I'm going to the shelter tomorrow and I might end up bring home a cat if we find one the family agrees on.
Two questions I can't find answers too.
Is there a way to influence a kittens personality as it gets older? My fiance really wants a cuddly cat since his cat was put down a few months ago. Our current cat loves being around people but hates being held. He loved being held as a kitten but became more and more distant as he grew up (which was the opposite of the cat that was put down, who was a feral kitten who grew into a cat that always needed to be on your lap)
And is there a way to prevent a cat from becoming overly vocal? The cats I grew up with never made a sound except when they were hungry. Our current cat meows nonstop all day and night. I'd rather the new cat not fall into that habit.
Why not get an adult cat? Kittens are cute but a pain in the ass, and you won't know what its personality will be like when it grows up. Generally just try to pick the most out going, friendly kitten, and play and socialize with it as much as possible if you want it to be friendly and comfortable around people. Like with your current cat though, there's no way to tell how it ill grow up to be. Kittens are a gamble like human children, sometimes even with the best parenting they grow up to be dicks. Best to check out grown cats that are allready fully mentally developed, so you know reasonably well what you're getting. Tell staff what it is you're looking for in a pet and they'll do your best to match you with an animal that best fits what you're looking for.
You can't be sure with a kitten, not for (some people say) up to 2 years, although in my experience just one year has been enough.
Spend time with the adult cats instead. You'll have a much better idea of their temperament, and you can easily ask the people at the shelter about how vocal they are.
And I will say, cuddly cats just tend to be noisier in my opinion. My buddy has to nap with me all the time, he loves lap time and cuddling when I just wake up in the morning, but he's one whiny mother fucker. I love this little asshole to pieces, but he definitely has a lot to say.
Check out youtube and "cats 101". It goes through every breed and tells you their general traits, level of care necessary, etc. You might find a breed that suits you more than another.