Cats: Increasing a childs understanding of care

Having any pet is a brilliant way of teaching your child responsibility and how to care for something that depends on them for their safety and well-being. As a mother and a pet owner I find that including my daughter in the care of our animals is important not only for them but also for her development as a person.

FEEDING

By teaching your child how to feed your cat they can learn to understand the importance of diet. It is also teaches them routine as cats require just as much routine in their lives as your child does. You can use feeding time to teach them about nutrition, helping them to learn what foods a cat needs and why, and which foods you should avoid.

GROOMING

Grooming a cat can help build the bond between owner and pet, so let your child brush them under your instruction. They will learn that they need to be gentle and careful when handling your cat, and also get to bond with the cat as you have done. This will teach them how to handle animals and that they can’t play roughly all the time.

PLAYING

Although cats can be a little bit rough with claws and teeth, let your child play with your cat under supervision. Use toys and ticklers so that your child can sit on the sofa or a chair out of harm’s reach, whilst they are still interacting with the cat. It is also important that you explain how crucial exercise is to their health and that playing is all part of this.

LITTER TRAYS

Although a child should not clean out the litter tray due to harmful bacteria and viruses within cat feces it is important that you tell your child why you have to clean out the litter tray. It is the cat’s toilet and it is as important to keep that clean as you would your own bathroom. Help them to understand this by explaining about germs and why they should always wash their hands after playing outside in the dirt.

TRIPS TO THE VETS

If you take your child to the vet with you when your cat is due vaccinations, flea and worming treatment they will learn about the health and care of cats. Vets and nurses are generally very good with small children and often have easy-to-read leaflets that they can give to you to help your child understand why you have to take your cat to the vets. Compare the experience to when they go to the doctors or dentists.

Cat’s are fairly independant creatures so it might be fairly difficult to get your child as involved in the cat’s care as it would be with a pet such as a hamster or rabbit. However, it is very important that your child understands why you do the things you do to make sure that your cat stays healthy and happy. By learning about all the different things we need to do as pet owners, we hope that the child will take this into life and becoming a caring and loving adult.

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