Cats are known for being extremely independent animals. This is why some people think that they do not make the most suitable pets for families with children.
However, cats can be great pets and extremely affectionate with the little ones at home. Besides, having the responsibility and the company of a cat can bring your kids multiple benefits.
Analyze their background
First and foremost we need to understand how our cat’s life was before arriving at our home. It is not the same to adopt a kitten and start a relationship from scratch, than welcoming a cat that had a previous situation in the streets or with another family, especially if it was violent or inadequate.
We need to clarify that having an adult or elderly cat come into our homes could be very complicated for them to adjust to a new environment. This is why we need to be very patient and understanding, but this doesn’t mean that it is an impossible task.
Make sure that before the arrival of your new pet, you speak to your kids and make them understand that their new cat will need a few days to adapt and that they will need to respect their process.
Give them space
As we know, cats highly value their personal space. It is necessary that inside the house they can find a zone destined only for their belongings. If you notice that your cat is hidden in that area, make the kids understand that it is time for them to leave their pet alone. Most likely your cat is looking for a little break from socializing.
Being in their development stage, some kids can be a little rough expressing their affection. This can be upsetting or scary to your cat and its reaction could be defensive, this is why it is very important to show our kids to approach in a respectful way.
The first days upon their arrival, you should show your kids how to softly and slowly pet your cat. You will need to make the approach first, and once you feel that your cat is comfortable, invite your kids to do it.
Respect their food and sleep
Cats love routine and are territorial animals, which is why any distraction from their daily activities can cause a lot of stress. It is important that the parents teach their children to respect this important day to day activities.
Explain to your kids that, just as humans need rest to have energy, cats need to do the same, so they need to let them sleep and take naps, even if they really want to play with them at that moment.
When it comes to food, children and adults need to avoid interrupting this ritual. Nonetheless, you can make your kids feel part of this activity by letting them prepare and serve the food for the cat.
If there is something that kids and cats have in common is their playful personalities. It is through playing and toys that they can find a common ground to bond and build their relationship.
Parents should always supervise playtime, especially when young kids are involved. If you notice your cat starts to become irritated and stressed, you will need to calmly intervene and orient your children to know when your cat is overwhelmed and how to step away.
As you can see, creating a good bond between kids and cats can be possible, the secret relies on patience and consistency. If you are able to do it, you will most certainly have an enriching family experience that will benefit every member of your household.
Let us know in the comments how you promote the bonding between your pets and your kids.