“Mom, let's buy a kitten!” - It is with this phrase that in many families, acquaintance with fluffy purrs begins. However, not all parents think it is a good idea to have a cat for their child. But are the mustachioed - striped so dangerous for children as they are?
The benefits and dangers of a cat for a child
The first question parents ask before getting a kitten is a safety issue. There are many arguments against cats for children on the net. Cats are thought to be more aggressive and intolerant of dogs. However, this opinion is generated by people who do not want and do not know how to educate themselves or their children.
A cat as an animal for children has a lot of advantages and advantages:
- The cat is quite independent, therefore, it will teach the child not only love, but also respect for animals.
- A cat requires less attention than a dog, so it is perfect as the first animal for a small child.
- A cat from childhood will teach a child responsibility: it is necessary to feed it, change the water in a bowl daily and wash these bowls, remove traces of cat pranks.
- The cat will teach the child proper animal handling skills.
- A cat helps children cope with stress more easily and without disruption to those who are weaker. Children who interact with a cat will never become aggressive or moody.
- The cat, oddly enough, makes the child much healthier. Scientists have proven that the presence of a cat in the house prevents the development of asthma. If the child does not have a congenital allergy to animal hair or saliva, then this ailment will pass him by if he communicates with a cat from childhood. In addition, in children who are constantly in contact with cats, an immune response is generated, due to which they are much less likely to suffer from colds and infectious diseases.
Cats are great at fighting stress.
Remember that the cat needs to be vaccinated every year, once every three months to worm and once every 2 months to treat fleas and ticks.
Of course, there are risks in living next to a cat:
- If the cat often walks on the street, then it can bring some kind of infection. Therefore, a cat for a child should only be domestic.
- Feline worms are also dangerous. However, this problem is solved: it is enough to give the cat anti-worm preparations every three months and regularly give the child and all family members an anthelmintic.
- A cat can scratch or bite a baby badly. Most often this happens not through her fault, but through the fault of the child. There are times when a cat has mental problems, but this rarely happens.
- There is such a thing as cat scratch disease caused by microorganisms from under the cat's claws. With it, the scratch swells and the temperature may rise slightly. In children with weak immunity, it can lead to mild fever. Therefore, all scratches must be quickly treated with iodine or brilliant green.
The danger of cats to children is often exaggerated
How to raise a cat and a child
It often happens that people who see a cute kitten bring it home, and children, not knowing how to handle the animal, may suffer from sharp claws and teeth of a frightened cat. As a result, the baby is in a shelter or on the street, and the child in the worst case receives psychological trauma.
In order to avoid negative relations between a child and a cat, it is necessary not only to choose a cat correctly, but also to instill in the child a respectful attitude to the animal:
- First of all, explain to the child that the kitten is not a toy, he is also alive and also afraid and in pain.
- Teach you how to handle a cat. Explain that you cannot beat, throw, pull the animal for any part of the body, shout at it and try to scare. You need to talk to the animal calmly and gently, stroke it gently, and it’s better not to pick it up at all, since not every cat will like it.
- Tell us how to understand the mood of a cat: for example, if an animal hisses, presses its ears, tries to run away, you should not annoy it with your attention.
- If the child himself shows a desire to have a cat, then tell him about the responsibility for the animal: feeding, care and cleaning for him.
- Explain the rules of hygiene: after each contact with the animal, wash your hands with soap.
- Of course, all such conversations must be supported by a parental example. Take your child to acquaintances who have a cat, or to a contact zoo. Show how to handle animals.
Raised in love for animals, the child is likely to not have difficulty communicating with a cat
It is this approach that will prepare the child for the emergence of a new family member and protect both of them from unwanted injuries. It is necessary to teach a child this way from early childhood, as soon as he begins to become aware of the world around him. As a rule, this is 2–2.5 years.
A child should not have a cat until at least 3-4 years old, since up to this age children have developed a grasping reflex and they can unknowingly scare the animal. The ideal age when you can get an animal is 5-6 years. It is at this age that the child knows all the rules of hygiene and has a concept of responsibility and the right attitude towards animals.
Raising, of course, is necessary for the cat itself:
- First of all, she must understand from childhood that it is impossible to scratch and bite people. When a kitten scratches or bites during the game, immediately stop interacting with it and leave their room. He will quickly understand what he is doing wrong. A child should do the same. But in no case do not beat the cat and do not yell at her.
- Together with the child, teach the cat to the tray, scratching post and necessary procedures such as washing and combing.
- Be sure to show the cat that they love her in the house, but the child is more important than her. Then there will be no jealousy from either the cat or the child.
