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What Attracted You to Your Pet?

I’ve often wondered why we prefer the pets (mixed or purebred) that we do.

Why do you like the pet you do? | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Unless a pet chooses us (which happens often enough), what is it that attracts someone to a pocket-sized Yorkie, a bouncy French Bulldog, or a huge, fluffy Newfoundland?

Do you prefer a regular tabby cat, an elegant Siamese, or a smushy-faced Persian?

Why do you like the pet you do? | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

I have a friend who loves naked cats. Naked, as in born with little to no hair, as seen in breeds like the Sphynx, Donskoy, and Kahona. She finds their soft, velvety, hairless wrinkles absolutely beautiful. Cats with fur just aren’t as interesting, she says.

I pondered this question for a while and came up with eight factors that attract pet parents to the furry friends they choose.


We want pets that fit our lifestyle and personality. If you are an active person, you may want an energetic dog who and loves to go for walks. If you are more laid-back, a cat may be a better choice.

If you’re a dog lover and are trying to decide which breed would be the best fit for your personality, try matching breeds to your Enneagram personality type. Check out our fun article on this topic.


Some animals are naturally more friendly and outgoing, while others are more shy and reserved.


The size of your home can play a huge role in the size of pet you choose.

Dog breeds large to small

If you live in an apartment, you may want a smaller pet, such as a fish or a small dog or cat. If you have a big yard, a larger breed will enjoy having space to roam.


Some pets, such as dogs, can live for 10-15 years. Others, like hamsters, have a lifespan of only 2-3 years. It’s important to choose an animal that has a lifespan that fits with your own plans.

Our article, Should I Adopt a Puppy or an Adult Dog? includes tips for basic pet care.


The cost of owning a pet vary depending on the type of animal you choose. Dogs and cats are generally more expensive than fish or hamsters. However, the cost of food, supplies, and veterinary care can add up over time.

Learn the facts and figures about the costs of caring for a pet over a 15-year lifespan in our article, The Benefits of Pet Health Insurance.


If you live in an area where there are not many animal shelters or pet stores, you may have to travel further to find the type of animal you want.

Ease of care

Dogs need to be walked and fed regularly, while fish only need to be fed once a day.

Choose an animal that you can easily care for, based on your lifestyle and availability.

You might consider co-ownership of a pet. Here’s an article on our blog about dog sharing. The article includes three additional options for pet parenting.

Personal preference

Ultimately, the decision of which pet to choose is a personal one. There is no right or wrong answer, and what matters most is that you choose an animal that you love and that will bring you joy.

What attracted you to your pet?

  • Deep soulful eyes?
  • Affectionate purring?
  • A “Let’s go play!” personality?
  • Fluffball baby fur?

I’m curious.  Please comment and let me know.

2 Responses to “What Attracted You to Your Pet?”

  1. Reply Starla

    I love Belgian Malinois because they will do ANYTHING you ask of them at Mach 2 and then think they are a lap dog.

  2. Reply Sarah LaCombe

    I have 2 cats. I had started fostering after not being able to have pets for several years. One day the Alley Cat Project brought me a lone, shy, little black kitten at about 6 months old. He was rescued from a colony and was pretty feral when I first met him. He had this sleek black fur that shone dark chocolate brown in the light and gorgeous little yellow eyes. When I first held him he was terrified; he just buried his head in my arm and laid perfectly still while I stroked him. Over time I got to hear him purr for the first time, something he tended to do when playing with his favorite wand toy. While he was playing he would just purr and purr, but he would still startle easily if anything moved to quickly or made loud noises. Eventually we’d reach the point where we could play his favorite game, where I held him on his back and tease him with his own long elegant tail. I was an immediate foster fail for this shy little sugar bear.

    Now that he’s all grown up, he still tends to be a bit jumpy and he HATES to be outside of his comfort zone. My little emo kid as I call him. He will definitely throw some shade at his animal brothers and he is so quiet and dark black that I often can’t see him when he sneaks around at night looking out the windows and finding sneaky hidey spots to spy from. He still loves to play with his tail when he feels comfortable, loves wrasslin’ with his brother, and flopping over for belly rubs, which he does pretty much immediately when he sees me.

    After I had adopted him I started volunteering at seattle feline rescue. This was when I met Harry, a scruffy looking feral with an ear tip, gorgeous blue eyes, siamese type markings, a stubby tail that twisted at an odd angle wiggling constantly with affection, and legs that splay slightly from the hip making him often hop a bit like a rabbit. He looked like he had a rough start somewhere in eastern washington, but that was about all I knew of him. Other than that he had a sweet and outgoing demeanor and would walk right up to anyone or anything he had a curiosity about. He was a brave little bugger who loved one handed head rubs and FOOD. His feral side would come out a bit when you tried to put both hands on him or tried to pick him up and hold or cuddle him. He would only tolerate this for a few seconds before he struggled his way out of your reach. It was frustrating to see this adorable little fluff and not be able to snuggle his adorable little belly. I thought he’d be the perfect companion to my shy little man and adopted him with the hopes they’d help each other reach beyond their personality boundaries.

    I had arranged for them to meet very slowly at first. I had a large dog crate that I used for the other ferals I was fostering, and covered it with sheets so they would have a sense of each others presence but no direct contact. The day I brought him home Nacht gave me the most heartbreaking look of betrayal and bolted. I thought I had made a HUGE mistake. Yet some time during the night, Harry made a lonely little meow that must have jogged Nacht’s memory and he realized, there was a cat in there! He knew cats!

    Over the next few days I would lift the veil of sheets to let them check each other out. At first they just looked at each other and occasionally reached through the cage to bat at each other through the sheets, inventing their own little game of the gesture. It became obvious pretty fast that they were interested in each other. There was no real hissing or challenging, just a shy curiosity. One day I took a picture of the two, observing each other through the cage in the perfect little muffin stance that only cats can perfect. I still have a picture of the two looking like they were holding an interview or conference. It was too adorable.

    The two became fast friends and over time Harry’s coat grew out to be the floofiest floofiness you have ever seen. His little lion mane is some of the softest silkiest fur I’ve ever felt on a cat. Under stress (such as going to the vet) he becomes very calm and it’s one of the few times that I can cuddle and kiss on him the way I always want to. Most of the time though he’ll still struggle his way out of your arms, even if he’s purring away and obviously enjoying the affection. These days he is eternally following me around the house and greeting me with his adorable little chirpy purrs, and of course wrestling with his favorite brother.

    So long story short, I am the proud mother to a mini house panther and a tiny lion

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