Choosing the Right Cat, Happy Kitty or Angry Tiger?
Bringing a furry pet home can be a positive change in a human’s and pet’s lives. Your new kitty can be your best friend or your worst nightmare, depending on the breed. It has to be the right fit.
Since most adults work eight plus hour jobs, taking care of a cat can be more convenient than a dog. However, the key to a successful bond with your cat comes down to understanding its needs and creating a cat-friendly environment. Each breed has its own unique qualities. Some are more active than others, and some have more health issues than others. Here are some guidelines on how to choose the right cat for you.
Types Of Cats
Tree dwellers– These cats like to explore vertical spaces. Many popular cat breeds such Bengal and Egyptian Mau are natural tree dwellers. Tree dwellers enjoy the outdoors and require a lot of free space around the house. When denied access to higher ground, tree dwellers become insecure and aggressive.
It’s pretty simple to create a vertical space. One common solution is to build a few shelves along the wall so your cat can hop from shelf to shelf. Tree dwellers have a high-level of energy and require at least 15-20 minutes of play time each day
Bush dwellers– These cats prefer having four feet on the ground. When insecure, they will seek to hide in lower ground such as under the coffee table or some sort of a hole. Bush dwellers exhibit less territory aggression than tree dwellers and have lower energy levels. My cat Bia is a classic Bush dweller who likes sleeping under the couch. When we have guests over she will look for the closest hiding space possible and will stay there until the coast is clear.
Mixed Breeds vs Purebred
Choosing a pure breed or mixed breed comes down to personal preference. Personally, I don’t have a problem with choosing a purebred cat as long as the owner is responsible and aware of the task at hand. One thing to consider is that purebred cats are genetically predisposed to more health risks. The Bengal, Himalayan and Balinese cats are prone to Progressive retinal atrophy (rdAc), To find out more about these predisposed conditions click here.
Some purebred cats have special needs, such as the Sphinx, who’s oily skin requires constant bathing. Persian cats require a lot of grooming in order to keep their fur beautiful.
Mixed breed cats don’t suffer as much from genetic cat diseases. The cons of adopting a mix breed cat are not knowing its origins or health history. It may be difficult to anticipate behavior and future health problems.
Affording a Cat
According to a report from moneyunder30.com, owning a cat cost around 1100$ per year . The cost is higher for purebred cats due to additional health care and grooming issues. Be prepared for medical expenses and other one-time mandatory expenses such as, spaying, purchasing a carrying crate and litter box which comes out to about 200$. Then there are additional things like cat toys and accessories. Making your home cat-friendly is not cheap, but it is definitely worth it. It is key to making your cat as relaxed and confident as possible.
Understanding breeding history, behavioural traits, and predisposed genetic conditions increases your chances of a successful human-feline relationship.
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