6 Most High Maintenance Cat Breeds That You’ll Still Love No Matter What
Growing up, I only had dogs. So when I moved out and got two cats with my spouse, I was amazed at how blissfully self-sufficient and low-maintenance cats are compared to their canine counterparts. But, just like with dogs, there are some cat breeds that are definitely not low-maintenance. And before you adopt a high-maintenance cat breed, you should know what you're getting into, and what kind of resources it's going to take to make sure you and your new partner in crime are as happy as possible.
I used to be one of those people who thought all cats were the same. Even when my partner and I had three, and I'd learned that all cats were certainly not the same in personality, I was still content to put down "domestic shorthair" on the breed section of their vet forms and call it a day. It wasn't until my spouse and I adopted our fourth cat, a longtime shelter resident who turned out to be a Cornish Rex mix, that I finally started paying attention to breeds.
Luckily for us, our cat has the standard Cornish Rex personality: She's outgoing, affectionate, and wants to be around us 24/7. It's impossible not to love her — just like it's impossible not to love all the cats on this list, no matter how much their maintenance may eat into your time and your wallet.
You've probably seen some of these tiny cats roaming around the internet. I'm cheating just a little right off the bat here, because munchkins really aren't a breed — they're cats of any breed that have a genetic mutation that causes their super-short legs, which makes some of them looking like perma-kittens. But because of munchkins' popularity, people are purposefully breeding cats with this mutation, and those short legs unfortunately come with some health issues, particularly related to their bones, according to The Dodo.
Dr. Carol Margolis, a veterinarian and lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, told The Dodo, "As far as what we know, the inappropriate bone formation [...] predisposes them to osteoarthritis. They can have spinal malformations, lordosis and scoliosis...and they can be born with rib abnormalities."
If you want a munchkin, you should consider that you may be adopting a pet who will have painful conditions because it was bred to look cute. You should also consider the possibility of large vet bills, and the fact that pet insurance companies may turn down a munchkin because of preexisting conditions — leaving you footing all of the vet bills yourself.
If you've been looking around for a Himalayan to join your family, you probably know the first reason they're on this list. For the uninitiated, though, let me tell you: Himalayan kittens can cost upward of $1,000, according to Bright Side. Once you're past the price hurdle, you have to contend with the fact that those beautiful Himalayan coats need daily grooming to keep them tangle-free, according to pet health insurance company Figo. Figo also noted that "[l]ike many flat-faced cats, Himalayans often have breathing problems due to deformed nasal passages." And on top of that, they're at risk for polycystic kidney disease, Figo reported.
If you're set on adopting one of these majestic beasties, Figo said you should ask for proof that both the cat's parents were free of kidney cysts.
I literally cannot put it better than PetHelpful: "[T]hey are like having a wrecking ball with a warped sense of humor in your home." Bengals are absolutely beautiful cats, but they have high-maintenance behaviors and are even pricier than Himalayans. According to the Bengal Cat Club, you could pay anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000 for a Bengal, depending on its breeding specifics.
But having a Bengal in your house can take some getting used to, PetHelpful pointed out. You can run into particular issues if you have multiple cats, because Bengals will need a place to chill. "Bengals are a fiercely territorial breed, which means if you want to have more then one you should get at least a pair (or have other cats already living in the home) the first time around," PetHelpful reported. "Otherwise introductions can be hard. Because of this they do not generally like big changes in their environment and should always have a box, cat tree, or kennel that they can retreat to to hide when they feel stressed out."
Persian cats are the stereotypical villain's cat, thanks to Austin Powers. According to iHeartCats, though, Persians are very affectionate and are excellent best friends. But that doesn't mean they're without their maintenance costs. Like the Himalayan, Persians need regular grooming. And because some Persians have flatter faces, "[t]hey are prone to eye problems as well as breathing difficulties due to their shortened skulls," iHeartCats reported.
This Russian breed can be hairless or "have a coat that resembles a peach," according to Bright Side. A Peterbald generally costs around $1,000, according to The Huffington Post, so compared to some of the other breeds on this list, it's not too expensive. According to Finances Online, Peterbalds are smart and affectionate, but owners besotted by these naked beauties will have to watch it when it comes to their delicate skin.
"[I]ts skin is very sensitive so children need to handle it carefully," the site noted. "In addition, this breed is susceptible to sunburn and hence cannot spend a long time outdoors." So if you're looking for a companion for your kiddos or want a cat that can go on adventures with you, consider a hardier breed (or, of course, a shelter cat!).
6. Maine Coon
Maine coons are the original floofy cats — and because they're so sweet and floofy, they shed a lot. iHeartCats noted that this breed "needs regular brushing to prevent mats and tangles" and that they're not likely to hop up on your lap and snuggle you, but they are generally a gentle breed that does need a lot of attention — so be sure to think carefully if this is the breed for you if you're a frequent traveler.
Like humans, no matter how high maintenance the cat, they're still lovable creatures — and they'll make a lively addition to your home no matter what. Just make sure to do your research before adopting.