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5 Reasons Why a Cat Can Be the Perfect Pet for a Family

little girl talking to cat
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock
Last Updated on December 1, 2023 by Catster Editorial Team

Cats are sometimes looked upon as aloof, no-personality pets. Of course this generalization is usually proposed by people who don’t share their lives with cats. We cat lovers laugh because we know it’s simply not true. Each of my cats has a wonderfully unique personality. They’re fun, social and a valuable part of our family.

Some families assume dogs are the best family pets — they’re active, enthusiastically affectionate and love to play. I think dogs are the best family pet for some; however, cats can be an even better choice for families, especially those with busy lives.

Here are 5 reasons why cats make ideal family pets.

1. They’re social

young woman hugging her cat
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

I realize some cats are more social than others, but for the most part, they like to be where their humans are. Our three cats are nearly always within our sight. If we move into the living room to watch a movie, they follow us. They don’t always jump onto our laps, but they enjoy sharing the space with us. Some cats enjoy being held and snuggled. Teaching your children proper cat-handling techniques will increase the odds of treasured snuggle time.

Cosmo and Saffy don’t especially enjoy when company calls, but Phoebe likes visitors and is a perfect hostess. Unlike dogs, cat aren’t always as eager for attention. Again, some families enjoy these qualities; my family prefers the more relaxed nature of cats.

2. They love to play

No matter how social a cat is, a great toy is usually a surefire way to engage kitty in active play. My cats love wand toys. Even small children can use wand toys to play with their cat. My Phoebe even plays catch! Cats are often funny when they play and kids love this. They jump, roll, race around and tumble. This is excellent entertainment for all ages!

3. They teach kids about compassion

Some dogs enjoy more active play, even roughhousing on occasions. Cats prefer more gentle handling and quieter time together. When children learn how to carefully and respectfully interact with cats, they learn compassion. This is a trait that will serve them their entire lives.

4. They’re fairly easy to care for

Unlike dogs, cats usually groom themselves. They don’t require walks and do their business in an easily scoopable litter box. This makes cat care pretty easy for families with busy schedules. My kids help me brush and feed the kitties, and my daughter is my #1 pooper scooper. Kids learn responsibility when they are charged with cat-care tasks that are age-appropriate.

5. They can be left alone for a few hours

I’ve known dog-loving friends who regularly had to leave work or duck out of events early because their dog needed a walk. Although cats shouldn’t be left alone for an extended period of time, they likely won’t have any unmet needs if their humans are gone for several hours. This is helpful for families who find themselves running around for kids’ lessons, games and activities.

If you find you’re going to miss your cat’s regular feeding time by a large chunk of time, always arrange for someone to stop over for feeding and playtime. And if you’re traveling, please either hire a pet sitter or arrange for someone to swing by to spend time with your cat. They’re independent animals, but they still require regular attention and love!

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Featured Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

About the Author

Angie Bailey
Angie Bailey
Angie Bailey, an award-winning writer, podcaster, and humorist, is the author of Texts from Mittens and Whiskerslist: The Kitty Classifieds. She’s written cat humor for over a decade, and lives in Minneapolis with her fiancé and two cats — Phoebe, a sassy senior and Janet, a teenage kitty with tons of tortitude.

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