Your cat may be a member of your family for as long as 20 years, so it makes sense to choose carefully! Look for a healthy, active animal with a friendly attitude to ensure a good start. Male or female are equally good pets when neutered. Either a kitten or an adult cat may suit you. Kittens are irrestible but have much to learn, like house-training and claw control. Adults are usually better-behaved, but need time to settle in a new home.
Have a good start by being a caring cat breeder as a caring cat breeder will produce healthy kittens. Check that the mother cat has been well tended and the kittens are used to people.The breeder should have wormed the kittens, and should not allow them to leave home too young – they should be at least eight weeks old.
If your kitten will be left alone all day, it may be kinder to have two, to keep each other company. But an only cat will be perfectly happy so long as its needs are met. Two kittenss may be twice as much fun – but also twice the cost in neutering, vaccinations and food.
If you are considering getting a pedigree, take the time to learn about the breed first. It is true that cat breeds vary less than dog breeds. There are no real giants or miniatures, though a Ragdoll may weigh five times as much as a tiny Singapura. Most breeds have the same basix shape, but vary from slender to chunky. Compare the Siamese with the Persian. There are two main considerations when choosing a pedigree. Firstly, do you have time to groom your cat every day? Daily de-tangling is essential for a longhair. Shorthairs, on the other hand, have easy-care coats. The one thing that varies greatly between pedigree breeds is temperament. Persians and Ragdolls tend to laid-back and very relaxed. The Singapura is rather shy, while the Siamese is notoriously loud and attention-seeking.
Kittens in a pet shop window are tempting, but it is safer and kinder to collect from its breeder. Caring breeders do not sell to pet shops. A stay in a pet shop between homes is unsetting for a baby animal, and exposes it to a wide range of germs.
It can be very rewarding to adopt a homeless cat from a rescue society. These charities normally check out the health and character of cats before re-housing them, and go to some trouble to match animals with suitable owners. They usually make a small charge.