Gary Powell: Hi! I am Gary Powell from the Cat Fanciers' Association. I am talking about the different kinds of cats available, and how to select the right one for you.
The first thing to think about, is if you should consider a kitten, or an adult cat? Kittens are fun to watch and easy to introduce into a new household, existing pets will usually accept them.
There are few bad habits and if born in an indoor only environment, have not learned to hunt and have no desire to go outside.
Kittens should be at least 12 weeks but 16 weeks is ideal for transfer to a new home.
Young kittens are often fearful or shy if taken from their mother and littermates too soon.
A kitten of 12 to 16 weeks or older will usually be ready for adventure, yet is still physically fragile. Your home must be made kitten proof. Electrical chords protected, valuable objects removed. Young children must be supervised with the kitten.
Kittens for more shelters or breeders of pedigree cats will usually be already spayed or neutered. When altered there is no risk of accidental litters or males who start spraying urine as they approach adulthood. Adult cats are around one to eight years or more are usually playful and curious but much calmer than a kitten.
Senior cats are mellow. They often are more dependent, affectionate and easy to live with and they already will have learned good habits. A senior cat is often the best choice for a senior person.
The next consideration is a random-bred or pedigree cat. Random-bred cats result from a mixture of genes passed on by generations of street cats. Their ancestors were companions as well as barn cats and most have a gentle, loving personality.
Cats waiting for homes and shelters are almost entirely random-bred. Their temperament may not be predictable but they are appreciated for their unique personalities.
Some are extremely social, while others will be fearful or shy. If you want a predictable personality, then a recognized breed is right for you.
Many pedigree cats have been selectively bred for centuries, because most have been raised indoors, they have less desire to go outside, and are satisfied with an indoor-only lifestyle.
The final consideration is choosing a long haired or short haired cat. This will not affect personality or activity level but would affect the grooming. Any long haired cat will benefit from daily combing. An occasional bath helps with shedding or oiliness and makes the coat silky and lustrous.
Short haired cats do a good job of grooming themselves but they can be easily wet-hand groomed to prevent shedding.
I hope this information helps you better understand the different types of cats available to you as a pet owner.