If you’re doubtful whether cats are the right pets for you, then look no further. I have compiled all the reasons cats make for great pets. This article will definitely help you make your decision.
Cats are excellent as pets because they require less time and effort to care for than many other animals. They are intelligent, fun to play with, cheaper to maintain, quiet and help with their owner’s emotional wellbeing.
There is so much to say about why cats are great as pets. Let’s get into the details right away!
Cats Help You Stay Calm
Cats are, for the most part, very calm and composed creatures. They do everything with a sense of purpose.
When they cuddle with you, they purr. They often purr even when you’re petting them. The sound and vibrations that a cat produces when it purrs can put your mind at ease.
While anyone with a pet cat will agree to the above, actual research also suggests that a cat’s purr is produced at a frequency which promotes fracture healing, pain relief and inflammation relief in both humans and the cat itself.
Cats Can Help With Better Quality Sleep
If you have trouble falling asleep quickly, a purring cat next to you will really help in relaxing yourself and thus, falling asleep quickly.
You truly have to experience it to believe it. It’s almost like magic. I didn’t experience this when I was breeding cats, because I wouldn’t sleep with my cats – they were kept in a separate area.
But ever since I’ve adopted my house cat, I’ve noticed that not only do I fall asleep faster, but also feel well rested when I wake up in the morning. He often sleeps next to my pillow or next to my feet.
Cats Can Understand How You’re Feeling
Cats are remarkable in that they can sense how you are feeling. They often base their actions according to our emotions. They can also use this sense to figure out things if they are confused.
For instance, when my cat was relatively new to our home, he would often get confused when he found me looking at him. He would visibly be judging whether he should run and hide from me or if he was fine.
Whenever this situation arised, I would simply close and open my eyes gently, while looking at him, being careful not to look directly in his eyes. Every single time, he would immediately do the same with his eyes and be at ease.
By the way, that gesture with the eyes means ‘I like you’ in cat language. So when he did it, it would confirm to me that he was trusting me more and more.
Another instance happened when it wasn’t even a week since I had rescued him. I had had a surgery done, and was feeling very weak. I was lying on my bed with my phone in my hands.
Auburn (my cat’s name) came and sat on top of my stomach, purring loudly. He was about 5 or 6 months old at the time. Soon after, I fell asleep. I was so weak and tired that I didn’t even remove my glasses.
When I woke up about an hour later, my phone was on my chest and Auburn was right there on my stomach. He had fallen asleep too! He only slept on top of me once or twice after that, so it’s not something he does all the time.
He was trying to comfort me. A little stray kitten who had met me for the first time just 4 or 5 days ago.
Cats Are Easy to Litter Train
Another great thing about cats is that they are very easy to litter train. You just need some litter sand kept in a tray. Even untrained cats have 2 or 3 spots in the house where they always pee and poop.
Place that tray in those spots. Put some poop inside the tray, so the cat will recognise the smell. The litter is designed to be diggable like sand.
And since cats have a natural instinct to cover their excrement, they realise what the litter ‘sand’ is for very quickly.
Cats Keep Themselves Clean
Cats are super clean animals. Well, some are just filthy and don’t care what they are lying in. But the vast majority of cats have a sense of cleanliness no other pet can match.
Once litter trained, they never ‘do their thing’ anywhere else. They spend time every day licking themselves clean. For the most part, they also avoid wet surfaces.
Whenever I give Auburn a large bony piece to eat, he first spends at least 10 minutes playing and tossing it around. Then he eats it.
One day, while he was tossing the chicken foot around, it landed in his litter tray. He immediately leapt in and picked the foot up in his mouth. Then, he ran straight to his water bowl. He placed the foot in the bowl and literally rinsed it using both his front paws. Then he picked it up and continued playing with it. The whole event was over in like 5 seconds.
What’s crazy is that he knew what to do without even thinking about it. It was his food and he needed to clean it.
I just sat there, stunned, watching the whole thing. I am not making this up! To this day, it is almost unbelievable to me, despite witnessing it live.
Cats Require Less Space Than Dogs
Firstly, except for 2 or 3 cat breeds, most cats are much smaller than most dogs. They also don’t run around as much or as often as dogs. So, they require a lot less space than dogs.
This makes them ideal pets for apartments.
Cats Cost Less to Care for Than a Dog
Due to their small size, cats need a lot less food than dogs. Most cats probably need 1/4th the quantity of food a medium sized dog needs or 1/6th the quantity a large dog needs.
These numbers are just guesses, but look at an image of any medium to large dog with a cat, and it’s easy to see how much less food a cat will need. So, you will need to buy much less of that expensive kibble or meat.
In the long run, this alone will save a LOT of money.
Cats also need a lot less expensive shampoo and conditioners.
Apart from this, due to their size, cats need smaller doses of medicines, dewormers, etc. There are different medicines for dogs and cats, but assuming a 30 ml bottle of a medicine costs similar for both dogs and cats, that bottle will last a lot longer, as the cat will need much smaller doses.
And since meds for pets can be VERY expensive, you save money here as well!
Cats Are Low Maintenance
Cats spend about 12 to 14 hours a day sleeping. They tend to sleep all afternoon and for most of the night. So whatever interaction takes place between you and your cat, takes place in the morning, evening or at night.
