cat or kitten, the next step is deciding on which breed of kitten or cat, on the colour, the character and whether a male or female kitten would fit in best with your living situation.
But probably one of the most important considerations is whether your new cat is going to be a family pet, a companion for an elderly person, a breeding female, a show cat, or a companion to someone living alone and working all day.
Your answers to these important questions will lead you naturally to the most suitable breed, and to which individual cat or kitten is right for your needs. Sitting down with your partner or family to discuss exactly the attributes you are seeking in a cat will save you time and hassle further down the road.
Points to consider are the character of the cat – do you want one who is content to be left alone all day in the apartment? Or would it suit to have one who loves nothing better than to lay around on gran’s lap all day in front of an open fire? Do you want a cat who is openly affectionate or one who is more aloof and quietly content to be in your company?
If you are intending to breed from your cat then you need to study the governing body’s requirements (known as Standards) for the particular breed you are considering. Or maybe you are out working and are looking for a friendly furry face to welcome you home after a long day at the office?
Hammering out the requirements before jumping in and adopting will save you time and possible problems down the line, and will ensure that you end up with a cat that fits into your lifestyle perfectly and quickly becomes an integral and much loved part of your family.