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Choosing the right breed of cat for your family

Updated on November 2, 2015

adopt, adopt, adopt!

While purebred cats are beautiful and most times are great pets, always look at your local animal shelter first. Some of the sweetest cats are mixed breeds, and you will be saving a life while adopting your next best friend! Sometimes you'll even find a purebred in need of a forever family.

Do your homework before buying a cat

Did you know that cats have very different personalities,just like a human? The type of breed that you choose can have a huge impact on how well the cat will fit into your home and lifestyle. Some cats are rather lazy,and like to lounge around and do their own thing much of the time. Others are attention seekers and want nothing more than to lay beside you while you watch your favorite TV shows. So,whether you are looking for an independent type of cat,or a furry little bed buddy,you should look at the different breeds available and learn a little about them before making your decision. And you can rest assured that there are plenty of breeds to choose from, and you're sure to find the perfect one for you and your family.

Manx cat with "bobtail".
Manx cat with "bobtail".


These little bundles of fur are quite popular,due to their unique looks. The single most obvious feature that differs from other cats is the lack of a tail. It is possible for a Manx cat to produce kittens with a full,half,or bob-tail,or no tail at all. This is because the gene that causes the tail not to form is actually dormant. Another feature of this beautiful cat is that the hind legs are quite a bit longer than the front legs,giving the spine a sort of curved look. Because of these long hind legs,the cats are said to be amazing jumpers and will be found hanging out high above in places you would never think of.

They come in just about any color or color pattern,and there is a long and short haired version. The long haired would require a bit more care to its coat,so that should be kept in mind when deciding which you would prefer to own. A healthy female usually will weigh around 8-10lbs full grown,and you can expect around 10-12lbs for a healthy male.

Manx cats are known to be generally very calm and not overly anxious or nervous. They are very fond of their human family though,and really prefer to have somebody at home with them much of the day. As far as cats go,this one is considered to be quite trainable,and sort of like a dog in a way because they enjoy following you throughout your home,and burying toys.They are also highly intelligent,hence the reason they are so easily trained. Do not be surprised if your cat finds some clever ways to get out of closed doors,or other areas.

They are pretty healthy felines,with the exception of a disease known as Manx Syndrome. This disease causes bladder and/or bowel problems,and problems with the cat being able to walk comfortably. The disease occurs between birth and 3-4 months,so many breeders will wait until this time to adopt out Manx kittens. A healthy Manx can be expected to live into its teens and even into its 20's if kept indoors and given regular vet checkups.

Maine Coon
Maine Coon

Maine Coon

 The Maine Coon cat is a very sturdy,and loyal feline companion. They are available in quite a wide assortment of colors and patterns,and have long,flowing fur which surprisingly only requires grooming atleast once a week. But don't be surprised if you find yourself grooming them much more often! This cats coat is extremely beautiful,and silky and many owners enjoy sitting down and grooming their cat daily.

Their tail is very fluffy,and quite a beautiful site to behold. For someone who is looking for a kitty to pamper,this would be it. Females normally weight 9-12lbs,and the males 12-15lbs,but it is not unusual for a Maine Coon cat to grow much larger than that. They have been given the nickname of "The Gentle Giant" due to their size,and pleasant disposition.

They are wonderful as a family pet,because they get along so well with other animals, and also children. However,beware if you ears can't handle a little bit of meowing,as this breed is known to be quite talkative at times,especially when bored.

There are a couple of inherited health problems that may trouble your cat,so be sure and speak with your breeder about the health of your kittens parents,and any screenings that they may have done to check on the kittens health. Hip dysplasia is one issue,which can cause the cat severe pain when trying to get around. Also ask the breeder about cardiomyopathy,which is a heart related disease that can have many consequences,some of which are very debilitating.


Turkish Angora,with one green eye and one blue eye.
Turkish Angora,with one green eye and one blue eye.

Turkish Angora

 The Turkish Angora is a fine choice of cat breed. They are very elegant and refined,and a true pleasure to be around. They are extremely graceful,but at the same time they love to play and have lots of energy. They thouroughly enjoy investigating new surroundings,and just have an honest love of life.

Their long silky coat does not require as much grooming as one would think. Once or twice a week is usually enough,but they do shed a fair amount of fur during the warmer months,so some extra brushing may be helpful during those times. White is the traditional Angora color,but you will now find them in an assortment of patterns and colors. They are a smaller breed,only weighing an average of 5-9lbs,but lots of love comes in small packages.

The Angora will get along with other animals within a household,but they like to be in charge and will be not be afraid to show other pets who the boss is. They do wonderfully with children and the elderly,and anyone in between. The Angora is most definitely a versatile breed and will do well in most situations as long as it receives tender love and care.

Health problems include Turkish Angora Ataxia,which can cause loss of muscle control,and eventually death in kittens. And Cardiomyopathy which can cause a range of different heart problems,some of which may be serious or life threatening. Always discuss these concerns with your breeder before purchasing your cat.


