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What Kind of Cat Should I Get?

Before You Get Your First Cat: Lesson 2

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New to Cats > Before You Get Your First Cat > What Kind of Cat Should I Get?

So you're seriously thinking about getting your first cat, and you are sure you want a cat in your life. Splendid! You may have some preconceived notions that you want a particular breed of cat, or that you want a kitten instead of an adult kitty. But before that important decision, do some homework. Like life itself, there are many factors involved in choosing a cat, some of which you may never have considered. Here's the help you need in making that decision. On the other hand, you may find yourself lucky enough to be chosen by the cat of your future.

Male vs Female

Personality-wise, there really isn't a lot of difference between the sexes, if they are neutered. Whole male (unneutered) cats will fight for territory if outdoors, and indoors will liberally spray their strong scent on walls and curtains, to mark their territory. Whole females will also spray on occasion. Worse yet, they will make themselves and you miserable each time they go into season, with loud yowls and bizarre body gyrations.

On the other hand, once spayed, their personalities will improve, if anything. I've known male cats to be loving and loyal, and they are my usual preference. Other people swear by female cats as felicity purrsonified. Bottom line is that it doesn't make a lot of difference. You'll want to look for personality first, then if you find several nice kitties, narrow it down to sex, if that's important to you.

Pedigreed Cat VS "Moggie"

You may have already been to a pet store (heaven forbid!) or a cat show, where you fell in love with a particular breed. One important factor with "purebred" cats is that, unless the breeders has years of experience with genetics, and carefully chooses their breeding stock with the cats' full pedigree background, undesirable traits will creep into the breed. Some breeds have inherent problems because of this, e.g. Persians with P.K.D.and/or nasal problems because of their foreshortened noses, or Manx with spinal problems. Reputable breeders will screen their cats and offer guarantees against known physical problems in their breed.

"Moggies," which I've adopted from the English term for domestic mixed breed cats, are of unknown parentage. The Moggie you adopt from a shelter or rescue organization will most likely be a true "orphan." Because their health and genetic history is unknown, it is important for a shelter cat to be tested against certain diseases, and to receive his "shots," preferably before you bring one home.

New to Cats > Before You Get Your First Cat > What Kind of Cat Should I Get?

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