Ten Cats That You Must Have If You Must Have a Cat

I was pregnant with Sofia when I had a revelation. We were at my parents’ house, and my baby sister (okay, she was 22) was talking to my parents about food, patiently explaining the merits and superfoodness of lemons. As an adult child of parents, this seemed totally natural. That’s what kids do. They teach their parents how to be more awesome.

As a pre-parent, though, it was like I was struck by lightning. I’d spent three decades carefully honing my awesomeness. What could some punk kid have to teach me?

Well. Sofia’s two, and she’s already proved that I’m not even close to as awesome as I previously thought.

Sofia’s first lesson to her parents: Cats (Apparently there are different breeds?)

I’m a dog person. Wait. Let me put it another way: I hate cats. Cats are the devil incarnate. Ever take a picture of a cat? Yeah, its eyes glow. Green, glowy, devil eyes.

Sofia is also a dog person. But she loves dogs like I love sandwiches. Cats, though, she loves like I love peanut butter cheesecake drizzled with chocolate sauce and served with a side of free money. When she sees a cat, she immediately throws down whatever is in her hands and breaks out in a sprint, arms extended, “meow meow” bursting from her lips (she speaks their language). So far, it hasn’t worked out well for her, but she keeps trying.

A more successful endeavor is her prodigy-like manipulation of YouTube. Which is how, inadvertently and against my will, I have become an expert on cats. Punk kid, indeed.

My pain is your gain. Without further ado, here are the top 10 cats you must own, if you must own a cat.

#10 The Toyger


Get it? Toy + Tiger = Toyger (Wikipedia image)

Best trait: It looks like a tiger.
Worst trait: But it doesn’t look that much like a tiger.
Upkeep: They have a dense, plush coat, so you have to brush them often.
Cost: $500-$3000
The deciding factor: I guess I’m a snob, because if I’m going to pay a gazillion dollars for a cat that looks like a tiger, what I really want is a pygmy tiger. Do they make those yet?

The toyger would be a great party cat, not because I think it would be a fun dancer or a happy drunk, but because if you have him at a party, and you run out of things to say, you can say, “Hey look! My cat looks like a tiger!” But if you are like me and only have parties once a decade or so, it’s probably not going to be your best option.

#9 The LaPerm

La cat with la perm. (Wikipedia image)

Best trait: It has a perm.
Worst trait: It has a perm.
Upkeep: Once or twice a week brushing that permy, permy hair.
Cost: $600
The deciding factor: I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to own a cat ironically. Which might be the only way I would want to have a cat with a perm.

This cat was named LaPerm because its hair is permy, and because “La” makes “Perm” sound fancy. I’m not kidding. Much like the Toyger, if I’m getting a cat with a perm, I want a cat with a perm, like this dog:

I wish the LaPerm cat looked more like this.

#8 The Munchkin

LOOK AT ITS LITTLE LEGS. (Wikipedia image)

Best trait: You would never stop laughing at its short short legs.
Worst trait: They can never reach the top shelf.
Upkeep: Moderate grooming
Cost: $500ish
The deciding factor: Just because something is hilarious doesn’t make it right.

These cats are really, really funny. Really funny. But the whole time I’m watching them, I hope that they trip on things and fall on their faces, because that seems like a really funny thing that they would do. Which means I probably shouldn’t have one.

#7 The Ragamuffin

It's like the perfect cat. Almost. (Wikipedia image)

Best trait: Did you see it?
Worst trait: I look at this cat and think “hair.” Thick, rabbitlike hair everywhere.
Upkeep: Grooming isn’t too intense, but shedding is a problem.
Cost: $1000
The deciding factor: Okay, shit’s about to get real. My sister has a cat with thick hair like this, and sometimes, when the beloved four-footed friend poops, it dries in her long, lustrous hair, and my sister has to cut it out. With scissors. NO THANK YOU.

This is the kind of cat that I’d like to visit, but not own. Because poop.

#6 The Nebelung

I like to imagine this cat coming out of the fog, and then disappearing back into the fog when I got tired of it. (Wikipedia image)

Best trait: This is a cat for the nerdy types (that means you). From Wikipedia; The name Nebelung – apparently a portmanteau of the German word (Nebel) for Mist or Fog and a medieval Germanic saga, Nibelungenlied – is perhaps derived from the cat’s distinctive silky blue-grey coat and from the breed’s progenitors, who were named after the two major figures in the Nibelungenlied, the German warrior Siegfried and the Icelandic queen Brunhilde.
Worst trait: See point above about poop.
Upkeep: Moderate grooming required.
Cost: $300-$500
The deciding factor: Poop, again.

This cat is the color known as Russian blue, which makes me snicker, because it’s grey. Apart from that, though, the coloring of the coat combined with the coloring of the eyes is stunning. You might literally be stunned every time this fella walks into a room.

#5 The Singapura

Okay, you might need to watch the video, because still photos don't seem to capture the enchanting nature of this cat. (Wikipedia image)

Best trait: It’s the smallest of all cats so it’s like you get to have a kitten FOREVER.
Worst trait: If it gets pregnant, it has to have a C-section, which is an inferior method of birth. (JUST KIDDING. Not about needing a C-section, but about it being inferior.)
Upkeep: I don’t get it. Do you have to brush all cats? Because I would have guessed nothing, but it needs weekly brushings. I don’t even give myself weekly brushings.
Cost: $1000
The deciding factor: Well, there are a thousand deciding factors, really. And they are all dollars.

These little guys – I mean, they make a cat-hater not hate cats. They are like little mystical dollops of cute.

#4 The Ocicat

It's like having an ocelot in your house but without any of the ocelot-ness. (Wikipedia image)

Best trait: It looks like an ocelot but it has no wild blood in it.
Worst trait: It looks like an ocelot but it has no wild blood in it.
Upkeep: Self-cleaning. Boo-yeah.
Cost: $500ish
The deciding factor: You are supposed to brush their teeth, though. Boo.

This cat is pretty awesome. I kind of want a little bit of wildness in my cat, I mean, because wildness is cool. Also, as soon as you see a real ocelot, you realize that that’s what you really want.

So yeah, this is what I really want.


#3 The Bengal

I MEAN SERIOUSLY. (Wikipedia image)

Best trait: We have a winner. THIS CAT LOOKS LIKE A WILDCAT.
Worst trait: But it might try to kill you. Because, you know, wild.
Upkeep: Self-cleaning. Jackpot!
Cost: $800-1000
The deciding factor: They are perfectly fine pets, not aggressive and wild at all, as long as they are 3 or 4 generations removed from the leopard cat. Which makes me want to pee in my pants a little bit. I mean, if you say so, Wikipedia. But maybe it’ll try to murder you in your sleep.

#2 The Savannah


Best trait: Those spots! It’s like a mini cheetah. But don’t tell it that, because that is its cousin and it probably gets it all the time.
Worst trait: It’s banned in some places.
Upkeep: Average
Cost: $5000-$50000
The deciding factor: This cat has some serious street cred.

The Savannah cat is apparently like a dog and a cheetah all rolled up into one. But cuddlier! It is all sorts of long and lithe and wildcat-like. Seriously, if you kind of hate cats but you want something awesome, this would be my pick. If you’ve got $50,000 to spare.

#1 – Nimbus. Or Lucy. Or Nimbus. Or Lucy.
I’d like you to meet Nimbus:

This is Nimbus.

And Lucy:

And this is Lucy.

Best trait: Did you look at their pictures?
Worst trait: They already have owners, but maybe said owners will develop allergies.
Upkeep: Average
Cost: Adoption fee/free
The deciding factor: Loooooove. Apparently, they come with neverending looooove.

You probably can’t own them (but let’s be honest here, you can’t afford the others, either), because they already have families that they apparently adore. But if there’s one takeaway from all this cat nonsense, it’s that there are all sorts of cats with all sorts of okay-to-better-than-okay qualities. Whenever I open Facebook, Sofia starts jumping up and down and says “CAAAAAT!” because these guys are on my feed.

In the end, obviously you want to choose a pet based on personality and fit in your family rather than how closely it resembles a wild beast (or a dog). And really, the best place to get any pet is a shelter, or the rescue that is run by my boss so that you can put in a good word for me and she will give me a promotion. Win-win.

Despite myself, my punk kid, at the ripe age of 2, has already opened my eyes to another world. And fine, I’ll admit it. Cats are okay.

By Susan

I am old and wise. Perhaps more old than wise, but once you're old, you don't give a shit about details anymore.

153 replies on “Ten Cats That You Must Have If You Must Have a Cat”

To reassure you somewhat, my cat is very long haired and actually refuses to be brushed.

You can hold him and try to brush him (with those glove-brush things with the leather backs) and he’ll attack the brush for a bit and attempt to disembowel the hand in the glove with his back claws and then rush away. Then you can brush the hair off your clothes and call that a success. Mostly, though, I just let him take care of it for himself – he’s very good at grooming.

We have only had a full-blown poop disaster once – when he got a whole piece stuck in his butt-fluff. That required rubber gloves and scissors and two people, because he resents people messing with him – it offends his dignity!

Can I share photos of my lovely kitties too?!? I have two. The first one I got is named Jellyfish, and she is the prettiest, sweetest cat in the world… but also among the dumbest. This cat gets lost in our house and meows for me to come get her. She also thinks I am THE BEST THING EVER and would be happiest permanently attached to my lap/face. She is a domestic medium hair with a dilute calico fur pattern. It always looks like she’s wearing eyeliner. She came from the shelter, I’ve had her about 7 years. I’ve only had to trim her butt fur twice.

My other cat is named Victor. He is all black and is missing a back leg (we think he was born that way). We got him from a crazy meth head on craigslist… good times. He’s totally an attention whore with new people – plays up his limp, meows like the saddest cat in the world, rubs his face on you, wiggles the nub so you can tell he just really wants you to scratch that spot, etc. He just wants treats and/or ear scratches. He is totally fine and is actually a little bruiser.

Ahhhhhh! My baby kitty is on the internet! I am soooo excited that Susan included Lucy in this article (I may have sent the link to my parents). Lucy, on the other hand, can’t be bothered to stop playing in the current paper bag she’s co-opted to come look at a picture of herself.

I mean, you are right.  But Maru’s music gets really old really fast when you watch the clip one bazillion times.  Okay, fine, I’ll admit it, I never don’t laugh when he jumps through two boxes at once.

I have spent more time cutting shit out of Spike’s hair than is even remotely acceptable. He is a very handsome boy, and it doesn’t happen TOO often- though let’s be honest, any amount of time cutting fecal matter out of anything’s hair is too fucking often – but honestly, if someone had let me in on that little tidbit before I adopted him, it would have most definitely given me pause. One time, he had the runs, and oh man, vomit happened on my end. All down the backs of his legs. Hope nobody is eating. And to repay him for these things, sometimes I dress him up in costumes.

The pain of loving a very fluffy kitty! My long-haired girl gets a “hygiene trim” in her butt region regularly. It’s very undignified, but she doesn’t seem to mind at all. I like to think she realizes that it spares her the far worse indignity of getting poop stuck to her butt fur.

“and served with a side of free money” ARE WE RELATED

Pro-tip: if you and Sofia and everyone do get a kitty soon, it’s good to know that feral cats have a significantly shorter lifespan than bred ones. Our Spoon only lived five years before her body gave out. This is NOT to say that feral cats are not AWESOME AND CRAZY, just that you might want to get Sofia through the idea of what death is first.

I was watching Dogs 101 and I think it was a Great Dane or one of those other really, really big breeds, and it said their life expectancy was 5 years.  I was like NO THANK YOU I CAN’T LOVE SOMETHING FOR THAT SHORT OF A TIME.

Really? My last two rescue kitties lived to be 17 and 18. I figured that it had more to do with the fact that they lived indoors than breeding. Indoor kitties are a lot less likely to pick up a disease or get smushed by a car.

TANK cat was legitimately feral whe we got him (he had never been in a house). He is 8 now and healthy, if a little on the chubbus side.

Spoon was legit inbred, because there was the one terrifying momcat in the neighbourhood who just kept having litters, and then none of the cats left, so they all bred with each other. Spoon was a great cat but “bright” is not one of the first twelve words I would use to describe her.

she was pretty cute tho. and grumpy. she was mad grumpy.

Kitties! I miss having cats. I have a dog, and she’s great and all, but I love having cats too. (I also have a fish, and I think maybe I spend a little too much time staring at him.) Hopefully it won’t be too much longer until I’m able to remedy the situation.

One drawback to the kitties — they don’t let you know when something’s wrong. A dog is all, “Something is bad! FIiiiiiixx it!” And a cat is, “Nothing to see here. Move along. I have no weaknesses.” So we didn’t know one of our cats was diabetic until she was too far gone to help and her kidneys gave out. Poor thing. Our other cat was an older, large cat and we think she had a kitty stroke.

I didn’t really realize there were fancy breeds of cats until we got our second rescue kitty and realized she was a Bombay. The breed is pretty much your typical Halloween cat- big jet black cat with glowing yellow eyes. When my black cat stretches and arches her back she looks like a Halloween decoration.


Also, I’ve decided that when I get my own cat next year, I’m going to name him Jaqen H’ghar, to be called Jake for short.

Dogs are still superior though. Although my friend Susanne took my fear of cats way when she welcomed me into her home. They had five cats, all with very different characters. With them, I learned cats can do more than make horrible noises and put their claws in your leg.

Something else that cats do:  get all lovey-dovey with the pregnant person in the house, even when that pregnant person is taking a bath, and then they accidentally fall into the bathtub and then WOAH NAKED PREGNANT LADY CATS CLAWS BELLY WATER WOAH.

I know this for a fact.

