10 Reasons Cats Are the Perfect Pet for Young Families

10 Reasons Cats Are the Perfect Pet for Young Families

10 Reasons Cats Are the Perfect Pet for Young Families

Having a pet is often a rite of passage for a lot of children, and it can be extremely beneficial for their development too. There are obviously a lot of options when it comes to choosing a family pet, and you will need to take into account a lot of different factors, like how much spare time and money you can dedicate to taking care of another living creature. That being said, depending on your circumstances, cats specifically are a great first pet for children. Not only are they cute and cuddly, but they also help to teach a lot of children about responsibility and how to care for another being. Not convinced? Read on to learn more about why you should be considering a cat as a pet for your young family.

  • Encouraging Nurturing

Most human beings have the innate instinct to nurture; children often model this behaviour, having seen it exhibited by their parents. Getting your child a cat provides them with an outlet for this behaviour. In addition to allowing them to look after and care for another living being, it can also teach them a lot about responsibility too. They will be able to have a hand in all aspects of caring for the cat. There are age-appropriate jobs for children at every stage of development.

  • Learning Respect

As well as teaching them how to care for another being and encouraging their nurturing side, having a cat also teaches your kids respect. They learn how to respect another being and what that means. These skills are then able to translate into other areas of life when they get older. They learn more about respecting a cat’s likes and dislikes. For example, some cats don’t like having their tummies touched or petted or their tails, but they do like having their head scratched. Children then very quickly learn the importance of respecting the animal’s wishes and their likes and dislikes.

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  • Cats Are Often Easier to Care for

Cats are one of the pets that are perhaps easier to look after than other pets. They are more independent than other animals, and they don’t require as much care. A lot of parents live busy lives, and obviously, they will be expected to be the main carer for the pet; if you want a pet but realistically do not have a lot of time to dedicate to its care, then a cat is a great option. Cats are pretty low-maintenance, they don’t need as much attention or as much enrichment as a lot of other animals, dogs included, which does make them a great choice, especially as a first family pet.

  • They Like to Play

While cats certainly are more independent than other pets, this doesn’t mean that they don’t also love interacting and even playing with their humans. Cats love to play because it speaks to their natural instinct to hunt and track. Playing with a cat is a great way to pass the time for kids because it is low-fi and doesn’t rely on technology. This can make the experience enriching and rewarding for both the cat and the child too.

  • Teaching Patience

As mentioned above, cats are, by nature, more independent, and they can be solitary creatures. This means that cats do tend to be more introverted than other animals. Unlike dogs, cats can take a while to warm up to people. This means that kids will have to be patient and wait for the cat to come to them. Trying to force a cat to be affectionate when it doesn’t want to is never going to work. Patience is an important skill for any child to learn. Cats can also have a calming effect which can help to settle anxious children, especially when they know that the cat has chosen to spend time with them.

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  • No Walking

Sure, dogs help to keep their owners active because they need regular walks. However, on a freezing winter morning, do you really want to be schlepping around a dark, frosty field with a dog? Instead, you could be curled up with the cat. Obviously, cats do need to be played with and be mentally stimulated regularly, but this can all be done from the comfort of your own home, which is advantageous for a lot of people.

  • Self-Grooming

Cats are actually pretty clean animals. They tend to groom themselves in order to keep their coat in pristine condition. While there are a few breeds of cats that maybe need to be brushed every now and then, for the most part, cats do not need any extra help when it comes to grooming. This does mean that you can save some money, as unlike dogs, there will be no trips to the groomer necessary.

  • Cats Can be Left Alone

Unlike other animals, cats can be left alone for short periods of time. You don’t have to feel guilty about going to work and leaving them or going out with friends. On some occasions, cats can also be left for a day or two – provided that you have someone come in to feed them and check that they are okay. However, if you are looking for an excuse to leave early or to not go somewhere, then you can always use the cat!

  • Cats Don’t Need Much Space

Cats can be kept in smaller homes without an issue. They don’t need vast amounts of space. Whether you live in a house or a 10th-floor flat, or a sprawling mansion, a cat will be perfectly fine. You will need to think about whether the cat is going to be an indoor or an outdoor cat but bar that, they have very few requirements when it comes to space. You simply need to have the room for a food bowl, litter tray, a bed for them, and some toys, and that is pretty much it. You can also consider some cat friendly ideas for your home to make sure your furry friend is comfortable and content.

  • Cats Don’t Need to be Trained

For the most part, cats really do not require much training. A lot of cats pick up toilet training incredibly quickly, and they can soon use a litter try with little to no help. They do as they please, and they do not need to be trained to sit or stay. They don’t need walking, and therefore, they don’t need to be lead trained or trained to behave with other animals.

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  • Getting a New Cat: The Next Steps

If you have decided to get a new cat, then there are several next steps to think about. Firstly, before you even get the cat, you should put together a shopping list and start to make sure that you have the things that you are going to need. The shopping list will include things like food, toys, a bed, food and water dishes, a litter tray and cat litter. Something else that you should think about is cat insurance. There are lots of providers out there, including Purely Pet Insurance, who can help to make sure that your cat is covered and you aren’t going to experience any costly vet bills.

The next thing that you might want to think about is setting up a safe room for your cat; now, it doesn’t need to be an entire room, but you should think about providing the cat with a safe space that is just theirs while they get used to their surroundings. Helping to get them acclimatised to their new home is all about leaving them be. They might choose to explore or socialise with you, but they shouldn’t feel forced to. Meanwhile, it is worth thinking about how you can cat-proof the rest of your home. Take a look around your home and try to spot any hazards or temptations for your cat.

Once you have cat-proofed, stocked up on all the things that they will need and prepared a safe room for them. It will likely be time to bring your new fur baby home. Obviously, this is going to be a big deal, but try not to overwhelm the cat with too many new people and experiences in one go. After your new kitty has settled in, you will need to register it with the local vet and take it for its first visit. It will need its inoculations, and the vet is also likely to give it a health check and talk to you about spaying and neutering the cat. Lastly, you will need to decide whether or not your cat is going to be an indoor or an outdoor cat. Now there are benefits and drawbacks to both options; it really comes down to your personal preferences and circumstances.

In Conclusion

Pet ownership, in general, has a number of benefits for families and children especially. Obviously, getting a first family pet is a big decision; you will need to think about how much time, money and space you have in your life and your home before you choose whether or not to get a pet. Children often have fond memories of their first pet, which go with them well into adulthood. Cats are a great choice when it comes to a family pet for all of the reasons listed above, so be sure to keep them in mind when working out what pet will be right for you and your family.

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