A Short-haired or Long-haired Cat?

Cats can have long, fluffy coats or short, dense fur, and the choice between the two is chiefly a matter of preference, availability, and your willingness to devote time to regular grooming. You'll see more short-haired cats at the shelter since they're the most popular and common cats. Keep in mind that long-haired cats require frequent grooming to be mat-free. Felines with short coats also require brushing, though less frequently. Most cats enjoy a regular brushing and will look forward to this daily ritual with you.

Your tolerance for continual hair on carpets, furniture and clothing is also a factor to consider. Allergies can be another; long-haired cats may aggravate allergies more than short-hairs. Daily grooming is essential if you choose a long-hair and want to keep your cat healthy, good looking and free of hairballs.

A Pedigree or Domestic Cat?

If you plan to show your cat as a hobby, and you're specific about what you want in looks and temperament or if you intend to breed then, by all means, buy a pedigree cat from a breeder. A pure-bred cat can cost several hundred dollars. Chances are you will never mull over your investment in an exquisite, show quality feline.

As to advice on buying an expensive show cat, the best practice is to learn about the breed you want through reading, talking to breeders and attending cat shows. With this knowledge under your belt, go look at kittens and you can probably make an intelligent evaluation. If you don't feel that you can, take someone with you that can.

Pedigree Cat
Pedigree Oriental Cat
Domestic Cat
Domestic Cat

If you definitely want a particular breed, but you don't need show quality and registration papers, you may be able to buy a "pet kitten" relatively inexpensively from a breeder. While color variations or other minor faults may make the kitten unacceptable for breeding or showing, they don't affect his pet potential at all.

The old term "alley cat" has been replaced with the term "domestic cat." Domestic cats may be either long-haired or short-haired. Short-haired domestics are the most common types. Among the short hairs, the "tiger-striped" cats are prominent.

Purebred cats usually are kept indoors because of their value and the risk of accident or theft. For this reason, most owners prefer the less valuable--and sometimes hardier--domestic, or mixed-breed, cat.

Domestic kittens are usually offered to homes between 6 and 8 weeks of age when they will be weaned, partly socialised but not house trained or vaccinated.

Choosing the Sex of Your Cat

There is little to choose from between the sexes once they have been neutered. However, if you want to breed, then you probably want a female because male stud cats don't usually make good pets. Entire male stud cats are usually kept in separate out-door runs because of their antisocial scent-marking behavior. Altered pets are more docile than whole cats. Neutered males normally never spray and are more mellow because they're not driven by hormones. Males are always larger than females. Spayed females won't produce generation after generation of unwanted litters at home or elsewhere.

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