Increasing a Child's Understanding of Cat Care

Alexandra Heep By Alexandra Heep, 30th Aug 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Cats

Not teaching children how to deal with cats (or all animals) properly and not stopping them from doing things that scare and hurt the animal is wrong. Please do not think the child is too young to teach - read these few simple tips.

Dos And Don'ts

When increasing a child's understanding of cat care, two very important things should be considered: The age of the child, as well as the knowledge factor of the person teaching.

A young child of course should never be expected to care for a cat, or any pet, on his or her own. The best way to teach is to let your child observe what you do at first. You should be prepared as well. No matter how much you think you may know from other people, or common knowledge, some of this may be wrong. A lot of what is passed on as knowledge is really myth, such as that milk is good for cats, or that cats should not be around babies.


You could start off by watching a DVD on cat care, along with your whole family, no matter what the age of your children is. This does not have to cost any money; your local library is likely to have DVDs on cat care.

Explain the Difference Between Toys And Animals

After watching the DVD, discuss it with your child. Young children need to be explained that cats, while they feel fluffy and like stuffed animals, they are never to be treated as such. Sometimes young children, when they treat cats too harsh (like squeezing them and carrying them in awkward positions) have simply never been explained the difference between a toy and an animal.

Cat Body Language

Give details to your child on the body language of cats. Explain the fact that when cats hide they don't like to play at that time. A tail straight out with the end slightly curled up, waving gently back and forth, is a signal of contentment. A tail bristled out (made to appear bigger than it is) is a sign of displeasure or aggression, and it's best to leave the cat alone at that point.

Proper Nutrition

Describe that cats need cat food, and it's not okay to give them food manufactured for other breeds, like dogs and ferrets. Don't allow your child to give the cat table scraps. Not only won't they child know what is safe to give to the cat, you might be giving your child an escape route on foods they don't like!

A Visit to the Vet

If possible, take your child to the vet along with your cat. You don't have to wait until your cat gets sick; it's a good idea to give it an annual checkup. If your cat is new, this is especially important. Most vets will gladly explain to children as well as adults what the proper care is, and they will answer any questions.

Monkey See Monkey Do

Remember most of all that your children learn by watching you. Cat care is no exception, and the best way to increase your children's knowledge in that department is to educate yourself.


Cat, Cat Care, Cat Knowledge, Child And Pet, Children And Pets, Kitten, Kitten Care, Pet, Pets

Meet the author

author avatar Alexandra Heep
I am a freelancer and I can write about any subject. I have a professional background in administration, real estate, marketing, and mortgage post-closing. Other areas of expertise include health and beauty as well as spirituality and self help iss...(more)

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
31st Aug 2010 (#)

All good points. Some people let their children get away with treating the pets poorly and say "he/she is just a child and doesnt know better".. if they dont know better its because their parent didnt teach them better, and in that case the kid should NOT be around pets!

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author avatar Euphonos
1st Sep 2010 (#)

Nice one Alexandra, I only know more about dogs. Now, I do know about cats too :)

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