Getting a pet is a lifelong commitment, so it would be wise to choose one that fits your lifestyle. You may be thinking of having a cat over a dog because it is said to be easier to take care of. Still, cats come in varied shapes and sizes — and temperaments.
So what breed is best for your lifestyle? Ideally, adopting from a local shelter would be the way to go and more often than not, the cats found there are mixed-breed or in local parlance, puspin (short for pusang Pinoy). However, you may be thinking of also getting a kitten from a pet store. Whichever way you decide, it would still be best to consider the following before welcoming a furry creature into your home:
Do you want a kitten or an adult cat?
Sure, kittens are adorable and it’d be pretty exciting to train one, to watch it grow by your nurturing. Yet, they can get really demanding, requiring more time and effort from you when it comes to toilet training and cat-proofing your house (don’t want that leather sofa scratched!).
Adult cats are often set on their ways, less unpredictable, and are known to be calmer and less playful. When visiting a shelter or pet store, observe the cat — usually, what you see is what you’ll be getting at home.
What is your personal life like?
If you have a small child at home, it might be wise to get an adult cat. Toddlers and young kids tend to be rough when playing with a cat, and a kitten might be too fragile for tail or fur-grabbing. Some breeds such as Ragdoll and Birman are known to be good with children.
Who else do you live with? Of course, if a family member has cat allergies, then acquiring a feline friend may need to be put on hold. If you live alone, do you have the time to take care of a pet? How long do you stay out of the house? Do you go on extended trips? While cats are known to be able to fend for themselves as long as there’s water, food, and a litter box, you would still need to plan where you will house your pet if you go on holiday (or better yet, how you can bring it with you).
Are you ready for little ones?
The responsible thing to do is to have a cat that’s neutered or spayed to avoid unwanted pregnancies. But if your home is big enough for more kitties, then you should get a female cat. Male cats are known to leave for long periods of time (sometimes months!) to mate, so if you have separation anxiety and wouldn’t want to be far away from your cat, it’d be good to get a female one, or again, have them fixed (neutered for males, spayed for females).
Also, if you already have existing pets, choosing a sex is important. Female cats don’t usually get along if they’re not related. Same goes for male cats. Dogs, of course, are known to be aggressive when it comes to felines, so it might be a bad idea to have them live together (but not impossible).
What personality? What fur type?
What are you looking to get out of having a pet? Do you want a lot of cuddle time or do you want someone to play with? A Siamese or Ragdoll is known to be playful, while a Persian cat is relaxed. The Manx or Exotic breeds love to lounge and crave affection most of the time. A rescued and rehabilitated puspin would be street-smart and know his way around other cats.
Do you want a short-haired or long-haired cat? This choice is not purely aesthetic — long-haired cats tend to shed more, which means more cleaning time for you. And while their hair makes them fluffy and huggable, the long-haired feline needs frequent grooming sessions to keep their fur from matting.
No matter what breed you choose, the best thing to remember is your cat is entirely dependent on you, and it is your responsibility to make sure your furry best friend lives in a safe and happy home.