Owning a pet can be a great thing for children. If you get this pet while they’re still a baby, they even get to grow up alongside it. Studies have found that children who have pets learn more about empathy and the world around them. This is a great tool to give your children. On top of this, they learn about patience and respecting the boundaries of others. They even get a fun friend to play with too, so it isn’t all learning. Having a cat can be a great thing for children or babies. However, not every breed of cat is as well suited to that type of life as others!
Any cat owner will know that they can be temperamental or even quick to lash out. Cats have pretty sharp claws and aren’t the best at communicating when they’re annoyed. Many just start to hiss and swipe. This can really clash with the way a young child would be likely to interact with a cat. This means that if you’re looking to get a cat for children and or babies, then you need to think through what breed of cat you get. Certain breeds are better suited for children, and some aren’t suited to families at all.
Some cats can be really well suited to living with younger children, but not great companions when it comes to older ones. These are all factors that you’ll have to consider when choosing which breed of cat is right for you. First, you need to think about what sort of characteristics for a breed is important for you, and which would make them a good cat breed for children.
What Makes a Good Cat Breed for Children?
There are certain traits in animals that make some much better pets for children than others. These are some of the qualities that make a cat a good pet for a child:
- Affection – This is really important if you want your child to bond with a cat. Some cats just don’t get along with humans in that kind of way. To get the most out of having your cat around your child when they’re young, you should look for a cat which is affectionate towards humans.
- Patience – A short-tempered cat breed can be too easily annoyed to get on with children or babies. This can get pretty messy. A cat with a degree of patience won’t be such hard work. While most cats will get annoyed after a while, having some patience is a really good thing.
- Likes to Play – A cat that likes to play with people will have a much easier time living and bonding with one. Although, some types of play might be a bit rough for a child.
Those are the main things that parents should look for in a cat that is good for children. We’ve found some of the breeds that best demonstrate these traits.
The Best Cat Breeds for Children
The best cat breeds for children are those that can teach them about the world and give them companionship. Not every breed fits these requirements though. Judging from traits that are common in certain breeds, these are the cats that best fall into this category.
The Cornish Rex is a unique looking cat with its long and curly hair. However, it also makes a great family pet. They’re said to never grow out of being kittens. This is because they never lose their desire to explore and play. They’ll enjoy spending time with children and have an easy-going nature that makes them better partners for even young children. They may encourage your children to go exploring though, and they’re one of the smartest cat breeds.
The Norwegian Forest Cat
This cat is really quite big and pretty tough. They like to stay active and get an awful lot of exercise. This is great for an active child that needs a pet to play with. They’re also relatively forgiving so would be unlikely to lose their temper with a child. These cats are really big which gives them the stability that means younger children playing rough likely won’t even phase them.
This is another cat that enjoys to explore and get exercise outdoors. They also enjoy climbing and playing. They’re generally good-natured which makes them a great cat breed for children, they can play with them and enjoy more relaxing times.
The Persian cat isn’t just one of the healthiest cat breeds out there, they’re also one of the best for children. They might not be as active players as some of the others on this list, but they’re calm and patient. They’ll enjoy getting affection from a child and they’re unlikely to become stressed or worked up by a child’s presence. This makes them a great calming influence or a companion for an older and more thoughtful child.
Siamese cats have a bit of a reputation for being unfriendly, but this is by no means their case. They’re actually usually affectionate and really enjoy being the centre of attention. Siamese cats have a tendency to heavily bond with individuals. This can make them a great companion for a child as they have a long and solid friendship.
The British Shorthair
This is a really laid back kind of animal. They don’t mind the noise or bangs that come with a child and should be able to shrug off any unwanted attention from your child. These cats are a great family pet if you’re looking for a cat that won’t be overwhelmed by the children around it.
These cats are pretty well known for their huge stature and their desire to hunt. While this is the case, they’re also very fond of playing. This makes them a great friend for children and they should be able to keep children occupied for quite a long time. They’re also large enough to not become hurt by a child playing rough, which is pretty helpful.
The ragdoll is a very friendly cat and one that won’t assume the worst of anyone it meets. This means it isn’t going to react badly to a child, so you don’t have to worry about anyone getting bitten or scratched by this pet. This is really helpful if you have a child that might not be able to recognise when the cat has had too much of playing!
Will All Cats of Those Breeds Be Good with Children?
Those are some of the best cat breeds to have around children and babies. However, not all cats of those breeds are going to live up to it. Just like with people, the personality of a cat can vary and isn’t set in stone. Different cats of the same breed can have different personalities for all sorts of reasons. This could even make some unsuitable for children.
Those breeds are a good guideline, but it does depend on your individual cat’s personality. These cats are the most likely to be good with children, but nothing is guaranteed! Equally, other breeds of cat stand a good chance of getting on very well with children if they have the right temperament. It all just depends on the individual cat rather than everything being decided by the breed. So don’t feel constricted to cats that are the best for children on paper, so much of this actually comes down to the individual cat.
What Does a Child Get Out of Having a Cat?
There are many benefits for children having pets. These are some of the main benefits that have been found to come from raising children with a cat
- Empathy – All pets encourage children to consider a different point of view. By considering their cat’s feelings, children are taught a lot about empathy. By interacting with an animal that has a completely different viewpoint children gain a greater understanding of empathy than you could teach them. They also pick this up a lot earlier than children without pets.
- Company – Children can get a lot of company from a pet. If you have an only child this can be especially helpful.
- Sharing – Children need to be taught to share. A pet can teach a child to be aware of the feelings of others, and that includes sharing. A cat will show a child how to consider the feelings of others and they will be more cooperative with other people, including with sharing.
- Self-Esteem – Some studies have found that children who grow up with cats as pets actually have higher self-esteem!
Those are some of the main benefits of having a cat around children and babies. On top of that though, you all get the wonderful addition of a cat to your family.
Which Cat Breed is the Best for Children and Babies?
There are many cat breeds that get along well with children and babies, and no objective best between these. However, a lot of this comes down to how well an individual cat gets along with your children or babies. Individual cats are very different from others of the same breed. If you choose the right one, your cat can have a huge positive impact on not just your life but that of your children too.