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One-child family & Cat

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hello everybody,

I've just registered to ask your opinion about this : would it be a good idea to adopt a cat in order to help a child to feel less lonely ?
post #2 of 21
How old a child? And if not an intrusive question, why is the child lonely?
post #3 of 21
sure why not....having a pet is also good for a child
with ADD/ADHD {like my son}
post #4 of 21
I think it depends on the child. If your child really wants a different type of pet (say a dog) then your child might not be to happy to accept a different kind of pet.

I think pets can be very benefical to anyone, especially children (as long as they are old enough to handle them correctly). When I was younger, I had a house rabbit. It really helped to have something "living" in the house when I was home alone... something I could go and play with and take my mind off of things.

If you've never had a pet before you might want to take your child someplace where they can pet cats... just to make sure they are not allergic to them before you take one home.

Let us know how things go
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi Hissy and Chelle,

Thank you for answering.

I was talking about a little girl of 4.
She has nor brother nor sister and seems to be bored at home.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks to Woodsygirl too.
post #7 of 21
Hi beeuurkes, welcome to the site.

As for your question, I'm a little torn. Even with the most gentle of children, they can be 'rough' towards animals, when they're trying to pet or pick them up. (Not purposely rough, of course.) Also, if it was my cat in the house with a child that young, there would have to be complete supervision at all times when they were near each other. Not only for the cat's sake (in case the child pets them roughly or picks them up in less than a gentle way. Or pulls his tail.. etc.), but for the child's sake. Cats don't usually just hurt someone for no reason, but I know my cat will at least smack (no claws) me if I annoy him, and he could do the same to any child who just wanted to pet him if he thought he/she was trying to harm him.

I think having a pet as a child is a great thing, I really wish I had one growing up, but I don't think they should really be used as a playmate for a 4 year old. It just seems a little young to me. I'd personally wait til she's a bit older, and fully understands what having a cat is all about.

Maybe check with a local playgroup for children? I don't know if she goes to daycare or not, but that's a great way for kids to interact with each other. Or maybe a teenage cousin could 'babysit' and give the child more playtime that way as well. I know I always enjoyed time with my older cousins growing up.

Anyway, that's just my opinion on it.
post #8 of 21
Okay here's my take on it...I agree with Jenn...4 years old may be a bit young yet to handle a pet cat unless constantly supervised. But how about doing what my mom did...get the child a hampster. They are in a cage unless you take them out and let them pet/play with them under very close supervision. But with the cage in their room, they can still look in at the hampster and feel like they have a "pet".
post #9 of 21
Debby, I hadn't even though of another kind of pet to suggest! I feel kind of silly!

A hamster could be a great idea for the little girl. They're small and furry, and as long as they're kept in their cage (unless supervised, of course), both the hamster and child are safe. And they're really cute too.

I like Debby's suggestion.
post #10 of 21
Tortises are good too- I had a tortise when I was really young- but now that I think about it, probably they are on the endangered list. Four years old is a bit young for a child to have a cat or kitten. Something a bit more in line for that age might be a guinea pig or as suggested a hamster. Is there a library near you? If so they usually have a story hour where they can go and listen to the story lady and meet other kids their same age?
post #11 of 21
Hamster's are great pets.
They also have those little balls
you can put the hamster in so they
can run around the house without getting
stepped on or escaping into areas they
shouldn't get into.
Just make sure to block off any stairs
and such when they are in one.

My Son loved to watch ours run around the house
when we'd let her out in the ball.
(which was about the cutest thing watching
her go so fast around the house in it)

I have to agree with the others maybe 4 is a
little young for a cat.
post #12 of 21
fish , for those allergic to fur...

but the more serious problem is why is the child appearing 'bored' to you? a pet won't 'fix' the solution if there is a serious problem of the child being 'alone'.

And a pet with fur may not be the answer if both parents are allergic, or even the child, or if the parents don't like animals to begin I would try to find something else to entertain this child if you are babysitting or a distant relative...

and at her age she is a bit young especially if she is 'alone' most of the time...

But fish would be great, gold fish...
post #13 of 21
I don't know... I think a cat would be ok if it is full grown and known to be mellow with kids. And someone is going to be around to watch, of course. But guinea pigs are cool too! I had a couple growing up. They make noises too so she might like that. It would be like the guinea pig is talking to her. They make a high pitched VEET VEEET VEEET VEET noise! Hamsters rock too. I've been thinking about getting a hamster for myself.
post #14 of 21
Well, my children are ages 7 and 4, and my daughter has never been rough w/ cats. She was taught at a young age to be gentle just as if she were touching a baby.

I can't agree that 4 is too young, I think a kitty would be a perfect companion. Of course, only you know your daughters temperament. If she is a 'rough' child then perhaps a hamster would be best, but if she is mild mannered then I'm sure she would do fine w/ a kitty.

Good luck!
post #15 of 21
HI and welcome to TCS! I agree with Jenn & Debby - a hamster would be a good start- maybe u can start with a hamster then see how she does handling it, etc then if she's doing very well them revisit the possibility of adopting a cat/kitten.. I also agree- u need to check to make sure no one in the family is allegric to pets with fur.

I also agree with others- maybe u can find a playgroup for her, get her involved with some kind of program, etc.

Let us know how it's going!
post #16 of 21
Hi and welcome! I think it depends a lot on the cat and the child. I was always very respectful of our family's cats when I was small, never rough-housed with them, etc. My brother, on the other hand, couldn't figure out the difference between them and his stuffed animals, and frequently tried to pick them up by a tail or paw.

Also, some cats are just really laid-back and will handle children well. I know my Luna is very calm, and you can literally do anything to her and she won't care. My mom's current cats are super high-strung, and wouldn't be good with small children. Either way, I would say do NOT get a kitten, get an adult cat, if you get a cat at all.
post #17 of 21
I have grown up with cats all my life, and I think they make EXCELLENT pets for children! My 4-year old cousin got his first cat recently and he treats is like gold, he's so gentle with Moose, but yet is a rough little fella!

Cats have slept with me since I was under a year old, They are very special!

BTW Welcome to TCS!
post #18 of 21
I'm not sure if getting a pet is a good thing after all. It may be a good solution for a while but at the end of the day, it's probably human attention that the child needs.. try bringing the child to the pet shop to let the child pick out something she likes... it might be better this way...
post #19 of 21
If you do decide to go ahead and get your child a kitten, please be sure the kitten is at least 6 months old or older. This will reduce the possibility that *if* the child does not handle the kitty correctly, the kitten has a better chance of not getting injured.

Again, it is only you that has a read on how gentle this child will be with a young kitten so let that be your guide in this.
post #20 of 21
Originally posted by beeuurkes
Hi Hissy and Chelle,

Thank you for answering.

I was talking about a little girl of 4.
She has nor brother nor sister and seems to be bored at home.
mine get bored too even though they have eachother lol
i bet she would love to have a kitten
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi everybody!

Thank you so much for your nice replies, your advices and encouragements.

First of all, I would like to reassure you that I am pretty sure our little daughter will handle her new companion with care, and anyway under constant supervision.

Many of you have suggested to adopt a different kind of pet. It's something I hadn't thought about it myself, maybe due to the fact I only grew up surrounded by cats. But it seems to be a very good alternative if our child proved to be allergic to fur animals...

Kissy and Aurora Viva have gave us a judicious advice: adopting an adult cat would certainly be more convenient for a yound child for his first contact with animals.

Wellingtoncats, I appreciate your joke with the "snoozze button".

Well, to summarize, I would like to quote Kateang who said right: "human attention" is the more important, even if sometimes it seems not to be enough.

Many thanks to you all once more.
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