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Which Cat Breed Is Right for You?

Popular Cat Breeds and Their Traits continued...

Because the Exotic has the same facial build, it can have many of the same problems caused by a flat face, including breathing and eating problems as well as eye and dental issues. They also shed a bit more than Persians.

3. Maine Coon. This large breed of cat is growing in popularity and could soon replace the Persian as the most popular breed. The Maine Coon tends to be larger than most breeds, with males sometimes topping 20 pounds. A one-time barn cat, they are known to be friendly, outgoing, playful but not hyper, smart, and easily trained. People-oriented, Maine Coons usually do well even with young children and dogs. They’re also known for the odd, almost chirping sound they make.

Because they are longhaired, Maine Coons should be groomed weekly, and they do shed quite a bit. Common health problems include heart disease and hip dysplasia.

4. Siamese. One of the oldest breeds, Siamese cats are long, lean, and athletic and have a high energy level. They love to climb and observe the world from high places, so perches or cat trees are a must. They are the talkers of the cat world, often carrying on conversations with their owners.

A very demanding cat in need of constant attention, they do best when kept with other Siamese cats. They like interacting with people and often become attached to one person over others.

Health issues include teeth and eye problems, but they tend to be healthy and long-lived, the veterinarians say.

5. Ragdoll. These large, semi-longhaired cats are calm and gentle with a strong need for human contact. They are good with children and train easily, including learning tricks and walking on a leash. Grooming is necessary, but not as much as with a Persian. And although they shed, they aren’t considered heavy shedders. Ragdolls are a healthy breed that can live well into their teens.

6. Abyssinian. Abys are very high-energy cats that need room to run and climb. They are intelligent and high-strung, and although people-oriented, they aren’t lap cats. Abys may not be the best pet for younger children, but they do need others cats or pets as company. Their sleek, short coats mean little grooming is needed, but they do shed. Health problems include some dental and ear problems.

Finding the Perfect Cat

With all the choices available, Kent says you should take your time and choose your new pet based on how its personality and needs will fit into your lifestyle. “People so often choose a cat based on its looks without checking to find out what the cat is really like,” Kent says. “That can lead to real problems. But with a little research, people can find the perfect cat for their home and family.”

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Reviewed on March 02, 2011

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