If you want happy and healthy kids, let them grow up with pets. I’ve heard this time and time again yet somehow haven’t had the courage to actually put it to practice at home. It’s not that I don’t like animals, I love them in fact, but I have my doubts about allergies, fleas and all the issues that come with having a pet.
Matthew has been insisting for long now, begging me to get him a puppy like Uno, and Eliza has tried to convince me on many occasions by explaining how great it is to enlarge your family with a furry friend, I’m feeling myself giving in. Practice makes perfect which is why I’ve decided to give having a pet a try first by borrowing my parents’ grey tabby cat Toby for a week, and here he is sitting in my lap, purring as I’m typing this.
Since I want to use the opportunity to share the chores with both my husband and Matthew, it’s the perfect time to learn the lesson of responsibilities, starting with the financial obligations of turning the home cat-friendly by acquiring the suitable bed, portable cat enclosures for trips to the vet or family travels in a design that’s ideal for the cat, is easy to carry and fits in the car, toys, bowls, brushes and scratching posts.
Kids usually love having pets but don’t like the experience as much when it comes to feeding them, supplying their bowls with fresh food and water, and least of all cleaning the litter box so if I want a furry companion for Matthew, I want him to have his share of the chores too.
Much to my surprise it didn’t take time to convince him to help me out with Toby, and he’s been cleaning up after him for six days straight without any complaints which makes me think he really is ready for a pet. Though my parents regularly take him to the vet’s, I insisted on taking him additionally just so we learn from this experience as well.
It wasn’t easy to get Toby in the portable cat enclosures (we got him two – a cage and a carrier) because he’s used to the one he has at my parents’ however with a little trick up my sleeve that is the magic cat plant called catnip, he was in them instantly like the good boy he is. The vet told us he’s in perfect health, and gave us some extra tips on our responsibilities, primarily with the grooming.
Out of all the chores we have been dealing with these days, our favourite has got to be the grooming for sure. Even though cats have their natural instincts in caring for their fur, it’s still advisable to do some grooming regularly as it’s essential in keeping the fur healthy and noticing skin conditions as soon as they appear which is crucial in curing them.
Of course, as I’d learned at the vet’s proper care isn’t solely brushing but examining the paws, nails, ears, teeth and eyes also so having a healthy cat starts at home!
What Cat Owners Get in Return
There’s this stereotype that’s been following cats for decades and that’s nothing more than stereotype; you guessed it, I’m referring to loyalty. Same as dogs, cats have affections for their owners, even though some might not show it so expressively as dogs do.
They are the ideal companions when you need some comfort and can help you cope easier with difficult situations, including grief, so in a way they protect you from stress which is why cat owners are familiar with lower anxiety levels. According to my parents, the minute Toby starts purring, they feel a sense of calmness and happiness they can’t describe.
It’s safe to say they’re great in protecting your cardiovascular health too since everything’s well when you’re relaxed. In other words, your kitty is just what the doctor ordered when it comes to keeping your heart healthy. Likewise, they’re great with improving your sleep so if you want to catch up all the z’s adopt a cat.
As far as my allergies concerns go, as I’ve come to know according to scientists the earlier you let your child live with a pet, the much stronger his or her immune system will be. Though there’s the threat of the Toxoplasma gondii parasite with cats, as long as you don’t make them outdoor cats and regularly clean the litter box, that is every day, you can have your peace of mind.
I can’t forget to mention the differences I’ve noticed with Matthew’s behaviour these days we’ve been having Toby with us. Not only did he get happier, giggling whenever both are together, he also showed a side of him I haven’t seen before: a side of selflessness, willing to share everything with the cat, as well as responsibility in carrying out even additional chores, like helping me clean the portable cat enclosures even without me asking.
Is it worth owning a cat? Most certainly! Tomorrow’s the day when we’re supposed to take Toby back to his home and I have to say we’ve all grown attached to him already, including my husband! This means we might be up for adopting one of these days (I’m excited!).