When choosing a cat as a pet, consider that many cats can live between 15 and 20 years or more, so it’s important that you’re ready to make that commitment. Cats can provide a lifetime of happiness and companionship, so here is our advice when choosing a cat as a pet.
A few questions to ask yourself
Kittens and young cats are mostly playful, curious, and love to explore their surroundings. If you have young children in the home, then it’s important to make sure your kitten is trained early on to use litter trays and that your home is safe from hazards, as your kitten will reach for areas high and low in the pursuit of adventure.
Cats can live well with other animals such as dogs and other cats, but they’re also adept at living by themselves, provided you give them attention and regular playtime. This can also vary depending on the breed. Positive interactions early on with your cat will ensure they are used to being around humans and become loving companions.
As cats mature, they may be happy to explore their local surroundings, and may even have a second home! However, they will be happy if they are given regular attention and playtime, and of course fed well. For more information on feeding your cat, read more here.
If you adopt an older cat, then it may take longer for them to adjust to living with other pets, if you have them, as they may not be used to sharing their owner.
Some cats may be shy or less sociable, and suit homes where there is less noise or activities. Routine and gentle affection will suit them best as they adjust to your home and living with you, and they often enjoy the company of another cat in the home to make them feel more secure and provide an additional companion for themselves.
Best cat breeds for small apartments
As space is limited, cats that require less space for running and exercise will be best suited to small apartments. Pets can be very territorial, so choosing a cat that is less bothered about this will better suit your living arrangements.
Here are a few cat breeds that live well in small homes:
Persian cats tend to be relaxed and loving towards humans, and can be trained to use litter boxes easily. They do require a lot of attention and should also be groomed daily as their long fur can become matted easily. As Persian cats have a shortened nose and flatter face (they are a brachycephalic breed), they are prone to breathing difficulties, which can result in shortness of breath.
Russian Blue cats are very independent and are less bothered about sitting on your lap or seeking your affections than other breeds of cat. This makes them a good choice for pet owners who are often out during the day, as they can occupy themselves well. Boxes and uncomplicated toys are particularly good for this breed, and they’re less active than other cats. They are, however, normally very loyal to their pet owners (or whoever feeds them). Reports by pet owners of Russian Blue cats having a strong appetite mean that it’s important to be mindful of how much food they are given to avoid over-feeding.
British Shorthair cats are very good at adapting to life with humans in apartments. Typically, they are friendly and quiet, as well as affectionate, and they enjoy sitting on your lap- perfect for a pet owner who is looking for a cuddling companion! This breed is thought to have a higher risk of polycystic kidney disease, as well as feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is a common heart disease in all cats.
Ragdoll cats are generally relaxed and kind, enjoying time on their own as well as with humans. They aren’t demanding generally, and will enjoy sitting on your lap whilst you give them affection. They do require regular grooming to ensure their medium-long hair doesn’t mat. Ragdolls can be prone to urinary problems, mainly from kidney/ureter issues, as well as lower urinary issues.
Javanese cats are loving and affectionate, making them particularly good companions for people living on their own. Senior pet owners should also consider the Javanese breed as they like to bond regularly, and while they won’t mind you being away for some of the day, if they are left for a long time, they can become unhappy. Some common genetic defects to be aware of include deafness, joint issues, early-onset arthritis, hip displacement and cross-eye.
Whilst you may choose to adopt a pedigree breed, we also encourage potential pet owners to consider adoption of non-pedigree cats, particularly from shelters where they are in need of a new home. Not only will you be helping to provide a loving home for a cat that may have been abandoned, but you will be helping to reduce the burden placed on many charitable organisations who often struggle to cope with the number of animals that are sent to them.
At Doctors Beck & Stone, we offer a discount of 25% off services and 15% off products for all pet rescuers for up to 3 months. Click here for more information.