A white Persian
A white Persian


Persian cats are currently the most popular breed in America. It's not hard to understand why America loves these creatures,and families welcome them into their homes. Their appearance is stunning,with a full,glossy coat of long fur,and a cute pushed in face. They are of medium size and come in many colors,and even some patterns.

These cats seem to prefer a home that is more on the quiet side,with not a lot of traffic. But,the Persian is also highly adaptable,and will probably do just fine in most situations if introduced slowly,and made to feel safe and secure. They love attention from their owners,and will curl up beside you,unmoving for hours. They are also normally very quiet,so if you don't want a loud,talkative kitty,this may be just the one you're looking for.

Their coat is very long and luxurious,and needs a good deal of grooming to prevent matting and hairballs. A daily brushing will do just fine,but also remember to give them a bath once in awhile as well to keep their coat in tip top shape.

The health of Persian cats is generally very good,and they are not prone to any known diseases any more than other domesticated cat breeds. It is recommended that you wash their face daily. Because of the cats large eyes,they have a lot of tearing,which is quite normal. But they need your assistance in keeping the area around the eyes neat and clean.

American Shorthair
American Shorthair

American Shorthair

 The American Shorthair is widely recognized,and is a cat that everyone has seen countless times. They come in a total of 80 assorted colors and color patterns,so it will not be difficult at all to find one that fits just what you're looking for. They can be somewhat on the larger size,with females being around 8-12lbs,and males tipping the scales at 11-15lbs.

The American Shorthair is easy to get along with,and somewhat aloof. It is happy to play with you,and then take a nap with you afterwards. They enjoy being close to their owners,and if they aren't getting enough attention,may bat at your leg or meow at you as you go around the house doing your work. However,many of them are not too fond of being held for very long. They are able to adjust to most family situations,and other animals are not normally a problem as long as they are introduced properly.

The coat requires really no regular grooming,but it is nice to do anyways whenever possible because the cats really do enjoy it,and it feels good to them. They do well at keeping themselves clean and bathing is usually not necessary.

This cat is known as a healthy breed,but it is always best to ask breeders about the health of the parents/grandparents of any kitten before you purchase it. That way you know beforehand of any possible problems that might arise in the future.


Siamese cat
Siamese cat


 The Siamese is a medium sized cat,with a very lean but muscular body. They are very popular and most people have seen them in movies or TV,or have atleast heard of them. An interesting thing about them is their beautiful coat. The coat of the Siamese is normally a light color,with a dark brown or black coloring on the tips of the body,such as legs,tail,ears,etc. The fur is relatively short,and the body very long,with a sort of triangle shaped head.

These cats are very intelligent,and are known to voice their opinion often. Their loud voices are considered a breed characteristic,so please consider that as you think of purchasing a Siamese. It would be awful for one of these cats to end up in a shelter because of doing what comes natural to them.

The Siamese is also known for being somewhat moody,and doesn't always seek out attention. Sometimes it would prefer to be left alone to do as it pleases. This is not to say that they don't love being with their owners,but only that they sometimes need their alone time. They also seem to choose one person within a household to show much of their affections to,so if you live alone,this cat would be the perfect match for you!

Siamese cats are not known to have any health problems apart from what would be considered normal for any feline. If well taken care of,you can expect them to live well into their teens,or even longer.




As a final note,please remember when considering a breed,to think of how often somebody will be home,and whether that cat will satisfied with being alone a lot. Some are very insecure and lonely without their owners around,and would not do so well in such an environment. Also consider breed health,and how much you can afford if the breed is prone to serious health problems. Consider your family as well. If you have children or a dog,make sure you get a cat that is even tempered and easily able to adapt to different situations.

This is only a guide to help you along in your quest. There are many,many other wonderful breeds of cats out there,and only after careful research will you know which will be the best one for you. These cats are just a handful of the most popular breeds in the United States today. Most cats are capable of living to be 15 years or older,so always make sure that you are going to be satisfied with your final decision for the long haul.


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I don't like cats.

    • Tod Zechiel profile image

      Tod Zechiel 

      5 years ago from Florida, United States

      I don't like cats, but..... our neighbor's Ragdoll adopted us for about six months before they moved away and took him with them. He was practically a dog. He stayed on the couch mostly. He would come greet you when you came in the door. He did not climb. He liked attention, but was not demanding. Your article helps people realize that each breed of cat is very different and if you do not like cats, think twice. There might be a breed out there that is right for you. Voted for useful.

    • peachpurple profile image


      5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      wow, i didn't know you need to think which breed of cat you want to own. I found my cat on the streets. A stray feline with strong nose for fish. She won't eat her cat biscuit when she smells fish in our house. Voted useful

    • kgnature profile image


      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks for all the great information. Our Clementine is just a plain brown tabby, but we love her anyway.


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