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Why cats make great pets

It’s the age-old battle, cats versus dogs. All of the stereotypes come out; cats are aloof; mysterious; unfriendly and sly.

These statements are far from the truth for the majority of cats who are affectionate and loving companions, and according to the PDSA 24% of Brits agree! All of these cat loving owners make for an estimated population of 10.9million cats.

If you are unsure or simply on the fence about whether to get a cat, here are some of the reasons why cats can make a great pet.

They are low maintenance

Apart from making sure they are fed, watered and comfortable, you don’t have to do much more for a cat except to show it love and attention. No late evening walks in the rain or snow are involved here!

You don’t even have to take them outside for toilet needs as they will use a litter tray in the house. Most kittens and even older cats are very easy to toilet train.

But their relative independence does not mean you should ignore them. Cats need stimulation and play and you can do this from the comfort of your home or garden. 

They are very relaxing

If you have ever watched a cat wash or groom itself, it is so relaxing! It has been suggested they impact our mental health by lowering anxiety and stress.  When you stroke a cat, it can cause your body to produce stress-reducing hormones and have a positive effect on your wellbeing.

A 2019 study by Washington State University found that just 10 minutes of stroking and petting an animal reduced the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in students.

They can be a great companion

At the start of lockdown, there was a huge surge in people enquiring about cats and dogs as both offer companionship and can help ease feelings of loneliness. And it’s not just dogs that come to the door when you arrive home or jump up and lie next to you on the sofa, cats will too!

Cats can live quite happily in flats

Cats don’t need as much space as dogs so can be quite comfortable in a smaller house or flat as long as there are toys and things to climb such as cat trees. The other benefit to having a cat in a shared building is they don’t tend to make much noise.

Low maintenance grooming

Cats are very clean creatures. A normal cat can spend as much as 50% of its waking time grooming. The good news for cat owners is you don’t need to carry out too much other grooming.

Cats will require regular health checks

Of course, some cats, dependent on their fur, will need regular brushing and all will require regular health checks, flea and worming treatments.

They keep pests away

Being natural born hunters, a cat at home is a good way to keep away the mice and rats. They also are very effective at keeping insects such as flies and moths at bay.

They can be left alone

Because of their independent nature, cats can be left alone at home whilst you go out for the day. As long as they have food, water and a clean litter tray. Leave safe toys and enrichment activities such as food dispensing activities for them to do so they don’t get bored.

You may need to think carefully about leaving cats alone if they are young kittens who require more care, or older cats who like routine.

As with any living, breathing, creature you should give careful consideration before bringing a cat into your home and family. Do think carefully about where you get your cat from and carry out research on the seller. There is some good advice related to this from Cats Protection.

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Melina - Assistant Editor

Hi I'm Melina, a mother of 3 teenage children and with a particular interest in all things health related. I run a busy household and smallholding alongside my work with Silversurfers, which currently includes dogs, fish, hens, ducks and pigs!

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