Selecting a Cat

Find Your Purr-fect Match

Adopting a new pet is always exciting, but it’s important to choose the best match for your family. We categorize our cats into different personality types to help you pick the right cat for your home. We also assign a shy level to each of our shy cats.

Get the Most from the Cat-a-logue

Our Cat-a-logue shows all available cats. Next to each cat’s photo, you’ll find a list of home requirements and a description of each cat’s unique personality and needs. Please look beyond a cat’s appearance and read these carefully as this is important information to help set you up for success in choosing your pet! A cat’s personality, age and ability to fit into your lifestyle are the most important considerations when selecting a companion who you will share many years with.

When selecting a cat, evaluate what type of home you have. Do you have a young family? An action-packed, boisterous home? Or perhaps you have a quieter home with only a few people and often spend time at home/work from home. Or maybe you’d describe your home as serene, with a mature family or a quiet house with few visitors. Remember to keep these basic home characteristics in mind when selecting a cat.

Portrait of boy holding cat; France
Cute gray kitten lying on a wooden floor playing with it's toy

General Cat Personality Types and Needs

Kittens and Tweens are typically playful and curious. They enjoy action, adventure and lots of attention. Having a youngster in your home will require you to train your kitten in proper “kitten etiquette” and kitten-proof your home. Kittens enjoy the companionship of other cats and dogs, but can do well on their own if they receive lots of attention and playtime from their human companions.

Some older kittens and tweens have had limited human contact in their first weeks of life, making them a bit fearful. These cats need lots of positive social interaction and love while they adjust to a life with human companionship. Having another pet in the home will also help them feel happy and secure.

Fun Family Cats demand action, attention and adventure. They love to interact with everyone and be part of household activities. Having lots of social interaction and playtime with the whole family is important to bring out the best in their personalities. These cats may want to be the only love of your life, or enjoy hanging out with other cats and dogs.

Mellow and Mature Cats can be social butterflies or independent, but are typically looking for a home with less noise and activity. These cats tend to be well-behaved and quiet, and are often just looking for a nice warm lap to snuggle up on. However, they still enjoy playtime. These cats range from wanting to be the only cat in the home to happily living with other pets.

Blossoming Shy Buddies do better in homes with less noise and activity. They prefer predictable, routine and gentle affection. With time, patience and love, they may become extremely bonded and affectionate with the people in their home. Most shy cats prefer to have another cat companion in the home to feel happy and secure. Learn more about MEOW Foundation’s Shy Cat Grading System below.

Special Needs Cats have long-term medical or behavioural conditions and need a home where their needs will be accommodated, which may include daily medication, ongoing veterinary care, or lifestyle changes to deal with their specific behavioural needs. They are looking for a home where love has no boundaries. Patience and understanding is key to a life of dignity for these cats.

How We Grade Our Shy Cats

Knowing what to expect when adopting a shy cat is the key to a successful placement. To help, MEOW Foundation developed the Shy Cat Grading System.

All shy cats in our Cat-a-logue are given a grade of Level 1 (slighty shy) through Level 5 (very shy) so you know what will be needed to help your new companion succeed in his or her new home.

Level 1

Level 1 cats can be approached slowly and petted gently. At times, they will independently seek out human attention. They are comfortable being near people and human activities. Level 1 cats can be expected to hide a bit during their first days home but are likely to eventually bond with their humans.

Level 2

Level 2 cats can be petted or touched for a short time in certain spots, by certain people. They are generally comfortable around people but will hide during the first few weeks at home. Level 2 cats may take weeks before beginning to explore their new surroundings and interacting with people in the home.

Level 3

Level 3 cats are learning to accept the odd pet or touch, but not consistently. With some work, they may eventually accept and be comfortable with petting. Expect Level 3 cats to hide when they first arrive home and take a few months to settle in.

Level 4

Level 4 cats require intensive socialization. They need to learn to accept pets from people and to feel more comfortable around humans in general. Socialization skills among cats in this category usually improve, but some cats may be resistant to socialization depending on their personality and work put in by their adopter. Level 4 cats often take three to six months to settle in to their new homes.

Level 5

Level 5 cats do not accept any pets or human touch. They are curious, but independent. They will co-exist with people in the home, but will not interact. They prefer the company of other cats. These cats will often hide and may take three to six months to settle in to their new homes. With hard work, some Level 5 cats may become more socialized over time; some may not.