Monday, September 17, 2012

Best Cat Breeds For Kids

Toby the Manx, getting into trouble
As I've probably mentioned before, I'm a 'cat person'. I have five felines who think they are humans, three of which insist on sleeping in my bed. They like 'people food', follow me around the house and can always be found getting into something they shouldn't. In other words, they're my 'kids'! Since cats are relatively low-maintenance compared to dogs, they might make a great first pet for your children. But what breeds are best for children? Even if you get a mixed breed (which is very likely if you get your pet from a shelter), it's still good to know about the different characteristics because some show up more than others. While every cat has its own personality, there are some breeds that work better with children than others.

One important thing to look for in a cat is patience! Small children tend to be loud and handle pets roughly, so you need a cat who can 'take it'. American Shorthairs tend to have a sweet, happy disposition and are very social. My Shorthair, Slater, loves to be around people and warms up to humans and dogs easily. You won't have to worry about this cat being scared of loud noises; in fact, he's likely to create them! They are very talkative and always ready to play.

The Ragdoll is another breed that is good with children. They are named 'Ragdoll' because they have a tendency to go limp when picked up, just like a rag doll. Aside from their social demeanor, they are great for kids because they can tolerate a lot of play and noise. Since they go limp, they are good for small children who like to try to pick them up (which is most of them)! They are quite large and have long hair, though, so they'll need to be brushed regularly.

The Manx is a unique breed of cat who loves attention and lots of play. One thing that is distinctive about them is that they are born without tails. Some of them have little 'nubs' while others don't have anything at all. I have one, Toby, who is always trying to get into things and loves being petted. Manx kitties tend to be easygoing and tolerant of rough play. The fact that they don't have tails means there is one less thing for the kids to grab at!

Despite their regal appearance, Persian cats can make good pets for children. Even if they aren't all that playful, they are docile enough to be patient with young kids who are still learning to 'play nice'. The main thing to consider is that they have long, gorgeous hair that requires regular brushing. They aren't good 'outside' cats because their hair gets matted and dirty so easily, but they are perfect for kids who want a cat to cuddle with inside.

I hope I've given you a good idea of what cat breeds to look for when getting your kids a pet. As I said above, every cat has its own personality. Also, there are plenty of loving mixed-breed cats (also called 'moggies') in shelters who need homes. Even so, it's good to know about the breeds so you have an idea of what you are getting into when you adopt a cat. If you'd like more information and pictures of the various breeds, check out

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