The KZN Cat Club has put together a 5-part series on how to find your purrfect kitten, how to find a breeder, how to choose a breed and some helpful tips for preparing your home for your new kitten. Part 2 focuses on “What breed is right for me?”.
What cat breed is right for me?
First and foremost, do some research about the various breeds.
The best places to look at for information about the various breeds available would be to find Clubs or Governing Bodies such as the Cat Federation of Southern Africa and contact them for more information on breeds you may be interested in.
You can find a list of breeds accepted by CFSA HERE
Different breeds have different characteristics!
LOOKS – What type of breeds do you like the look of? What colours and patterns interest you? Type is a major consideration if you are wanting a show quality kitten or a kitten for breeding purposes, but it may not be of concern to you if you are just wanting to adopt a pet. Don’t adopt a kitten merely based on colour or pattern. There are so many other factors to consider.
LINEAGE– Inbreeding or line breeding can pose potential health risks so make sure you do your research with the breeders, especially if you want to purchase a breeding cat.
HEALTH – Consider the general health and potential genetic diseases of each breed and their “old age” limitations such as heart problems, kidney disease and gingivitis so you are prepared in advance. Find out about medial insurance such as MediPet.
TEMPERAMENT – Some breeds are more affectionate where others are aloof and independent. Some breeds are high active and mischievous where others are laid back and relaxed. With health aside, this is one of the most important factors when choosing a kitten! You do not want to end up with an issue where the kitten’s temperament does not fit in with your lifestyle, household or expectations.
SIZE – Breeds come in all different shapes and sizes. Do you want a stocky, cuddly medium sized cat or a smaller slinky, athletic cat? Do you want a very large, muscular cat or a petite small breed?
MAINTENANCE – A long haired cat like a Persian requires lot of grooming to keep them in good condition. A medium haired cat like a Maine Coon takes less work but requires regular brushing to avoid matting, but a Ragdoll may require some more work with a finer “cotton candy” coat. A short haired cat like a Siamese or Burmese will still shed as much seasonally as the longer haired breeds, but they are easier to groom and require less maintenance. A hairless breed like a Sphynx appears to be low maintenance but often is a lot of work to curb oil production. They should be bathed regularly to prevent oil build up. Cats with larger ears require a lot more work to keep ears clean and healthy so that build up does not cause an infection.
PRICE – Do you have a budget? What are you prepared to pay that is realistic? Have you researched the various prices breeders are charging and what they offer as a package? Do you have a holding fee ready? Prepare to pay for quality and do not get scammed by backyard breeders who charge “too good to be true” prices.
Some breeders offer more than others in the adoption package. Some vary their prices for individual kittens and some have a standard fee. Some breeders have different expenses than others. Do your research and make sure you are prepared for the expense. To breed cats is an expensive passion and breeders invest a fortune in their catteries. Few make a profit on kitten sales as the money goes back into the cat’s welfare, food, litter, toys, vet bills, grooming products, bedding, you name it!
NEXT: Part 3: Finding A Cat Breeder