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Cats and children
"Children develop a respect for animals when they live alongside them "

Cats and children

Children and cats have a special relationship. While cats are often entertained by having a child around, there are also many benefits for children in having a cat in their home:

  • Children develop a respect for animals when they live alongside them and this helps prepare them for later life. The child learns about the responsibilities in caring for another living creature – even if they don’t always follow through with their tasks!

  • Children with pets are popular with their peers. The antics of a pet can make good topics of conversation, good school news items and children even learn to read body language from watching their pets.

  • Children can improve their reading skills by reading to their cat. No one quite knows why this is the case but perhaps the non-judgemental attitude of a cats helps.

  • Children interact more with other members of the family when there is a pet in the house.

  • Cats can help balance the increasing presence of technology. A cat is a good reason to turn off the computer or video game and have a play or a cuddle.

  • Cats can provide unconditional love

  • Children consider cats to be very important in their lives. Most will tell their secrets to their cat who proves to be a willing listening.

Which pets are best for children?

Breeds such as Ragdolls (who enjoy being cuddled) and the Domestic Short Hair can provide endless amount of fun and are terrific companions to children.

About Dr Joanne Righetti

Dr Joanne RighettiDr Joanne Righetti is an animal behaviourist, educating the public and professionals in all aspects of the human–animal relationship. Her background is in zoology, with a PhD in animal behaviour and a counselling diploma – qualifications which enable her to work with all sorts of animals – including the human variety! Joanne likes to help pet owners understand their pet's behaviour and solve any pet behaviour problems. She also consults to a variety of organisations including non-profit organisations, commercial companies and councils and is involved in a variety of media including regular spots on radio. Joanne is an honorary associate of the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, University of Sydney. Find out more about Joanne at

Last updated: 24 April 2015 at 03:59 PM
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