Choosing a Cat Breed

A Siamese kitten

Choosing a cat breed takes time and research, but we've broken down some of the most popular breeds in this article to help make your decision a little easier.

Tips for Choosing a Cat Breed

Choosing a cat breed should be done with careful thought and consideration. Remember that temperaments and energy levels can vary widely between breeds as well as within them. It is best to spend a little time getting to know a cat before choosing to adopt it into your home. With a little extra forethought, you'll be sure to find a pet that will be a loving companion to your family for years to come.

With this in mind, let's explore a few felines that have become very popular as pets.

Siamese

If you want a cat with loads of personality, then this breed might be perfect for you. The traditional Siamese has short, sleek hair, blue eyes and darker points on the ears, tail and feet. There can be variations in coloring in the breed. Siamese kittens are white at birth and their points (where the color variation comes in) develop shortly afterward.

Siamese tend to love people, but some do not get along well with other pets. They are very affectionate and love to be cuddled. Siamese are also vocal when they need or want something, and their loud yowl has been known to irritate the most patient owner. These cats bond strongly with an owner, so it is best to only get one and plan to keep him or her for a lifetime. Siamese need a lot of attention and have high energy, but they also require very little grooming.

Calico

Calico

Calico is not actually a breed but a coloration in cats. Nevertheless, this look has become highly popular with cat owners. Calico cats are almost always female (although there are some rare exceptions). Calicos can have either a long or short coat and are marked with individual patches of three colors - orange (red), black and white. Since calico patterns turn up across many breeds, it is hard to determine temperament in general. Each kitten will have an individual personality. To make sure the cat is healthy, it is best to choose a kitten that is energetic and playful. You may also want to see how the cat responds to being handled.

Hairless Cats

Hairless cat

You might think a hairless cat would require less grooming, but the opposite is often true. Without fur to absorb the skin's natural oils, many hairless cats require bathing several times a week to keep their skin from becoming greasy. Nevertheless, these cats can make wonderful pets for people who like the unusual. They are affectionate, but be prepared to spend a lot of time caring for them. Some of the hairless breeds include:

  • Sphinx
  • Peterbald
  • Kohana (rare)

Maine Coon Cats

Maine Coon

These big beauties are striking in appearance. Their hair is quite long and they make some unusual chirping noises in addition to meows. Many Maine coon cats actually have extra toes. They are quite affectionate and love children and dogs. They are also good hunters. They don't tend to enjoy sitting on laps, but do enjoy interaction with their human companions. Maines require regular brushing and bathing since their coats tend to become a bit greasy.

Ragdoll

Ragdoll cat

Marked much like a Siamese, Ragdoll cats are big fluffy and highly affectionate. If you're looking for a cat that loves to cuddle, then this is the breed for you. Ragdolls tend to be extremely docile. It's generally safer to keep pet cats indoors, but Ragdolls are put into extreme danger if let outdoors due to their docility. They don't have any hunting skills to speak of and will not defend themselves against attack. Ragdolls often go limp when picked up. They require moderate grooming, can be trained without difficulty and do not shed much.

Persians

Persian

The diva of cats, Persians are regal, fluffy and beautiful. These cats are short and round, and their heads are larger than most cats. These cats have loving personalities, but they prefer quiet households without other pets or small children. Although white is the most popularly shown Persian, the breed comes in many colors and coat variations. They do require extensive grooming, including daily brushing and regular baths.

Domestic

Orange Tabby

The mutt of cats, these felines are often called "Tabbies". However, tabby refers to a coat coloration pattern and not a breed of cat. There are many domestic short-haired and long-haired cats that do not fit into a specific breed but make excellent pets. You can adopt these cats for a very minimal fee from your local animal shelter. Private parties often give domestic cats away for no charge. Grooming needs depend upon the length of the cat's coat, and temperament varies widely.

Choosing a Cat Breed