Thursday, June 5, 2014

#AdoptaCatMonth : What to Consider Before Bringing a Cat into a Home With Children

June is Adopt-a-Cat month, and I decided to write about something for which I feel a ton of passion: kids and cats. During my five years blogging and freelancing, I've received more than a little feedback from readers who don't think kids and cats should ever mix. They believe -- either from experience or opinion -- that kids are too rough and loud with cats.

Although this can be the case in some homes (as it is in homes with dogs, rabbits or any other type of pet), I believe it's more the exception than the rule. Don't let these preconceptions deter you from bringing an adopted kitty into your family; however, it's important to think about a few things prior to adoption.

We adopted Saffy as an adult and she immediately connected with my kids.

Your child's age and level of maturity

Not every 5-year-old child has the same personality or maturity level. My kids shared their home with a cat since the day they were born. They weren't grabby or particularly loud. Some family's homes are more chaotic in nature, and cats probably shouldn't join an environment like that -- felines prefer a more gentle and peaceful vibe.

The cat's personality

If you're able to, learn about the personality of the cat before adoption -- don't just choose your new family member based on "pretty fur" or "cute face." Many shelters offer a short history of the cat that may indicate whether or not the cat is good with children, other cats, and if he or she is active and playful or more shy. Always consider an adult cat, whose history is more clear -- plus, adult kitties are often overlooked in favor of kittens, and small children may be able to properly handle adult cats rather than fragile, tiny kittens. Give a mature feline a chance!

My son has almost always helped feed the cats.

Spend some time

Before bringing kitty home, allow your child to spend some time with him or her. Many shelters have private visiting rooms where you can observe the interaction between the child and cat.

Teach your child

Before adoption, and during the first days at home, teach your child the proper way to handle the kitty, and how to read basic cat body language. Your children's friends who visit should also receive a short lesson. If your child's friend is particularly grabby, loud and has little experience with cats, it may be best to place your kitty in a closed room during the visit.

My kids have always shared their home with cats.

Your schedule

Many families have a busy lifestyle. Although it's true that cats are quite independent, they still require daily attention, interaction and playtime. If your family is one that leaves home early in the morning and doesn't return until late evening, it's a good idea to rethink the choice to adopt a cat.

So if you have a family and are thinking about bringing a cat into your home -- yay! More homes for cats! But please remember that bringing a new cat into your home requires a lot of thought and responsibility.

This post is being sponsored by BlogPaws. I am being compensated for spreading the word about Adopt-a-Cat month, but Catladyland only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. BlogPaws is not responsible for the content of this article.

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