Looking for a pet that is not too high maintenance, yet loves to play and is gentle around children? Then consider adopting a cat.
By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views
According to Andrea Arden, an Animal Planet Pet Expert and professional pet trainer, "Cats sometimes don't get the credit they deserve. They are often seen as solitary, aloof creatures." But this can be far from the truth. Cats can thrive in a family with children, and can even learn to play games that are traditionally associated with dogs, such as fetch.
Cats love to play. They are quite acrobatic too -- especially when you take out a toy fishing pole or a cat dancer toy. They will leap, run, and pounce on the toy, which is great fun to watch.
Ever listen to a cat purr? It is one of the most delightful sounds. Children often squeal when they hear it.
Cats love to be pet, held, and cuddled. Plus, they are extremely loyal. Give them a bit of attention, and you'll get a lot of love in return.
Most cats are litter-box trained. You won't have to walk them on cold, rainy days. They do prefer doing their business in a clean box, so keeping the box tidy is a must.
You can leave a cat home alone for a few hours, since they don't need to be walked. However, they do need attention, love, and care. If you're going away for the weekend or longer, it's important to hire a pet sitter.
Cats don't require bathing. They are meticulous about grooming themselves. If you have a long-haired cat, daily brushing is essential.
Cats don't require constant attention. They are happy just being near you. They love to be pet, brushed, and fed. Yet you won't have to dote on them all day.
You can teach a cat to come when called, to not scratch the furniture, and to retrieve a toy. Just like clicker training with dogs, you can teach cats with a clicker. It's a good idea to purchase a cat training video or book that you can watch or read together as a family before you get your cat.
If you have an active lifestyle, work long hours, or have the kids in after-school programs, then two cats are better than one. They easily entertain each other. You will still have to devote time to caring, playing, feeding, and brushing them.
Michele C. Hollow writes the family-friendly pet blog "Pet News and Views."