How Cats Can Prepare You for Raising a Child
Guest Writer: Emily Parker
As a cat owner myself, I see all my cats as my babies. Some, particularly parents, may scoff at this idea. They believe that raising a kid is nothing like raising a cat. And sure, there are a LOT of differences. However, I’m here to tell you that there are many similarities when it comes to raising a cat and raising a child.
In fact, if you’re planning to have a child someday, a cat can help you prepare for human parenthood. While a kid is obviously a lot more to handle than a pet, owning a pet is a good way to dip your feet in the waters, to be able to teach you how to be a responsible parent. If you can’t raise a pet in your current situation, it shows that you aren’t ready for a kid.
With that said, here are a few parenting lessons a feline can teach you.
How to Budget
At first, a cat doesn’t seem like it would cost too much.
Just give it a few toys, some cat food, a place to do its business, and you’re all done, right?
You have to pay for its shots, its visits to the vet, the things it may break, and if you’re renting, you may even have to pay a hefty pet deposit. Owning a cat is not low maintenance when it comes to your wallet.
Just like a cat, a child comes with many expenses as well, and while it’s obviously more expensive than a feline, a cat can show you if you’re financially prepared for a kid or not. If you’re struggling paying for your cat, you’re going to be in the red if you decide to have a kid.
The Rowdiness of a Baby
Kittens are full of energy. This comes as a surprise to no one at all, but it’s a reflection on how having a baby will be.
Your cat will jump all over the house and run into things it’s not supposed to, while your child will do the same thing. Taming a kitten can be similar to calming a kid down. You need discipline, and a way for your kid to spend its energy.
Just like your child will need to be trained how to use the toilet, your cat will need to learn how to use its litter box.
Cats naturally bury their waste in sandy places, so learning how to use a litter box won’t be as hard as teaching Junior how to use a toilet. But some kittens have more trouble learning, and you may have to clean poop from your floor and even from the walls.
Sound like something you don’t want to put up with for too much longer?
Well, if you’re going to be a parent, you’ll have to change poopy diapers and wipe butts for a good few years until your kid’s ready to use the toilet.
Having a cat can desensitize you to the idea of cleaning up poop, too. And, you still have to scoop out the litter forever, unlike a child, who will learn how to flush a toilet.
The Importance of Playtime
Every species, whether it’s a human or an animal, gets bored. And when they get bored, they’ll need some playtime.
For a cat, playtime is important. It lets out energy, keeps the cat in shape, and entertains it. A child will need entertainment as well.
Both a child and a kitten have toys you can lay out to keep them entertained. Just like how a video game can keep a child entertained, a fake mouse will keep kitty having fun.
But you better not let that be the majority of their playtime.You’ll need to be a part of their entertainment too.
A kid will want to go places and spend time with their parents, while a kitty will want to have fun with its owner from time to time. If you don’t have time to play, you don’t have time for a kitty (or child).
The Importance of Diet and Exercise
The internet thinks a fat cat is funny to look at, but cat obesity can lead to health problems down the line. You’ll have to learn how much food a cat needs to keep its weight balanced, along with how much exercise it should have. It can be quite a chore!
The same applies to your kids.
Children need exercise as well if they want to stay healthy for as long as possible, and they’ll need a proper diet too. You’ll need to serve them healthy meals, and give them a treat only on special occasions.
What your child eats and how often they’ll exercise will be their own decision as they grow up, but it’s smart to teach them a healthy lifestyle early on. And a cat can help you get the basics down. If you can’t figure out how to balance a cat’s diet, you won’t figure out your kid’s.
The Importance of Controlling Your Temper
Your cat knocks over your prized vase, or it stomps into your next meal. Your first instinct is to go off on kitty and tell her how bad she’s been.
As a cat owner, you’ll need to learn how to forgive your cat whenever she does something wrong. Cats tend to avoid forgiving their owners if they do something to upset them, and as a pet parent, you’ll learn the value of taking a few deep breaths whenever something bad happens.
This applies to children as well. When your child makes a mistake, you should not lose your temper – instead think of a punishment, if necessary, when you have a cool head.
Learning the importance of controlling your temper when something bad happens is something any cat can teach you, as even the most laid-back cats will get into trouble. If your temper can’t be cooled whenever your cat does something wrong, maybe you’re not fit to be a parent.
So those are just a few lessons you can learn from owning a cat. As I said before, there are huge differences between being a cat parent and being a parent parent, but owning a cat can still be a good trial to decide if you’re ready for a kid!
“How Cats Can Prepare You for Raising a Child” was written by Guest Writer: Emily Parker
Emily Parker is a cat-parent to 2 lovely cats, Gus and Louis. Her website, Catological, helps cat parents love their cats better by providing recommendations for the best cat products, as well as in-depth, science-backed how-to articles.
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