Spending time with animals is invaluable to your child’s development. They can learn emotional skills ranging from empathy and compassion to responsibility and care. However, the transition to having animals can be a bit tricky. Many parents are nervous to introduce new animals into their homes for this reason. Follow these tips to help ensure a safe and comfortable transition for you, your children, and your new feline friend.
Cats are quite like toddlers themselves; they love to play, eat, and sleep. Dogs require more involved care that takes them away from the home, such as walks and potty breaks. Cats, on the other hand, stay in the home, making it easier for young children to take on some responsibility for them.
However, it is important to note that (also like children) cats can be temperamental. This can teach children lessons about discipline and gentleness, but parental guidance is always necessary.
Kittens vs. Adult Cats
Kittens will learn and grow with your children, and they can be in your family for up to about twenty years. New pet owners usually choose to adopt kittens for this reason. However, kittens are much more likely to be temperamental than adult cats. They are growing into their personalities and may experience hormonal phases such as biting and overt playfulness. Children may find themselves afraid of a kitten’s unpredictability. Furthermore, kittens are smaller and thus more fragile. You as a parent will need to take extra care with a kitten, perhaps limiting their access to young children.
Adult cats, on the other hand, have already done their growing. They are the much safer option, as they are larger and less likely to act unpredictably. As a result, adult cats require less attention and can usually spend long periods of time with children. However, some parents are hesitant to adopt a cat they know they will have less time with. The cat has already been socialized a certain way, and so acclamation may be somewhat more difficult.
The best cat for one home may not be the best cat for yours. Always meet an animal before you decide to adopt.
Your Role as Parent and Pet Owner
As mentioned before, parental guidance is of the utmost importance in ensuring a positive transition. Speak to your children before bringing home any animals. They should demonstrate relatively calm demeanor and compassion. When selecting a cat, involve your children in the process. Bring them along to meet any potential adoptees. This will make them feel important and start early kinship between cat and child.
Kids can learn valuable skills such as feeding and cleaning up after a new pet. If you are giving your child any responsibilities, understand that you are ultimately in charge of the animal. Children can learn discipline from taking care of an animal, but your cat should not suffer as a result.
Consider adopting your new cat or kitten at Claws N Paws Day Spa. For more information about adoptions or our other services, visit our location in Fountain Valley, California or contact us at 714-962-1005. You can also follow us on Facebook for photographs of currently available cats.