Mind of Your Cat

May 2009 Issue

Cats and Kids: A Recipe for Success

Learn some games that will be fun (and safe) for both the children and the pets in your life.

Cats and kids: A match made in heaven? Perhaps. Some cats are shy or skittish, and prefer to retreat to a safe spot, watching noisy, busy children from a distance. Some cats would not hesitate to swat or bite in order to keep a child from coming too close. Yet, except when distracted by a sunbeam, or by some birds fluttering outside the window, most house cats stay close to the family circle. Social cats seek the laps of adults and children alike, enjoying a gentle stroke now and again. Indeed, petting a cat can be a calming experience. Still, many children want more from their companion. Sometimes, that translates into cats being dressed up in dollís clothing. Okay, there are worse experiences than walking around in a baby bonnet. But being dressed up would probably not qualify for environmental enrichment in the mind of a cat. Consider that it is possible to offer pleasure to kids and cats alike. After all, both kids and cats love to play. Yet playtime generally sends them in different directions. Why not invent some games that both can enjoy?

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