Tips for Picking a Good Cat for a Family Pet

BNelsonStarred Page By BNelson, 21st Jun 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Tips & Advice

Are you thinking about getting a pet cat for your family? How do you know which cat will be good with your children? How can you tell if a cat is going to be safe with kids? How do you pick the right cat for your family?

Which is a Better Pet, a Cat or Kitten?

If you have young children, that is to say kids under 6 years of age, you may find that an adult cat is a better choice.

Kittens are cute, but they use their claws too much and can be quite rough when playing. An adult cat is more settled, and while they have larger claws they use them less.

Additionally a child can easily hurt a kitten when playing with it, while a mature cat is a little more resilient, and smart enough to leave if the child is playing too rough.

Kittens are more likely to spread "cat scratch disease".

Where to Get Your New Cat?

Although you can sometimes find cats for free you might be better off to adopt one from an animal shelter as you will get more choice.

If you do have a friend that is giving away a cat, and you know the cat is good with your kids then you might take it, but otherwise taking a free cat from a person you don't know is a risk. Ask them if the cat is vaccinated, and has been spayed or neutered. If not then you need to be aware these are expenses you will need to cover. Ask them why they are giving the cat away. Sometimes a person is moving and cannot take the cat with them, but sometimes the person is giving the cat away because it has a medical issue or behavioral problem they do not want to deal with, such as urinating in the home.

I prefer to get a cat from an animal shelter, such as an SPCA, Humane Society, or similar rescue. Animal shelters will also give you lots of help and information on cat care.

Picking the Right Cat for Your Family

I always ask for a cat that is spayed or neutered, and if they know it is good with kids. If not you can take them out and hold them to see which ones seem the most relaxed around children. Have your child hold the cat too. Make sure your kids know how to hold cats properly (supporting them from underneath). Have the staff show your kids how to hold the cat.

Note that declawed cats may be available but declawed cats are more prone to have certain behavioral issues, including being more likely to bite. I generally do not recommend getting a declawed cat if you have young kids.

Cats from animal shelters have been vaccinated, wormed, and checked by the veterinarian, and usually come with a 2 week health guarantee, as well as a lot of good pet advice.


Adopting A Cat, Cat That Is Good With Kids, Childrens Pet, Family Pet, Good Cat, Kitten, Pet Cat, Picking A Cat

Meet the author

author avatar BNelson
I write on many topics but am mostly interested in pets and animals.

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