Choosing Your Feline Friend

Where to go and what to consider

Cats tend to come into our lives differently than dogs. Only 3 percent come from breeders and another 2 percent from pet stores. The other 95 percent join our households as strays or from shelters, rescue groups, and friends and relatives, according to The Humane Society of the United States.

Shelters: These are full of cats looking for homes. Kittens are usually the first to leave the shelter, but remember: They’ll be cats before you know it. And young kittens can be a handful. Consider a grown cat, maybe two.

Breeders: As with dogs, if you’re looking for particular breeds, seek a reputable breeder. Top cats will cost you, according to Destination Luxury magazine. A Persian cat can cost up to $5,500; a Scottish Fold, with distinctive ears, can be up to $3,000. 

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Temperament: Some cat breeds are known for specific traits. Ragdolls, for instance, tend to be affectionate. Maine Coons are calm and good with children. Siamese are social and very vocal. Learn more about breeds through the nonprofit Cat Fancier’s Association.

Hybrids: These are domestic cats that have been crossed with wild cats, and they’re controversial and expensive. Beautiful to look at and a status symbol to own, a female Savannah—a hybrid bred with a wild African Serval— can cost up to $50,000, reports Destination Luxury. But hybrids can be problematic as household pets. Many end up surrendered to sanctuaries and shelters. Howling, biting, and aggression are part of their wild genetics.

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