Looking for the perfect feline friend to add to your bustling household? Take a look at one of these family-friendly breeds, and get some tips on how to teach kids how to care for their pets.)
Recognized by their alert expression and ears that curl into a graceful arc, American Curls are faithful, affectionate companions that adjust easily to other pets, children and new situations, said Cat Fanciers’ Association spokesperson Jodell Raymond. A very people-oriented breed, American Curls love following their owners around the home and love being involved in whatever their people are up to, similarly to dogs.
With good looks, a history of good health and a sweet personality, American Shorthairs make gentle companions and excellent playmates for children. The breed originated from cats following settlers from Europe to North America, Raymond said, and is amiable to both children and other household pets. They require fairly regular grooming, once or twice a week, to remove loose fur from their undercoat.
An easy-to-handle, unobtrusive breed, Birmans are exceptionally sweet natured cats that love to be with people, Raymond said. Patient and even-tempered, the color pointed Birman is an excellent choice for families with children and other pets.
A mischievous, intelligent breed, Bombay cats can be leash trained, enjoy playing with cat toys like a good game of fetch and are fond of inventing new ways to entertain themselves and their families, Raymond said. Outgoing and affectionate, Bombays can easily adapt to a families busy lifestyle while getting along well with kids, grandparents and other pets.
When supervising playtime with your children and cat, Raymond recommends monitoring your children for overly loud, aggressive or boisterous behavior that isn’t suitable for a cat and replacing it with fun, interactive play that engages and entertains both the cat and child.
Playful, fearless and intelligent, Burmese make excellent companions who enjoy being around children, other pets and people. With a curiosity that may cause them to make a little mischief or attempt feats beyond their means, says Raymond, Burmese enjoy being around their people without being too demanding.
With oversized ears and large eyes, the Devon Rex is a natural with children and makes a tireless playmate, Raymond said. Independent enough to entertain themselves during the day, Devon Rexes will happily welcome their family members home from work and school and, if they’re allowed, will snuggle under the covers with their children at bedtime.
With captivating green eyes and a beautiful, chocolate-colored coat, Havana Browns are alert, intelligent and affectionate cats with a slightly mischievous streak, according to Raymond. A breed that loves companionship and human interaction, Havana Browns love being a vocal part of an active household and get along well with other cats, dogs and children, who should learn about caring for and respecting their cat from early on.
“Children must respect cats just like they would another human being,” Raymond said. “The message must be clear that it is our job to protect and care for the animal and treat them in the proper manner.”
One of the largest domestic breeds of cat, Maine Coons may be intimidating in size but are known for their friendliness, loving nature and intelligence. Commonly sought after as a family pet, companion and even therapy cat, Raymond said the Maine Coon is very good with both children and other pets.
An extremely social, friendly breed, Manx cats make loving and devoted companions. With a great sense of humor, Manx love interactive play and get along well with children and other family pets and have even been known to act as a protector of their families. The breed is known for its varied tail length, which can range from short and stubby to long and lush.
With a calm, patient temperament that lends itself to the robust play of children, Ragamuffins love to please their owners and are extremely sweet cats, Raymond said. Depending on your child’s age, teaching them about respecting their cat can begin with assisting in the care of their pet.
“A younger child can begin by assisting parents with feeding and cleaning of the cat’s area and [can] progress as they get older to helping with the grooming routine and changing out the litter box,” she said.
Jessica spends her days trying not to helicopter parent her beloved shelter pup, Darwin.