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When you are a kid your pet can be the world to you. My dog was to me, and millions of others children now see their pet as a friend, companion, and ally. It seems that every parent who has to listen to their kid begging for a kitten for Christmas should actually listen harder because new research has discovered that children who have pets grow up to be more nurturing and achieve more.
I have put together some information here that will give you some ideas on how to keep your child safe around cats. The research which was carried out by Warwick University in the UK
and revealed that children hold their pets in very high esteem, with many placing them with the same level of importance a parent or sibling.
It seems that pets can be something children turn to in times of need, a constant friend and companion. The two psychologists who carried out the test asked children who they would turn to in times of trouble, and amazingly pets featured in the top 10, with some putting their pet cat above even their parents. So with your child so attached to his or her kitty you will want to know that they are safe, and what to avoid or look for.
Keep and eye on your child and your cat
Being vigilant when your kid is playing with its new best friend is very important, as is the education process. Kids are fascinated with animals but most do not understand the personal and emotional needs of their pet cat, so make sure you are on hand to teach your child.
Firstly learning how to properly hold the cat means the feline will never feel in danger and will be comfortable when handled, and make sure the child is gentle. Cats are small and cute but they are also hunting machines with an array of tools that can harm a child or adult. Claws, teeth, and speed will be what your pet turns to if it is handled poorly or in a robust manner, so avoiding the classic tail pulling is advisable.
The cat or kitten will also need some time alone, cats can be very sociable but they also require some solo activity, so it is important that your child knows this and gives the moggy time to breathe.
What is Zoonosis?
Zoonosis is something that affects both cats and dogs, and it is infectious parasites such as hookworms, roundworms and tapeworms. It is possible for these parasites to be passed onto your child by faecal-oral contact, although the droppings do not have to be directly touched. The eggs reside in the stool and this is what infects us humans.
A simple trip to the vet should determine if your cat has zoonosis and until the first all clear is given, all owners should assume their kitten has it and avoid contact between cat and child. Children play areas that could also double as an inviting litter area for cats should be covered and actual litter boxes kept out of harms way.
Fleas are also something to look out for as they can cause infectious skin ailments. Luckily combating fleas is not tough thanks to products such as
Revolution for Cats, which destroys adult fleas, eggs, and larvae.