How to Choose
the Right Cat Breed

Choosing the right cat breed is an important step in the process of adopting a new cat. So how do you choose the right breed? Are you better off adopting a non-pedigreed cat?

The answers to these questions depend on several factors. If you want to adopt a purebred cat, make sure you inform yourself before making any decision.

Make no mistake, it is very important to choose the right breed for you and your family. After all, your new cat will be part of the family for a long time. Remember that cats may live up to 20 years. So make sure that you select the breed that is best suited to you and your family’s lifestyle.

Whether you decide to adopt a mixed breed cat or a pedigreed cat, you have to do some research. Below you’ll find several suggestions to help you during the selection process.

Time, energy and money – Adopting a cat, whether she is a purebred or a mixed breed cat, requires your full commitment. After all she will be another member of the family with her own needs.

So are you and your family completely committed to devote time and energy to care for your cat? Do you spend long hours away from home? Consider these and similar factors when choosing your cat. Also think about the expenses you’ll incur. Some breeds need more care than others.

Temperament and personality – Do you want an active cat or a laid back cat? Do you want your cat to be playful and affectionate or quiet and reserved? If you want a loyal cat, the Abyssinian makes a perfect choice. Another affectionate cat is the Burmese.

Do you want a social cat? Consider the Devon Rex. If you want a quieter cat, consider a Persian cat. Another option is the American Curl, a sweet and affectionate feline. Ask cat breeders about the temperament of each breed. There are also books and websites that describe the different breeds. See below for more information.

Short hair or long hair? – Do you want a low maintenance cat or do you prefer a cat with a beautiful, long coat? Do you have the time and the money to spend in your cat’s grooming? The Norwegian Forest and the Persian cat need lots of grooming and attention. Short-hair breeds are much easier to maintain. Short-hair breeds include the Colorpoint Shorthair and the American Shorthair.

How big? - Some breeds are larger than others. Consider the care of the different breeds before choosing the right size of cat for you and your family. Here's an article about large feline breeds.

Children and pets – If you have children and other pets, you might want to choose a breed that will get along well with them. Consult a reputable breeder about the options you have in this regard.

What if I’m allergic to cats? – If you, or anyone in your family, suffer from allergies, you may consider a hypoallergenic cat. The Siberian cat has hypoallergenic fur, so keep that in mind. Also consider the Sphinx and the Devon Rex. Visit our non shedding cats page for more information about these unique breeds.

Useful resources

One of the best ways to learn about the different breeds of cats is to speak to a knowledgeable and reputable breeder. Some specialize in specific breeds. Ask your cat loving friends or check the yellow pages for cat breeders in your area.

You may also check the following books and websites, which offer lots of cat breed information. By the way, a book about breeds of cats makes a great gift for a cat lover who’s thinking about adopting a new cat or for someone who just wants to learn about the different breeds.


The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cat-Breeds by Angela Rixon

The Ultimate Guide to Cat-Breeds by Louisa Somerville

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cat-Breeds: A full-color photographic guide to 300 leading cat-breeds of the world (Illustrated Encyclopedia) by Alan Edwards

Encyclopedia of Cat-Breeds by J. Anne Helgren

The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Cats, Cat Breeds & Cat Care (The Ultimate Encyclopedia of) by Alan Edwards

And for more specific information…

Maine Coon Cats: Everything about Purchase, Care, Nutrition, Health, and Behavior by Carol Himsel Daly, Karen Leigh Davis, Michele Earle-Bridges (Illustrator)

Guide to Owning a Ragdoll Cat: Feeding, Grooming, Exhibition, Temperament, and Health by Susan Nelson, Gary Strobel

Websites - The website of the Cat Fanciers Association. - Lots of great information.

I hope you find this information useful in your search for the right cat for you and your family.

Related links

The beautiful Bengal Cat

The enigmatic Egyptian Mau

Popular breeds of cat

Large domestic feline breeds

Non shedding feline breeds

Leave the Right Cat Breed and return to Cat Breeds

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