Many parents know that the best way for children to learn compassion and the importance of keeping commitments is by helping to care for a pet. If a child can learn how to treat an animal with respect they can take that lesson into later life. A cat can be a marvellous, loving companion for a child, but it is up to the adults in the family to ensure the cat and the kids live together happily ever after.
When you bring a cat home, explain to your child that they’ll need to be patient, quiet and gentle to help your cat feel secure. Sit on the floor with your child and help him practice patience as the cat gets up the courage to come close. Let your child feed the cat a bit of food from his hands. If the cat is reluctant to come close, have your child gently toss a piece of food near the cat. When the cat realizes what your kid is offering, the ice will melt.
Kids under the age of five years should always be supervised when playing with or managing a cat. Children over 12 years can usually be trusted to be mild, but be sure to occasionally check up on children under 12 years when they spend concentrated time with the family cat.
You should remind children that they shouldn’t disturb a sleeping cat, or a cat that is using its litter tray.
Kittens seem to be amazingly flexible, and children often think nothing of draping a weeks-old cat over the crook of the arm and carrying it around like a toy, or picking up a kitten by the scruffof its neck. In this position, it’s simple for the kitty to be lost and seriously injured. Also, being carried like this leaves the cat feeling unsupported with it’s hind legs swinging in space.
The best way to carry a kitten or cat is to put one hand or arm under its front legs, and support its hind legs with the other hand or arm. Teach your children not to carry the cat from 1 place to another. Explain that for the cat’s safety, they should always sit when they would like to hold the cat, and should have their friends do the same.
Cats frequently have a mind of their own. Your child might feel like snuggling softly in a time as soon as your cat wants to play pounce. Impress on your children that if the cat ever struggles to get away, they should respect her wishes and let her go. A cornered cat will bite and scratch.
Encourage your children to exercise the cat by playing with appropriate toys. It’s always tempting to play”catch my hand” with a kitty, as it’s so amusing how fascinated they are with fingers. You should ensure that your kids know the difference between playing and teasing your cat. If you teach a kitten that it is okay to swat and bite fingers, you will wind up with an adult cat that regularly attacks you. Not precisely the kind of cuddly cat parents want for their children.