8 Tips for Choosing a Cat: How to Choose the Right One for You

Updated on July 16, 2019
carolynkaye profile image

I've been a cat owner for most of my life and have learned many tips and tricks for keeping cats happy and healthy.

Learn some tips for choosing a cat
Learn some tips for choosing a cat | Source

Choosing a cat is something you’ll always remember. It’s a fun decision, but also an important one. Your new feline friend will be a part of your life for many years to come, so here are eight tips to assist you in finding your purr-fect match.

1. Narrow Down Your Search

Before you start looking for a cat, consider any 'must-haves' for your new pet. This might be age, breed, color, or where you’d like to get a cat.

Here are a few things to think about when it comes to picking a cat:

  • Do you want to adopt from a shelter or rescue group?
  • Do you want a certain breed?
  • Does it need to be good with children or other pets?
  • Do you want a kitten or an adult cat?

If you have specifics in mind, save time by searching pet locator websites in your area. These will show you available cats with the characteristics you’re looking for.

2. Look for a Healthy Cat

No matter where you get your cat, choosing one that’s in good health can save you lots of trouble and vet bills. A cat’s overall appearance and behavior can give a general picture of its health. Healthy cats have clear eyes, a groomed coat, and are appropriately active for their age.

Since you can’t always depend on looks or behavior to determine health, find out when the cat has been examined by a vet. If he or she hasn’t, this is worth having done before adopting.

What You’ll Need to Know:

  • As much as possible about a cat’s medical history, last veterinary exam and list of vaccinations or other treatments given
  • When the next vaccinations are due
  • Whether there are any medical conditions or special needs

About Special Needs Cats

  • Some adoptable cats have a medical condition that requires medication or other type of special care. These cats can be in otherwise in good health and make just as loving of companions as any other cat, but needs an adopter who’s willing to make sure they get this extra care.

Is There a Health Guarantee?

  • If you’re adopting from a shelter or rescue group, ask if there’s a health guarantee. If there is, it should specify in writing who covers any vet costs if a cat becomes ill within a certain amount of time after you take it home. This is also sometimes stated in an adoption contract.

Source

3. Ask About the Cat’s Background

Not only is it interesting to know about the background of a cat you might want to adopt, but it can also help you know how well he or she will adjust to your family and lifestyle. Many cats up for adoption are strays or their history is unknown, but if it is, it’s beneficial to learn about.

Questions to Ask (If Applicable)

  • What is the cat’s history?
  • Is it known if he or she gets along with other cats?
  • Does the cat get along with dogs?
  • Is the cat afraid of dogs?
  • Is the cat good with children?

The more compatible your new pet is with the current residents of your household (including other cats or dogs), the easier the adjustment period will be. Most cats are pretty adaptable, but avoiding potential conflicts is always best. For example, if you have a few dogs, it’s better to choose a cat that has been around dogs and isn’t afraid of them.

The person who has been caring for the cat might be able to offer insight on whether they'll be compatible with other pets or children in your home.

4. Choose a Cat With a Personality You Like

Just like people, cats have distinct and dynamic personalities. While observing and interacting with any cats you might want to adopt, notice how they are with you and other cats they’re around. Are they timid, bold, playful, shy, energetic, or calm?

Certain personalities may appeal to you more than others, and this can help in making your decision.

Here are a couple cat personality types you may notice:

Greeter Cats

  • Some cats are known as "greeters." Felines with this personality will approach anyone, stranger or not, to say hello and get some attention. They’re social and confident, and will probably be like this in your home too. This kind of cat won’t be hiding under your bed when guests visit.

Shy at First

  • Other cats are a little harder to get to know at first. They may be very sweet, loving, and friendly cats, but their protective instincts are strong, so they’re more reserved with anyone they don’t know. Once they’re settled in a home and feel comfortable, they come out of their shell and are social with people in the household.

I’ve had both of these types of cats, and they make equally great pets.

Personality is a personal choice. Whether your ideal cat is a cuddly lap cat or a very energetic one, there's a cat that’s a match for everyone.

Source

5. Get to Know the Cat

If you see a cat you like, ask if you can visit with it outside its cage. Some adoption centers have rooms where you can get acquainted.

What to Expect:

If this is your first cat, keep in mind that being up for adoption can be scary for them, especially shy ones. They’re in an environment they’re not used to, and this can make even the calmest cats behave differently than they would in a home.

As you spend time with a cat, you should be able to tell if there’s a connection and if you can picture him or her in your life.

If you’re not sure, keep searching until you find one you’re certain is right.

6. Use Your Intuition to Choose a Cat

Sometimes you come across a certain cat and just have a feeling it’s the one you’re meant to adopt. It might be one that’s completely different from what you were looking for, but something tells you that this is your new best friend.

If everything else seems right, trust your instincts.

7. Let the Cat Choose You

If you're looking for a cat someplace where there are several to choose from, and a certain cat really likes you, your decision will be much easier. You can't go wrong with a cat that likes you from the start.

Source

8. Be Open to Cats of All Ages

Cats of every age make wonderful pets. With proper care, they can live long, healthy lives. Whether you choose a kitten, adult or senior cat, you’ll have years of love and companionship ahead.

Here are some of the benefits of each age group:

Kittens (Under a year old)

  • They’re cute, fun and playful
  • You have a chance to shape his or her habits from the beginning

Adult Cats (One year and older)

  • You’ll know the feline’s full size and personality
  • It will likely already be spayed and neutered

Senior Cats (Seven years and up)

  • Generally calmer and more laid back
  • Grateful that they’re given a second chance with a new pet parent

Choosing a Cat: Reader Poll

Besides health, what’s most important consideration in your choice?

See results

I hope these tips have been helpful to you in choosing a cat. Cats have added so much to my life, and I’m sure they will to yours as well.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 carolynkaye

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, pethelpful.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://pethelpful.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)