Thursday 27 October 2011

Choosing a Pet Cat

Matching a pet with the owner's personality can be quite important in minimizing the risk of abandonment.  Incidentally, I don't like the terms, "pet" and "owner". I prefer "animal companion" and "cat caretaker" or "cat guardian" (if the animal is a cat).

There are too many cats and dogs being abandoned.  Doris Day once said that there were 12 million cats and dogs put to sleep each year in the USA. Whatever the number is, it is high, very high and a shock. I am sure there are similar percentages of domestic animals euthanized in Europe. It is just not spoken about so much.

People need to reflect more on their reasons for adopting a companion animal before proceeding. The reasons should be legitimate meaning not frivolous. You don't get a pet to match the decor of the house or as a Christmas present for the children.

People should also swot up on companion animal care and the costs. There should almost be an obligatory cooling off period between saying, "let's get a pet!" and actually getting it. That simple act would save millions of cats and dogs I suspect.

Choosing a pet cat begs the question whether you would like a purebred cat or a moggie. Purebreds are relatively rare. Moggies are relatively abundant. If you want to help get a moggie. And get a black one as they live longer.

Some individual cats are more passive and more able to cope with being alone. Some are more able to deal with full-time indoor living and living in small spaces. You will find that some breeders say that the Persian must be a full-time indoor cat. The fur is too long to go out in the mud! The Russian Blue is a delicate, reserved cat that likes the security of a home. The Sphynx is without clothes so needs to be in the warm and out of the sun to avoid the risk of skin problems. This is also a smart cat so will interact well if you like that.

The Ragdoll is laid back. More active cats are the wild cat hybrids, Bengal and Savannah. You'll need to be around for these cats and provide input. Actually all cats require input. It is a fallacy to think that cats are independent. They are self-contained but dependent on us for just about everything.

If you don't like noisy cats don't acquire a Siamese or associated cat breed e.g. Oriental SH. They are known for their vocal skills. The British Shorthair has an almost silent voice.

I think, though that you will find some individual cats of any breed or no-breed more cautious and reserved than others. If you want a cat that is fairly static and happy to curl up,  a more cautious cat will oblige. The more confident male cat is more likely to be unhappy with a lack of space and input from us. He is more likely to want to go out and get into trouble.

Associated page: Choosing a cat breed.

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