It depends only on the parents whether the cat and the child will become friends
Remember that you are an example for your child, so you yourself must prepare for the appearance of a new family member. Read articles or books about pet care in order to properly handle the cat and teach this and the child.
How to choose a cat for a child
First of all, remember: do not save on a pet . It is better to choose a thoroughbred cat, the character and habits of which are much easier to predict than the outbred character (although raising a cat is important). Also, a thoroughbred cat from a responsible breeder will definitely be healthy. In addition, street cats, as a rule, have little contact with humans and are not socialized like kittens from a nursery.
How to choose a cat for a child:
- When meeting kittens, take a closer look: they should be mobile and playful, unobtrusive, easy to contact, curious and non-aggressive.
- The kitten should be healthy: with clean eyes and a dry nose, shiny hair, gait is firm and confident, skin without wounds or dandruff, the tummy will not swell. In the passport - a note on vaccinations and the course of anthelmintic.
- Cats, as a rule, are more graceful, kinder and more affectionate than cats. Cats are more lonely, but more mobile. But here it is worth starting from the nature of the child: a cat is suitable for noisy, active children, and a cat can be more calm.
- It is better for younger children to take a shorthair cat so that they do not grab it by the hair. But long-haired murks are suitable, provided that the child is explained how to handle them correctly.
Respect for the animal is the key to a good relationship with it
You should not take a kitten in the bird market or "with hands". Child safety and pet health are much more important than unjustified savings.
The best and worst cat breeds for children
There are also breeds that are more than others, oriented to humans, warm and non-aggressive, and therefore more suitable for children:
- Burmese cat. This is one of the best "nannies" of the cat world. Their main advantages are intelligence and friendliness. They are not too playful, but impossibly patient and affectionate.
- Oriental cat. The energy charge of these purrs is endless! They are ready to spend days in games. In addition, they are very friendly and do not tolerate loneliness. Ideal for both hyperactive and calm children: the former, strangely enough, are calming, and the latter, on the contrary, are forced to show more emotions. In addition, orientals are easy to train.
- Exotics. Without exaggeration, they are VERY affectionate and attached to the owner once and for all. However, they do not like excessive fuss and noise, therefore they are suitable only for calm children.
- Russian blue cat. A real aristocrat, at the same time playful, loving and patient. A child should relate to this cat only with accuracy and respect, and then he will not find his best friend.
- Canadian Sphinx. A hairless vulnerable Canadian should be purchased for an older child. He is very affectionate, does not like loneliness and is ready to support the owner in all matters. For a child, no doubt will be a great friend. However, it must be remembered that care for a Canadian will be a little more difficult than for a cat with a normal coat.
Cats are great friends for children.
- Maine Coon. A good-natured giant, he perfectly feels the master's mood: he can play, and lie on his arms. Suitable for older children - from 6-7 years. In addition, you can teach him to leash and sometimes walk with your child.
- Kurilian Bobtail. The Kuril Bobtail is wonderful for children. As if he takes the kids for his “kittens” and allows them a lot. Some bobtails who are especially attached to the child may even take care of him: they don’t go a step away, purr at his side, helping to fall asleep.
- Cornish Rex. These cats with an alien appearance are affectionate and do not like loneliness, in addition, they are unusually smart and patient. Children for them are the best companions for games.
What kind of cats a child should not have:
- British. Very often you can meet them in the tops of the best breeds for children. But these cats are very independent, do not like to be squeezed, and are not too human oriented. The child will just annoy them.
- Any hybrid cats: chauzy, savannah, caracat. Bengali and others. The wild principle is much stronger in them than in other breeds.
- Abyssinian cat and its long-haired relative Somali. Constantly fall into the tops of the best for children. They are playful, affectionate, but more suitable for adolescents than small children, as they are vindictive and demand respect.
- Siamese and Mekong Bobtail. Siamese and Mekong have a bad reputation, which is very much exaggerated. But for small children, they are still not suitable.
Photo gallery: cat breeds for children
- Ragdolls are great for all kids
- Burmese cat is kind and affectionate
- Oriental cat is the best friend for the child.
- Plush Exot is not only cute, but also affectionate
- Russian blue cat teaches a child to treat animals affectionately and respectfully
- Canadian Sphinx is ideal for those who do not like wool
- Spectacular Maine Coons will suit older children
- Kurilian Bobtail is Longhair and Shorthair
- Cornish Rex has an unusual appearance and excellent character.
A cat rightfully takes its place next to a person. These beautiful, graceful and affectionate animals firmly entered human life. They demand love and respect for themselves, and they teach us a lot. If you decide to make your child a furry friend, then you will definitely not regret it.