If you are contemplating adopting a new cat you might be wondering whether to get a cat from a shelter or buy a purebred cat from a breeder. Here are some tips to help you make that choice.
How specific are your preferences on appearance and personality?
With a breeder you can effectively get a cat that suits your personal preferences; however, in a shelter, you are limited by which cats are up for adoption at any time. Shelter cats can be purebreds but are often mixed or unknown breeds. This doesn't just limit the appearance of your cat but can also affect their personality as some breeds such as ragdolls are also bred for personality traits and you can be more sure of the temperament of your cat. A rescue cat will take more exploring to get to know.
Do you want an adult cat or a kitten?
Shelters tend to be overrun with kittens at summer and in the middle of the year, but full of adult cats at other times. Breeders will be more likely to supply kittens (and occasionally retired queens) so they can be an easier place to look for kittens outside of this time. While kittens are very cute they require more work to litter train and have a lot of energy so an adult cat is often a better option if you are often away from home or don't have the energy to manage a kitten.
Do you have enough money for their ongoing care?
Not only do purebred cats have a higher initial price tag, they can also require extra care including a special diet, extra grooming and veterinary support for any issues that their breed is susceptible to. If you are looking at buying a purebred cat it can be useful to have a discussion with a vet that specialises in care for that breed of cat. You can get an idea from them of the average requirements of the breed that you are looking at, so you can see if your budget stretches that far.
It can also be useful to get an idea of how much extra time you will need to spend on your cat, such as taking them to regular grooming appointments and veterinary consultations.
No matter what cat you choose it's a good idea to form a close relationship with a vet you can rely on for advice on caring for your cat.