Step 2:

There’s no correct answer to the question of: Should i buy a purebred or Alley cat?  Each alternative has advantages and disadvantages, and you’ll have to decide which matters most to you.


It’s a wonderful thing to re-home a cat from a welfare organisation.  You’ll be giving a home to an animal that might otherwise spend its life in a cage, or even be ‘put down’.  However, you need to be aware that there are risks in adopting.  First, not all cats in welfare organisations come with a history, so you may not know what you are getting.  Was the cat a beloved family member and the owners emigrated?  Or did the previous owner abandon the cat because it was marking all over the house?  Was the cat abused and abandoned? (In which case you may be inheriting a number of behavioural problems).  Secondly, only rarely is a health history available.  Certain problems may not be obvious during a standard veterinary examination, or may only develop later in life.  Third, a mixed breed kitty of unknown lineage might turn into ... almost anything

With the purebreds, you’ll have a better idea of what you are getting.  [But we are dealing with a living being, so there can be no guarantees.  Like humans, every cat is an individual].  Different breeds of cats tend to have their own unique traits that may or may not affect your decision.  Some cat breeds are better with children or other pets (for example, the Maine Coon); others are more aloof and prefer a more solitary existence (the Manx, or tailless cat).  A purebred should come with a long history.  You will know who the parents and grandparents were (watch out for inbreeding!), and in most cases, the prevalent breed-related genetic diseases will have been checked for, and weeded out.  But be sure you check out the breeder too!  Be very careful about buying ‘purebreds’ from pet shops or back-yard breeders.  If you are paying big bucks for a cat, then part of what you are paying for is reduced risk of genetic disease, and attention to sound physical and mental health. 

Most people think of cats as independent and aloof. But there are general personality differences among the purebreds.  Do you want an affectionate and sociable breed (such as the Maine Coon or Birman) or an aloof and independent cat (such as the Chartreux or Nebelung); do you want a highly active (Abyssinian, Devon Rex) or laid back (Persian) cat?  Do you want a ‘dog-like’ cat, that will learn tricks and play fetch (the Manx) or walk on a leash (the Ocicat)?.  Do you want a talkative or quiet cat?  Some cats vocalise a lot (for example, those in the Siamese family).  Some owners find this endearing.  For others it is nerve wracking.  Other breeds vocalise only rarely (Norwegian Forest cat). Be sure to think about your living situation (flats, cluster homes, security estates, farms) and make sure you don’t select a cat whose cries will make you think of fingernails on blackboards, or that will become a neighbourhood nuisance.

Remember: Dogs come when they are called... cats take a message and get back to you later.

If you still want to go forth with buying or adopting a new cat, the next step is to decide if you want a Male or Female?

Step 3