I Want a Cat

I want a cat.  Those that know me may be surprised. I am a long time, self-proclaimed “dog person,” so this is a little difficult to admit. But as a pet care provider and having spent numerous hours in their company, I have come to admire their independence and recognize the uniqueness of each personally. I really enjoy the company of cats.

Cole & Baxter

Now that we have reached the decision to adopt a cat from a shelter, we are struggling with how to decide on what criteria to make a choice. One obvious factor is a cat’s willingness to share its home with a dog. An advantage of adopting from a shelter is that there is often information about an animal’s previous home life. We need to find a cat that has a favorable history with dogs—preferably large dogs.

Color seems superficial but there does seem to be something about the personalities of the orange cats I know that I especially like. In addition, an orange cat would match our home décor.  (I feel a bit uncomfortable even joking about this, because I recently heard that a cat was turned in to a local shelter because she clashed with the home furnishings after a redecorating project!)  But there are some geneticists and cat fanciers that strongly suggest that the color of a cat is somewhat indicative of personality traits.

Gray tabbies tend to have a wild side, be solitary, and inclined to hunt and play aggressively. It’s suggested that this is a throwback to their similarly colored wild ancestors.

Completely white cats, which are prone to poor eye sight and hearing problems, often seem cantankerous and ironically clingy.

The uncommon chocolate colored cats, as a group, display greater than normal intelligence, are often communicative, quite friendly, and very playful. This consistency within the group is attributed to their having descended from a single individual, a Havana Brown cat.

Cats with pale colored coats (grey, cream, blue) are thought to be mischievous and always alert. They tend to get themselves into trouble.

Calico cats are almost always female and often very docile. But orange (ginger, red) cats are almost always male, exhibiting assertive and somewhat aggressive behavior.

The highly sociable, solid black cat is known to be friendly, independent, and often stubborn. Some theorize that because of social biases against black cats, they are often turned out and forced to fend for themselves. The resulting personality characteristics are partially bred from a long history of living life as a survivor.

And there are of course other colors to be considered: seal-point, color-point, tortoiseshell, black and white, or grey and white.

But beyond color, there are so many other things to consider. Perhaps we should we find a cat with health issues, which might otherwise not be adopted. Maybe a senior cat; these are often overlooked. A pair of sibling cats might be nice so that the pair is not separated. Two cats might do well together dealing with the two dogs—there is strength in numbers.  On a practical note, where are we going to put the litter box so that the dogs don’t get into it? What kind of litter should we use? …

Maybe I should go back to being just a “dog person.”