According to The International Cat Association, there are 71 different breeds of cat—but as any cat parent can tell you, every cat is unique! While the majority of household cats are mixed breed moggies, there’s still plenty to consider when it comes to finding the right cat for you. That’s why we’ve put together a short guide to help you discover what kind of cat is the best match for you and your lifestyle.
Finding your perfect match
So you’ve decided to add a cat to your family. There are plenty of things to consider when adopting a cat or kitten, and one of the first steps is knowing which sort of cat you’re looking for. While the perfect cat may sometimes find you, if you’re heading to a shelter or organisation to find your new feline friend, then you might want to have a few specifics decided in advance.
If you’re rehoming a cat or kitten from a shelter or organisation, they should be able to give a good insight into the cat’s personality and any character traits or other special requirements. It’s just as important for the cat (and for the shelter!) that they find the perfect match, so they’ll often be able to advise on many of the points below…
Indoor cats vs outdoor cats
First up: do you have a garden or access to the outdoors? Or will your cat be an indoor cat? If you’re adopting an adult cat, you’ll often be told whether the cat is an indoor or outdoor cat, so you can find the perfect fit. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to indoor vs outdoor, and cats can live happy, healthy lives either way—it’s simply a case of what suits you and your cats the best.
If you’re looking for an indoor cat (because you live in an apartment, for example, or close to busy roads) then you could also consider adopting a cat with more specialised needs. Blind cats and cats with other health needs are safest living indoors, so you could offer them a warm, cosy and safe home inside.
Choosing a cat to live with children
If there are children in the home, there are a few things to consider when choosing the right cat for you. Cats and children can be great companions, but it’s important to understand the cat’s personality to make sure they’re a good match.
Timid, nervous cats may struggle with the noise and excitement of children, so it’s best to look for more confident cats who are likely to be happier being stroked and handled, and unfazed by the sounds and changes of family life. Shelters and rehoming organisations will often be able to advise you on which cats will be best suited to living with children.
Cats and other pets
According to the Cats Protection, it can actually be easier to introduce your new cat to a dog than to another cat! Regardless of the other pets you have at home, it’s always vital to consider the welfare of both existing and potential new pets in the home. You know your pets the best, so if your dog has happily interacted with cats in the past, then it’s possible that they’d be well suited to a new feline family member. If you’re adopting an adult cat then, again, the shelter or organisation may be able to point you towards cats that are most likely to enjoy sharing their home with another pet.
Short-haired cats vs long-haired cats
Grooming is important to consider when choosing the best cat for you, because all cats will require some grooming. Most cats love the fuss and attention of grooming, and it’s simply a part of cat ownership.
If you’re a bit lower maintenance, then it might be best to consider a short-haired cat. While short-haired cats are generally easier to groom and require a bit less time and effort than their long-haired friends, their short coats can actually shed more. Long-haired cats, on the other hand, can easily become matted, but if you know you’ll have the time to keep that floof looking its best, then perhaps a long-haired cat is a good choice for you!
The next stepsOnce you’ve decided on the basics, you can take a look at our guide to adopting a cat to discover the next steps (and read more about choosing between a kitten and an adult cat!).
08/03/2022 by NatuTeam