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Selecting a Cat

Many people do not realize that it is important to select the right cat for your family and lifestyle, just as it is to select the right breed of dog.

Different cat breeds have a range of personalities, the same as dog breeds.

Some cats are more active and nervous, some are more laid back and quiet. Some are big and some are small. They may have angular heads with lean bodies or round heads with heavy bodies.

They come in all colors and coat lengths. Some coats require daily brushing and care, while some do not. Some coats mat easily, some do not mat at all.

According to an article in Pet Age, May 2004, mixed breed cats tend to be more nervous and purebred cats more confident and active. Purebred cats are less likely to be aggressive and shy.

Male cats will have a greater tendency to spray or mark and will be more likely to fight with other cats. Female cats may be more nervous than male cats.

Like all of us, as cats age they become less active, but some breeds tend to remain more active then others.

Before you pick a cat, it is a good idea to read about the different breeds and their characteristics. Even if you go to a shelter to adopt a cat, sometimes the bone structure of the cat can give you a clue about its heritage and an inkling as to how it will behave.

But no matter which cat you choose,or where you decide to get it, the cat that wants to be near you is the one that is more oriented to humans and most likely to be a cuddler. The aloof cat or kitten may not change its behavior a great deal. The cat or kitten who is bold and wants to explore is going to be more outgoing and less likely to be a cuddler.

Of course this is just a guide and there are always exceptions. Keep in mind that there are cat mills just as there are puppy mills, so if you decide to get a purebred cat, be sure it is from a reputable breeder who is involved with the cat clubs and cat shows.

Do your homework and investigate. Just because it is a cat, does not mean that you cannot wind up with a poorly bred animal who will need extensive, costly veterinarian treatment. It is always better to spend more up front and get a healthy pet then it is to pay much more later in veterinarian bills, not to mention the heartache of owning - or losing - a sick animal.

Copyright 2001 Susan Bulanda. All Rights Reserved.