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Ask the SPCA | Paulette Keller

The right cat can be a great family addition

A triangle-shaped face can mean that a cat is athletic and curious.

A triangle-shaped face can mean that a cat is athletic and curious.

I have had dogs my whole life. Recently I have been thinking about adopting a cat. What type of cat would you recommend? Robert S., Largo

Cats are amazing pets. Each one has a distinct purr-sonality, that unlike dogs, is not easily determined by breed.

Similar to choosing a canine companion you must take into consideration how your lifestyle will fit with your new feline friend. Their small size works especially well with apartment and condo living.

Cats are a great choice for busy people who can't always rush home after work or who want to take an occasional worry-free weekend trip.

Age is a big consideration when choosing a cat. Kittens are often tactile, learning by touching everything with their paws and often claws.

The adolescent kitties will explore their hunting instincts and practice pouncing on their "prey."

With adult cats, their personalities are more predictable. You can tell what type of play they prefer, if they enjoy cuddling, if they are a singer, an explorer or just a lap cat.

I was fortunate; my parents adopted a 6-year-old tabby from a Tampa shelter before I was born. Joe-Boy graced our family's life until he was 16. He was affectionate, patient, playful and healthy. He was a great choice for an active family.

A cat's face shape may help determine its disposition.

A square-face shape or "cobby" cat often acts like the retriever of the cat world: a social butterfly that loves to snuggle.

A triangular face may be more similar to a herding dog: athletic, busy, intelligent, curious, stubborn.

A round-shaped face may be shy, slow to accept change and may enjoy quiet conditions. Think chihuahua.

And the myth of cats and dogs not coexisting? Unlike in the cartoons, cats and dogs can get along, even become best friends. Most of the time, cats are the ones in charge.

• • •

Visit the SPCA Tampa Bay and our new Edward D. Foreman Adoption Center to find a special kitten or cat waiting for a forever home.

Paulette Keller is a SPCA Tampa Bay volunteer. To submit a question, e-mail or mail to 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. Photos will be used as space allows and cannot be returned.

The right cat can be a great family addition 11/29/08 [Last modified: Monday, December 1, 2008 1:21pm]
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