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If you are considering getting a cat as a pet for your children, the first thing you should think about is the day-to-day care that will be required. Help show your child what it’s like to own an animal by making a trip to the local library, or buying a book about how to look after cats.
Making your child a part of this new adventure will help her to understand what your new addition to the family needs before you bring her home. Of course pets aren’t all work and no play, and bringing a cat into your family can offer a lot of benefits to children, including reducing stress and teaching responsibility … not to mention the hours they’ll spend playing games together.
After you’ve explained the basics of what your new cat will need, there are a few other important things to teach your child when it comes to her pet:
Just like children sometimes need time outs, cats can, on occasion, feel the same way. That’s why it’s important to teach your children to read your cat’s body language and to respect when they may need time alone. Some easy signs to watch out for are:
Cats can be solitary creatures, so however much your children may want to play a game, your cat might not be in the mood. Here are some useful tips to create happy play times:
Whether you’ve brought a new kitten home or adopted an older cat, your children must be taught how to handle their new friend with care. Here are a few tips on the best ways to pick up a cat:
Once you’ve got the basics in place you will find that your cats and children can form a wonderful bond together. Having cats is a great way for children to learn responsibility, how to care for something else and will also provide hours of fun, love and entertainment as your cat becomes a firm member of the family.
Claire is the managing editor of The Daily Cat UK. She has had cats her entire life, and spends many hours reading about the best ways look after them. She’s helped look after litters for the RSPCA, and assisted with re-homing as well.