Cats and children can be a delight. Its scientifically proven that having a pet positively effects a child’s upbringing, and most kids loves pets, especially kittens and puppies.
But you want to know that your child is safe around the cat and that the cat does not scratch or bites, even when the cat is treated unpleasant. You should realize that small children will not know what a cat likes or dislikes and they won’t know if a cat is getting upset.
There are several ways in which you can make sure your cat treats your child in a mild and friendly manner.
Selecting a child friendly cat breed
A good way to make sure your cat will be nice to kids, is selecting a cat breed that is known as child friendly. With a specific cat breeds comes specific characteristics and this is very helpfull in selecting a cat for your family. The following cat-breeds are good around children:
- Abyssinian – The Abyssinian is known as a gently, friendly and family oriented cat
- American Shorthair – A great common choice, American shorthairs have been family pets for many generations and it’s in their DNA, so to speak.
- Birman – A gentle and laid-back type of cat who has a high tolerance around children.
- Burmese – Same as the Birman, the Burmese is a gentle and laid-back type of cat who has a high tolerance around children.
- Maine Coon – A rather large cat, but nevertheless known as one of the sweetest type of cats and good in any family.
- Manx – An exotic cat who is great around children and love to play and fool around.
- Persian – Another exotic cat, who has a bit more upkeep, but is also a great family pet.
- Ragdoll – One of the most forgiving and tolerant cat breeds around, perfect for families.
With any of these cat-breeds you are heading in the right direction. It is important to point out that this is not a 100% guarantee your cat will be child friendly. It will also depend on the cats upbringing and previous experiences around children. If you get an older cat, there is a big chance that the cat likes or dislikes children, and you wont be able to change this much. If you get a kitten, remember that you need to ease the kitten into your family situation. See our guide on how to get a cat into your family.
Educate your child about cats
No matter how child-friendly your cat is, if you kid hurts the cat, scares the cat constantly or does other things that cats find most unpleasant, there will always be the risk that your child will get scratched.
Remember that even though cats have been domesticated for thousands of years, they still are animals with their own instincts and reactions to danger.
So it’s also your responsibility to inform your children how to behave around pets. A child should know that petting should be gentle and soft, in the direction of the fur, not against it, and in places a cat usually likes, such as the head and neck.
Chasing the cat is not advised. If the cat tries to run away, let it and tell your kid that kitty needs to go sleep a while, because the cat might be scared and its never wise to keep chasing a scared cat.
Get your cat spayed / Neutered
You should get your cat neutered. There are several important reasons why. First, cats in heat are unpredictable, no matter the breed. So even your super sweet child proof cat might lash out at you or your loved ones when in heat. Neutering your cat (which is not very expensive at all!) makes sure your cat have a steady and reliable personality.
Secondly, you will be helping the cat as a species. There are too much cats already and animal shelters have to put cats downs because they can not get them adopted. So if your cat get a litter of kittens a year, that’s very cute, but do you have to space for dozens of cats? Or do you have the resources to place all these cats? If you do not own a professional cattery, you should have your cat neutered.
Signs to recognize in cats
There are several tell tale signs cats exhibit that show you if they will (probably) be good around children.
- Approaches people on its own.
- Does not run away at every out of the ordinary noise
- Does not hiss when petted in places the cat might not like (tail/legs/belly)
- Purring around people/children
- Tail in the air around people/children
In closing, cats are great for children and in families. Take a little effort in selecting a cat and raising your child and your cat. Remember, the cat and your child both need to be educated and both depend on you for a good upbringing and lots of love!If you like this then you should also check out: