The decision to have a cat as a pet can be a big one, as it means that you have to determine what breed of cat you want or should have. Your choice of cat breed will depend on a number of factors, as different cat breeds have different typical personalities, behavioural traits, and needs.
For example, some are very independent and will do their own thing (perfect for those with a very busy lifestyle) whereas some will be more like companions and will demand constant attention (ideal for those that want a pet that they can be really close to and bond with).
You also need to take your environment into consideration when choosing a cat breed. For example, if you live in a large house with a big garden and plenty of places to play then the independent cat will be the ideal choice. However, if you live in an apartment with no garden then you may want to look at an indoor breed that does not need to go out.
But you should also bear in mind that some cats can be very vocal, such as Siamese, Korat and Burmese cats, and therefore may not be suited to small apartments with paper thin walls. A better choice, if you're looking for a quieter breed, is a Scottish Fold, Somali or American Curl.
You will find that some cat breeds are far more demanding than others when it comes to your time and attention. If you work all the hours God sends, spend a lot of time away or out of the home, and do not have a whole lot of time to dedicate to your pet then you need to look at the more independent cat. Some less-demanding breeds are the Norwegian Forest Cat, Nebelugh, and Russian Shorthair.
If you want a companion, have lots of time on your hands, and are happy to dedicate some of that time to a new furry friend then you can opt for the more social breeds that love to be around people, such as Siamese, Persian, Snowshoe, Abyssinian, Main Coon, Ragdoll, Tokinese and Himalayan Persian.
The breed of cat that you choose will also determine how much time you need to spend on grooming. Long haired cats take a lot more grooming than short haired cats, so you need to consider how much time you can dedicate to looking after your pet.
Once you've decided on a particular breed, you'll need to decide if you want a kitten or a fully grown cat. If you want an older cat, a great option is to look into cat adoption to give an abandoned cat a home.