What to Look out for when Choosing a Cat?
Deciding on having a cat, that will share life with you for an average of 14 years or more, should not be taken lightly. Therefore, it’s important to know as much as possible about feline companions before inviting one to your life.
This guide will walk you through all factors to be considered before choosing a cat for yourself or for someone else in your family. It’s important that you make an informative decision and pick a cat that will best match your personality, temperament and lifestyle.
Remember that if you ever intend to let your new cat outside, make sure you keep it on the harness so that it doesn’t escape. Here is a list of cat harnesses that will help you find the best cat harness no escape.
Should I Get a Male or a Female Cat?
Un-neutered male and female cats (also called entire cats) behave quite distinctively. In the eyes of many cat owners, their behavior is unruly or even annoying, therefore it’s important to know what to expect from an adult cat and consider neutering your feline before it starts displaying behavior that you would not be able to or you would not like to cope with.
Male cats (called toms) in order to attract females will:
– mark intensively their territory by spraying urine and scratching
– be desperate to go out of the house and in order to be let out they will cry and shout
Female cats (called queens) will:
– come into season (heat) in two week cycles, and each “oestrus” will last from two to four days
– when in the season she will become extremely restless and agitated and will issue long, loud noises to attract every local tom
Neutered cat, either a male or a female, can make for an ideal animal companion. Once neutered, a cat will often become more attached to its owner, as it doesn’t feel such a great need to roam, mark the territory and attract the opposite sex, as before. It’s important to note here, that neutering will not eliminate an unwanted behavior of spraying, scratching and roaming completely – it will only alleviate it.
Sometimes elderly people prefer to have a cat that is the opposite gender to them, so that they create a ‘replacement partner’.
Should I Go for a Kitten or an Adult Cat?
Kittens are super cute and are fairly easy to train and accustom to certain favorable activities, such as using the litter tray or filing the claws on a scratching post. On another hand, they require from their owner a lot of attention and commitment. It’s important that you always provide your cat with the best interactive cat toys for indoor cats, but in the kittenhood, it’s especially important for proper development.
At six months old, maturing cats don’t require quite the same level of attention as young kittens, yet, they may already be not that flexible and may be difficult to adapt to the new environment.
Below is a list of pros and cons of acquiring a kitten or an adult cat (taken from Cats 500 Questions Answered, Dr. David Sands, 2005):
Kitten – Pros
- Very adaptable.
- Easier to socialize with humans.
- Easier to socialize with other house pets.
- More likely to socialize with an existing adult cat.
- Offers the fun of seeing its development from kitten to adult.
- Easy to house train at an early age
Kitten – Cons
- May not house train immediately.
- Needs more interactive attention than an adult cat.
- Needs regular feeds and ideally should not be left alone for long periods.
- Not always adaptable to home and handling changes.
Adult cat – Pros
- Usually, house trained.
- Already socialized.
- Does not need constant interaction.
- Can be fed once a day.
Adult cat – Cons
- May be difficult to socialize with humans with whom it is not familiar.
- More difficult to socialize with other house pets.
- Usually very difficult to socialize with an existing adult cat.
- Does not offer the fun of seeing its development from kitten to adult.
Should I Get a Long-haired or a Short-haired Cat?
Should I Choose a Pedigree cat or a Moggy?
Where Should I Get my Cat from?
Sources used in this article:
Complete Cat Care Manual, Dr. Andrew Edney, 2006
Cats 500 Questions Answered, Dr. David Sands, 2005