Kitty Comes Home: Your Guide to Getting and Raising The Right Cat

Cats have a strange reputation for being selfish, aloof, temperamental and moody. Yet any cat owner will be more than happy to debunk those unfortunate stereotypes. Cats can be incredibly loyal, affectionate creatures that are at once a beloved part of the family and a soothing presence in a busy household. Provided they’re raised with love and understanding, and you’ve picked the right breed for the specific needs of your family, you’ll spend years with an indispensable member of the family.  

Get it wrong, however, and you and kitty could easily wind up falling out.


Here’s some helpful advice to make sure that your cat and your family have a long and happy relationship together.


Choosing the right breed

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While all cats have a remarkable capacity to learn (even if they won’t deign to do as you tell them), they’re more creatures of nature than nurture. As such, different breed dispositions might be better suited to the needs of yourself and your family. You may want an independent cat that’s happy to hunt and forage through the night then return home for snuggles in the morning, or you may prefer a breed that’s predisposed to being a contented house cat that won’t be tempted by the call of the wild. If you have kids then you’ll want to choose a breed that’s well disposed to them as well.


Families with kids- Firstly, it’s important that your kids’ expectations are kept in check before your cat arrives in their new home. They should know to respect the cat’s personal space and not to get over excited in their play as this may lead to misunderstandings and potential injury (especially for kittens). They should also know that kittens claw and bite as a natural part of play and that this is not something to get upset or worried about.


You’ll want a breed with a relaxed temperament that isn’t averse to the inevitable flurries of movement and noise that come with a busy household.


  • The British shorthair Is a chilled out, friendly and affectionate cat with a relaxed attitude who will take the chaos of a busy household in its stride.
  • The Norwegian forest cat While an active and energetic cat that loves hunting, climbing and being outdoors, they’re incredibly loyal and affectionate. They’re also strong and robust enough to enjoy playing with more boisterous children.
  • The Ragdoll They simply don’t come much more affectionate than the ragdoll. They’re so disposed to following you around, sleeping and nestling alongside you and even enjoy playing fetch, that they’re basically cat shaped dogs.

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Busy couples- If you don’t have kids and lead a busy lifestyle then you’ll want a cat that’s independent and happy to be left alone for long stretches of time while you’re at work or play. You’ll also probably prefer a cat whose hair you won’t be cleaning up in your valuable free time.


  • The American wirehairIs a goodly natured cat that you can trust not to wreck the place while you’re out, they enjoy their own company while also having a sweet and affectionate disposition. While affectionate they’re not particularly needy.
  • The Somali The vibrantly rust colored cat that’s not only dazzlingly beautiful but a friendly companion that’s independent but brimming with personality.
  • The ManxThese little guys come in a range of colors with a variety of different markings but one thing they have in common is their endearingly playful nature. While they’re happy to be independent, they’re also perfectly happy on your lap being made a fuss of.


Apartment dwellers- You might think that living in an apartment precludes you from cat ownership but there are many breeds for whom their genetic disposition is perfect for living in a small, secure space. We’ve chosen some adaptable, easy going breeds who aren’t too noisy or territorial.


    • The Persian– Has a reputation for being unduly fussy and hard to please but the truth is that these little guys can be happy just about anywhere. Their long fur does need daily grooming, though, so it’s not the best cat if you can’t spare it the time and attention it needs.


  • The Russian BlueThis independent but affectionate little guy is low maintenance and intensely loyal. They’re wary of strangers but form strong bonds with individuals so if you live alone then it’s likely a great choice for you.


  • The Javanese Is a highly intelligent and playful breed is quiet and loving. They’re great with kids and love to bond with families.


Taking them home


When you’ve chosen the right breed for you, it’s simply a matter of attending to their differing needs depending on their age. Remember that kittens have different nutritional needs to adult cats so it’s important to look at the top rated kitten food reviews to ensure that your cat is getting the right nutrients for its size, age and breed. A responsible breeder shouldn’t separate your cat from its mother until it’s at least 6-8 weeks so by the time you bring them home they should be ready to start exploring their new home along with their instincts.


It is your responsibility to ensure that your pet is vaccinated against diseases, worms and fleas. Your vet will know what jabs kitty needs. You should also consider microchip identification and look into whether you need a municipal pet license.


Kitty’s First Year


All that remains is for you to enjoy watching your new friend grow into their personality and bond with your loved ones.

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The first 3 months- Your cat will instinctively learn to play in ways that hone their hunter’s instincts. Expect to see lots of climbing, playful batting of small objects and exploring of little nooks and crannies around the home.


3-6 months- Your cat will start teething so make sure they have plenty of safe toys to chew on (or they will find something else). Their gums may become irritable which might put them off their food for a while but don’t worry, they’ll grow out of this phase. They will start to venture out more to hunt and explore their relationship with other local cats.


6-12 months- Your cat is now an adult! By now you will start to see their unique personality emerge and they will take a less excitable, more laid back approach to life, watching events unfold around them rather than investigating like their canine counterparts.

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