If you are a parent, or will be one soon, you’ve probably seen other parents yell at their children when they try to go near an animal – whether it be a dog, cat, or any other type.
This is likely because the parent is trying to protect the child from possible bites or diseases. However, this behavior also communicates that animals are something to avoid, be mistrustful of, or even be afraid of.
At AnimalWised, we are strong proponents of the idea that children should not be shielded from animals. We believe that having a pet can be a hugely beneficial experience for kids, teaching them empathy and responsibility.
In this article, we will focus specifically on the benefits of having a cat as a pet. You may be surprised at just how positive the experience can be!
Should you have a pet if you have children?
Parents often worry about how their pet will react to a new baby arriving in the family.
If they have a cat, they may wonder if the pet could scratch or bite the child, or if the cat’s mere presence is capable of causing allergies or infections.
The same is true when the kids are older and the parents are thinking of getting them a pet.
The concern of whether an animal could be dangerous or harmful to children is always present and the risks must always be considered.
Health benefits of having a cat
There are many benefits to having a pet in the home – especially when it comes to children’s health. Studies done by the Kuopio University Hospital in Finland have shown that having a pet in the home can greatly reduce some health risks for children.
If you want your children to develop strong immunity and defenses, having a cat is an ideal way to achieve this.
As parents, it’s natural for us to want to protect our children from any and everything – from unpleasant situations to dust and dirt.
However, part of raising a healthy child is exposing them to different elements and situations (within reason, of course!) so that they can build up their immunity.
We’re not saying that you should neglect your children, but part of their development does involve exposure to things they’ll encounter in the outside world, like dust and cat hair.
If you want to prevent them from becoming allergic adults, a cat is an ideal choice.
There are many studies that point out that having a cat can prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Cats calm our nerves, relieve stress and combat depression thanks to the grounding, calming pleasure of stroking them and hearing them purr. Both your children and you will benefit from this!
Learning benefits of having a cat
The number of cases of abandonment and animal cruelty are not decreasing; it is your job as a parent to teach your children to be better people.
You should nurture their respect and love for animals, and help them feel empathy and communication with all living beings.
Having a cat at home can teach your child a lot of valuable lessons. They will learn responsibility by having to take care of another living creature that needs things like food and shelter.
Caring for their pet will also help them understand the importance of protecting those who are weaker or in need. In addition, children will learn to respect the personal space of others from their cat since cats sometimes just want to be left alone.
As a result, kids will become more sensitive and attuned to the needs of others, including when it is best to give people some space.
Tips to raise a child with a cat
Before you adopt a cat, it’s important to have a talk with your child about how to treat them respectfully.
Pulling their tail, for example, can be dangerous for both the cat and your child. It’s important to remind your child that cats are living beings that deserve to be treated with kindness and respect.
If you do this, you’re setting your family up for a happy, furry cohabitation.
One of the benefits of having children is that they can help you take care of your cat. By teaching them about your cat’s limits, you can help them learn about responsibility and preventing disease.
Ask them to help you clean your cat’s space and wash their dishes, and take them to the vet with you on regular visits.
Not only will this help your cat stay healthy, but it will also give your child a sense of pride and accomplishment in taking care of someone.
Going to a shelter to adopt a cat is a great way to set a good example for your child. It shows that you are willing to help an animal in need, and that you value what really matters.
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