Cats and young children : the secrets of successfully living together

Published : 08/16/2017 12:00:00
Categories : tips and tricks

Cats and young children : the secrets of successfully living together
You have young children and are considering adopting a cat ? Otherwise, the cat is already there and you are expecting a baby ? In both cases, you may be wondering about the future living arrangements between Kitty and your small one(s). Be reassured right away : cats are animals that get along very well with young - and even very young - children ! Better still : having a cat is beneficial for their health and development. But for a successful cohabitation, a minimum of organisation and preparation is required. Read ahead.

The right reasons to have a cat when you have children

No need to wait until the children have grown up to adopt a cat : having a feline at home is possible from an early age. Better yet : it would be beneficial for their health ! Studies have shown that the presence of a cat among children, especially under the age of one year, decreased the risk of developing allergies or infectious diseases (see our article "The cat , An animal that is good to our health").

The presence of a cat at home also helps in the development of the child. When he is very small, the animal will help him to develop his psychomotricity and his cognitive abilities. For an older child then, the cat (like other pets) is a vehicle for empowerment and self-reliance. It's also a fantastic confidant and playmate !
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Cat and baby : a place for everyone

The presence of a cat at the arrival of a baby can be worrying : fear of scratches, that the cat lies on the child and can smother it ... There is in fact more chances that your cat keeps a cautious distance of the newcomer, especially at the beginning. However, taking risks is out of the question : it will be necessary to ensure never to leave your cat alone in the presence of the baby. If you are there on the other hand to watch, no problem to let kitty enter the room where the child will be.

You also have to think about your cat, that the arrival of a new (noisy) member of the family can disrupt. If you can, make sure to arrange a place a little way back where he can take refuge to flee the agitation. Since cats are rather routine animals, try also to keep the same habits for their meal times. Also make sure to find time for moments of play and relaxation to share with your feline.

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Cats and children : learning to understand each other

When the children are older, one can also be afraid that they will be scratched. This is actually rather rare : cats are usually very patient with children. They will only scratch as a last resort, often preferring to opt for the fallback solution by fleeing to a quieter location. It also depends on the cat's character and age (the younger the cat is, the easier it will be to get him used to living with children).

It is also important to teach your children how to take care of a cat : not to have abrupt gestures, not to pet him on his tummy or in the opposite direction of the hair, not to pull his tail ... They will also have to learn to detect the signs of discontent of the cat : ears lowered, tail stirs, chops rolled up (so many ways for kitty to ask to be left alone !), as well as the right way to hold him in their arms. Not to mention the ways of playing together : with a string attached to the end of a stick for example. In short, full of things to learn and to discover ... And especially many moments of joy in perspective !

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