Having a pet in the family can really help to give young children a sense of responsibility early in life. Children raised with pets have been shown to be more sociable as adults, both with people and animals. They also tend to have better communication skills, and are much less likely to develop allergies towards pet fur and dander.
Health benefits are more likely to be associated with animal companionship when the care of the animal does not pose a burden to the person and the animal’s behavior is acceptable to the person. When housing and community environments are supportive of animal ownership, the human-animal relationship is strengthened. These beneficial effects of pets may be mediated by increased exercise associated with pet ownership as well as decreased stress levels. In addition to providing cardiovascular benefits, decreased physiological stress is associated with animal interaction, contributing to better overall health.
:: Children exposed to pets in early life experience enhanced immune function. Fewer allergies and less wheezing and asthma in children exposed to pets during infancy & also protection against adult asthma and allergies in adults at age 28 when exposed to pets before 18.
:: Presence of pet positively alters children’s attitudes about themselves, increases their ability to relate to others and develop various area of humanness including love, attachment, and comfort. Unlike parents, pets are never critical and don’t give orders. They are always loving and their mere presence at home can help provide a sense of security in children. Having an ever-present cat, for example, can help ease separation anxiety in children when mom and dad aren’t around. Studies have also shown that pets can help calm hyperactive or overly aggressive kids. Of course, both the pet and the child need to be trained to behave appropriately with each other. Also, animals reciprocate in a way that shows no judgment. They don’t care if kids have unclean rooms or dirty faces, and they don’t care whether or not kids have done their homework. For many children, the touch of a beloved pet carries a kind of unconditional love that is warm and consistent. Clinical studies have even demonstrated how touching pets exerts a calming effect upon a person, lowering blood pressure and reducing stress.
:: Pets help in motor-sensory development and nonverbal learning; ecological awareness, and ethical responsibilities. Children and adults alike can benefit from playing with pets, which can be both a source of calmness and relaxation, as well as a source of stimulation for the brain and body. Playing with a pet can even be a doorway to learning for a child. It can stimulate a child’s imagination and curiosity. Children exhibited a more playful mood, were more focused, and were more aware of their social environments. Pets can be the means for bringing some of the wilder spirit of the natural world into our homes. Children, in particular, often derive a lot of comfort and joy from reconnecting to nature in this way.
:: Pets teach the children about consistency, self discipline and ethical responsibilities. Though it is unrealistic to expect young people to shoulder all the responsibilities that are involved with caring for pets, letting them take on some of the work can teach them valuable lessons about responsibility, as well. Because pets have their personal preferences and often form their own routines, they can teach young people a lot about consistency and self-discipline. Certain pets like to be fed, walked, and played with at specific times, and this can transform those moments into special occasions for the kids who care for them. They’ll be more motivated to wake up early to feed a favorite cat than they will be to catch the school bus. This motivation can evolve into healthy routines, and in time young people can even take on small jobs in the service of their animal companions, such as feeding the fish, cleaning a birdcage, or filling a cat’s bowl. Such chores, which are oftentimes happily done, can teach kids not only responsibility but also competence and the satisfaction of a job well done. After all, the contentment of an animal that’s just been fed or given exercise is proof enough of the value of the work involved.
P/S: Can't wait to have my own kids..I'm sure they will love cats as much as I do..InsyaAllah..