Whether you’re expecting a new baby in your family or adding a cat to an existing family, you’ll probably start your process by researching the best cat breeds for children.
Cats and Children are an ideal pairing, especially if you live in an apartment or condo. Playful and energetic cats can get the attention they crave from kids, and kids learn responsible pet ownership. Bonds formed with cats in childhood will be remembered by your children throughout their lives.
When assessing the best type of cat for your children, you’ll want to select a cat which exhibits the following attributes:
Beyond that, take into consideration your children’s personalities when selecting a cat. If your kids tend to be loud and your house chaotic, you may want to steer clear of breeds like the Persian, who prefer quiet environments.
Most of these breeds are noted for their calm, affectionate, tolerant and playful temperaments. They are less likely to be possessive of or bonded to individual family members, which means they are less likely to see a new baby as an interloper and a threat. These are all social, people-oriented breeds.
Note: Choosing a cat based solely on breed is short-sighted and does not guarantee a perfect match. If you’re limiting your search to specific breeds you might miss out on some of the wonderful mixed breed cats awaiting forever homes at your local shelter, many of whom would be great kid-tolerant pets.
Take your kids with you to select a cat and handle prospective adoptees.
1. Adopt An Older Cat: When you adopt an older cat, her temperament is fixed, so you’ll get a much clearer picture of whether or note she’s kid-friendly. When you adopt a kitten, you can’t be sure that her playful scratchy-bitey behavior is due to youthful exuberance or ingrained in her personality.
Also, if you have very young children, an older cat is a better choice because they could accidentally hurt small kittens.
2. Spay/Neuter: Forget about providing a way for your kids to witness the miracle of birth. Spaying or Neutering your cat is the single most important action you can take to ensure that the cat will not lash out at one of your children. Toms are territorial and Queens are unpredictable when in heat; either situation increases the chance that the cat might bite or scratch your child.
And it’s never to early to ingrain in your children the importance of spaying and neutering as part of responsible pet ownership.
Raising your kids with cats will teach your children a lifelong love and respect for animals beyond what they’ll get from watching Animal Planet. Selecting a cat with just the right temperament for your family will ensure a rich and rewarding experience for everyone.
Photo: Mrs. Gooding