Choosing a Cat

Making a Purrfect Match

Choosing the right cat for your lifestyle is essential to a good relationship.  When asked what they want in a cat, people often say they just want a cat to love.  But in reality we all have expectations of what our cat will be to us.  Putting a little extra thought into what you might be expecting from your pet will help to ensure that you pick out a cat that is best suited to you and start you on your way to a long and happy relationship!

A few things to ask yourself:

Why do you want a cat?

Are you looking for companionship?  For yourself?  For a child?  If you are looking for a companion for a child, a kitten may not be the wisest choice.  Children under the age of 5 just may not be able to handle a kitten gently enough and may inadvertently injure the kitten or be badly scratched.  A “teenage” or young adult cat may be a better choice.  They are still playful yet less likely to be injured.

Do you want your cat to be an indoor cat, an outdoor cat, or both?

There are pluses and minuses to any situation, but any cat that goes outside is exposed to predators, disease, cars, and cat fights.  Santa Barbara is a high risk coyote area. Are you willing to take that risk?

Do you have other pets, or are you planning to get other pets?

Many people come in to choose a companion for their cat or dog.  While many animals appreciate a companion, it’s important to take into consideration the age and temperament of your current pet. Has your current pet spent time around other animals?  If not, introductions may not go as smoothly as you hope.

How much time do you spend at home?

While all cats require daily care, some cats require more companionship than others.  If you don’t spend a lot of time at home, kittens are not a wise choice.  Kittens are babies and still have a lot of learning to do.  If no one is home to teach them, they are likely to learn bad habits and become bored and destructive.

Is your home active or quiet?

A quiet home may be perfect for a sedate or timid cat but may not provide enough stimulation for a very active cat.  Conversely, an active household may frighten a timid cat and you may end up with a cat that hides under the bed.

Are you a Senior Citizen?

Please consider a more mature cat.  Our shelters are filled with cats left alone when they lose their owners and no relative was able to care for them.  It’s devastating for everyone involved.  And older cats are oh so grateful for a second chance at a loving home.