There is no doubt that cats make great pets for kids and toddlers alike. They are small, low-maintenance and full of affection. There are so many benefits your child can derive from growing up with a cat. Selecting the best cat breeds for kids and toddlers is the key to ensuring a long, enriching and happy relationship between your kids and their furry friend.
Amongst them are:
- Aiding the development of social skills, self-esteem and confidence.
- Companionship – this is especially beneficial to an only child or a child with older siblings.
- Learning responsibility – whilst realistically parents will take overall responsibility for a cat, even a toddler can take pride in helping with a small task, such as feeding treats or brushing his coat.
- A cat’s feeding and grooming routine can teach a child to be organised and stick to a schedule.
- Respect for animals and the importance of affection is also learned.
- Studies have shown that kids growing up with pets are less likely to develop common allergies and asthma.
- Studies have also shown that children with pets can develop stronger immune systems
- Stroking and cuddling a cat can be very therapeutic for a child who is stressed, anxious or lonely, particularly while the cat is purring.
- Empathy – A child living with a pet has the opportunity to tune in to another being’s feelings and needs.
- Patience – cat’s are independent creatures and as much as they adore affection, they will only seek it when they want to. Your toddler will learn to wait until his furry friend is ready for playtime.
- Emerging Readers can sometimes feel more comfortable reading to their cat.
- Caring for a cat can lead to “parent play” which encourages nurturing characteristics. This is especially beneficial for boys who may not experience as many opportunities in their normal play.
- A strong bond tends to develop among siblings when they share the love and care of the family cat.
- Entertainment – hours of it! Interaction with their cat will become a part of your child’s daily routine.
To maximize the benefits of cats and kids living together:
- Show your child how to properly handle a cat.
- Make sure your child understands the foods that a cat should not eat.
- Teach your child about a cat’s independent personality and the behavioral characteristics of a cat.
- Do not encourage your child to rough play with a cat, rather introduce cat toys as a better way to interact with their cat.
- Explain how much sleep a cat needs and the importance of that sleep.
What Are The Best Cat Breeds For Kids?
A placid even temperament, affectionate, playful and curious are some of the characteristics required for a cat to make the best companion for your kids. With this in mind, we have listed the following cat breeds as ideal for your kids or toddler :