Just because you have children at home, doesn’t mean you can’t have a cat too!
In fact, cats make great companions for children - they make great listening ears and caring for a cat can help your kid learn responsibility, compassion and empathy. All in all, raising a cat can be a rewarding experience for both you and your child.
However, it does take some time and research to ensure you’re providing the very best care and support for your family and your new cat!
Let’s take a look at some essential tips for adopting a cat into your family!
#1 Get the Right Cat for Kids
Cats can be incredibly gentle and affectionate - but in a stressful situation, things can change. This makes picking the right cat an essential step in this process!
There are plenty of kittens for adoption but while it can be tempting to adopt one, it’s important to note that kittens require a lot of extra care and training. Furthermore, while they’re still learning how to use their claws, they could pose a danger to your child.
Instead, the best cats for children tend to be older, calmer cats, especially ones that have prior experience with children. Make sure to assess your prospective cat’s personality and lifestyle to make sure it’s a match with your family’s!
#2 Prepare Your Home
Once you’ve found the perfect cats, make sure to cat-proof your home accordingly. Cats can scratch and bite furniture if they’re not given the proper training and amenities.
Provide your cat with an assortment of hiding places in the form of cat towers and scratchers. Cat towers like Pet Rebels’ Boston 90 Cat Tree are a great way to help your cat feel comfortable in their new home.
Make sure to also provide plenty of food and clean water in convenient feeding bowls like PetKit’s Fresh Nano Double Feeding Bowl. Don't forget about a litter box as well! If you need help finding the perfect litter, we have an article here about Eco-Friendly options!
#3 Toys and Treats
Other than preparing daily necessities for your new cat, you’ll also want to get plenty of toys and treats to help ease your cat into their new home!
Cat teaser toys like these fun and cute Flower Cat Teaser Toys are a great way to break the ice with your new kitty. They also allow your kid to play with their new cat from a distance, giving both the cat and your children a chance to get used to each other.
The way to a cat is through their stomach - so make sure to also arm yourself with a couple of treats! Treats like Temptations’ Cat Treats are great for training your new cat. They also make perfect rewards after a good bonding session.
#4 Be Slow and Gentle
It can be tempting to start playing with your cat the moment they’re home - but it’s best to take things slow and easy. Cats are creatures of comfort - so changes in their environment can be huge stressors.
Instead, take the time to create a cat corner for them to rest in. Use items from their previous home to help them feel more secure. It can also be helpful to give them something with your smell! Regardless, for the first few days to weeks, make sure to give your cat plenty of space to explore.
Once they’re comfortable in their new home and with you, you can start introducing your children to their new cat!
To ensure everyone’s safe and stress-free, make sure to monitor your children’s interactions with their cat. It’s important to not only help your cat feel comfortable, but to also make sure your children learn how to be gentle with them!
Make sure your pet has access to a safe space at all times. Do also teach your children how to carefully approach a cat.
When teaching your children to handle cats, keep the following quick tips in mind:
Avoid disturbing a cat who is eating or sleeping.
Do not pull on a cat’s ears, tails or whiskers
Do not hurt or tease a cat
Do not corner a cat
As you learn more about your cat, you’ll naturally get better at telling if your cat is comfortable or not. If your cat doesn’t seem up for interaction, back off and try again another time. Getting your cat used to your child and vice versa can be a challenge - but with enough time, they’ll easily become best buds!
Tammi is an avid writer, but especially loves learning and writing about animals! She spends her free time visiting cat cafes, playing video games and having plenty of cuddle time with her pup.