How choosing your new cat
Cats make great companions - they are cute, fluffy, funny and give great hugs. Everyone should be able to enjoy owning a cat, but before you get your first cat there are a few things to consider.
First, there is the time commitment. Many cats can live up to 20 years, so consider your lifestyle and whether you will be able to care for a pet for that long. While cats don't need all of your attention, there are a few breeds that don't cope well with being left alone. A Siamese or a sphynx, for example, is a better choice for people who are home more often because they need company. If you are at work all day, consider a more independent breed, such as the British shorthair or Maine Coon.
These felines entertain themselves just fine, but have other specific needs to consider, such as coat care. The time commitment is especially true for kittens, who require much more care and attention in their first year of life.
Another thing to consider is your home - is it big enough for a cat? Do you have space outside for the cat to run around? Are you prepared for all the cat fur? Different breeds have different types of fur, but all cats shed, so you will also need to be prepared for cat hair in your home. But that's nothing a good vacuum cleaner can't fix. If hair is a problem, a hypoallergenic breed might be a good choice, such as an oriental shorthair or a Rex, as they shed less.
The financial commitment of owning a cat is also something to think about. Although it is fairly inexpensive, you still need to provide food, regular vet care, and insurance for your cat's entire life.
While this may seem like a lot to think about, as long as you think about it carefully, having a cat is very rewarding and a lot of fun.
Bred to look like a miniature leopard, but with a loving temperament. Bengal cats have beautiful mottled coats and love to be around people.
- Medium breed.
- Two coat patterns: marbled and spotted.
- Loving and reliable temperament.
- Bengals love water - they may try to take a bath with you!
Native to the US, this super fluffy giant cat breed grows slowly, reaching its full size at the age of about five years.
- Very large, muscular build.
- Long, shiny and dense coat.
- Very eager to learn and intelligent - they thrive in a family home.
- Can even be walked on a leash.
Originating in ancient Siam (now Thailand), it is believed that when a member of the royal family dies, a Siamese cat receives their soul.
- Highly intelligent - must be kept busy.
- Short, soft coat, minimal shedding.
- Very loud - Siamese cats love to chat.
- Social animals that do very well with a playmate to run around with.
First bred in Canada, this hairless breed is perfect for allergy sufferers and is an excellent helper because they love people.
- Requires more grooming than other breeds.
- Regular sponge baths are necessary to prevent skin conditions.
- Loves affection, affectionate and very eager to learn.
- Must be kept warm indoors.
Easily recognized by its cute "snout nose", this kitty is a medium-sized and very fluffy addition to your family.
- Calm and docile.
- Fairly independent and aloof, but wants to cuddle.
- Very long coat - requires regular brushing to prevent excessive shedding.
- Enjoys lounging around.
This small, mischievous breed resembles a mini puma or wildcat with its warm, luxurious coat.
- Very active.
- Short, 'ticked' coat.
- Does very well with another Abyssinian playmate to keep them company.
- Intelligent and curious - will grab things that catch their attention.