Choosing the right breed of cat for your family may seem like a daunting task, but with a little research, you can easily find the right match for your family. Your kitten, after all, may very well end up being part of your family for 15 years or more! It is important that you know a little bit about your cat or kitten before adopting her. You may simply end up adopting a domestic short hair or a mixed breed kitten from the animal shelter, but this decision should also be an informed decision.
You should ask yourself questions like:
- If you have children, is this a good breed for children?
- If you have a busy schedule, does this breed require lots of grooming time?
- If you have allergies, is there a good breed for allergy suffering feline fanciers?
- Is this breed more laid back or very active? Are YOU more laid back or very active?
- If you have other pets, is this breed tolerant of them?
The IAMS company has a “Cat Breed Selector” tool on their website that is interesting and fun! Something like this is a good place to begin:
You can also go to the Cat Fancier’s Association website and read the breed descriptions of every recognized breed in the CFA. There are also lots of pictures you can see so that you can choose a cat that you think is pretty, but of course, don’t let that be the only factor in your decision. This also helps if you’re thinking of adopting a cat from the shelter and are curious as to what type of mix the cat might be. A mixed breed will have some of the personality traits of whatever breeds it is mixed with.
The most popular breeds of cat are :
- Persian – Persians are very calm and laid back kittens, with the Himalayans (color points) being a bit more vocal. They require lots of grooming!
- Maine Coon – The Maine Coon is one of the largest of pet cats, and they are said to have a very dog-like personality and are known for games of fetch.
- Exotic – The Exotic has the personality of a Persian without all the grooming requirements.
- Siamese – The easily recognizable Siamese is a very intelligent, loyal, and vocal kitty.
- Abyssinian – Abyssinians love everyone they meet and are a very active and playful breed.
- Ragdoll – Ragdolls gained their popularity for going limp in your arms when you pick them up. They are so docile that it is dangerous to let them outdoors unattended. They are another very large breed!
- Birman – Birmans are said to adjust to their family’s routine as they are easily adaptable. They have long hair but are also very easy to groom.
- Oriental – The Oriental is very people-oriented, not as chatty as the Siamese but has the same great looks.
- American Shorthair – The American Shorthair is one of the best breeds around children. The most popular purebred American Shorthair is silver with black tabby striping.
- Tonkinese – The Tonkinese can be a strong-willed kitty, but they have such a fun personality that it makes up for it if you have the patience to train them properly. They are very loving, and grooming is practically carefree.
There are basically three different food types made for cats. Each one has its own merit but factors such as price, nutritional value, overall feline health and your lifestyle should be considered when choosing food for your cat. Of course, if your cat has special dietary needs, it’s wise to follow the advice of your veterinarian.
Nutritional Information Label on Cat Food
When selecting cat food, be sure to read the nutritional information label on the product. Pet food manufacturers are required by law to disclose a “guaranteed analysis” on the package. Within these guidelines, the label must list the percentage of fat, water, protein, carbohydrates, fiber and trace minerals. Although this information is in compliance with regulations, it does not state the actual content within the product. It only states the minimum amount of crude protein and fat but the maximum amount of fiber and water.
Cats are carnivorous and need animal protein and animal fat in their diet. Carbohydrates are required for energy. Fiber is essential for digestion. Water is important in the prevention of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease. The basic nutritional requirements in the preparation of cat food were established by the Feline Nutrition Expert (FNE) subcommittee of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). All pet food manufacturers must meet these standards.
The following is a description of the three types of cat food available in the marketplace:
Canned Cat Food
Because of being palatable, canned food seems to satisfy most finicky eaters. It has high moisture content of 75%; therefore it meets the need for water in your cat’s diet. It is the most digestible of the three food types. Canned food can be pricey but the wide range in prices is usually in accordance with the quality of the meat. Food containing a higher proportion of organ meat usually costs more. The shelf life of canned cat food is long but once it’s opened, it becomes very short. It is best to only feed your cat a portion that he/she will eat in one session.
