Great Cats For First-Time Cat OwnersPublished November 4, 2011
Flickr User Andreas Solberg
Here's a classic cats vs. dogs statistic for you: nearly 86 million cats are owned by feline lovers around the USA, according to the 2011-2012 American Pet Products Association National Pet Owners Survey. The number of dogs owned by Americans was reported to lag behind at an estimated 78.2 million.
What most likely accounts for why people consider felines the “cat’s meow” of house pets (and why more people are becoming first-time cat owners) is that these furry companions are much more adaptable to indoor living and the come-and-go busy lifestyle of their "pawrents"; you don't have to worry about taking your cat out late at night for a walk, or worry about other things you may need to with dogs.
With this said, within the feline species, some breeds make superior “fur-mates” than others.
City dwellers thinking about sharing your home and heart with a kitty need to think about a few things: is your preference a quieter, docile cat, or one that is active and chatty? Would you enjoy having two kitties? Do you work at home, or are you away for extended hours?
It is very helpful to research about the different cat breeds and the personality traits for which they are famous. However, while some of these traits may be attractive to new owners, in reality every cat is different and "purrsonalities" can often be affected by their environment.
If you're considering adopting a cat, consider adopting an older cat from a shelter. There are many beautiful, laid-back cats waiting for a permanent home. Another option is adopting a purebred from a rescue group.
My personal pick for an ideal breed in the shorthair department is the American Shorthair. Intelligent, self-sufficient and highly adaptable, American Shorthairs make delightful companions. While not overly chatty, they will let you know when they want attention, and are eager to play with their humans. The moderately active Russian Blue, while shy in nature with strangers, is known for fierce loyalty and strong devotion to their people. Both breeds flourish with a minimal amount of grooming. On the other hand, the beautiful Oriental breeds (while they are talented conversationalists) tend to be quite demanding of their owners.
If longhairs suit your fancy, the Ragdoll or Ragamuffin make for incredible pets. It is easy to fall in love with their sweet dispositions and affectionate personalities. They tend to be lap cats, and enjoy playing but are not overly demanding. Persians are relatively quiet, very affectionate, and require a considerable amount of attention. These kitties do not enjoy being alone for extended periods of time. Daily grooming is essential to prevent their long coats from matting.
While choosing a kitty or two for your life-long companion can be time consuming, the rewards received are worth their weight in gold!
For you folks out there already owned by a cat or two, please offer other suggestions that helped you arrive at your decisions.