Female owner of animal shelter showing gray cat to mother and daughter

How to Choose the Right Cat for You & Your Personality

Cats are one of the most popular pets in the world and for good reason! They’re smart, curious, and generally adorable. But choosing the right cat is more important than you think– because if your new feline friend doesn’t fit into your home or lifestyle, they can be a lot more work than you bargained for. So, how do you decide which one is “purr-fect” for you? We’re here to help!Today we’ll discuss how to choose a kitten based on your personality, lifestyle, and living space, and include several important things all adoptees should consider when adopting their forever friend.

4 Things to Consider to Find the “Purr-fect” Cat 

So you want to know how to choose a cat that compliments your personality and lifestyle? You’ve come to the right place. The Humane Society of Greater Niagara knows a thing or two about cats and matching them to their new family. In our years of service, we’ve found that there are several things to consider to ensure both you and your new fluffy feline get the most out of this friendship. 

  1. Personality 

If you’re thinking about adopting a cat, you should know that there is no such thing as a “typical” feline. Just like humans, cats are as different from each other as they are from us. Each cat has their own personality and quirks—just like we do!

That’s why the Humane Society of Greater Niagara and its team of fervent volunteers do their best to get to know these creatures and share what makes them special.

Although each cat has their own quirks and unique qualities, some breeds do share certain characteristics that may influence your decision. For example, Bengals and other exotic breeds are known to be highly energetic and active, while Persians tend to be more easy-going and relaxed.

Research has also provided its fair share of theories on the behaviour of cats. One such study, The Feline Five: an exploration of Personality in pet cats, identified five main personality traits in cats: neuroticism, extraversion, dominance, agreeableness, and impulsiveness.

  • Extraversion: similar to an extroverted person, these cats are energized by being around others. They are also curious and alert, often requiring lots of stimulation.
  • Agreeableness: These cats are easy to get along with. Often described as friendly and gentle, agreeable cats make for excellent cuddlers. They may not rush out to greet someone as soon as they arrive like an extroverted cat, but they will eventually come around and provide their warmest welcome!
  • Impulsiveness: Described as reckless and erratic, impulsive cats may appear a little crazy, but most of the time it’s all in the game of fun.
  • Dominance: Cats exuding this personality trait like to think they’re in charge- and yes that means of you too (at least that’s what they like to think). If you have other pets in the home, think twice before bringing in a cat with this type of personality.
  • Neuroticism: Cats demonstrating this quality are described as shy, suspicious, insecure and anxious.

If you’re unsure of which feline personality is best suited for you, consider reaching out to someone who’s had experience with a few of the breeds you’re interested in. If you don’t know anyone personally, do some digging online, ask a vet, or join a social media group. 

  1. Hair Type 

A short-haired or long-haired feline, that is the question.

If you're looking for a cat with a soft and silky coat, you might want to opt for a long-haired feline like a Ragdoll or Himalayan. These cats are fluffy and luxurious but bear in mind, their coats require a lot of upkeep—you'll have to brush them daily to keep those tangles at bay. If you don't have the time for daily de-tangling or the budget for trips to the groomer, then you might want to consider a short hair cat instead.

Short-haired kittens are just as sweet as their long-haired counterparts, but they tend to be less fussy about their grooming needs. Plus, because they don't shed much (if at all), some people find them better suited for households with allergies. 

  1. Age 

You know what's super cute? Kittens. They're so adorable with their little paws, tiny noses, and little faces. But there's a lot more to adopting a cat than just how cute they are—you also have to consider things like time, money, and all that energy that comes with being a young, inquisitive kitten.

If you find yourself lacking the patience for all the new things your kitten will be discovering, consider adopting an adult cat instead! Adults tend to be calmer than kittens, and they'll be more content hanging out with you on the couch while you watch Netflix.

Plus, by about 2 years of age, cats' personalities are fully developed—so if you adopt a cat that's at least 2 years old, you can be sure that you know what kind of personality you're getting along with all that cuteness. 

  1. Lifestyle and living arrangement

Another factor that you should consider is your lifestyle.

For example, if you’re away from home a lot, you’ll want a cat that is more independent and can handle being on its own for long periods of time. If you entertain often, then you may want a cat that prefers being around others than one that becomes anxious around strangers.

Your living accommodations also play a factor. Some cats adapt well to small living spaces and to life as indoor cats while others require ample space to roam and explore!

Find your new Feline Friend at HSGN

Now that you know how to choose a cat to adopt, head over to HSGN and start the process!

The Humane Society of Greater Niagara has plenty of kittens and cats in need of a loving home. We’re confident that you will find a fluffy friend that fits your lifestyle and personality. Contact us today to learn more about our adoption process.