Does your household now contain a child and a cat? Maybe you’re expecting, and wondering how your feline pal will adjust? Or maybe you’re considering adopting a kitty? Cats and kids can have very beautiful and beneficial relationships. However, there are some things to consider. In this article, a Greater Cincinnati veterinarian offers some advice on helping kids and kitties get along.
Growing up with cats can actually be quite beneficial for kids. Kitties make great companions and cuddle buddies. Fluffy can also help your child learn about friendship and empathy, and comfort them on bad days. There are some physical benefits, too. Studies indicate that children who grow up with pets have stronger immune systems and fewer allergies than those who don’t.
If you’re looking to bring a new furball into your home, choosing the right one is paramount. It may be tempting to get a kitten. However, if your kids are very young, it may be best to go with an older cat. Young children can sometimes be clumsy, and they can accidentally hurt or scare kittens. Fluffy’s personality is also something to consider. A calm, friendly kitty will be more comfortable with kids than a shy, timid one.
Supervise all interactions at first. This is important for the cat’s safety, but also for your child’s sake. Little kids don’t always understand that Fluffy’s tail isn’t a toy, or that you can’t hug her as hard as you can a teddy bear. Also, make sure your children don’t give the cat unapproved toys or treats.
It’s important to talk to your children about pets. Teach them that our animal companions are living beings that can feel emotions, and should always be treated kindly, gently, and with compassion. You’ll also need to teach your little one how to read kitty warning signs, such as flattened ears or a lashing tail. They should also know not to chase cats, or try to pet or hold them against their will. This can actually be a valuable lesson for kids: Fluffy’s love and trust must be earned.
There are few things more adorable than pictures of cats and kids. Don’t forget to snap some cute pictures! These may become treasured mementos!
Please contact us, your local Greater Cincinnati veterinary clinic, with any questions about your cat’s care. We’re here for you!