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Cats make great family pets

Cats make great family pets

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If you've got youngsters at home, chances are at some point they'll have tried to badger you into getting a pet, whether it's a hamster for their bedroom, a puppy to play with in the garden or even just a couple of goldfish.

And if you're at the stage of seriously considering introducing an animal into the household for all the family to enjoy, you would be well-advised to look into bringing home a cat or kitten.

As independent animals, cats are often relatively low maintenance as many will clean and exercise themselves, so don't demand the same time commitment as a dog that would require regular walks.

In addition, well-raised cats are usually very affectionate and loving pets and very playful as kittens so are great for having around children and large families.

However, as with any animal, owning a pet cat is a big responsibility, so before you bring home your kitten you need to ensure you have the finances and time to raise one of these felines.

"Cats are probably the easiest pet but they still need to be house-trained, socialised and taught boundaries in the home such as not scratching the furniture or jumping on kitchen work-surfaces," says Sarah Linehan of The Pet Experience.

"Many people will be surprised to learn that you can also teach your cat not to hunt and kill all your garden birds and not to toilet in your neighbours' gardens."

Basic training such as implementing boundaries and litter training only takes a little time and effort and will usually stick with your cat throughout their lifetime.

Some cats require extra care and attention, particularly if they're long haired and need to be groomed or if they're a purebred, so think carefully about the age and breed of your cat before you take on one of these felines.

But if you are prepared to put in the time, you'll be rewarded by years of fun and companionship from your feline friend.