Some things to keep in mind.
How active are cats? Some cat breeds have a laid-back attitude and will be content to just lay on your lap and be with you while you read a book or watch TV. Other cat breeds have a higher activity level, need more stimulation and prefer to be joining in on whatever you are doing eg. working outside, going for walks, hanging out the laundry, anything to “help”.
Do Cats need grooming? All cats need regular grooming whether long or short hair. Cats with longer hair require frequent brushing to prevent matting or even bathed. They also shed hair which can take more time to remove from clothes, furniture etc. Furr-balls can also be more of a problem especially if you don’t keep up with the grooming.
Short hair cats are much easier to look after. They don’t need as much grooming or take up as much time.
Do you have children or other pets? The interaction between children and other pets can vary between cats. Kittens are usually more accepting of children and other pets and therefore more suitable to a family situation. It can be difficult and may take a lot of patience and time to introduce older cats to children and other pets, especially if they have never interacted with them before. It also depends on the type of home the cat had previously.
What gender to choose? Obviously a personal choice. Owners are encouraged to have their cat desexed, be it male or female. A cat that has not been desexed can have behavioural problems as well as contracting various diseases and cancers.
Age of the cat? A kitten's personality is hard to determine within the first few weeks of it's life. At nine weeks of age a kitten is approximately two years old in human years. Hmmm terrible two's, that’s food for thought! In saying that, in raising a kitten, you will have a greater effect on their behaviour and development. Their environment also has an impact on their “catonality”.
Kitten's do take up a lot more of your time and patience. As a responsible cat owner you will go through many stages of their development e.g. toileting, climbing (everything from tables to curtains), chewing, scratching and trips to the vet for vaccinations, desexing etc.
Choosing to raise a kitten, for some is a most enjoyable and exciting time, but for others it is all too hard and time consuming. No matter whether you choose a kitten or an older cat, it is a long-term commitment that shouldn’t be taken lightly. They will be a part of your family for the rest of their life-time!
What type of cat? Purebred or Crossbred? If you have a particular breed in mind make sure you do your research on the breed especially any health problems that may be associated with that particular breed. Buying from a reputable breeder will help reduce this risk. Research is the key.
There is of course the cost factor. Purebred’s, depending on their blood lines and breed, may cost between $250.00 to over $2.000.00. Domestic crossbreeds are often free or can be adopted from an animal shelter at a nominal adoption fee which includes desexing and vaccination. There are so many unwanted kittens and older cats at shelters and it is a good feeling knowing that you have been able to give a loving home to one or more of these beautiful animals.
Whatever your choice, give them lots of love and affection and you will be greatly rewarded.