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Cats are generally independent, spunky and low-maintenance pets that can provide you with companionship and endless hours of entertainment. But before adopting a feline friend, it’s important to do your research. Cats come in all shapes, sizes, breeds and temperaments and you’ll want to make sure you’re compatible before you make a lifelong commitment to your newest family member. Here are several things to consider when choosing your new furry friend.

Cat Temperaments

According to The International Cat Association, there are over 71 different breeds of cats. A cat’s breed can affect its hair length, ear shape and coloring as well as its temperament and needs. Some breeds, like Persians and Exotic Shorthairs are typically very laid-back, and require little attention, while Bengals, Sphynx, and Siamese cats are very smart and like to play with their humans. When choosing a new pet, it’s important to consider which breed’s temperament is the most appealing to you.

Your Family Dynamic

Some cats like peace and quiet, while others enjoy lots of stimulation and social interaction. If you have children, consider an Abyssinian, who loves company and lots of playful interaction. Other species, like Persians or Ragdolls, are very calm and gentle, especially around children. An easygoing breed like a Persian is also a good choice if you’ve got other pets in your home, since not all cats enjoy sharing their space with friends. Social cat breeds like Bengals and Siamese cats will thrive in a home with another pet to play with as well.

Your Living Space

Consider your space and your new cat’s needs before making a commitment. Some breeds, like Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest Cats are large, and they need lots of space for climbing and running around. They also like spending time outside, roaming around and climbing trees in a secure backyard space. If you live in a small apartment, it’s best to consider a laid-back breed like a Ragamuffin, who will be happy napping on the couch or on the carpet near a sunny window.

Your Lifestyle

Cats are typically low-maintenance, but some breeds require more attention than others. If you travel often or if you’re very busy, consider getting a low-maintenance cat breed that will be content at home while you’re at work long hours. Some cat breeds like the Sphynx or Burmese, enjoy lots of activity and attention and they’ll be miserable at home alone for hours on end. If you do choose a breed that requires more attention, make sure you can accommodate your cat’s needs so they can thrive while you’re away.

Additionally, some cats need extra care. Long-haired cat breeds need to be groomed daily or their fur can get matted and itchy. You also may need to bathe your cat more often, depending on the breed you choose. Most cats will also require frequent nail trimming, and depending on its breed and temperament, your cat may enjoy the extra attention, or run and hide when they hear the clippers come out. If that’s the case, you may need to make an appointment with your veterinarian or with a professional groomer.

If you choose to bring a new cat to its forever home, make sure you’re making an educated decision. It’s easy to fall in love with a sweet kitten, but it’s important to do your research to make sure they’re a perfect match for your family and your home. You can always contact us here at Pine Creek Vet and we’ll be happy to help you choose the cat breed that meets your needs best and will thrive in your home.