Socialization: Learning to behave well, accept and even enjoy every other creature in one’s environment, as well as several different types of environments (I.e. other kittens, adult cats, puppies and adult dogs, human toddlers, babies, children and adults, strangers, crowds, etc).
Getting a pet is a common ask of many kids to their parents. However, parents aren’t always quick to jump on board and want to add a four legged friend to the family. Since we think cats are an essential member of our house we want to share the Top Ways to Convince Parents to Get a Cat, especially if your parents are on the fence.
According to the ASPCA, about 530,000 shelter cats are euthanized each year in the United States alone. This number has actually diminished greatly in the past several years and used to be much higher!
It isn’t because these cats are all sick, diseased, or mean. Most are completely healthy and as well behaved as a cat should be. These cats are destroyed because there simply isn’t room for them, nor money available for their care.
You could help save the life of one of these needy cats or prevent a life of stress and isolation at an animal shelter for a young kitten! Imagine the difference you can make. With this knowledge, isn’t adoption worth a few hundred dollars each year for food and medical care?
It is this author’s opinion that every child should grow up with an intelligent pet, whether that be a cat or dog. Pets add an element of constant companionship no child should have to grow without!
With the maturity of several decades under their belts, parents should ultimately shoulder the responsibility for your pet, ensuring it is always fed, trained well and gets everything it needs. Raising a pet can still help teach children to be responsible, enhancing their own psychological growth and maturity!
Countless peer-reviewed scientific studies support lower rates of depression and anxiety, increased physical health, and increased happiness in both children and adults that care for pets! Not only will this affect you as a child, but it will benefit your parents also.
Out of all the pets you might get, a common domestic house cat might be the best tool available in your war on pest control! Cats are highly effective natural hunters. In fact, all their main senses have evolved to augment these hunting skills!
Did you know many of the common cat species we have today were bred originally for this very task? Merchants on ships, business owners and early settlers would prize these cats for their ability to control rodent populations!
Without cats, food stores would have suffered, and many would have starved. You might say cats helped shape the world we have today! Where would we be without them and the all-important roles they played earlier in our history?
Little kittens will pick up integral social skills with littermates, just like a young puppy would. Many breeders would want to wait until adopting out their cats until 12-14 weeks, but your earliest option maybe 8 weeks. You don’t want to take home a kitten younger than that.
The best time to convince parents to get a cat, in general, would be around that 14 week mark! Not only did your kitten learn all necessary social skills from mother and littermates, but he or she is also still very young, and you can control any future training.
For example, socialization is extremely important for any cat! You want your cat to grow up comfortable around other animals, children and people. You can make sure a kitten gets plenty of great exposure to these things, while that adult at your rescue may or may not have ever been socialized.
Though you can’t control it, three to seven weeks of age is a very sensitive social period for your kitten. You want to make sure your kitten has received enough socialization during this time! This also means your kitten should be with littermates.
Poorly socialized adults, on the other hand, can be nearly impossible to train at times.
If you prepare yourself with the reasons your parents may say no to a new cat ahead of time, you’ll be able to form good, knowledgeable arguments!
Your parents might be worried about the cost of your cat! After all, some cats can cost in the thousands. Of course, these are usually unique breeds sold by reputable breeders.
There is no need to fret here because adoption fees in the United States might range anywhere from $15 USD to $250 USD. These fees cover shelter operations, feeding, housing, medical care, etc. Sometimes you might even be able to find a deal!
For example, you might receive a partial refund when spaying or neutering your kitten.
The cost of cat food will depend on how nutritious you want and the quality you’re looking for. On the cheap end, a 20 lb. package of Purina cat chow might run you $19.00.
Routine, annual veterinary care for cats might run you around $200 USD, on avg. Then you have neutering and vaccinations. If you sacrifice the cost of just a few fancy restaurant meals, this can easily be covered!
Are your parents worried about all that scratching and furniture damage? There is no need to worry! You have several options to consider.
Strategically placed Scratching posts are probably the most popular method to prevent scratching damage among cat owners! You’ll need one post per cat. Place these scratching posts where your cat likes to nap, and the cat’s favorite room in the house.
Did you know you can train your cat to allow you to trim those nails? Well trained cats will let you snip off the very tips of their nails, so they are never too sharp!
