Malini wants to bring home a cat to her new apartment. She is away from home for a large part of the day owing to her packed schedule. Moreover, her apartment is in Mumbai, which is well-known for its hot climate and humidity. Given her lifestyle and location, Malini would love to have a cat breed that is easy to handle for first-time owners.
Farhan has two kids and a dog. He wants a cat that will get along with his children and dog. Tricky, right?
Pet parents come in all shapes and sizes. That’s why we are here to help! Here's a list of 3 cat breeds for first-time cat owners in India.
Most of the breeds listed here are shorthairs as they're easier to groom and can withstand India's tropical climate. Each cat has its own distinctive personality, and it's wise to spend some time with the cat to see if it's friendly towards you before you make it your "fur-ever" friend.
(And fair warning - once you get a cat, the cat will own you and your home, and not the other way around!).
Domestic Shorthair (DSH)
The Domestic Shorthair or the Indian Billi (stray cat) is a random-bred cat, which means its breed has been around for many years. Ginger, tabby, tortoiseshell, calico, and spotted, these cats come in a wide variety of patterns and colours.
Adopting a stray is advantageous compared to adopting a pure-bred as the former bred naturally and has diverse genes.
What does that mean?
It means that the stray has already adapted to the climatic conditions of a place and has fewer health issues compared to pure-breds.
DSH cats are low-maintenance and can get along well with other pets and kids. However, these cats have been exposed to adverse conditions, and some might have behavioural issues. So, it's important to talk to the shelter and spend time with the cat before you take it home.
The Bengal Cat is a hybrid of a leopard and a domestic cat. Cat enthusiasts love them for their spotted coats and intelligence. The Bengal cat looks like a mini leopard with jewel-like eyes and is characterized by its sharpness and playfulness.
These cats bond deeply with their humans, love to climb and chase, and are extremely curious. Though they have a rugged appearance, they are quite affectionate and will engage you in their adventures.
Bengal cats are known for their love for water and will jump at any chance to take a dip in a pool, lap up water from the tap, or even follow you into the shower! They love to learn tricks too and are good performers. They make the perfect companion for someone who is looking for an energetic and amusing pet!
The American Bobtail is a cross of domestic shorthaired and longhaired cats and has a stubby tail which is one-third the length of a normal cat's tail. If you're looking for a cat that requires relatively less grooming, the American Bobtail is your best companion.
They're also confident, fun-loving, and notorious for pulling off Houdini-like escapes from cages and closed rooms. They also get along well with other pets and strangers thanks to their curious and outgoing nature.
The American Bobtail is not a very common breed but is definitely available in India. They are worth chasing down!
There's a cat for all of us regardless of who we are and what we do. If you want a low-maintenance cat, domestic shorthairs are perfect. If your life and Instagram feed lack some fun and entertainment, Bengals can step up and fill that role while American Bobtails keep you engaged.