Archives for : behavior

The Top 5 Cat Breeds For Kids

cat kitten tabby kids children family friendly

Cats and children can get along famously with the right guidance

When picking out a new furry friend, it is important to make the right choice for your household. For some, the most important thing is choosing a cat that gets along with dogs; for others, a cat that is low maintenance is of utmost importance. However, if you’ve got a household with children in it, you’ll want to bring home a kitty that will do well with your children. Cats can be great companions for children of any age.

Besides their breed, there are certainly other factors that go into a cat’s willingness to tolerate and get along with children. Some of the most important factors of a cat’s behavior include:

Age: A cat’s temperament and behavior changes over time along with their age. A kitten may have no idea how to peacefully interact with adults and children alike. Many kittens can’t distinguish between play and real fighting and can end up biting or scratching harder than they intended to. On the other end, elderly cats often become senile and may behave in a similarly inappropriate manner.
Background history: For any animal, early exposure to humans is key when it comes to socialization. If you are adopting an adult cat, you may be able to get information on their background and be able to select a cat that is notable for getting along with children. Most cats can learn trust and tolerance over time, but the earlier and more exposure that any given cat has had with children, the more likely they’ll be able to get along. If you’re getting a kitten, it is important to socialize them early on and teach them desirable behaviors.
Health: One of the most common symptoms of a cat with a health problem is a change in their behavior; usually negative. If a cat has a health problem that is causing them pain, they will likely have a shorter temper and therefore be less tolerant of children and playtime.

As you can see, many factors go into a cat’s willingness to get along with children, and you can’t bank on one breed being guaranteed to get along with children. However, certain breeds have been known over time to be extra calm, outgoing, and tolerant of children. The following breeds are our suggestions for cat-friendly felines:

Maine Coon: The Maine Coon is the largest housecat in the world. These gentle giants are known to be calm, patient, and easygoing. They’ll still play and entertain your household, but would rather take a nap and hang out than explore most days. Maine Coons have long, fluffy fur and require brushing so that their hair doesn’t become matted, adding a bit more responsibility than a short-haired cat. However, this responsibility could be a great lesson for a child.

American Shorthair: American Shorthairs are the most common kind of cat found in the U.S. These cats’ personalities can vary greatly, but a well-adapted and socialized American Shorthair would be a great cat for a family. They come in every color that a cat can be, giving you lots of options for aesthetics. American Shorthairs are known to be energetic and outgoing,

Ragdoll: Ragdolls are not only adorable, but kind and silly. They get their name from the breed’s peculiar habit of flopping in a ragdoll-like manner when picked up. This is a great trait for a cat to carry, especially in a family with children who will most likely want to pick the cat up. Their ragdoll nature makes them less fussy and less likely to use their claws or teeth to get out of a situation.

Persian: Persian cats like to be the life of the party and the center of attention, which could work out well for a family with playful children. Their squishy faces and fluffy tails are endlessly entertaining to look at, and they only require a medium amount of maintenance depending on the length of their hair. Persians are usually very tolerant in nature, and would be great with kids.

Abyssinian: One reason an Abyssinian would be a great cat for a household with children is their brave nature and outgoing personality. Abyssinians are known to thrive in family situations, as they enjoy the constant energy and stimulation. They may not be lap cats, but they’re great for endless entertainment and lots of playtime.

cat kids children orange tabby

This kitty appears to be very child-friendly!

Regardless of what breed you decide to go with, kids need to know how to interact with a cat if they’re going to try to befriend one. No matter how well-socialized your cat is, or how much they’ve enjoyed kids in the past, it is important to teach your kids how to behave appropriately with a furry friend. Even the nicest cat can snap when being tickled too hard or having their tail pulled. The following are some tips to teach your children in order to keep the peace between them and your cats:

Never pull a cat’s tail, paws, ears, or other extremities: This one may seem obvious, but for a child who isn’t familiar with felines, this is rule number one.
Always let a cat sniff you when first greeting: Whether you’re greeting a cat that you’ve known for years, or meeting a new one, you should always let a cat sniff you upon first greeting. This way, you can get a sense of the cat’s mood and let them set the tone for affection.
If a cat seems agitated or annoyed, don’t push it: Sometimes it is hard to explain to kids why a cat wouldn’t want to play with them, but once they learn to be patient and let the cat come to them, the relationship can begin to form.
Be patient when meeting a new cat: Similar to leaving an agitated cat alone, it’s important to be calm when meeting a new kitty. Some cats are more outgoing than others, and a shy cat needs time to prepare to meet a stranger.
Pet the kitty shoulders to tail: For children (and adults) who aren’t familiar with cats, a simple first reaction would be to pet a cat’s soft underbelly. Unfortunately, this is the easiest way to have a bad interaction with a cat, since 90% of cats will bite or claw when their tummies are touched, even if they’re exposing them. Teaching a child to pet from the cat’s shoulders and along the back to the tail will help them get along better and quicker.
Be careful with picking a cat up: Picking a cat up requires a level of trust that takes time between a cat and a person. Help your child read the body language of your cat and let them know when your cat might let you pick them up, or if your cat is the type that never wants to be handled.

