Find the cat breed that fits your lifestyle
Family cats with easygoing, loyal temperaments are good companions for children. You'll also likely want to choose a breed that is sociable, adaptable to a variety of situations, and somewhat playful.
Regardless which breed you select, it's important to gradually introduce your new furry feline to your family. Handle the cat gently at first, especially with young children, to prevent scratching or biting. Allow your new family companion time to get acclimated in your household.
People who are allergic to hair, commonly called dander, likely don't enjoy being around cats. However, what they really are allergic to are the proteins found in cats' hair, saliva and urine. Hypoallergenic cats usually are suitable for people with hair allergies.
By choosing a cat among hypoallergenic cat breeds, you can reduce the amount of wheezing, sneezing and itchy, watery eyes. Allergy-free cats are largely free of allergens, but not totally free. They simply produce less dander than other breeds.
If your household already includes dogs or cats, you'll want to select a cat breed that is non-territorial and gets along well with others. Shy, skittish or aggressive breeds are not a good fit for a multiple-cat household.
Choose a breed with an even temperament. You'll also likely want a cat that is easygoing and friendly.
Try to pick breeds that complement each other. Consider pairing an older cat with a kitten, or a high-energy cat with a low-energy cat. Intelligent breeds pair well together, as they can easily adapt to new situations and environments.
Less active households are ideal for calm cats. Quiet, independent children will appreciate the mellow demeanor of quiet felines. With that in mind, calm cats would not be suitable for families with active, rambunctious kids.
If you suffer from dander allergies but still want to make a feline part of your family, opt for cats that don't shed. Although no cat is a total non-shedder, there are some breeds that shed significantly less than others. Non-shedding cats typically are hypoallergenic, meaning their coats produce little to no dander.
Cats that don't shed can either be hairless or have a short coat. Some of the most popular hairless cat breeds are the Peterbald and Sphynx. The Bambino and Levkoy also are hairless and are good examples of hypoallergenic cat breeds.
Cats that only need a little attention are good for busy families who are frequently on the go. Calm cats can be left alone for long periods of time, like while their owners are at work all day. However, this doesn't mean you can neglect them; low-maintenance cats still need love and attention just as other breeds do. Although they may be reserved at first, introverted cats eventually will warm up to people and become attached to their family. They typically tend to have mellow, sweet temperaments. Independent cats also are not overly territorial.
Although cats are meticulous when it comes to being clean, they still can use some grooming assistance. As a general rule of thumb, the longer and thicker a cat's coat, the more grooming she requires. Long-haired cats typically need daily grooming to help maintain her healthy, shiny coat and reduce shedding and hairballs. Regular bathing is also important for cats that shed.
Breeds that require daily grooming include the Birman, Himalayan and Persian.
Despite being relatively clean animals, most cat breeds still need occasional grooming. Generally, cats with short hair only need to be brushed monthly in addition to occasional bathing.
Some of the cat breeds that should be groomed monthly include the Abyssinian, Bengal, Ocicat and Toyger.
Cats are considered very clean animals, but most breeds still require occasional grooming. Cats with medium hair generally need weekly brushing, plus occasional bathing. Regular grooming is important for the upkeep of your cat's coat. It also reduces shedding and hairballs.
Some of the breeds that require weekly grooming include the Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest Cat and Savannah.
Some cat breeds, especially those with short hair or those that are hairless, don't require much grooming. Cats that rarely need to be groomed usually don't shed much and can be hypoallergenic.
The Cornish Rex and Devon Rex lack an undercoat, meaning they shed significantly less than other breeds. The hairless Sphynx also doesn't require much grooming.
Long hair cats are characterized by their beautiful, soft coats. However, these silky, luxurious coats come with a price. You should expect to groom these long haired cats daily, and cats that shed are not a suitable option for people with allergies, as dander is retained in these cats' long coats.
If you're looking for a fluffy feline, consider one of these long haired cat breeds: Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest Cat, Ragdoll, and Persian.
If you're looking for a low-allergen cat, choose a cat that sheds minimally. People with dander allergies will appreciate hypoallergenic cats because their coats produce much less dander than other breeds. However, keep in mind that cats with minimal shedding will still need occasional grooming.
Although non-shedding cats are a rarity, several hypoallergenic cat breeds, which are also hairless cat breeds, are the exception. They include the Bambino, British Shorthair, Levkoy, Peterbald, and Sphynx.
Cats that shed moderately typically have a coat that is medium in length. Regular grooming is key to keeping their moderately shedding coats healthy and shiny, as it reduces shedding and hairballs.
Some of the most popular cat breeds with medium coats and moderate shedding include the Bengal, Maine Coon, Ragamuffin, Savannah, and Toyger.
Short haired cats are a good choice for those who don't want to spend a lot of time grooming their cat's coat. However, short haired domestic cats should be brushed regularly to maintain a healthy coat and reduce shedding.
Some of the most popular short hair cats include the British Shorthair, Burmese, Cornish Rex, and Devon Rex.
Medium haired cats usually have a thick, double coat. Weekly grooming is important to help reduce shedding and maintain a beautiful, healthy coat.
Notable choices for medium hair cats include the Abyssinian, American Bobtail, and Egyptian Mau.
Suitable for people with dander allergies, hairless cat breeds, such as the Peterbald and Sphynx, may be bald or have peach-like fuzz. Their bodies are very warm to compensate for the lack of a coat. Hairless cats can be more affectionate than other breeds, as they like to be close to their human companions to stay warm.