Cats and Children – Dos and Donts

DON’T let your children kiss your cat on the mouth. Cats don’t have any antibacterial qualities to their saliva like a dog. They could catch a virus or a cold.  

DON’T let your child handle a kitten that is less than three weeks old.   This can traumatize the mother. Also your kid may have germs that can make the little kitty sick.   Toddlers should definitely not be handling cats.  

DON’T let your child play in the litter box. Many confused little kids think it is a sandbox.  

DON’T   let your cats feed cats scraps of food from the table. This creates demanding and physically overweight pet that will never let you eat dinner in peace again.   Yet another problem is that your child might be feeding your cat something that is toxic such as chocolate.  

DON’T let your child introduce your cat to another kid unless you or an adult is present. Cats can be unpredictable and many introduce themselves to children with a savage swipe of the claw.   Often they go for the face too. If you don’t want a lawsuit or medical bill from an angry parent don’t do this.  

DO teach your child to groom the cat. This teaches the cat the child is the boss and strengthens their bond.  DO let your child give your cat a treat.   The cat will be nicer to any being that gives it catnip.  

DO encourage your children to feed the cat and empty the kitty litter box AS LONG AS THEY ARE OVER AGE TEN. Any younger and they may forget or play with the kitten feces or be tempted to eat the kitten food. Keep an eye on the situation no matter how old your kids are as you do not want a cat that is starving to death or a kitty litter that I reeking.   Remember that just because you are teaching your child to be responsible does not mean he or she is going to be and your cat should not be the one that suffers while your child tries to navigate a learning curve.  

DO discourage children from pulling a cat’s tail. This can lead to a spinal cord injury that can result in kidney failure.  

DO encourage children to leave sleeping cats alone. Cats need a lot of sleep to be emotionally healthy.  

DO encourage your child to only speak to the cat in a soft, gentle voice.   Punish your child if he or she makes a habit of punishing the cat.  

DO not hesitate to take your child to a child psychologist if he or she it abusing, bullying or torturing the animal in any way. This kind of behavior is often a precursor to serious mental, psychological and social disorders that need to be treated early.  

DO not hesitate to find the cat a good home if the relationship between your child and the cat is not working out. The cat will easily adapt to a friendly environment and your child will learn that wrong actions lead to alienation.