Our dog picked us at the shelter, but he also WAAAAY misrepresented himself.  Okay, so it was the worms that he had that were making him lethargic, but we were all “ohhh, he’s so callllm, he’s going to be so chillll!”

We were very, very wrong.

Wow, I love the breeds you picked! The Bengal looks so seriously wild I was like, Whoa!!! We’ve been thinking about sneaking a cat into our apartment. There is an official no pets policy (though the owner’s niece is exempt–jerks!) but someone recently moved out and we saw they had a kitty tower covered with fur. I’m guessing there *must* be other people with clandestine pets here!

 KITTEHS! I’ll take this opportunity to brag about my child. I have a silver Bengal. He has a very sweet disposition and is extremely devoted. He thinks he’s tough but he’s a bit of a wuss. Once when we were playing he turned around and bonked his head on the bookshelf then came running to my arms, crying for comfort like a child. He likes games (tag/chase and fetch are his favorites) and he knows simple commands (comes when his name is called, sits, stands, still working on “roll over”).

I had no idea people actually paid money for cats (other than the shelter fee).  The only ways I know of to get a cat is free from someone who’s cat “unexpectedly” had kittens (really?  you have an outdoor cat that’s unfixed and you didn’t expect a litter?) and from a shelter.  Interesting.

I can speak of the poop thing.  My long haired dogs occasionally get poop stuck in their fur and we even trim their nether-regions to minimize the damage.  It’s the nastiest thing I hope I ever have to do and not a picnic for the pups either. . .

TANK cat and Freya cat kissing! And Freya cat is all, “bitch please.” I love my furballs, particularly the part where I don’t have to let them outside to poop every couple of hours.

In the 17 years I had a long hair kitty, she only got poop stuck in her butt fur once, and that was when she was old and sick. And the most dog like cat I ever knew was a cat with no tail. I don’t know if that’s a breed trait or anything, but she would go for walks and fetch things and so on.

And all my cats ever have been rescue kitties. Rescue kitties are great.

The outside pooping thing is the biggest barrier to me ever getting a dog. IMO, cats are very much superior to dogs because they require so much less time and effort spent dealing with their poop. I like dogs a lot, and I might even get one someday if I have a partner who’s willing to be in charge of the shit department. But kitties will forever be my love :-)


I am blown away by the thought that outside pooping is more of a pain in the ass.  I took care of my sister’s cat for awhile and I was all “WHAT IS THIS LITTERBOX THING THAT I HAVE TO CHANGE CONSTANTLY.”  Outside, you’re already there, you just scoop it up and toss it.

But you have to go all search and destroy on the back yard or else stand there and watch them poop. Plus like I said, they have to let you know every time they do it, so you can let them out.

Cat box has a trash can with a lid next to it. Scoop every other day, empty trash once a week, and I’m golden.

I am baffled by your bafflement!

I am very unwilling to touch warm fresh feces with a bag-shielded hand. Kitties you can ignore their waste 23.9 hours out of the day, scoop it up nice and tidy with the shovel thingy, and then move on with your life. No dealing with weather, no land mines in the yard, and no interrupting of your day by pets doing the potty dance/whine at the door routine.

Our kitty Simon is the best of both worlds – he is a cat and therefore quite independent, yet he thinks he’s a dog (occasionally plays fetch) and goes to the bathroom outside. And, you see, cats hide their feces, so they find a spot, poo, and cover it with dirt. No litter box, no warm baggie of poo. I actually have no idea where he goes – wherever suits him while he’s out exploring.

My husband has converted me into a dog person (we have a rottweiler in Ukraine), but here we just don’t have enough space for a dog and a cat and a baby. Maybe once we get a house?

Peanut photographs as much more badass than she actually is. i think she used up all of her badass-ery when she was fending for herself, and now she looks to us for defense. She’s the cuddliest little snugglebug who exists to be loved. It took her over a year to come out of the back bedroom, and almost two years before she started coming out to the living room. Now she sleeps with us, and has taken to the nightly routine of pounce-playing for about 20 minutes before we are allowed to settle in to sleep.

Bruiser is a bit of a toughy, and he likes to chase everything around, including our 70-lb boxer, and Miss Peanut. When he’s good, he’s soo soo good, and when he’s bad, I wonder why we have inside cats. We always had ones that went outside before I moved in with Mr.qSS.


One of our cats came from a shelter, but he picked us. Our other cat was a feral kitten Mr. Dormouse’s sister found under her house. Both are short haired, but they still shed like crazy. I haven’t made a habit of brushing them yet, but perhaps I should. :P Also, I can’t imagine spending that much money on a pet. Even the $80 for Pippin at the shelter seemed exorbitant.

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