Established to raise awareness for their needs and teach cat-lovers and feline foes alike all about these complex creatures, 8th August is International Cat Day, a day to learn about, celebrate and cuddle your favourite furry friend (whether they like it or not!)
The UK is home to around 10 million pet cats, coming in just under dogs as the nation’s favourite pet.
Lockdown has seen a surge in dog adoptions across the country; however cats may actually make better pandemic companions.
In a study conducted in 2019 on cat lovers’ reasons for choosing these furry friends for pets, 42% of participants reported that having a cat made them happy, despite the animal’s reputation for being cold, aloof and fickle.
Unlike their canine counterparts who require regular walks throughout the day, cats thrive indoors in limited spaces where they can be king of (your) jungle.
Cats are naturally smaller and softer than dogs and they certainly won’t disrupt nap time with their barking. All cats really need is food, water and a litter tray to live a full life – and maybe also for you to serve them.
Keep reading to find out why cats really do make the best pets.
They provide companionship
Despite their reputation as aloof, independent spirits, all cats really want is to be cared for.
Whether it’s a nice scratch behind the ear, a warm place to sleep at the end of a bed or even a full-on cuddle, cats love to cosy up in their favourite blanket and feel safe and supported with their people, especially their little ones.
Through these interactions, kids learn to adjust their behaviour to suit another’s comfort levels and they form close emotional bonds with their furry friends that can be a huge help in human-to-human social situations.
To help prepare a young animal lover for a new pet, introduce toys such as this wooden cat pull-along that they can play with in any room of the house.
They teach responsibility
Cats are living things and as their human guardians we have a responsibility to care for them, children are no exception.
Taking care of an animal provides children with real-time results for their actions and shows concrete consequences if they forget or don’t feel like it today.
When children participate in feeding and grooming and making sure that their pet beds are clean and cosy for their furry friends, they learn the importance of daily habits, how they impact others and the joy of making another living creature’s life better.
This way, when they receive special gifts like this personalised pink cat handbag, little kids will know to take extra good care of it to keep it looking nice (and keep it far, far away from any claws.)
They teach patience
Unlike dogs, everything in a cat’s world happens on their terms. They are naturally more solitary creatures, preferring peace, quiet and their own company or favourite toy for much of the day.
When confronted with loud noises or wild, unsteady movements (aka, a toddler), cats can become anxious, skittish and defensive. From cats, kids learn to take things slow, empathise with their furry friend and to approach on their terms: with gentleness and maybe the odd treat.
To help children to understand cats a bit better, Judith Kerr’s collection of Mog stories teach little readers just how sensitive and affectionate cats really are!
They keep us healthy
Now more than ever, a strong immune system is essential. Studies show that on average, children who grow up with pets in the house are less likely to develop asthma or allergies in their lifetime.
In addition to these physical benefits, having a warm, fluffy friend to chat to and cuddle up with provides little ones with a lot of emotional support. Children learn to regulate their emotions and enjoy an extra hit of happy hormones when they snuggle at the end of a long day.
For little ones heading to school or nursery in September, make sure they don’t miss their favourite feline too much with this adorable cat print infant backpack.
This backpack is designed to fit everything they need for the day (just watch carefully to ensure they don’t try to pack the cat!)
Like any pet, cats bring a lot of joy into our lives – ask any cat lover and they can give you 1001 reasons why they love their little moggy the most.
Raising a child with a cat can provide them with a wealth of love and learning as well as a long-time friend to see your little one through their 1st years of development.
Whether you’re a card-carrying cat lover or a certified dog person, spoil them with our range of personalised pet gifts and show us your favourite animals by tagging us @My1stYears in your photos over on Instagram.
My 1st Years