By Courtney Temple
A child’s development can be encouraged through the interactions of a family pet. In fact, children with pets tend to be more caring and empathetic towards people and animals; they also have better communication and social skills when compared to children from non-pet households. Why not, then, consider bringing a kid-friendly cat into your home?
The Gentle Giant
If your family is looking for a child-loving cat, the sweet and loving Maine Coon will make the perfect addition. Originally, this long-haired breed worked side-by-side on family farms of early settlers where they learned to adapt to human needs.
Sometimes weighing up to 25 pounds, the Maine Coon is considered one of the largest domestic cat breeds. Nevertheless, they are good natured and gentle. They thrive in families with children and other pets, even dogs. Additionally, they are known to be very tolerant and can easily adapt to the needs of children. Maine Coons have a loyalty and special bond to their family, but do not need to be constantly supervised.
Interestingly, Maine Coons are often described as “dog like.” Highly intelligent and easy to train, the Maine Coon will both amaze and entertain a family with their larger-than-life personalities.
The Decision Process
While looking for a kid-friendly pet, look at the cat breed’s temperament before choosing a good fit for your family, especially if you have children.
Talk to your family members before bringing a new cat into the household. A new pet can be an exciting experience for your family, but make sure everyone is ready for the new responsibilities a new pet brings. Always meet the kitten or cat before making a decision and ask questions. Maine Coon cats, for instance, may suffer from joint issues due to their large bodies. Obesity is another common struggle among the breed. Fortunately both issues may be alleviated or rectified with proper nutrition and light exercise.
Finally, cats tend to be shy at first and need time to get comfortable around new people. It is suggested to wait until the cat is adjusted to the household before introducing the cat to the child. Teach your children not to tease the cat because this may have negative effects on the cat’s behavior.