When you have children, adding a cat to the family might seem like a lot of work. You might wonder if they’re responsible enough to handle a cat, or if your family is really ready for it.
However, when it comes to pet ownership, cats are often much easier to care for than dogs. If you asked a cat-owning family about their experience, they’d likely tell you they wouldn’t have it any other way.
If you’ve been considering bringing a cat into your family, it’s important to understand the benefits. Of course, it can be a lot of work. However, the rewards far outweigh what you’ll put into it, especially when it comes to the benefits your kids will experience.
Let’s cover three benefits of raising your kids with cats. You might end up adopting a new furry friend sooner than you think!
1. They Teach Valuable Life Lessons
If your kids have been asking for a cat, getting one is a great way to teach them some important life lessons. Cats teach responsibility to children in so many ways, and most kids are happy to “learn,” since they get rewarded with a happy, purring kitty to play with. Some of the biggest life lessons a cat can teach are:
- Time management;
From scooping a litter box and feeding to taking the time to play and interact, your kids will learn so much from everyday interactions with a cat. Those are life lessons they’ll carry with them well into adulthood.
2. Mental Health Benefits
There have been many studies done on the mental health benefits of having a pet. They provide constant companionship, reduce stress and anxiety, and can improve your mood. Those are all benefits that could mean a lot to your child, especially if they’re going through a hard time or stressful situation in life.
Having a cat in the home can also be beneficial if you have a neurodiverse child. Pets have been known to help neurodiverse kids with things like:
- Social interactions;
- Providing comfort;
- Offering reassurance;
- Helping them stick to a routine.
Neurodiversity suggests that everyone is different. A child who is neurodiverse has a brain that works differently than what might be considered “normal.” It’s not often for kids on the autism spectrum or those with ADHD to be considered neurodiverse. They might have a difficult time expressing themselves or interacting with people, but letting them love and care for a pet can truly make a difference in their world.
3. Physical Health Benefits
It’s easy to see how a dog might improve your physical health, but it’s not likely you’re going to take your feline friend on a family walk every night or get up and go jogging with them in the morning.
However, your kids can absolutely experience physical benefits from having a cat around. First, cats are great healers. It’s been shown that the sound of a cat’s purr can heal your bones and help earlier injuries heal faster. Cats can also boost your child’s immune system and make it less likely for them to develop allergies later in life.
Hopefully, these benefits have you seriously considering bringing a cat into your family. If you’ve decided on adopting one, why not do it as a family? Check out pet-friendly furniture together and let your kids have a say in some of the items you purchase to get your home ready, like couches or chairs. You can go to the shelter together, too, and let your kids interact with several available cats before deciding which one will come home with you.
Cats are wonderful companions. Bringing one into your family will add so much enrichment to the lives of your children, and they’ll have a friend for many years to come.
About the Author: Katie Brenneman
Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, and animal-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or snuggling with her cat, Clementine. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.
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