De-clawing is an option to at least consider, but many enthusiasts think this is inhumane. Unlike the nails of a dog, a cat’s claws consist of bone and are the furry one’s primary means of defence.
On the other hand, if that means the difference between rescuing a kitten in need or not, de-clawing is probably an acceptable evil. Just be sure your cat is always an indoor cat.
Let’s say someone in your family is allergic to animal dander. While no animal is completely dander free and every cat breed will shed some skin cells at most, there are many hypoallergenic animals to consider!
Hypo-Allergenic: Unlikely to cause allergic reactions
The Balinese, for example, is one of several breeds with only one short coat that won’t shed much. The Sphinx doesn’t have a coat. In fact, many breeds exist that won’t shed much fir.
There are also hairless dog breeds to consider, like the Hairless Chinese Crested or Peruvian Hairless. You might also consider single-coated breeds, like Poodles.
Many studies also show infants raised around animals are less likely to develop allergies to animal dander in the future.
Are your parents worried they might get stuck with animal care? Convincing parents to get a cat is easier if they think you’ll shoulder most of the care. Let us explain!
Try showing your parents you are organized by making a detailed list of everything you’ll have to do to care for your new cat daily! Forming a step-by-step list of objections will go a long way toward showing you are responsible and orderly.
Agreeing to take on more chores will help convince parents to get a cat by showing you are ready for more responsibility in the first place. What do you do around the house right now? How can you add more to that list?
Depending on how old you are, you might still be considered a pre-teen child. Though this answer might not please you, no child truly has the maturity level required to fully care for any dog or cat. Sadly, countless domestic pets are sheltered each year because children failed to meet their parent’s expectations.
In the end, your parents should ethically be willing to shoulder the responsibility for your cat’s care, or what you leave over.
But yet again we have good news!
While dogs are very social and dependent animals, most wild cat species are solitary hunters. This means your house cat is going to be much more independent than any dog!
As long as your cat is trained well (which is pretty easy in general) and socialized with people and other animals, simple animal care is a sinch!
Training is Simple
Socialization (see description above) is pretty straightforward, as long as you don’t skip out on it entirely. It can be easy for us to think “Why bother? It’s just a cat!” but a cat poorly socialized as a kitten is more likely to grow with a poor tolerance for other animals and people (the ‘mean cat’).
Litter box training doesn’t really involve much training at all. In the wild, a smaller cat will bury waste to hide the scent from larger potential predators (i.e. you), so burying waste in the litter box would already be natural. It’s even easier than potty training a puppy!
The best age to adopt a cat would be around 10-14 weeks! Kittens are easier to raise, and the little amount of training you’ll have to provide will be simple.
The best time to ask your parents to get a cat will depend on your family.
The financial requirements really aren’t that much for such a small animal, but your parents will have to devote the money for food and medical care. Are you old enough to work? Do you get a weekly allowance you can exchange for cat care?
Does your family have any small children running about? Many experts recommend caution with children younger than six. It can sometimes be difficult for young kids to understand appropriate physical contact.
Shelters will often create adoption events to help re-home their little ones! Do you know when the next event is taking place? You might be able to find a discount on the already low $200 adoption fee. Try to convince parents to get a cat during special events.
No matter what you say, it seems your parents won’t let you get a cat. You still want a cat, but you’re just not sure what to do!
No animal lover on Earth wants to euthanize the animals in their care. It is done only to prevent mass overpopulation and the spread of disease, which is currently happening in some countries as you read this.
When they reach capacity and can’t support any more animals, many animal shelters will partner with individual owners. These individuals become foster parents until those animals can find forever homes.
Foster families are often able to provide immensely important social contact these homeless animals simply can’t get in crowded animal shelters. This is important for the animal’s psychological growth and happiness in general, impacting their lifelong personalities!
Shelter animals often spend much of their days inside a crate or cage. Shelter employees will try to offer them attention when they can, but being caged for any amount of time, let alone much of the day, isn’t natural for any animal.
If you can’t house a cat at home, why not volunteer to help improve the lives of several cats at your local animal shelter?
Research is important for any breed, whether it be a dog or a cat. Any credible trainer in the world will tell you pet care will be much easier the better prepared you are! This is especially true if you are a first-time pet owner.
Learn as much as you can about the animal, and breed of that animal (cat breed) as you can before you adopt one. Learn as much about training that animal before you are thrust into the situation itself. In other words, be prepared!