Choosing the right cat

Stay up-to-date: join us on Facebook

Inner West Pets

All cats are a lifelong commitment. The lifespan of a cat can be around 20 years!

The decision to own a pet should involve everyone in your household so that their needs, fears and concerns are considered. This will also allow you to determine how much time each person will be able to spend with your pet and the amount of responsibility that each person is willing to assume. Remember; children cannot always keep their promises!

To be a responsible cat owner, you must first ask yourself whether a cat is suitable for you. Some cats can demand a high level of time from their owners and some can demand less time.

Before you purchase your cat, you should also consider where your cat will go during the day and night. It is strongly recommended that your cat is contained on your property, and this can be done by installing either an outdoor run or enclosure, installing fencing barriers, keeping your cat indoors full-time or implementing time curfews such as keeping your cat in at night. For more information on confining your cat visit this page.

Once you have decided that a cat is the right pet for you, the next step is choosing the right cat that suits your household and lifestyle.


Ask yourself:

  • Kitten or adult cat?
  • Long or short hair?
  • Pedigree or mixed breed?
  • Vocal/talkative or quiet?
  • Active or lap cat?


Kitten or adult?

Kittens are playful, cute and full of energy. However, they can also require lots of supervision to keep them away from dangers in the home such as electrical cables, cupboards, behind furniture, on top of furniture and around breakables. They may also get under your feet!

While most kittens are already trained to go to the toilet in a litter tray, you may have to do this training yourself. Regardless, while the kitten becomes used to the location and using the litter tray, you may need to set out several litter trays around the house.

If you have a young family, kittens and small children may not be a good mix as kittens are quite fragile and children can be rough (grabbing at the tail, ears or pulling on the fur). Children should be supervised around ALL pets.

Adult cats are usually calmer, not quite as inquisitive, generally litter trained and provide more of an insight into their eventual natural character and their suitability to your lifestyle.


Long or short haired?

All cats should be brushed regularly, however, long haired cats require more frequent brushing to prevent the hair matting. Brushing will remove the loose hair & stimulate the oils in the skin.

Not all cats enjoy being brushed so it is recommended you start early in the cat's life or introduce the process slowly, with positive reinforcement.


Pedigree or moggie?

Pedigree cats come with prior knowledge of what their general character or behaviour is going to be. You will also know if it will have a short, medium or long coat, if they are vocal, lazy or energetic and if they are able to adapt to indoor or outdoor environment. Some people just prefer a pedigree cat.

If you decide to purchase from a breeder, make sure they are a registered NSW Cat Fancier Association breeder. Registered NSW Cat Fancier Association breeders are bound by a code of ethics covering responsible cat ownership and breeder responsibilities. They are also required to vaccinate and microchip their kittens/cats before they go to a permanent new home.

For further information regarding choosing the right cat for you, you should also speak with a veterinarian.


Have you considered adoption?

Animal shelters receive hundreds of surrendered cats each year. While some of these cats are rehomed, sadly there are not enough homes for the number of cats they receive. The unfortunate reality is that a large number of cats are euthanised.

Cats available at the shelters and rescue organisations below have usually undergone a health and temperament check, are desexed, microchipped and vaccinated, and – most importantly – they deserve a second chance!

(Never purchase a cat that looks unwell or is housed with cats that look unwell.)

Discounted registration fees apply!

Cat Protection Society (Newtown)

Sydney Dogs and Cats Home (animal shelter and Inner West Council's impound facility)

Maggie's Rescue (Marrickville)


Click here to view the current list of NSW Companion Animals Regulation approved rehoming organisations 

Pets in the City - a guide 

The Petcare Information and Advisory Service has produced a guide called Pets in the City. This guide helps people decide whether they should have a pet, what the most suitable pet may be and how to enjoy life with a pet. It is for both potential pet owners and those who currently own a pet.

Access the guide here

Selling or giving away a cat or dog?
The rules have changed.

From 1 July 2019, people advertising kittens, cats, puppies or dogs for sale or to give away in NSW will need to include an identification number in advertisements. The identification number can be either:

  • a microchip number
  • a breeder identification number, OR
  • a rehoming organisation number.

The rules will apply to all advertisements, including those in newspapers, local posters, community notice boards and all forms of online advertising, including public advertisements on websites such as the Trading Post, Gumtree and social media sites.

For more information visit the Department of Primary Industries website.

Rate this page

  • Rate as The content was useful100.00% The content was useful votes
  • Rate as The content was not useful0% The content was not useful votes

Thanks for your feedback. We will use this data to improve the content of this page.

Page last updated: 26 Jun 2022