Thanks to Fresh Step® Compact Packs for sponsoring today’s post. All opinions are my own.
Jeremy and I got our first cat, Pun-kin, just a few weeks after we got married. I have always loved cats and I really had to convince my only dog owning husband to adopt sweet Pun-kin. Once the convincing was done, Jeremy quickly became a cat loving guy, too. Since then, we adopted miss Sophie and had to say a tearful goodbye to our Pun-kin and in turn adopted our crazy Sundae cat. Honestly, though, I don’t think any of could ever imagine our family with out cats. They are a part of our little family.
The kids have been around our cats from the day we brought them both home from the hospital. As they grow older I am really happy with all of the lessons that I see our cats teaching our kids.
Life Lessons Kids Learn From Owning a Cat
Compassion: When you let a cat into your family he or she becomes a daily reminder of kindness and compassion. Jude and Teagan have learned to be kind and to take care of others’ basic needs. This also includes understanding and empathy. The fact is; animals will get sick or hurt at some point. Seeing this can be difficult on children but it allows them to see empathy and kindness as we take care of our cats.
Respect: Owning a cat teaches kids how to respect others. They must learn to touch them gently, take care of their needs, and learn not to disturb or mess with them when they want to be left alone. Thankfully, we have been blessed with some very good and patient cats but we have always taught Jude and Teagan to be gentle and careful when interacting with the cats. Often the kids will ask if the cats would bite – we simply say “of course, they have teeth.” We do not want to scare them but the fact is; cats or any pet can bite or scratch when anyone doesn’t respect their space.
Trust: Cats make wonderful trusted companions for kids and can be a first step to helping your kiddos build trust in other relationships as they grow older. It can take a while for your cat to trust the little ones but with time and respect the friendship between the kids and cats are so perfect. Pun-kin and Jude would read books together and snuggle on the chair when Jude was just a baby. Both Jude and Teagan love to run into the house after we get home from work and check in on the cats. It’s like they have to let Sophie and Sundae know how their day went. It is pretty adorable!
Healthy Living: Properly caring for your cat means feeding them an appropriate diet and engaging them in regular exercise. Kids can learn healthy living habits for their cat as well as themselves by just being involved with these aspects of care. As Jude gets older we are having him help with feeding and watering the cats and always encourage both of the kids to play with Sophie and Sundae. The kids love it and the cats do too!
Responsibility: Caring for a cat is a great way for kids to learn responsibility at any age. Cats require daily feeding, exercise, affection, and not to mention grooming and clean-up. Older kids can learn how to care for another living creature and even younger kids can help with feeding and playtime. Just recently we have started introducing “chores” to our kids and caring for Sophie and Sundae are parts of those chores. We do not want to give the kids too much to do but we are hoping to share these responsibilities with them so they can see how important it is to tend to our cats as they are a part of our family.
The one area that Jude does want to help with is the cat box department, however, I am not comfortable with him actually cleaning the box. We have started using the Fresh Step® Compact Packs of cat litter that allows him to help with this chore.
I love these new packages. They are so convenient and clean. The Fresh Step® Compact Pack is the equivalent of a 34 or 38 lb. box packaged in four smaller resealable packs! The Compact Packs are better designed to store in and around the home, and easier to pour into the litter box. Jude is able to pick one up out of the hall closet and bring it to the litter box and pour it into the box on his own. What an accomplishment for him and help for us!
Behavior Awareness: It is super important for parents to teach kids to notice and pay attention to how their behavior affects their cats – like I said before; cats have teeth, they can bite! When kids learn this behavior awareness they will begin to be able to use that in the “real world”. The way we behave affects everyone around us – humans and animals. It is very important for everyone to learn this and having a cat just helps kids see it first hand.
Leadership Skills: Seeing Jude gain confidence in his abilities and him finding his sense of authority is great. While cats do not need to be given many commands nor do they want to do tricks for you, the cats do teach kids how to be a leader. When Jude calls the cats to eat their treats, food or water I see the leader in him bloom. Also, when he has to get the cats to stop taking his Lego pieces out of his room (yes this happens daily) the leader is there! I love seeing the confidence build!
We want the absolute best for our cats because they are such an important piece of our family. As a family with multiple cats we want to make sure we keep our house smelling fresh and the cat box clean for our cats which is why we have been a Fresh Step® loving cat family for years! All Fresh Step® products support the brand’s mission to make the world a more welcoming place for cats and their families. Fresh Step® is celebrating that home is where is the cat is – goodness we know that! These crazy cats rule the house!
When you start using Fresh Step® Compact Packs make sure you take advantage of the Fresh Step® Paw Points® Rewards Program as well. When you join this rewards program you will begin earning points for free Fresh Step litter, coupons, toys and even help your local shelter! Pretty cool, especially because it is FREE to join!
Join the free Fresh Step® Paw Points® Rewards Program now at freshstep.com. You can also download the new Paw Points Rewards app by visiting the Apple App Store or Google Play to earn 50 points right away! Woohoo!
All Fresh Step products are available at Walmart, Target and your favorite grocery store and I totally recommend these Fresh Step® Compact Packs, it will make the world of your cat box so much easier! To try the Fresh Step® Compact Packs for FREE sign up for this coupon today.
For more information on the new products, visit freshstep.com.
What Life Lessons do you think your cats teach your kids?
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Fresh Step® litter.
Mistee Dawn says
Awwww, we love cats! We have two of our own. We got them when our daughter was 5 and they have grown up together. She is 11 now.
Yona Williams says
The name, Pun-kin, for a cat is so cute! We are a dog family, but I think all pets deliver good life lessons. My nephew has always wanted a cat though – I think because they are quieter.
These are such great lessons. I great up in a household with more than one cat and I definitely feel like having that experience helped teach me many of the lessons you mentioned.
Cindy Gordon says
There are so many lessons from owning a cat, I couldn't agree more. We've owned multiple cats throughout the years. We recently got a kitten and my kids have learned so much from having her in the home! Compassion is the biggest!
Lisa Codina says
We are teaching all of the above to our children right now. We have a dog and they are finally starting to notice him as an integral part of our family!
Kalee Sorey says
I love this post. We got a cat when I was 5, and he was the best thing for our family. I totally agree that having a cat teaches compassion, respect and trust, and I would also add in friendship. I also remember the litter was a new, less-than-exciting chore I had to take on for responsibility.
I grew up with cats and now I'm a crazy cat lady! Not really. Well, maybe. My faithful companion is a ginger tomcat I've had since he was 5 weeks old. I even brought him to Europe with me when I moved and I can't imagine life without him. I wish those Fresh Step compact packages would come across the pond. We don't have Fresh step here and lugging those 10kg boxes up the stairs intact on delivery day can be a nightmare, not to mention the storage issues that come from living in a city centre apartment.
Crystal VanTassel says
Love this! The idea of pet owning and the whole process of responsibility with kids is such a great lesson! On top of that the individual packs of litter take the headache out of litter changing. They are perfect!
Farrah Less says
I'm a cat owner too her name is Sally. She is everything to us right now she is our baby. Cat is funny, playful and affectionate. You'll learned so much from their personality. Your cats are all adorable 🙂
Heidi Gray says
You can never start to young when it comes to teaching responsibility and a pet is the perfect way to do so. I think that the individual packs will help a lot with "over" usage which will result in saving you money in the end.
Julie Wood says
Love the lessons that kids can learn from their cats. I had cats when I was growing up and so does my son and daughter. Our cat is such a fun loving cat and wants to be with the kids. My son loves his cat. He takes such good care of him and having pets really fosters care and respect in kids!