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Kids and Cats

Kids and cats should go well together. Both parties should benefit a lot. It is something that we don't read about much on the internet, in my experience.

Many families acquire a cat because the children are very keen to have one. The big initial question is, "what are the reasons for adopting a cat?" Is it to please the kids in the same way a parent gives a present to the children? Or is it that, and much more? And are the correct expectations in place?

The point I am making is that the parents who buy a cat or rescue a cat for their children should be thinking about the responsibility that they (the parents) will be taking on over the lifetime of the cat because it is impractical to think that the children will take responsibility for the cat all the time and for the cat's lifetime.

Most children have not developed a full sense of responsibility in all senses and almost certainly not in respect of caring for a domestic cat for say 15-20 years.

There is an onus on the parents to educate the child on this subject. Having done that there is a great reward for the child. The child will understand animals better and learn to respect animals. We need more people like that in the world.

Once the preliminary questions and discussions are out of the way and sorted the parents should ensure that children learn to handle their new cat properly (gently and with respect) and to learn above all to never force a cat to do anything. And to never punish a cat. Mishandling and punishment can alienate your cat and make him or her anxious and defensive. This will breakdown the relationship.

We mange the cat/person relationship and we need to do it wisely and on the cat's terms.

Martha Kane in Malta educates school children on respecting animals when she finds time from rescuing cats. And Andreas Stucki shows us how to live in harmony with a cat in the video illustrating this short article.

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