Domestic cats are low-maintenance pets that have specific benefits over dogs. They don’t require much exercise, they don’t need obedience training, and they have a convenient litter box to go to the bathroom. In fact, it is often said that dogs have masters while cats have servants. Nevertheless, the breed of cat you choose will depend on a few factors that require a closer look.
If you choose a kitten, purebreds will be a more predictable choice since you’ll know precisely how they’ll look as adults. There are also popular breeds like Siamese, Maine Coon, and Persian that are chosen for their distinct look. There is more, however, to choosing the right cat for your household than meets the eye.
One should consider a cat’s personality, for one thing. An Abyssinian is a much friendlier cat with strangers than a Siamese or a Bombay, for instance. An American Shorthair or a Ragdoll would be other good choices for houses with children. If there are other animals in the house, this may impact your decision as well, but most dog breeds can get along with cats, with patience.
Grooming is another issue. Long-haired cats like the Birman, Persian, and Angora breeds require frequent brushing to keep their fur in good shape, and may require baths and conditioner to eliminate tangled, matted fur.
Cats, like dogs and humans, have specific health issues that require either vaccinations or frequent monitoring to diminish their impact on your pet. Fleas and worms are parasitic pests that can cause a host of health issues, including anemia.
Some breeds, like Persians, have specific respiratory problems or eye diseases that require immediate attention. Regular vaccinations and checkups with a vet will protect against the most common viruses like Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus.
Some people are extremely sensitive or allergic to certain cat breeds, while others may cause no reaction at all. Scientifically, there are no known hypoallergenic cat breeds, though some claim that Siberians are. All cats have dander, and this is the element responsible for most allergies, not cat hair.
Cat breeds also differ by how active they are. Bengals, Burmese, Abyssinians, and Balinese are all examples of very lively breeds that need space to run and play, while the Bombay, Ragdoll, Russian Blue, and Havana Brown are known for being quiet and very docile.
Whatever breed you choose, it helps to have these specific requirements in mind, and to research the characteristics of different types of cats before making a final decision. This is the best way to choose a pet that fits your personality and thrives in your home environment.