Although it may be tempting to simply pick out the cutest, fluffiest kitten you can find, it is important to remember there are a lot more factors than looks you need to take into consideration when choosing a new cat.
Indeed, if you want to ensure that you and your new pet go on to have a happy, harmonious relationship, then it is important that you really do your research before you even set off to the breeders or have a look around a rescue home.
Pedigree or moggie?
Although most felines in Britain are moggies, there are in fact 32 recognised breeds of cat - such as the British Blue, Persian, Siamese and Cornish Rex - and almost all of these can make wonderful family pets.
A pedigree cat tends to be a good choice if you want your feline friend to have a specific look or a particular temperament, but if you do go down this route make sure you buy your pet from a reputable breeder.
It is also worth bearing in mind that purebred cats can cost thousands of pounds and can have very specific breed requirements, so make sure that you are prepared for the time and finances you will have to devote to your new pet.
What's more, moggies can have just as much character and be just as attractive as their purebred counterparts. They are also often less high maintenance, so can be more suitable for a home where there is lots going on if you have kids.
Whether you plan to own a pedigree or a crossbreed, when picking out a kitten it is important to consider their personality. If you are adopting a cat from an animal rescue centre, the staff will be able to tell you a fair bit about the feline you're hoping to take home so you can decide whether or not they will fit into your lifestyle.
Remember to ask questions such as how much cat food your moggie eats, whether they require much grooming, if they have any behavioural problems and whether they are happy around other pets and/or children.
And whether you pick a kitten from a rescue centre or you go to a breeder, it is a good idea to observe and interact with the litter (if the kittens are old enough) to get an idea of their separate personalities and decide which cat is the one for you.
For instance, if you want a lap cat then you may be more inclined to choose a kitten that purrs when you pick it up and comes to you for attention. On the other hand, if you're after a more adventurous, independent feline you may be better off going for a cat that seems energetic and would rather play than snooze on your lap.
Finally, talk your decision through with the breeder or staff at the rescue centre, as these will be the people who can give you the best advice and will help you ensure that you pick the perfect kitten for you.
Written by: Hannah Dyball