Cats make delightful pets, even though they are very independent. But before buying or adopting a cat, you must ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you want a male or female cat? Generally females are cautious, gentle, and quiet but unless you have your cat spayed, you will have to contend with heat cycles. Males are larger and more outgoing, though unneutered males tend to spray urine to mark their territory, roam, and are prone to fights with other cats.
- Do you want a long- or short-haired cat? Long-haired cats are glamorous, but it will be someone's job to keep it that way. Long-haired cats shed a great deal and tend to get hairballs more frequently.
- Do you want a purebred or mixed-breed cat? If you want a purebred cat, make sure you buy it only from a reputable breeding establishment and know what you're looking for before you actually buy.
- Do you want a kitten or a cat? Kittens are cute but they require more time and patience. Older cats require more socialization but generally are easier to care for.
In the next section, we examine three important components of caring for a cat: bathing, feeding, and grooming.