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Best Cat Breeds for Busy Couples:by Malina Saval , Demand Media
Cats have a reputation for being independent, but they actually require plenty of attention and affection. If you’re a busy couple looking to adopt a purr-fect companion, Marilyn Krieger, a cat behavior consultant and author of "Naughty No More," provides tips about choosing the right cat for your on-the-go lifestyle.
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Krieger's top picks for low-maintenance cat breeds include the Norwegian forest, the Scottish fold (pictured here) and the Maine coon. "They're lovely cats," said Krieger, "and they are self-contained, which means they do OK without having people around. They can be happy just looking out the window."
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British shorthairs love to be around people but are happy when left alone so long as they have plenty of environmental enrichment to keep them from becoming bored, Krieger said. "It is important to have regular play sessions with the cat every day," she said. "If inactive, they are prone to develop a weight problem."
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The American Wirehair
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This cat is calm, likes its independence and does not need a lot of grooming. "The American wirehairs are good at entertaining themselves as long as they have toys to play with," said Krieger. "They are social and usually enjoy the company of other animals."
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These cats require grooming twice a week, Krieger said, but they are also content if left alone for several hours at a time so long as they have environmental enrichment and vertical territory. "They are reserved and have quiet voices," said Krieger. "They are affectionate cats, but they aren’t clingy. They can take awhile to warm up to people."
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Since kittens demand more attention and play time, Krieger suggested opting for an adult or senior citizen cat. "I would not buy a little kitten and leave it alone all day," she explained. "It's a better idea for busy people to get an older cat that is more self-sufficient and independent."
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Krieger suggested steering clear of high-energy cats. "Do not go for extremely active cats like Abyssinians, Bengals, Siamese shorthairs (like the one here) or the Sphinx," she said. "They are all very active breeds, and they need a lot of interaction and to constantly be around people to properly thrive."
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Long-haired cats, like the Persian breed, are not the best bet if your packed schedule doesn't allow for regular groomings, either at home or by a trained professional. "Persian cats require a lot of upkeep," said Krieger. "And even with the Sphinx, which is bald, you have to give it regular baths."
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Krieger recommended going to a shelter or breeder and spending some time with the cats to get a feel for their personality. "See what their activity is like and what they are like with people," she advised. "Also, ask the breeder what cat is the least active in the litter. This can help you decide what type of cat is the best for your family situation."
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No cat should not be left alone for long periods of time, Krieger pointed out. "I always suggest that busy working couples should adopt a bonded pair of cats so they can keep each other company," she said. "It doesn’t matter what breed it is. All cats can get bored and need a certain amount of stimulation."
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Always keep your cat entertained, especially when you are away from them. "Environmental enrichment is very important," Krieger said. "Cat scratchers, ball and track toys, puzzle boxes, cat condos -- your cat should have easy access to all of these things while you are away so they don't get bored and anxious."
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