Adding a cat to your family is a big decision – after all, she’ll be living with you for many years to come. Choosing a cat that will make an ideal pet depends on your situation and preferences -- for a talkative, active Siamese type, a lapcat or an athlete, a stocky and furry Kitty, or a sleek and showy feline.
The Perfect Pet
List the "perfect" cat's personality traits -- while at the same time realistically assesisng your living situation. For example, if you are gone more than you're home, you may want a cat that is more independent and doesn't mind some solitude. There is no guarantee that a particular cat will have traits that are common in a breed. Of course, “regular” domestic cats, widely available in shelters, can provide just what you are looking for. Shelters have information about their cats' personality traits that can help you find a suitable match.
If you have kids, you'll want a cat that is OK with loud noises and sudden movements and won't mind getting lots of hands-on attention. Sociability and adaptability are good traits too. Some breeds that are known for these characteristics include Maine coons, Burmese, American Shorthair, Abyssinian, Manx, Birman and Ragdoll. Cats who are territorial or get testy with handling aren't good candidates for homes with kids.
Despite what you might think, cats and dogs can get along and often live together quite well. If you have a dog that is willing to share his home with a cat, you’ll want a cat that is adaptable and enjoys the company of other animals. Good candidates for this include the Sphynx, Turkish Angora, Scottish fold, Japanese bobtail and European Burmese.
Cats for Companionship
Even if you live alone, you still need to consider your lifestyle and what kind of companionship you're looking for. If you are looking for a conversation partner, you might want a Siamese, Tonkinese, Balinese or Javanese. If you prefer some quiet time when you're winding down, think about a British Shorthair, exotic shorthair or Manx. Ragdolls and Ragamuffins are considered to be docile, affectionate cats by the Cat Fancier’s Association.