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Cats and children – what I thought it would look like

Should we get a cat when we have small childrenWe’ve been thinking about getting a cat. But do cats and small children really mix? In other words … are we mad?

Until recently we’ve always had a cat. Our last cat was about 15 years old when my son was born and she wasn’t impressed. When he started walking she’d look at me with a look on her face that plainly said: “this was NOT how I imagined spending my twilight years”. If cats could sigh, she would have.

My first ever cat was also quite annoyed to have her lifestyle altered by the arrival of a baby. She’d had the run of the house before I was born and the moment my mum found her napping on the bed with me she became a mostly outdoor cat. The moment I crawled through her catdoor she became a permanantly outdoor cat. She also made it to 15 years. And she also went through life with a slightly sour expression on her face. But maybe that is just how cats look …

So, now that we’ve been catless for a couple of years I’m starting to wonder if the kids would benefit from the companionship and responsibility that comes with pet ownership.

In my brain it would look like this:

Cute kitten and little girl

Or this:

Little boy kisses kitten

But will probably look more like this:

Baby eating cat food

Or this:

Baby drinking cat water

And probably this:

Kid kissing cat

But when they grow up they’ll be best friends, like this …

Boy and his cat

Or this (provided we move to Europe and my son learns this instrument):

boy with kitten

But probably more like this:

Cats in the bed


In the end though – we succumbed and life with the cats (yes, we took two!) is, on the whole, better than life without them.

And I would definitely recommend a cat as a pet — they’ve taught our children patience, responsibility, kindness, empathy and self-control. But I would also recommend waiting until your youngest child can be trusted to touch them gently, not eat their food and not play in the kitty litter!

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One comment so far -

  1. I love cats! But I don’t think I will have one around my young children, just because cats are unpredictable creatures. They are so unlike dogs and can scratch any moment. I would feel that’s its unsafe to have them close to my little ones. And I don’t like them sleeping in our beds or our couch really. My dog doesn’t do anything like that and he is indoor dog. I would certainly choose a child friendly dog over cats any day. But I really love cats! They are more suited for older children IMO.



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