Teaching your child these rules and helping them understand kitty’s body language will result in a more peaceful home, and help protect your child against harmful bites and scratches. Cats are only barely domesticated and will always revert back to their feline ways if they’re pushed too far. When introducing a new cat into your home, you should monitor the cat and small children together at all times for the first few months. Cats can be unpredictable, and it is hard to tell if they’ll get along with children right off the bat.

As long as you keep the peace and monitor your children’s behavior with your cat and your cat’s behavior in general, you can have a happy and harmonious home. Make sure to check out our articles on how to introduce cats to each other, and how to introduce cats and dogs as well.

Do you have a cat and child that get along famously? Leave your story in the comments!

13 Little-Known Facts About Black Cats

Black cats: No longer a mystery

Black cats: No longer a mystery

Many rumors and superstitions have surrounded black cats for years. However, nearly all of them are unfounded, and black cats are no different than any other delightful housecat. We’ve got 13 lesser-known facts about black cats for you right here, so keep on reading to learn all about the majestic black beauties.

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Dear Green Gato #16 – Kitty Dreams

What do kitties dream about when they take a little kitty snooze?

What do kitties dream about when they take a little kitty snooze?

Dear Green Gato,

I have a big boy tabby cat named Louis. Louis is huge on naps, just like most cats are. He naps in the morning, in the evening, and anytime in between. I’ve noticed that while he’s napping, he sometimes makes odd movements and twitches. His eyes will bat, his feet will twitch, and he will have little spasms all over his body. Sometimes his tongue ends up sticking out. Why does my cat twitch while he’s asleep? Is he dreaming? Is he okay?

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Calculating Your Cat’s Age

Portrait of bengal cat close-upMany people wonder how to tell a cat’s age, and since a cat can’t just up and tell you their birthday, this feat becomes a guessing game for many cat owners. Many times, veterinarians are able to take an educated guess at the age of a cat, but this isn’t necessarily always right. There are a few ways to predict the age of your cat, whether they’re a young kitten or an older cat. Here, we’re going to give you some tips and tricks to figure out the age of your cat, and understanding what you can expect from that age.

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Cat Breeds 101: The Sphynx

Sphynx kitten, 4 months old, portrait in front of white backgrouThe Sphynx cat is hard to miss- between their big eyes, their long tails, and “hairless” bodies, Sphynx cats can tend to create quite a stir. The Sphynx cat is a relatively newer breed that has exploded in popularity in the last fifty years. Their docile and silly nature will surely convince anyone put off by their odd looks that the Sphynx cat is one special breed. Here, we’re going to talk all about the wondrous Sphynx cat and all of their delightful qualities.

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How To Keep Your Cat From Scratching Furniture

Cat PawCats are one of the most low-maintenance household pets available. They are self-cleaning, use a litter box, and don’t require walks or weird food. The one thing that cats can’t do on their own, however, is trim their nails. Even if a cat has good control over their claws and doesn’t use them on their housemates, they are still bound to get stuck on furniture, carpet, and any other fabric that they may breeze over. Cats may scratch at furniture for a variety of reasons, including stretching and claw discomfort.

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Is Your Cat Depressed?

Sad CatAs most cat owners know, the furry friends can be quite temperamental. You can tell when your cat is happy, tired, hungry, or feeling feisty pretty easily. However, what many cat owners don’t know is that cats can get depressed. A cat’s depression can come from a variety of sources, and it is important to watch for the signs and symptoms as a cat’s owner. Depression is defined by long periods of sadness or hopelessness, and can happen to a cat at any time. Here, we’re going to talk about the reasons why a cat might be depressed, the symptoms of a sad cat, and how to remedy it.

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Dear Green Gato #13 – Picky Kitty

Persian Cat Sitting Near The Bowl FoodDear Green Gato,

I’m coming to you with a culinary question. My cat, Whiskers, has recently picked up a new behavior that I’m not too pleased with. My veterinarian has recommended that I give Whiskers dry food and wet food, as opposed to just the dry food that I had been giving him. He has always been a voracious eater and chomps down on his kibble like it’s nobody’s business. However, he seems to be too picky to indulge in wet food. I’ve been trying to give him a variety of different cans to no avail. I find it odd that he wouldn’t eat the wet food, since it seems much more meaty and delicious in my opinion. Why won’t Whiskers eat the wet food, and how can I get it to seem more appealing to him?

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Cat Breeds 101: The Siamese Cat

Siamese CatThe Siamese cat is one of the most recognizable cat breeds in the world. Their light body and dark face and tail combined with their striking blue eyes have taken the cat world by storm over the past decade. Although the first Siamese cat wasn’t documented in the United States until 1878, the cats have made their way into pop culture, art, and many cat-lovers’ hearts. Here, we’re going to explore the majestic Siamese cat and what makes it such a special breed.

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Cat Breeds 101: The Maine Coon

Did you know that Maine Coons can come in any color?

Did you know that Maine Coons can come in any color?

Although cat breeds are less in quantity than dog breeds, they sure make up for it in glamour. One of the most popular and recognizable cat breeds is the Maine Coon. The Maine Coon is known for their intelligence, playfulness, but most of all, their size. The Maine Coon cat is the largest breed of domestic cats in the whole world. These cats have made a resurgence in popularity in the past few decades, and are sure to only continue being treasured for their elegant stature and dog-like nature.

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