The cat is a wonderful pet. It will bring much joy to you and your family. Despite independency and apparent individuality, cats get along well with people and are always looking for companionship. A cat just needs a little more personal space than, for example a dog , as the cat manifests a greater need for seclusion.
If you already have a cat or plan to get one, you should learn certain rules. These rules will help you and your kids to avoid some unpleasant situations.
The cat must be respected
Now your cat is a part of your family, and it has appropriate privileges. To treat the cat with respect means to understand that it needs its own space, a little kindness and caring.. Young children often perceive a pet as a toy, only a better one: it runs, jumps, plays, purrs ... However, it should immediately be explained to the child, that your new family member is not a toy, and it should be treated with care.
Play with the cat gently without causing her pain
Explain to your child what actions on its part might displease the cat. If the child is very young, try to always watch the baby and the cat when they are together, because sometimes even the most friendly cats may scratch or bite in response to rude behavior of the child. Make sure that your baby is not squeezing a kitten, especially around the neck or abdomen. A child cannot yet estimate the applied force, and therefore this may harm the kitten.
Do not grab the tail
Cats definitely do not like being grabbed by the tail. But kids are very interested in this part of the cat's body as it is something unusual that people do not have. If your cat has a very good temper, it will tolerate tugging of the tail, otherwise, you can expect a cat to behave aggressively. Explain to your child that the cat does not like when he is grabbed or pulled by his tail.
Do not rub cat’s fur the wrong way
This is something cats also dislike a lot, and not only cats but other animals as well. A child may rub cat’s fur the wrong way, or try the fur’s strength. Such actions may cause an aggressive reaction. Therefore, it is better to explain to your child right away not to treat a cat that way. It is better to stroke a cat’s head and scratch behind its ear or under the neck (depending on the preferences of the cat).
Don’t touch the litter box
A cat’s litter box is a matter of hygiene, and hygiene must be kept. Tell your child not to touch cat’s excrements. If your child cleans or helps clean the cat's tray, then make sure the hands are washed well afterwards.
Do not bother the cat when she eats
Do not touch the cat or try to play with him when he eats. After all, an ancient instinct may awaken even in a domestic animal, and he will aggressively protect his food. In this state, a cat’s behavior is difficult to predict, explain to your child that when a cat eats he should not be bothered.
Your domestic cat and an unfamiliar cat
If you are a guest in a house with a cat, explain to your child that cats (just like people) have very different characters. If your cat likes something it might not be acceptable for another cat. Therefore, it’s best to ask the cat’s owner for permission to play with it.
The last and most important:
After playing with the cat do not put hands in the mouth.
If possible, immediately wash hands after contact with animals. Cats can carry diseases such as toxoplasmosis, intestinal parasites, etc. It is, therefore, necessary to closely monitor the health of your cat, make all the necessary vaccinations and regularly visit the vet.
Keep simple hygiene rules:
- Wash your hands and make sure your baby does the same too;
- Do not let your cat eat out of your plate;
- Do not let your cat lick your baby’s face.
We hope that these simple rules will help you, your children and your cat to live happily together.