Semi Moist Cat Food
Positioned In between the spectrum of canned and dry food, the semi moist food has a moisture content of approximately 35%. Additional water will need to be supplied to your cat. It is sold in sealed packages and resembles dry food pellets. It is not as widely available as dry or canned food. Once opened, it can remain in your cat’s dish for free-choice feeding but over time, it will dehydrate. Once the food is dried out, nutritional value is lost and cats usually won’t eat it because the appealing aroma is gone. Price-wise, it falls in between canned and dry food.
Dry Cat Food
With the least amount of moisture content at 8%, cats will need an ample supply of water. It is considered to be one of the least palatable foods in its bare form but manufacturers add a coating of animal fat or other flavouring to give it a desirable taste. It is the least expensive of the three cat food types. Dry food is good for keeping your cat’s teeth free of tarter. It can be used for free-choice feeding because it doesn’t spoil. If not stored in an airtight container, it will lose nutritional value and the flavour coating.
It is essential to read the labels and compare the nutritional value of cat food. There are variances within each group. Even with identical contents, some brands are higher priced. Strive to buy high quality for the best price
Many people give their cats access to the outdoors, if they live in an area where it is safe to do so. But if the cat owner does not want to be constantly opening doors for her cat, or for it to get stuck outside, a cat flap can be very useful.
What are Cat Doors or Cat Flaps?
A cat door is a small door which can be fitted into an existing back door. Cat flaps also exist for installing into windows. They can be bought at most pet shops, or on-line. A simple cat door allows a cat to come and go as it pleases. The door can be pushed open from either side by the cat, and it then closes magnetically, so keeping out drafts. Different types of cat door are available.
Four-Way Cat Flaps
Basic cat doors can be opened by the cat at any time, although some can be locked closed for those owners who want their cats to be kept in at night. However a 4-way cat door has a little lever which allows the door to open both ways, be closed both ways, allow the cat to go in only, or allow it to go out only. These are very useful if, for instance, the owner would like his or her cat to stay in once it has returned home, for instance at night.
Electronic or Electromagnetic Cat Doors
These cat doors will only let specific cats enter the property. They are programmed in response to a magnet on a specific collar which is worn by the cat, and will only open for the resident cats. They are very useful if local cats tend to follow the resident cats home, as they will keep out intruders.
Microchip Cat Flaps
There are now some new cat flaps which can be programmed to respond to the resident cats’ microchip, and will not allow intruder cats to enter the property. They are better than electronic cat doors, since they do not require the cat to wear a collar, which could inadvertently get lost.
Training a Cat to Use a Cat Door or Cat Flap
Most cats can be trained to use a cat door quite easily. Firstly the owner needs to prop the door open, then guide the cat through it. Once the cat realizes that it can go through the door, the owner can put some food on one side of it to persuade the cat to go through by itself, praising the cat when it manages to use the flap. When the cat understands that, the door can be closed, and the cat shown how to open it by pushing with its nose or paw. It’s not as easy as sprinkling catnip on your cat scratcher.
Cat doors or flaps are incredibly useful for both owners and cats. Any owner who has one fitted will be thanked a thousand times over by his or her cat.
Many people love to keep cats as pets at their homes. Mostly adults or kids are fond of keeping this animal as pet. There are also many advantages associated with cats as pets. Let us check out some of the common advantages of keeping cats at home.
How to take care of cats?
During the winter season, cats can be covered with woolen dress available for cats in the market. You also need to take care about your cats’ food and complete nutrition. Regular check up of the cat from the veterinary is also vital for the cats health. Vaccination of the cat is also vital.
A friend: Having an additional member at home such as cats is a great way to get the company of an animal. At times when you might feel bored, a cat can be a great companion. Cats can also understand what humans feel, so its a good choice to keep the cat at home.
Good for the kids: It is great to keep cats at home as pets for kids. When children are small, they learn a lot by keeping an animal at home. They understand the true meaning of sharing and loving another being.
Many times kids are also afraid of animals like dogs and cats, so if a child from the beginning is at home with a pet, drives away the fear from him.
A form of protection: There is unsaid feeling of protection associated with the home guarded by any kind of pet. Similarly if you have a cat at home, you kind of feel a protected environment at home.
Cats can be great companions at home for people and also create a lovely atmosphere at the house for all the members.