According to popular belief, people are either ‘cat people’ or ‘dog people’, as determined by their preferred pet. Even if they don’t own a cat or a dog, most people can say which they would, hypothetically, prefer to keep as a pet.

If you are a dog person you have lots of choice when it comes to breeds: they come in a vast range of sizes colours, coats and temperaments. Some people want a family pet or a lap dog whilst others want a dog for protection.

Meanwhile, ‘cat people’ can choose from cats of different colours or between cats that have long hair or short hair. That’s about it. They all have unique personalities and temperaments but in terms of size and energy levels, cats are all very similar. Or so it would seem. There are a few subtle differences between cats that can make it difficult to find and choose the right cat for you and your family. If you choose to give a cat a second chance at a happy life by adopting from a cat rescue centre then staff at the centre will be able to tell you all about the personality traits and any special requirements of the cats in their care to help you decide, but bear in mind the following advice:

  • Pedigree vs. moggy: some people are happy to spend a small fortune on a pedigree cat. These are bred for particular coat colours or textures, or for particular eye colour or even personality trait. The trouble is that whilst some breeds may typically have a particular personality trait, it does not follow that one cat in particular will definitely have that trait. You would have to get to know the cat first before deciding whether it is the one you want. Some cat rescue centres have pedigree cats in their care, so if you want a particular breed then it is worth phoning round and asking – you can often be put on a waiting list in case one arrives at the rescue centre.
  • Two’s company: Some cats are known to prefer to be the only pet in a home. Staff at a cat rescue centre run by the RSPCA will be able to tell you if a cat you are interested in adopting would prefer to be rehomed with or without another cat. On the whole, cats do prefer the company of other cats and it is often recommended that two cats are adopted together, especially if owners go out to work.
  • Cat vs. kitten: A kitten is playful, full of energy but will happily cuddle up on your knee to sleep. A kitten is also undeniably very cute. A cat, on the other hand, is less often inclined to play, though it will do so when it feels in the mood. A cat is usually housetrained whereas a kitten will need to be trained with a litter tray. Cats are less likely to be adopted than kittens… please consider an older cat.

Consider these points and ask for advice at the RSPCA and hopefully you will find your perfect pussycat pet.