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Little girl smiling, holding a ginger cat

Cats and kids: what do I need to know?

Growing up with a pet in the family enriches a person’s childhood. And many children form their first sentences around words like “I want a kitten”. But toddlers, despite their innocent intentions, love to poke, prod and investigate things, and this can be quite rough from a cat's point of view. A cat that’s being prodded may get defensive, and this is one of the main reasons why felines and children always need to be supervised by a teenager or adult.

Cats and kittens are not as tolerant of children’s unintended misdemeanors as puppies, and unlike dogs, they don’t necessarily like being chased. A cat needs space. Teaching young children to be gentle with kittens and cats is not always easy but it is rewarding, and one way to teach is by example. 

Letting your child give the cat treats will help the feline to associate little humans with good things, and getting the pair to play with a ball can distract not only the child, but the cat too! 
Annette Basile

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