It is important to remember that when one is shopping for a new kitty, finding a breed to suit the owner’s personality and lifestyle is of the utmost importance. Cat behaviors and traits can vary greatly amongst breeds, meaning that humans will mesh better with certain breeds than they will with others. For example, an elderly woman preferring a lap cat would not find a Savannah cat’s independence and high-strung nature to suit her. Pet-parenting can last between 15-20 years, so be sure to choose a breed compatible with your personal lifestyle. Review some of the considerations below to determine what kind of cat you are looking for.

What is your living situation and lifestyle?

Begin by analyzing your lifestyle, residence, and daily schedule. Do you work from home or are you away for long hours? Does your job cause you to travel frequently? Do you tend to spend your weekends relaxing indoors, or are you constantly taking off to the next adventure? Do you frequently enjoying outdoor activities mid week, or are you content with light recreation inside? Do you own other pets, or have any children that would require a calm, older cat? Do you tend to struggle with seasonal allergies, or dust allergies that could be exacerbated by a cat? Do you have a quiet neighborhood where your cat could be safe to explore, or are you on a busy street or big city? Are there any “escape routes” in your home where a cat could get outside? Are there places in your home that would not suit a small kitten, or could even prove dangerous for him? Do you plan on staying in this house for the next 15-20 years? If not, how might your future living situation accommodate a cat?

What do you expect/prefer in a pet?

What do you expect your cat to do: will her main purpose be to rid the backyard of rodents, or will she be a permanent and cuddly fixture on your couch? Do you want a social cat who will stay by your side the moment you come home, or one who keeps her distance? Would you prefer a playful kitten, or one that is regal with unique and stunning markings? Will you put your cat away when children come over, or do you want a strongly social cat who likes to meet people? Do you prefer a short-haired or long-haired cat? Will you require a kitty that is mostly hypoallergenic/does not shed, or are you willing to vucuum after your feline to rid the house of unwanted fur? If you choose a hairless cat, will you be committed to bathing him regularly? How much money are you willing to spend on this new pet, and how often would you take him to the groomers?

Personality & Lifestyle Matching

Sometimes the easiest way to determine the kind of cat you want to buy, is to classify the personality and living style of the owner. Below is a list of popular cat breeds well-suited for specific types of owners. While everything should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, these suggestions may be a good starting point:

Owners Who Are:

Social/Playful/Fun-Loving: Persians have long been considered an American favorite, who love doted on, preened and petted. The Scottish Fold and Exotic Shorthair cats like to be held and cuddled, Abyssinians love to play and explore, and Burmese cats enjoy social time so much, that having more than one is the best way to keep them entertained. The Maine Coon is another breed that has never met a stranger, and will be happy to play with anyone new.

Exotic/Artistic/Creative: Pet owners who are artistic or aesthetically inclined, may be drawn to the sleek depth of a Bombay black cat, or the Egyptian stature of an Abyssinian. They may find the Exotic Shorthair comedic and endearing, or the hairless Sphynx to be a unique beauty. Siamese cats also have a reputation for being active and affectionate companions, well suited for creative types. However for truly stunning-coated cats, this kind of owner may prefer the wild side that Savannahs and Bengals bring to the table.

Organized/Methodical/Intelligent: This kind of owner tends to work well with smart cats such as the Abyssinian, Burmese, Bengals, or the Scottish Fold, Cornish Rex, and Singapura cat. They can usually find activities to amuse themselves, and have a self-sufficient demeanor about them. These breeds seem to thrive in orderly areas, and enjoy exploring their surroundings.

Quiet/Calm/Homebody: Ragdolls are not very active, and enjoy staying close to their owners and keeping them company. The Syphnx is another breed that loves attention, and is content to follow their people around for cuddles. The British Shorthair, the Russian Blue, and the Persians also tend to be on the quiet side, and prove peaceable companions to those in a small living space.

Low-Maintenance/Well-Balanced lifestyle: It is hard to beat an American Shorthair cat when it comes to low-maintenance. This cat breed comes in a variety of colors, his coat is a medium length and his features well balanced. The Maine Coon is an easy traveler, with a relaxed demeanor. The Ragdoll cats tend to be low-maintenance and affectionate, and Birman cats are a good balance of social graces and independent explorer.

Health Conscious/Sensitive/Environmentally Aware: Bengals have usual markings, and the density of their coats requires less grooming since they shed less than other cats. Cornish Rexes and Devon Rexes only have a light layer of hair which emits so few allergens, that many people with cat allergies can own this breed without any symptoms. Hairless cats like the Sphynx cause no allergic inflammations at all. Russian Blues and even Siberians produce fewer allergens than other cat breeds. Environmentally-aware pet parents are often also drawn to adopting mixed breeds from shelters, in order to give the cats a good home.