Lop-eared, muscular or almost weightless, hairless or with a long coat, striped-, spotted- or curly-coated, communicative or silent – who of them can be your best friend? It’s not a piece of cake to decide which breed of cats to choose. This tiny little thing is not just your sofa decoration. A kitten will soon turn into a graceful or a muscular mature cat loved and cherished by your family.
Character like the main criterion for your choice
For convenience all the breeds can be divided into three groups. But we shouldn’t forget that pet’s nature is a mix of its breed qualities, heredity, living conditions, training and many other factors.
To the first group belong outgoing, talkative, and even a bit bothersome cats. They are athletic and agile, fond of playing. These curious creatures become participants of all events that occur at home. Such cats can’t tolerate rudeness and loneliness, they want to be surrounded with people 24 hours and suffer if the owner doesn’t pay them enough attention. For example, a Siamese cat and a newborn baby – isn’t the best combo. This talkative eastern prince or princess can wake your baby up with its sudden meowing. A communicative Abyssinian cat will get bored if the owner spends most of the day not at home. A Canadian Sphynx will feel lost if its owner won’t allow spending a lot of time in their arms or to climb on their bed to sleep. This group of breeds includes all Rex and Sphynx breeds, and also Oriental and Bengal cats.
The second group includes calm and relaxed cats, poised and self-confident. This pet would spend the day alone with great pleasure, but the evening will certainly show the owner its I-missed-you reverence and will certainly come to get some attention. They are moderately playful, not too noisy, quite sociable, but aren’t “a pain on the neck”. These cats and small children usually make a happy tandem. Strong nervous system and healthy psyche assume no aggression even towards a nasty child. Birman and Siberians cats, Norwegian forest cats, Russian Blue and American curl cats belong to this group.
The third group includes self-confident and strong cats with a sharp temper and not tolerating neglect. Usually, these are pretty big and muscular cats, able to fend for themselves in any situation. They are sociable only when they want it. Usually they have close relationship only with one family member. They tend to tolerate loneliness with aristocratic calm; usually such cats are silent and not particularly playful in adulthood. Representatives of these cat breeds aren’t likely to be best friends with children, especially if the parents are unable to control their child’s behavior. It doesn’t mean that these cats are dangerous, but such a “royal person” may not tolerate attempts to test the strength of its mustache. This group includes Maine Coons, Persians, Kuril Bobtail and British Shorthair cats.
Housing and care
What breed of cats to choose? A one with a long coat or a hairless one, with a curly or with a smooth coat? Everyone has its personal preferences. However, you should consider how much time you are willing to spend on the pet care. 15 minutes a day seem a trifle, but those minutes add up in hours and months, because the cat will live with your for many years. Long coats require daily brushing, and hairless Sphynx cats have unpleasant smell, if you don’t bathe them once in a fortnight. Short coat is easy to take care for, but molt twice a year is not that pleasant, when these “needles” dig into the upholstery and stick to your clothes.
So-called “designer” breeds often require special care. Typically, the more natural the cat looks, the stronger its health is.
Besides the type of coat, breeds have other distinctive features: like huge ears of a Siamese or a Canadian cat should be cleaned regularly, the eyes of a Persian cat should be daily wiped with a tissue, and bare skin of Sphynx cats need regular moisturizing. If parents are looking for a cat that could make friends with a child – they’d better choose a breed that does not require special care: Scottish fold cats, Norwegian forest or Thai cats, Birman, Siberian and Russian Blue cats.
The level of activity is also of great importance. Orientals, Abyssinians, Bengals and Savannahs are very agile. They require organized space for games, high constructions for playing and a lot of the owner’s attention in order to prevent the pet from accidentally hurting itself or spoiling a valuable thing. But Persians, British Shorthair cats, Siberians or Maine Coons need a lot of space only as kittens.
Cats and kids
Before choosing a cat breed to keep it in a family with a child, it is important to realize that:
- Kitten is a kid as well, and it will need a lot of your attention;
- A cat chosen as a gift for your kid still belongs to an adult family member, it means these are parents who bear all the responsibility for it, as well as the responsibilities associated with the keeping and training;
- There is no universal breed for children. Despite any breed qualities a little kitten is likely to grow up the way it trained in the family. A strong Maine Coon is able to be the gentlest babysitter and a nice Curl can turn into a vicious Scratchy. Undoubtedly breed affects the character of the cat, but not to such an extent that you can count on a perfect temper in the future just because the cat’s breeding qualities impressed you once.
If the family is expecting a baby or it has just been born, it might be not the best time to buy a cat. Or you may choose a breed, whose representatives don’t need too much attention (the cats belonging to the second and third group). For example, an Abyssinian cat and a newborn baby is not the best match. An Abyssinian will suffer because the owner spends all the time with the baby, and not with the cat. But this very Abyssinian, a Siamese or an Oriental is a great friend for your schoolchild – an active and friendly dreamer.
Kids with cats make an explosive mixture if they are friends. Torn curtains, broken vases or noisy games – parents should be ready for everything. A cat that will tolerate games with a kid – is a strong, healthy animal with a stable psyche: like a Birman cat, a Scottish Fold, a Siberian, an American Curl, a Norwegian forest cat etc. The most important factor is that the cat was brought up by an experienced breeder and born from gentle and sociable cats.