What is the Best Age for Your Child to First Have a Cat?

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Adopting a pet cat may seem like a great idea, but when it comes to bringing in a feline with very young kids into a household, you might want to hold off on it. There are some downsides to bringing in a new cat in when you’re with child or if you already have a young one at home, including high expenses and inevitable accidents. Owning a feline (or any pet, really) is not a cheap situation, as you have to spend on food, training, supplies, medical expenses, vaccinations, microchipping, and spaying and neutering – just to name a few. If you’re pregnant and expecting a child, bringing home a new animal is going to be a big adjustment for both situations combined and mistakes and accidents will undoubtedly be made.

It’s important not to rush into adopting a cat in general, but if you must get a cat now and have young kids or are expecting, the best age would be from age 1 to 5, when the feline is considered a “young adult.” Kittens are more prone to being more playful than a more mature cat – a little too rough playing sometimes. Young adult cats are not prone to arthritis or other health issues senior cats bring. As for how old your child should be when you first get a cat, the answers may vary. Many believe that kids should be six years or older when they get their first cat, especially so they could learn how to take on the chores and responsibilities of owning a pet. However, it is also important to remember that if you have a cat already in place when you bring a baby home, the child has a more reduced risk of allergies, but when you get a cat when they are older, your kid may be allergic. In the end, it’s really up to you when you feel you should get your family a cat!

(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

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