There are more than 74 million cats living as pets across North America. If you are considering adding this playful pet to your family, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of cat ownership. Here is a list to help you with your decision.
Pros of Cat Ownership
- Cats are low maintenance. They do not require a great deal of care. They exercise themselves, sleep more than half of the day, and they are meticulous about their own grooming. As long as they have a clean litter box, fresh food, and fresh water, cats can be left alone for a few days.
- Cats do not require a lot of living space. They do not need a large yard to roam. Most cats hate going outside. They are perfect apartment dwellers. Most cats are happy as long as there is a source of warmth and a window where they can watch the world.
- Cats are affectionate. The stereotype that cats are standoffish is a misconception. Their adoration may be less demonstrative than a dog’s, but they nonetheless are fond of their owners. The noise of a cat’s purr is synonymous with contentment. Cats show their affection by jumping on your lap or curling up next to you on the sofa. Cats adore being petted and enjoy attention. Stroking a cat has even been shown to have a calming effect and reduce stress in people.
- Cats are entertaining. Have you ever watched a cat with a paper bag? Because of their low-maintenance nature, cats are quite content entertaining themselves. Chasing a shadow, darting in and out from under a bed, or playing with cat toys all provide hours of entertainment for a cat and their families. Your cat’s daily antics are guaranteed to make you smile.
Cons of Cat Ownership
- Cats can be willful. Ever heard the expression It’s like herding cats? Unlike dogs who can be easily trained, cats have a will of their own and do not respond to commands. Cats do things in their own way, in their own time.
- Cats require care. While cats are relatively low-maintenance pets, they do require care. Annual veterinarian visits as well as preventative treatments can be costly and time consuming. Cats use litter-boxes with ease, but those litter-boxes must be maintained often. Also, a downside to cats’ meticulous grooming are the hairballs and vomit that often result.
- Cats shed. If you add a cat to your family, be prepared to deal with cat hair. With the exception of hairless cats (such as the Sphynx breed), cats shed—a lot. It may be a struggle to keep your furniture, carpets, and clothes hair free.
- People can be allergic to cats. A relatively large number of people have feline allergies. Even if members of your immediate family do not have cat allergies, people who visit your home may struggle with sneezing, watery eyes, and general stuffiness upon visiting you and your furry friend.
Cats can make exceptional family pets. Considering the pros and cons in advance of adding a fluffy four-legged feline to your household ensures that you are making the right decision for your family.