Choose the Right One for Feline Fun

Cats are independent, entertaining, low maintenance, and great fun to have in your home. But they can also be thought of as aloof or even antisocial. So how do you find the right cat for you?

You have a huge variety of choices in feline companions:

  • Purebred or mixed breed—Animals from a shelter or humane society are either mixed breed or purebred without any papers. These animals are considered “pet quality” and are quite often spayed or neutered at the time of adoption. If your intent is to show your cat or engage in a breeding business, you must choose a purebred cat with strong bloodlines from a reputable breeder. Cats of this type can be very expensive and may require traveling to find the perfect breeder. Another option is finding a barn cat that has a litter to choose from, with a wide variety of color and type. These kittens are often adopted out for free—just be sure to get it to a vet immediately for vaccinations, worming, and general health care, as these animals are often untreated and exposed to potentially deadly diseases.
  • Kitten or adult cat—Kittens are so cute and cuddly that they are hard to resist, but they can lose their charm fast during the first few months of socialization and training. Many owners prefer to adopt somewhat older cats, those that are past the wild and destructive stage and are already litter trained. These animals make great pets if you choose a healthy cat that matches your personality style. If you have a lot of time to spend socializing a youngster, and an equal amount of patience, a kitten may be an appropriate choice.
  • Indoor or outdoor cat—If your cat is kept solely indoors, many owners choose to de-claw at least the front paws. This prevents possible damage from scratching furniture, walls, screen doors, and the like. However, many would-be indoor cats become escape artists and end up outdoors at least part of the time. In that case, de-clawing is certainly a safety issue, should the cat need to protect itself or climb quickly. In addition, outdoor cats may require additional vaccinations.

Whatever your choice, there are several pointers for picking out the right pet. First, go for the healthiest animal you can find, with clear eyes, a shiny coat, and no signs of immediate illness such as diarrhea or extreme thinness. Second, pick an animal that is active, curious, and seeks attention from people, indicating a healthy cat with good socialization. Third, handle the animal and choose one that tolerates or enjoys holding and petting, even purring at your attention. A hissing, scratching kitten will require socialization and patience, while a hissing, scratching adult cat may never enjoy your company.

Consider your lifestyle needs and desires before you take home the wrong feline companion. Remember, thousands of cats are euthanized every day for lack of a good home, so your choices are unlimited. Don’t rush—find the right cat for you and you’ll both be happier.

Some Kitten Tips

  • Choose a kitten with physical and behavioral characteristics that suit your personality and lifestyle.
  • Seven to nine weeks of age is the best time to bring home your new kitten.
  • Spay or neuter your new pet for a healthier cat and a happier household.
  • Introduce your new kitten to other pets in a safe, controlled manner.
  • Never give your kitten string, ribbon, shoelaces, or other homemade toys that may cause choking or intestinal blockage. Buy only safety-tested toys from a reputable dealer.

Learn about long life and wellness for your pet on our Wellness page. Visit our Vaccination page for information on appropriate and necessary vaccines for your new pet. And find out the facts about pet dental care on our Pet Dental Care page.

Getting ready to spay or neuter? Visit our Pet Surgery page for answers to all your questions on this subject. And, as your pet ages, we offer information and guidance in senior pet care. For more information about dogs, visit these informative websites:

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“Dr. Sullivan, Thanks so much for your kindness and understanding with me and my horse Buddy. You and your staff made it easy for me to let him go. I don’t understand a lot about EPM but Buddy’s last few days were hard, watching him go down so fast. I pray one day there will be a cure or vaccine for this. Again, thank you and your staff. We were blessed to have you as our vet. God Bless You All!”~ submitted by Sullivan clients David and Sue Trichelle