A cat can be a wonderful addition to any home. Cats make for charming pets and will bring happiness and joy to the lives of their owners. But, for a family with children, choosing a cat to bring home can be a little more complicated.
Cats and children can easily clash, so picking out a feline suited to life in a family home is smart. A playful cat with a calm, patient personality is usually the ideal. A cat that's easy to take care of is also preferable. Luckily, some cat breeds are practically designed to get along well with rambunctious young children. Here are seven of the best choices.
1. Maine Coon.
These large, affable cats have remarkably mellow personalities. Friendly, playful, and physically robust, the Maine Coon is a perfect companion for energetic children. Their unusual size means they are built to withstand the attention of an overly-affectionate child. The one slight downside is that the Maine Coon's long, thick coat does require daily brushing -- though some children may even enjoy this task.
2. British Shorthair.
The laid-back personality of the British Shorthair is perfectly suited to busy environments -- such as the typical family home. British Shorthairs are unbothered by loud noises or chaotic activity, as this unflappable breed takes everything in stride. British Shorthairs are friendly and loyal as well. A British Shorthair also makes for a low-maintenance pet, since the breed enjoys excellent health and a has a coat that requires little care.
Ragdolls are some of the world's most loving cats. These big cats are named for their propensity to go completely limp when picked up. The Ragdoll is a remarkably gentle breed that can easily coexist even with a child that might annoy other cats. A child's natural curiosity will rarely elicit a negative reaction from the exceptionally patient Ragdoll. In addition, despite being long-haired, Ragdolls do not require daily grooming.
The docile, placid Persian is known for its long, thick, fluffy hair and 'squashed' face. Persians are considered by many to be the most beautiful cats in the world. The quiet, calm Persian loves attention and particularly enjoys sitting on laps and being petted. Less physically active than most cats, Persians are ideally suited for children that enjoy bestowing affection on the family cat. The Persian's magnificent coat does, however, require daily grooming.
This sociable breed is unusually 'talkative' and requires lots of human interaction. Siamese are loyal and often form strong bonds with their human companions. Physically, the Siamese is lithe and athletic, and has plenty of energy. Since Siamese are active and love attention, they enjoy living with families -- for a Siamese, the more people around, the better. Energetic children are particularly likely to appreciate Siamese cats.
6. American Shorthair.
Sociable and high-energy, American Shorthairs will be a good-natured presence in any family home. These happy cats are quiet but friendly, and enjoy being around children. The amiable American Shorthair can even get along with dogs, making it a perfect choice for a multi-pet household. The American Shorthair is also easy to care for and has great health; their unusually long lifespan can sometimes even exceed 20 years.
7. Domestic (mixed-breed) cats.
In the hunt for the perfect family cat, the wonderful possibilities of the humble mixed-breed cat should not be overlooked. Since their character and behavior can vary enormously, no generalizations can be made about mixed-breed cats. But, many will have personalities perfect for life with children. Luckily, since spending just a few minutes with a cat can reveal a lot of their personality, picking out the right mixed-breed cat from a shelter should be possible.
Bringing a cat home is a big responsibility. A pet relies on its owners to love and care for it, both physically and emotionally. That's why ensuring that a cat will fit into its new home is so important. For a family with young children, finding the right cat can be trickier-- but certainly worth it, especially since a cat can be a loving companion for the entire length of childhood. A pet cat can also help teach a child responsibility and care for others. Fortunately, as the list above shows, there are plenty of cats perfectly suited for life with children.