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Positive Cat Parenting™

by Rolan Tripp, DVM and Susan Tripp, MS

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Pet Cookie Toss

Pets and Children - Q&A






Famous Quote
There has never
been a cat
Who couldn't calm
me down
By walking slowly
past my chair

- Rod McKuen -

By Category   Media Center  |  Kittens  Cats  Products  |  All Pets  |    Print

Children and Cuddling - Education is the Key! 

Bless the beasts and the children

Cats and children can be the best of friends if children are taught how to be gentle, loving and appropriate with cats. Preventing mistakes with 100% supervision and giving gentle instructions to both the pet and child fosters
a life long love and bond between pets and children. 

Supervision. The most important rule of thumb is to remember that small children must be watched carefully. If you are not there, a child may accidentally scare or harm the cat. Consequently, the cat may also scare or harm the child.  


As a general rule, children under the age of 10 should never be left alone with a cat.

TIPS for Teaching Children how to "Cuddle" Cats

1.  Sit still. Begin by teaching children how to sit still on the floor and offer a hungry cat a treat and then put down a meal. This helps the pet see children as a positive.

2.  Offer food. Have all good things come from children such as treats, food, and toys and make sure nothing bad happens.

3.  Safe lap time. Place a relaxed, hungry cat in the child's lap. As you and the child offer treats, demonstrate how to stroke the cat. Find the cat's favorite places to be touched with a wiggly finger.

4.  Safe lifting.  If the child is 7 or older, you may demonstrate the proper way to lift a cat supporting the back legs not holding the cat around the belly. Make sure the hard, fast, rule is, "When the cat wants to go, let go!" 

.   Learn body language ("cat talk"). Teach the child to "read cat" by explaining what mood the cat is in by watching the tail and ear positions. Make sure the child NEVER chases the cat.

.   Follow rules. Make a rule that children are not allowed to startle or interrupt a cat's eating or nap time. Let sleeping cat's lie.

.   Engage child in training the cat. Show the child how to teach the cat to come and sit for a food reward.

8.   Learning games. Demonstrate and participate in games that children can play with cats.
Do not allow any roughhouse type games.


Demonstrate to children how to talk to cats in soothing voice tones and slow body movements.

What games can children play with cats?

Hide-and-Seek -
The child runs to a room in the house and calls the cat. When the cat arrives, child delivers a tasty treat that cat does not get at any other time than when playing this game. Then the child can hide in a different place in the house and call the cat again for a tasty food reward.

"Helping you raise a fabulous feline friend for life."

Improving Relationships between Pets and People!

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