How to find the perfect cat for your family

One or two kittens, adult or older? While it’s tempting to pick the cutest, looks shouldn’t be the only factor. A cat’s behavior must match your family’s lifestyle.

What is the Right Age for the Perfect Cat for Your Family?

Kittens find homes quickly through shelters, rescue workers, and breeders. But are you ready for a kitten? First, you need to make your home kitten-proof. Anything that dangles is a kitten toy, including wires, strings, or strings. Valuables can be broken; Toilet seats must be down; and poisonous plants should be removed. But will the need for kitty proofing eventually end?

“It is difficult to determine what a kitten will look like as an adult,” says Dr. Terri Derr of Veterinary Behavior Options in Minnetonka, Minnesota. “You just can’t see an adult personality in a kitten like a puppy.”

How about an adult cat? Dr. Derr says an older cat will be more predictable than a kitten. Their personalities are well developed and their sizes and appearances are fixed. Adult cats also have the ability “to be much better with young children because they know how to run away when they are pushed”. An adult cat also has other advantages, such as: B. Veterinary costs.

Many of these animals are often already neutered or neutered and have their shots.

Are you looking for more predictability? Try a Senior! Dr. Leanne Lilly, veterinary behaviorist and assistant professor at the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, says cats are seniors by the age of 8. “Owners get a good idea of ​​what these cats are like, but you need to consider they could have more medical than behavioral problems. Even so, these pets are usually easy to care for, and with “Cats able to live well into their teens or twenties, adopting an older cat can have many wonderful years ahead of them.”

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Special needs pets are the perfect cat for your family

Cats with special needs also want homes. Three-legged or blind cats can, according to Dr. Lilly lead a long life and thrive just like her healthy counterparts. Adult cats with viruses like feline leukemia and FIV are likely to have shortened lifespans, but still make great pets. Sometimes what makes an animal different is exactly what makes it adorable.

When Brad Madson of Edina, Minnesota, retired early, he decided he wanted a cat. A friend told him about a feline leukemia kitten named Minnie Mae in an animal shelter. The cat had been afraid of the shelter staff, but when Brad came over to her, she came out and gave him puzzles. “I knew she should be with me,” says Brad. “I consulted with my vet who explained Minnie Mae’s health problems. We now have a plan to keep her healthy. “

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Why TWO is better than one!

Two cats can socialize and use their energies on each other rather than on you or your furniture.

Shelters and rescue workers often have “tied” animals that come from the same house and have to be adopted together. This is a wonderful option if you want to adopt two or more cats at the same time.

Spend long hours at work? Two compatible cats will keep each other company to pass the time when you are not home.

Find the perfect cat for your family

A Scottish Fold is one of the best cat breeds for people who are often on the go. Photo: GlobalP | Getty Image

Take activity and personality into account when adding a cat to your family

In addition to age and health, your lifestyle, your energy levels and your life situation are also important factors. Do you want a lap kitty or a wild one? Do you need a cat that gets along with your dog or kids?

Dr. Derr emphasizes that a cat’s breed can determine its level of activity and personality. “Bengal cats need a special kind of owner,” she says. “You’re always on the move, unlike Ragdolls or Burmese who just like to sit on your lap.”

A Tonkinese is one of the best breeds of cats for people who have a lot of time. Photo: Nynke van Holten | Getty Images

These are the best breeds of cats for …

People who have a lot of time: The breeds that thrive on love and attention include: Burmese, Cornish and Devon Rex, Egyptian Mau, Persian, Ragdoll, Sphynx, Tonkinese.

People who are on the move: Independent breeds include: American Wirehair, British Shorthair, Manx, Norwegian Forest Cat, Russian Blue, Scottish Fold, Somali.

Families with other pets and children: Active and outgoing breeds include: Abyssinian, Bengal, Birman, Japanese Bobtail, Maine Coon, Siamese, Siberian.

A Bengal is one of the best cat breeds for families with other pets and children. Photo: lobalP | Getty Images

Where do you get your cat from

There are many places to find the right kitten. Adoption saves a life, while getting a cat from a breeder gives you a better idea of ​​the cat’s background.

If you adopt from a shelter, a cat’s behavior may change when you bring it home. Protective stress is common, and a frightened cat hiding in its kennel can blossom into a playful, loving kitten once it settles into a loving home.

Shelters and rescue workers also have adoption counselors and specialists ready to help you choose the right cat for your family. They can recommend an animal by asking you lifestyle questions. Saying goodbye to a rescue that fostered their cats can give you a good idea of ​​what this animal is like.

The decision to adopt a cat is personal and can be complicated, but those who love cats will tell you the process is well worth it.

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Continue reading: 20 of the most popular cat breeds