Cats aren’t usually the first choice when it comes to getting pets for kids. They are always considered as cold, aloof, and therefore not suitable as companions for children. On the contrary, kitties can be the best friend that your kid would ever have at a young age.
Kids’ behavior and future outlook in life can be easily shaped by their environment, the people or in this case, even pets around them. Just like with dogs, children can also learn a lot from their companionship with the felines. Below are some of the life lessons that they can learn from them.
Having to take care of another creature promotes responsibility at a young age. Some cats are not that hard to maintain compared to dogs. This makes them perfect for kids as a companion. They’d learn to be responsible by doing little things such as feeding them, brushing their hair from time to time or just by emptying the cat’s litter box. This simple involvement with the welfare of a furry family member can go a long way as kids grow up.
2. Respecting boundaries
Not all cats are up to play all the time. Sometimes, they won’t be able to match the energy that a kid has. Cats appreciate a little time alone, especially after a long day. In fact, most kitties sleep from 16-20 hours a day. With a pet cat, kids will learn how to respect boundaries by learning when is the right time for play and for a time out. They’d also learn what part of their pets is okay to touch.
Cats are especially particular on this and can get a little snarky when they don’t like it. They’ll surely ask for some attention after a while though.
3. Social Skills
In connection with respecting boundaries, kids can also learn how their behavior affects their cats. Their pet cat can be their first friend that they can bond with. How the kids interact with their feline friend can help with their social interaction with human friends as they go on. As they interact with cats, they can learn some basic concepts such as friendship. For much younger kids, they can also learn to communicate since some cat breeds enjoy a little chit-chat.
4. Every action has a consequence
Cats are very gentle animals but like humans, they too can be irritated when provoked. Kids can be a little too active and pull on their tails or pet them too hard. Of course, some cats will react negatively to it. Their feline friend can either swipe and hiss at them or may even give them a few scratches. With this, kids can learn that their actions may induce negative reactions from others and they can get hurt in the process. This kind of experience will teach them to think before acting.
5. Good hygiene
Cats are notorious for their personal hygiene. It’s easy to litter-train them and they naturally groom themselves by licking their paws and coat. Meanwhile, some kids can be stubborn when it comes to brushing their teeth or sometimes even taking a bath. Their pet cats can be a good example if they give their parents a hard time when it comes to these things. Kids can learn the importance of being clean from their feline friends.
6. Never give up
Children are a little bit sensitive and would easily cry whenever they get hurt. They might stop doing one thing just because they fell down once or they were affected negatively in the process of doing it. As you can observe, cats can be persistent when they want to do something. May it be climbing up a tall shelf or chasing down that red laser light. Although kids can’t literally learn to bounce back on the floor in all fours whenever they fall down just like cats do, they can bounce back from their failures and learn to never give up easily in every obstacle that they face.
A new pet cat may take some time to get used to its surroundings. At first, it can try to be alone and hide at corners. On the other hand, children can tend to be impatient when they want to do something, especially when there’s a new friend around. They need to understand that they have to give their pets time to adjust. They also need to be patient whenever they want to teach their pets new tricks or when they want to play. Kids can learn that they can’t get everything they want right away and that some things take time.
8. Circle of life
This may be the hardest lesson that kids might have to learn. Unfortunately, their pets can’t live as long as them. The average lifespan of a common cat is between 0-15 years, depending on its lifestyle. This means that they might experience an inevitable loss at an early age. Kids might not understand it at first but as they go on, they’d learn not to dwell too much on the death and loss but focus on the memories that they’d made with their furry companion instead.