They cuddle a lot less than dogs, and will even get annoyed if you try to cuddle or pet them more then they like.
Their small size means you have a lot less surface area to bathe and groom, so that requires less time and effort.
If you have more than one cat, they will spend up to half of their waking hours either playing with or grooming each others. So you need to spend even less time interacting and playing with them.
Neutered Cats Don’t Have a Need to Go Outdoors
Cats go outdoors out of curiosity, to wander, or to find a mate. Their curiosity is quite easy to satisfy by giving them a variety of toys and interacting and playing with them daily.
And if they are neutered, they won’t be interested in finding a mate.
So, it is not essential for a neutered cat to be let outside. This can also reduce the burden from their guardians’ shoulders, who may not want to take them for walks regularly, like dogs need.
Cats are Quiet Animals
Cats are very quiet by nature. Except for some breeds like the Siamese or the Oriental Shorthair, most breeds (and even strays) tend to be quiet most of the time.
They only meow when they need something. Interestingly, they only meow at humans and never at other cats. Well, kittens up to 2 to 3 months of age meow at their mothers too, but once they’re older, they stop.
For this reason, along with many others on this page, cats are ideal pets for families with very young children.
If your cat meows too much, I’ve listed the reasons they do so here. You can probably figure out why your cat meows so much from that article. And when you know why your cat is meowing, you can work towards getting it to stay quieter as well.
Cats Teach Kids to Be Responsible
Having cats in the home is a great way to teach kids to be responsible. They need to learn to put their small toys away, or the cat will pick them up and toss them somewhere else in the house. Then you will have to search for them.
Same goes for anything small like keys, papers and craft items.
Cats Teach Kids Basic Social Skills
When kids interact with cats, they can realise that you need to interact a certain way to elicit a certain kind of response. They will also learn how to be gentle and calm. They will need an adult to guide them of course, but it will go a long way in developing compassion and sensitivity in children.
Cats Are Fun to Watch
It is very captivating to watch a cat play with toys like teasers, balls or even a piece of cloth! There is something endearing about their quick and seemingly random movements.
And then, there are zoomies. When a cat (especially a kitten) hasn’t had the opportunity to play, hunt or expend its energy for a while, it will go bananas.
It will run around very fast, climb up and jump down form furniture, curtains, grab on to almost anything it can find and just play around in hyper mode. It may even tear up stuff you don’t want it to tear up. When a cat does this, it is basically releasing all its pent up energy.
This can frighten young kids or worry adults. However, it is absolutely normal behaviour and the cat returns to its ‘normal’ slower self in a few minutes to an hour. Don’t punish your cat for this. If you want to avoid zoomies, just let your cat play and run around every day.
That way, the cat won’t be storing so much energy that it goes crazy!
Cats Are Extremely Intelligent
Many of us wonder whether cats are more intelligent or dogs. Dog owners would argue that dog are more intelligent because they can be taught lots of tricks.
I think that cats are at least as smart as dogs, if not smarter. Yeah, they barely learn any tricks and even the ones they do learn can be a pain to teach.
But that is not because of a lack of intelligence but rather a lack of interest. You see, one of the reasons dogs can be trained so successfully is because they really want to please their guardians. It’s as if their entire life revolves around making their guardians happy.
So when you smile, offer treats and words of encouragement, they are only more motivated to do what you want them to.
On the other hand, cats are way more independent. As we’ve seen above, they certainly can understand our emotions and understand what we want from them. But if a cat doesn’t want to do something, you can’t make it do that thing. Period.
If you try too hard to ‘convince’ a cat to do something it doesn’t want to, it will get annoyed, move away from you or just ignore you. It doesn’t mean the cat doesn’t love you, it just means that it doesn’t want you in its face right now.
Active breeds like Bengals and Abyssinians are superb examples of intelligence in cats. They are super observant of everything around them. They can figure out how to use switches, open or close taps and even doors!
While cats don’t do what they don’t want to, believe me when I say than the active and curious cats breeds will find a way to do what they want to do, even if you try to deter them. They will surprise you time and time again.
You Can Leave Cats Alone All Day
When I was a breeder, I often had to leave cats alone all day to attend cat shows and seminars.
Before leaving, I would ensure that the cattery was clean, the litter boxes are clean, and the food and water bowls had enough food and water for the day.
When I would return (often late at night) the cats would be doing just fine.
That’s one of the best things about cats. They are more independent than other pets, and if you take care of their basic needs, they don’t ask for much else.
Cats Will Catch House Pests
Cats absolutely love to catch pests. It’s part of their instinct. Even a well fed cat will grab every opportunity to catch a lizard, insect or mouse in the house.
If birds perch near your window, cats will spend a long time just staring at them, even if there is no way for them to catch those birds.
Keeping Cats Can Lead to Fewer Allergies
Studies have found that when babies under 1 year of age have cats in their homes, they tend to develop fewer allergies. Interestingly, they don’t just resist cat allergies, but all allergies including dust and pollen allergies.
Cats Can Live Relatively Long
No one wants their beloved pet to pass on. But at least cats live longer than many other pets! You can expect them to live for up to 15 years or so. However, there are pet cats that have lived for over 20 years as well!