Cats are simple but affectionate creatures. If you’re thinking about buying a pet cat for the family, read on for the need-to-know.

Of the 33 million pets in Australia, nearly 25% of these are cats. There are so many different breeds of cats, and they will all vary in size, body shape and temperament. Generally they live for about 10-15 years.

It’s important to take the time to choose the cat that will be right for you, your lifestyle and your household.

Firstly consider:

  • How will the cat fit in with your existing lifestyle?
  • Would you adopt a kitten or an older cat?
  • Or do you prefer a pedigree or a crossbreed?

Once you have considered these questions, use the cat checklist when searching for your new friend.

Cat checklist:

  • Most cats in Australia are moggies, or mixed-breed cats. However, most people are unaware of the huge variety of pedigree breeds available. There are over 100 different recognised breeds and colour varieties of pedigree domestic cat – so consider your options.
  • Find a local breeder with a litter of available kittens. Visit them several times before taking one home. A cat’s personality will appear over days or weeks and it help you decide whether a certain kitten would be a good match for your household. Consider personality, tolerance, activity level to see how the kitten would integrate into your family.
  • If a kitten is shy in a group, they will be timid and dislike handling as they grow up.  Whereas a kitten that mouths, claws or plays roughly will be more active. Search for the kitten that responds positively, but not aggressively to you.
  • Healthy kittens will have bright, clear eyes, white teeth, ears clear of thick wax, smooth nails and a shiny coat.
  • Visiting the kitten can start when it’s only few weeks old. But remember that the kitten must be at least eight weeks old before they can leave their mother and you can take them home.