Careful consideration is important when choosing to add a pet to your household. Believe it or not, this is true even for cats. All kittens are irresistible, but if you're looking for a purebred cat, you need to realize that not all breeds are built the same. Some breeds just might not be for you.

Look honestly at your lifestyle...

Lifestyle plays a big role in deciding what breed to consider. For example, a stay-at-home retiree is better able than a busier person to care for attention-craving, social breeds such as the Siamese, Burmese, Tonkinese, and Abyssinian. A longhaired breed such as the Persian, though not as demanding of attention as the Oriental breeds, requires plenty of grooming time, something else a busy owner might not be able to provide.

A family with several active, young children should choose a breed with a high tolerance for handling and commotion, such as an American or British Shorthair, Tonkinese, or Scottish Fold. Generally, the shorthaired breeds, being more gregarious than the longhaired breeds, match up better with children. Longhaired breeds also tend to get their hair pulled by toddlers, something that can quickly incite a cat. Such as this case about a Persian, a normally serene, reserved pet who had just badly scratched a 3-year-old child. When pressed, the owner admitted that the child had been chasing the shy cat around the house and pulling on her lustrous coat. A shorthaired tabby mix would have had much less hair to grab and more tolerance toward the child's playful behavior.

A single person working long hours each day needs a cat breed requiring little maintenance and attention. The cat should be able to amuse himself during the day without becoming stressed at being left alone. The American Wirehair and the Russian Blue both deal well with this type of on-the-go owner yet are still loving and affectionate once the owner comes home.

The following three lists give general selection guidelines for choosing a cat breed to best fit your lifestyle.

Good choices for:


Before considering a particular cat breed, be sure to attend several cat shows to familiarize yourself with the breeds and their temperaments, and to meet responsible breeders. Feel free to ask them questions about their cats—particularly how they think their respective breeds would fare in your unique situation.

Regardless of the breed you choose, be sure to select your kitten very carefully. Observe the mother and her entire litter, and choose a kitten with a calm, curious, confident demeanor.

If you do your homework before selecting a purebred cat—and are honest about your lifestyle restrictions—you stand a great chance of ending up with a special little kitten.

Finding the Right Cat Breed for You !

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