Choosing the right cat breed is incredibly important to ensure your life with your pet is incredible. Cats are amazing companions, they’re cute, fluffy, funny and give great cuddles, so a little research goes a long way to making the right decision.
Compared to dogs, most cats are pretty low maintenance, but some cat breeds need to be mentally challenged or physically exercised nearly as much as dogs in order to remain happy and healthy. So, the cat breed you choose should be highly dependent on your lifestyle: where you live, what your home is like (apartment vs. house), and how much time you have to dedicate to a cat. Don't worry, there is definitely the right cat out there for you - and they'll be very grateful to get a loving home!
Here's some things you should consider before you get a cat, and how to choose the right cat breed for you.
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Many cats can live to 20 years, so consider your lifestyle and whether you’re able to provide for a pet for that long. On a day-to-day basis, although cats don’t need your undivided attention, there are a few breeds that don’t do well being left on their own. A Siamese or a sphynx, for example, is a better choice for people who are at home more often as they need company and can get a bit destructive when they get bored.
If you’re at work all day, consider a more independent breed, such as the British shorthair or Maine Coon. These felines are quite happy to entertain themselves, but they do have other specific needs to consider, such as grooming. The time commitment is especially true for kittens, which need much more care and attention in their first year of life.
Your living situation
Is it large enough for a cat? Do you have outside space for the cat to roam? Are you prepared for all the cat fluff? Different breeds have different types of fur, but all cats shed, so you’ll also need to be prepared to have cat hair in your home. However, that’s nothing a good vacuum can’t fix. If pet hair is an issue, a ‘hypoallergenic’ breed might be a good choice for you, such as an oriental shorthair or a Rex, as they shed less.
Popular Cat breeds
Bred to resemble a mini leopard but with a loving temperament, Bengal cats have gorgeous spotted coats and love to be around people.
- Medium-large breed
- Two coat patterns: marble and spotted
- Loving and dependable temperament
- Bengals love water – they may try to join you in the bath!
Domestic Short Hair
- AKA the moggies
- A mixed-ancestry breed - the mutts of the cat world
- Usually get much larger than 15 pounds/6.8 kilograms
- Commonly found in rescues and shelters, therefore a more economical (and arguably ethical) pet cat to get
- Wide variety of coat patterns/eye colors/face shapes
Native to the US, this super fluffy giant cat breed grows slowly, reaching its full size at around the age of five. They have a very large, muscular build and a long, glossy and dense coat.
- Very large, muscular build
- Long, glossy, and dense coat
- Very inquisitive and intelligent and thrive in a family home
- Can even be walked on a lead
Hailing from ancient Siam (now Thailand), it’s believed that when a member of the royal family dies a Siamese cat receives their soul.
- Highly intelligent - needs to be occupied
- Short, soft coat, minimal shedding
- Very vocal - Siamese cats love to chat
- Social animals that do well with a playmate to run around with
First bred in Canada, this hairless breed is perfect for allergy sufferers and makes an excellent sidekick as they adore humans.
- Requires more care than other breeds
- Regular sponge baths are needed to prevent skin conditions
- Loves affection, devoted, and very inquisitive
- Needs to be kept warm indoors
Easily recognised by its adorable ‘snub nose’, this kitty is a medium-sized and ultra fluffy addition to your family.
- Calm and docile
- Fairly independent and aloof but will cuddle
- Very long fur - requires regular grooming to prevent excess shedding
- Happy lounging around
This small, mischievous breed resembles a mini cougar or wildcat with its warm, luxurious coat.
• Highly active.
• Short, ‘ticked’ coat.
• Does very well with another Abyssinian • playmate to keep them company.
Intelligent and inquisitive – will grab things that catch their attention.
- Highly active
- Short, 'ticked' coat
- Does very well with another Abyssinian playmate to keep them company
- Intelligent and inquisitive - will grab things that catch their attention
Cat tech you'll need for your furry friend
The modern world is all about pets – from Insta- famous kitties to gadgets that make cat care easier. For example, check out the Catit Senses 2.0 Wellness Center, which provides all kinds of elements to keep your cat happy, including a full body massager, dental hygiene and grooming tech. There’s a whole host of robotic self-cleaning litter boxes, app-controlled cat toys, treat mazes and puzzles, kitty cameras to make sure your furry friend is okay while you’re away, and even automated feeding stations. If that’s not enough, perhaps you’d consider investing in the Litter Kwitter, a device that sits over your own toilet seat, designed to eliminate the need for a litter box.
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Dave has over 20 years experience in publishing during which he launched many successful magazine titles including How It Works, All About Space and All About History. He’s also pet parent to a retired police dog called Rebel, who can’t work anymore due to a health condition. When’s not busy trying to amuse a boisterous, three-year-old German Shepherd, Dave's the Editor on PetsRadar.