Children learn from watching the adults in their lives. If a child can learn how to treat an animal with respect they can take that lesson into later life. A cat can be a marvellous, loving companion for a child, but it is up to the adults in the family to ensure the cat and the kids live together happily ever after.
When you first bring a cat home, explain to your child that they will have to be patient, quiet and gentle to help your cat feel secure. Sit on the floor with your child and help him practice patience as the cat gets up the courage to come near. Let your child feed the cat a bit of food from his hands. If the cat is reluctant to come close, have your child gently toss a piece of food close to the cat. When the cat realizes exactly what your kid is offering, the ice will melt.
Children under the age of five years must always be supervised when playing or managing a cat. Children over 12 years can usually be trusted to be mild, but make sure to occasionally check on kids under 12 years when they spend focused time with the family cat.
You should remind children that they shouldn’t disturb a sleeping cat, or a cat that’s using its litter tray.
Kittens appear to be amazingly flexible, and children often think nothing of draping a weeks-old cat within the crook of the arm and carrying it around like a toy, or picking up a kitty from the scruffof its neck. In this position, it is easy for the kitten to be dropped and seriously injured.
The perfect way to carry a kitten or cat is to put one hand or arm under its front legs, and encourage its hind legs with the other arm or hand. Teach your children not to carry the cat from one place to another. Explain that for the cat’s safety, they should always sit when they would like to hold the cat, and should have their friends do the same.
Cats frequently have a mind of their own. Your child might feel like snuggling softly at a time when your cat wants to play pounce. Impress on your kids that when the cat ever struggles to get away, they ought to respect her wishes and let her go. A cornered cat will bite and scratch.
Encourage your children to exercise the cat by playing with appropriate toys. It’s always tempting to play”catch my hand” with a kitten, because it is so amusing how fascinated they are with palms. You should make sure your kids know the difference between playing and teasing your cat. If you teach a kitty that it is okay to swat and bite palms, you’ll wind up with an adult cat that regularly attacks you. Not exactly the kind of cuddly cat parents want for their kids.