Choosing the right cat for your family: A guide for mums
- Mums Tips
- Parenting Skills
- Published on Monday, 20 March 2023 11:51
- Last Updated on 21 March 2023
- Monica Costa
- 0 Comments
Having a pet can be an incredibly rewarding experience for both adults and children alike. Not only do pets provide us with companionship, they teach us responsibility, empathy, and unconditional love. Cats are particularly popular choices when it comes to choosing the right pet for your family – but how do you know what the right cat is for you?
It’s important to consider all aspects of ownership before bringing home a new furry friend – from understanding their behaviour, needs and temperament to finding out what kind of space and resources will be required in order to give them the best life possible.
This guide aims to help mums make informed decisions about adding a cat into their family so that everyone can benefit from this special relationship.
Deciding if You Should Get a Cat
When deciding if you should get a cat for your family, the most important factor to consider is whether your lifestyle and living situation are suitable for having a pet.
For example, if you don’t have enough space in your home or live in an apartment that doesn’t allow pets, then having a cat might not be the best choice for you.
When deciding on the right cat for your family, it’s important to choose a breed or type of cat that suits your lifestyle.
Some cats are more active and need plenty of space to run around, while others are more relaxed and content with lounging around in the house all day.
If you have younger children, it’s important to choose a breed that is patient and tolerant of being handled.
Health should also be taken into consideration when choosing the right cat for your family.
Some cats are predisposed to certain health issues or genetic conditions, so doing proper research on the breed is essential before making a decision.
It can also be helpful to visit a professional veterinarian to get specific advice on the health of a particular cat.
Finally, it’s important to think about cost when deciding if you should get a cat for your family.
Depending on the breed or type of cat you choose, there may be ongoing costs associated with vet bills and food that should be taken into consideration.
Personality Traits to Consider When Choosing a Cat
Personality is a critical factor to consider when choosing the right cat for your family.
First, decide if you want an active or laid-back kitty.
Active cats need frequent playtime and interaction, while more laid-back cats may be content napping all day.
Active cats often enjoy fetching, chasing toys, and following you around the house.
Laid-back cats may prefer quiet cuddles and occasional playtime.
Second, consider how affectionate your cat will be.
Some cats are very cuddly and love to be around people, while others may enjoy a pet or two but prefer their independence.
Consider whether you want a lap cat who loves to snuggle, a playful cat who loves interactive toys and games, or a more independent cat that may prefer solo activities like exploring.
Third, think about the energy level of your cat.
Some cats are very active and need plenty of mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. Other cats may be content with laying around in their window seat most of the day.
Last, consider the grooming needs of your cat.
Some cats require frequent brushing and combing to keep their fur in good condition, while others may need only occasional care.
Knowing your cat’s grooming needs can help you decide which type of cat is right for you.
What Breed of Cat is Right for Your Family
For those who are looking for an active and outgoing cat, a Siamese or Bengal is a great option.
Siameses are known for their intelligence and playfulness, while Bengals are known for their active and boisterous personalities.
If you are seeking a more laid back cat, one with a bit of luxury and sophistication, Russian Blue cats may be the right pick.
Russian Blues are known for their refined beauty, intelligence, and independence. They enjoy interacting with their family but remain content in their own company.
Those looking for the quintessential lap cat, a Ragdoll or Maine Coon may be a better choice.
These cats love attention and affection from their owners, enjoy being petted, and often follow their human owners around the house.
If you prefer a smaller breed, the Domestic Shorthair or Persian may be ideal.
Domestic Shorthairs are known for their independent nature and low maintenance needs, while Persians are much quieter cats who enjoy cuddling up with their owners and being groomed.
No matter which breed of cat you choose, it is important to thoroughly research the breed beforehand.
Ensure that your home and family are well-suited for the cat you choose, and learn as much as possible about their unique personalities and behaviors.
How to Introduce Your New Pet To The Family
Once you have decided on the right cat for your family, it is essential to introduce the new pet to all the members of the household.
Get everyone involved in the process of welcoming your new furry friend and ensure that everyone is comfortable with its presence.
Here are a few tips on how to get started:
- Start by giving the cat its own space. Set up a corner or room in the house with all of the necessary items such as food, water, litter box, toys and a bed. Introduce your cat to this space slowly and give it plenty of time to get comfortable before introducing other members of the family.
- Make sure that everyone in the family takes part in caring for and interacting with the cat. Make sure to keep playtime fair and allow each person to have their own special bonding time with your new pet.
- Monitor children’s interactions with the cat and make sure they are gentle and respectful at all times. Explain to them why their behavior needs to be respectful and that cats can become scared if they are treated badly.
- Allow your cat to explore the house at its own pace, slowly expanding its area as it becomes more comfortable with its environment. Make sure to provide plenty of hiding spots in case the cat needs a safe place to retreat.
- Give your pet plenty of positive reinforcement when it behaves correctly. Reward good behavior with treats, toys and attention. This will help the cat to understand what you expect from it and may even encourage it to seek out more interactions with its family members.
Training and Socialization Tips for Cat Owners
Cats, just like dogs, need proper training in order to feel comfortable around people and other animals.
Introducing your cat to regular routines, such as walks or playtime, will help them become more relaxed and confident in their environment.
Here are some tips for successful training and socialisation:
It’s important to start slowly when introducing your cat to a new routine or environment.
Take your time and give them plenty of space and reassurance, allowing them to explore at their own pace.
Use treats as rewards
Food can be an effective way to reward your cat for good behavior and to teach them new skills.
Use treats to help encourage positive behaviors and create a strong bond between you and your kitty.
Provide plenty of enrichment activities
Enrichment activities such as toys, scratching posts, and climbing structures can help keep your cat entertained and engaged.
These activities also provide mental stimulation and can help reduce stress in cats.
Spend time with your cat
Spending quality one-on-one time with your cat can be a great way to build trust and strengthen the bond between you.
Playtime, cuddles, or even just talking to them are all ways to show your affection for your kitty and build a positive relationship.
Seek professional help if needed
If you’re having difficulty training or socializing your cat, it’s best to seek advice from an experienced and qualified pet behaviorist or trainer.
They can offer guidance, tips, and resources to ensure that you’re providing the best care possible for your cat.
We hope we’ve given you the tools and knowledge to make a wise decision when it comes to choosing the right cat for your family.
The key is to do thorough research, ask lots of questions and visit different shelters or breeders before making any decisions.
Remember that cats are living creatures with unique personalities so be sure to take into consideration how much time and energy you can devote to caring for them as well as their individual needs.
Most importantly, don’t forget about yourself! Make sure that this is a choice you feel confident in making, not one based on impulse or pressure from others around you.
Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums