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Why Cats Make The Perfect Pet for a Family: 15 Great Reasons

Written by: Kathryn Copeland

Last Updated on March 8, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

a happy family with their pet cat

Why Cats Make The Perfect Pet for a Family: 15 Great Reasons

If you’re a feline lover, you’re already sold on what wonderful pets they make. But if you’ve been on the fence about whether you should adopt a cat, we’re here to make your decision easier.

Most of the reasons that cats make the best pets are in comparison to dogs (which can also make the perfect pets, just in different ways), so if you’re ready to learn more about the majesty of the house cat, keep reading!

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The 15 Reasons Why Cats Make The Perfect Pet for a Family

1.  Cats Don’t Take Up Much Space

This may not count if you own a Chihuahua, but most dogs can be medium to giant sized. Conversely, most cats are small and don’t need that much space. Basically, it’s more manageable for them to share your bed—except for those cats that like to sleep on your face!

2.  They Are Quiet

This depends on the cat, of course, as many Siamese owners will attest. But in comparison to loud barking, cats are pretty quiet overall. They will communicate with you through meows and purrs, which are definitely gentler on the ears.

A family in bed with their cat.
Image Credit: YakobchukOlena/Thinkstock.

3.  They House Train Themselves

House training a puppy or dog is a long and sometimes challenging process. But most kittens use the litter box instinctively, so you just need to show them the box, and house training is complete!

4.  Cats Are Affordable

This is due in part to their size, but taking care of a cat is much more affordable than caring for a dog! The ASPCA estimates that a dog might cost $3,221 and a cat $1,904 in their first year1. This is partly due to fewer toys and lower food and grooming costs.

5.  They Are Great at Removing Pests

Cats are known for their hunting prowess. If your home has mice or even pesky bugs, your cat might keep them at bay. Some rodents won’t even enter a home if they can sense a cat on the premises.

6.  You Don’t Have to Walk Them

Cats can get their exercise by running and playing. Most dogs require several walks a day, no matter the weather, but with a cat, you just need to use a toy to play with them. That said, some cat owners enjoy taking their cats for a walk, but it isn’t a necessity.

Russian blue cozy
Image Credit: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay

7.  Cats Can Be Left Alone for Short Periods

Most dogs need someone around to walk them at least once a day, whereas cats can be left alone for a while. As long as there’s plenty of food and water, many cat owners can leave their cats alone for long periods. This doesn’t mean leaving them for a whole weekend, but most cats are quite self-sufficient.

8.  They Are Fun to Play With

When not sleeping or grooming, cats have pent-up energy that they need to release through play. They can play by themselves with the right toys, but you can also spend time playing with them—some cats even play fetch. Almost nothing is cuter than watching a cat with the zoomies!

9.  Kittens Are Easier to Care for Than Puppies

This is partly due to the litter box and house-training aspects, but it also applies to training in general. This is not to say that kittens are easy to look after, as they are not, but they’re easier than puppies.

10.  They Groom Themselves

This is a big one! Dogs need to be bathed regularly: Some breeds need it weekly, while others may need it every 2 months. But cats give themselves a bath every day—this also means no doggy odor! Cats do need our help with brushing, particularly longhaired breeds like the Persian. But otherwise, grooming isn’t that much of an ordeal with a cat.

orange cat grooming itself on bed
Image Credit: Princess_Anmitsu, Shutterstock

11.  They Have a Long Lifespan

Small dog breeds do tend to have long lifespans, but many breeds only live until 10 to 12 years of age. Cats have an average lifespan of 12 years, but many live into their late teens and early to mid-twenties.

12.  Cats Are Good for Your Health

Studies have shown that owning a cat can help reduce the risk of a heart attack and lower your blood pressure. Part of this is due to how calm you feel when spending time with your cat, particularly when hearing them purr.

13.  They Love Spending Time With Us

Many cat owners are greeted at the door when they come home and can enjoy a soft, purring cat on their lap. Cats have the unfair stereotype that they are cold and distant, which is simply not true. Just like some dogs can be loving and independent, the same can be said for many cats. Overall, cats love their humans.

14.  Cats Respect Your Personal Space

Some dogs are essentially your shadow, but most cats like their own space, which allows you to have your own. That said, certain cat breeds have been called Velcro cats (like the Sphynx). Overall, though, you can have more time for yourself with a cat.

fluffy cat getting cozy on the couch
Image Credit: Popel Arseniy, Shutterstock

15.  They Are Just So Danged Cute!

Cats are a joy to observe and just so photogenic! Just look at those toe beans (paw pads) when they’re making those biscuits (kneading their paws), that soft fur, and those beautiful big eyes! Don’t forget their whiskers! Any cat parent will tell you that it makes them feel at ease just to watch their cat sleeping.

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Owning any pet requires research, a budget, and plenty of commitment. But cats are fantastic pets that don’t need much work or coddling. Felines are definitely still challenging to own, as is the case with any pet, but they are low maintenance and can be just as loving as most dogs.

If you’re new to cat ownership, ensure that you look into the best breed for your family. All cats are unique and will require different types of care. But owning a cat—or being owned by one—is an incredible and rewarding experience!

Featured Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

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