10 Things Cats Can Teach Us About Parenting

adorable kitten meowing

One might not believe that a cat could provide any type of parenting lesson to humans. After all, these are animals that carry their kids around by the back of their necks in their mouths (something I’m certain would be considered child abuse of some sort in most places). But, cats are smarter than we like to give them credit for being, and that means that they can teach us lessons. We learn when we are not expecting it, whether it’s after we’ve had kids and become suddenly enlightened or we get a cat and realize that this must be what parenting feels like.

The lessons your cat can teach you about parenting are everywhere. And you might not see them in quite the same manner as I, but they’re there. Read on to find out what your cat has taught you about parenting. It’s going to surprise you.


Children and cats require ample patience. You will never in your life need patience as much as you will with either of these in your home. They do what they want, they don’t care and I swear that neither has even an ounce of remorse. The lack of care your cat has for whatever he or she just broke is going to teach you a very valuable lesson about toddlers and teenagers and how they feel about any and everything that is not theirs.

No one ever listens

No one; ever. They have better things to do. Your cat is going to give you a preview of precisely what selective hearing looks like. It looks like you talking and talking and repeating yourself over and over again and yet no one hears you. It’s going to annoy you with the cat, but it’s going to teach you patience and provide you with resignation when it comes to your children. I’d like to say kids listen more than cats since they actually understand you, but they really, really do not. On a good note, they are both very cute; cats and babies. So there is that to look forward to.

2 am is party time

Thankfully, our kids were great sleepers and this was not a problem in our house with any of them. However, our cat, he was not a good sleeper and he drove us nuts. That thing was in our bed every single night in the middle of the night absolutely confused as to why we were asleep when there was a party to be had.

What’s yours is not yours

If your cat wants it, it’s his. The same is true of kids. You do not get anything for yourself anymore. I can promise you this; you leave a tampon on a counter and it’s a cat toy being thrown all over the house. You leave one out and a kid gets to it, it because a toy that they insist on taking to school for show and tell. It’s life with kids, and there is nothing you can do about it except get used to it with the cat.

What’s his is his and his alone

Now, on the opposite side of the spectrum, you will not be able to take something from a cat or a child without the crushing force of Satan’s wrath directed toward you. Take my advice; what the cat does when you take something he has will be multiplied a thousand-fold with your kids. Good luck with that and welcome to purgatory.

Repetitive sounds are annoying, but you will learn to tune them out

Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeoooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! It’s annoying, but it happens from time to time. Change that to, “Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom, MOMMMMMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY,” and it’s like you see the lesson right in front of your eyes. Thank the cat for teaching you to tune things out before the kids were born.

Expect the unexpected

You never know what might happen with a cat in the house. Perhaps he will scare you to death jumping on you from the top of the kitchen cabinets. Perhaps he will slip under your feet when you are walking. Kids are pretty much the same. You never know when they will hop out from behind the shower door or out of your closet or your bed or whatever. They’re scary and kind of creepy and you must learn to always expect the unexpected.

Unconditional love

Pet owners love their pets in a manner that non-pet owners do not understand. However, this is going to work wonders in teaching you what you will one day feel for your kids. Of course, the love you have for your children is so much more intense and so much more permanent, but what you feel for your cat is a great start. I was a cat owner long before I had kids and I remember wondering if ever I’d be able to love my kids as much as I love my cat. I laugh now, because that was dumb. I love my kids a million times more, and that’s not a feeling you will understand until a tiny human comes out of your body.

You’ll never pee alone ever again

Ever. I’m not even going to elaborate. I’m just going to tell you to enjoy the privacy while you still have it because it is absolutely not going to last. Sorry.

No one performs on command

That cute thing your kitten does when you rub his belly? Yeah, he’s not going to do that when you’re bragging discussing the new trick you taught the cat with your husband at the end of the day. The same is true of your kids. They will not do whatever that cute thing is or repeat that sweet statement for the life of you when someone is present. But they will do it all day, every day for weeks until you decide it’s just not that cute anymore and everyone else thinks you’re a liar.

Photo by Getty Images

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