On the whole, cats are fairly low maintenance pets. You do not need to take them for walks as you with dogs, and they don't require special places to live and a lot of exercise like horses. Indeed, many cats are perfectly happy on their own for much of the day, which generally makes them the ideal pet for a busy person.. You might think that there is little you need to do for a cat other than feed it, make sure it stays healthy, and give it a little love and attention now and then – and for most cats this is true. However, this is not always the case. There are a few breeds that do require a large amount of care and attention for various reasons. This may be a physical reason, or it could be due to their personality. Either way, if you do not have the time, or don't wish to have a high maintenance pet, perhaps you should steer clear of a few breeds. Let's take a look at four of those which need the most time and effort...
Persian cats are well known for their beautiful long and luxurious fur coats, and it is these spectacular looks which attract many people to the breed. But the Persian's long coat forms knots easily, and it needs constant attention. This breed requires a considerable investment in time and grooming. The individual coats vary, but most Persians require daily grooming, and some even need it twice a day. If you don't do this, you will need to spend more time and expense taking the cat to the vet to have it's knotted fur shaved off!
Every year, a number of Persians end up being rehomed, since their owners cannot cope with the care their coat requires. Don't let this happen to you. If you want a cat with Persian looks and laidback temperament, but which is less work, go for the Exotic, which is basically a Persian cat with short hair.
Siamese cats are always very popular, both for their exotic looks and their friendly, almost dog-like personalities; they love following their owners around, chatting to them constantly in their loud voices. Siamese cats have short hair which requires little or no grooming, so you might think they are low maintenance cats. However, in terms of personality this is a high maintenance pet. The Siamese is playful and gregarious, and wants to take part in everything its owner does. These cats are not happy left alone, and will tend to pine, and scold their owners noisily when they do eventually come home. You need to spend a lot of time with a Siamese cat. Indeed, many people find the constant mewing, wailing, and chattering of the Siamese to be very annoying, and if you want a quiet life, with a cat which will just be a part of the furniture, this is not the cat for you. Having two Siamese may mean that they keep each other company so it may help a little, but you would probably be better getting a less demanding breed of cat.
The Sphynx is not truly hairless, but retains a covering of peach-like down, which feels like warm suede to the touch. These cats excite strong opinions, and most people either love them or hate them, with not much in between. They are not particularly demanding cats, so you might think that if you like them, they will be very low maintenance. But this is not actually the case. For a start, their lack of hair means that they are very sensitive to heat and cold. They really need to be indoor cats, but if they go out, they will probably need protection from the cold in winter, and will definitely need sunblock rubbed into their skin in summer. They also need regular bathing, since the oils that would normally disperse along the hair shafts accumulate on their skin. And finally, their almost hairless coat means injury is more likely, so they need to be treated with a lot of care. So all this needs to be borne in mind, and if you are not prepared for the extra work needed, then the Sphynx or any other hairless cat is really not for you.
The beautiful Ragdoll cat is becoming increasingly popular. Part of its attraction is due to its laidback personality, and the way these cats tend to relax trustingly in their owners' arms. Most of the early claims concerning the Ragdoll are untrue, however. It is not the case that they flop like the rag dolls after which they are named; they are simply very relaxed cats. And it is also not the case that their fur does not matt, as Ann Baker, the original Ragdoll breeder, also claimed. These cats do require a certain amount of grooming, being semi-longhaired, though not as much as the Persian. In addition, according to many owners, they are loving and friendly, but not that intelligent. So it is often recommended that you keep your Ragdoll indoors, since they tend to have little or no road sense. This means overall that they are very dependent on their owners, so don't get a Ragdoll if you don't have the time to groom it and give it a certain amount of indoor attention.
Different cat breeds have different characteristics, so it is a good idea to find out all you can about the cat breed you want before getting a new cat or kitten. Most cats are indeed relatively low maintenance, but some breeds definitely are not. And individual cats do vary, so be prepared to find our that your particular cat may need or expect more from you than you realise. But if you are a real cat lover, of course you won't mind.