If you’ve spent any amount of time on social media, you know that watching cats play can provide hours upon hours of entertainment. However, cats are so much more than the stars of silly YouTube videos. Not only can they be fierce hunters but they can be loyal companions and lifelong friends.
However, is all of that furry cuteness worth the additional responsibility that comes with pet ownership? If you want to know whether or not a cat may be the right pet for your family, you may have wondered, is having a cat beneficial to a kid’s health?
For working parents or families who reside in apartments, a cat can be a great choice for a family pet. Unlike dogs, cats don’t need to be walked and often enjoy spending time alone. And although bringing a new kitty into your home means extra cleaning and another mouth to feed, the benefits can often outweigh the additional effort.
According to Purina’s website, having a cat in your home can greatly help your children in a variety of ways, including improving self-esteem, teaching responsibility, and helping to develop empathy. Giving your children age-appropriate responsibilities will also help them develop a stronger bond with your cat.
In addition to the social and emotional benefits of cat ownership, owning a cat, or being owned by a cat, can be good for your child’s as well. Parents referenced a specific study that found children who were exposed to 2 or more cats or dogs as babies were less than half as likely to develop allergies than those who had no pets at home.
Similarly, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology mentioned that exposing your children to cats and dogs early in life may protect them from developing certain allergies and asthma as well.
And if that in and of itself wasn’t enough, having a cat can also be beneficial to your child’s physical well-being As Care.com noted that a cat in the home can encourage your child to be physically active as he chases his furry friend around the house.
So if all of those adorable and cute videos are making you want to head straight for the nearest animal shelter, you may want to consider opening your home to a cat. You’ll surely be surprised at how great a kitty can be for your kiddies.
The only thing better than all of the health benefits is the true and unconditional love you will receive from your new furry pal!