6 reasons a cat isn’t a good Christmas Gift
Responsibility and commitment are two things that cannot be gifted. Of course, a cute kitten is, first and foremost, adorable! But owning a cat carries a responsibility and commitment that lasts 15 to 20 years time. Therefore, before acquiring a cat, it is necessary to clarify the following questions to ensure the happiness of your family as well as the kitten:
- Are all members of the family in agreement with the arrival of a kitten at home?
- Will it be an indoor or outdoor cat?
- Indoor cats should not be kept alone; is it feasible for you to have two felines at home?
- Do you have enough financial resources to cover current expenses, as well as savings to pay the vet bills?
- Is any member of the family allergic to cat hair?
- Who will clean the litter box when it is time to clean it?
- Do you have the patience and time to take care of the feline’s education?
When adults want to give their little ones joy by giving them a cat, they must clear all these questions in advance. Although children can learn to take responsibility for a pet, it is the adults who are in charge of the pet’s welfare. It is often much more practical to welcome a new kitten into the home after the holiday season when everyone is more relaxed and settled into their regular routine, as the holidays are always a stressful time.
The bad experiences of animal shelters
Should you adopt a cat from a shelter at Christmas time? Many animal shelters refuse this and do not allow animals to be adopted from mid-December until after the holiday season. This is because they have had bad experiences, as many of the animals adopted before and during Christmas end up in the shelters again a few weeks later. Too exhausting, too surly, too expensive… These reasons suggest that many have not thought well before buying or giving a cat for Christmas. If you really want to get a kitten, you can expect to have to wait for a few days after Christmas. Sadly many kittens end up back in shelters after the holiday season because they were unwanted gifts.
An animal is never a good surprise
Having a cute kitten among the holiday gifts is a great attraction to behold. But animal lovers strongly reject this idea. Instead, the new member of the family should be greeted calmly as to not scare it. Children must be clear about a series of rules in regard to dealing with the new cat. The first meeting should take place in a quiet environment to not cause the cat additional stress.
The hustle and bustle of the holidays
Speaking of tranquility, there is little of this during the Christmas holidays. Visits from relatives, Christmas carols, and opening gifts are the order of the day. The typical hustle and bustle of the holidays don’t make the first few days in a kitten or adult cat’s new home easy. But, when nobody is watching, the feline can climb the Christmas tree or settle into your nativity set. If you want to have a cat, it is better to wait until the holidays are over to go through with the adoption.
It is better to be able to choose the kitten yourself
Children are indeed happy with any cat. But it can also be enriching that they participate in the choice of the feline that will be part of the family. You can visit the kennel or the animal shelter with older children to choose which kitten is the most appropriate. When children are involved in this process early on, they learn the responsibility of owning a pet. For adults, the following also applies: they must consciously choose the animal, but they must also choose the specific feline companion that will live with them.
Cats are members of the family
Animals should not be given as objects. Whether it’s a cuddly kitten or a more surly one: every cat brings its own personality to family life. If you have children who want to have a kitten, you must explain why it is not good to give a cat for Christmas. In this way, even the little ones learn to respect the felines and properly learn how to care for them. Talk to your children before the holidays, so they don’t have false expectations.
Giving a cat for Christmas: exceptions
During the Christmas season, the whole family is together, and many people have vacations. So if a family member wants to have a cat and everyone else agrees, is it not a suitable gift? Better wait for the holidays to pass! True cat lovers are patient and do not consider their kittens to be gifts. It is best to wait for the stressful holiday season to be over to better acclimate your furry friend to its new home.
Alternatives to giving a cat at Christmas
If you have plans to acquire a cat shortly, you can make the cat lovers in your family or your close environment happy with surprises for Christmas about it. How about giving a comfortable cat bed or a gift voucher? You can also prepare children for the arrival of the cat with an age-appropriate book about cats. Also, anticipation is said to be the best joy.
Don’t give away an animal
Does your child want a cat, and you can’t grant that wish? Stuffed animals are only a good alternative for the little ones. Older children will be even more disappointed. Explain to your child why you cannot have a cat regardless of whether it is Christmas. Together you can find an alternative. Perhaps there is an animal shelter nearby where you can volunteer for children or youth. In this way, young cat lovers can dedicate themselves to caring for needy dogs or cats. In addition, if you know someone who really wants a cat and is ready for the time commitment and responsibility, you can give them a gift certificate for the adoption fee at the local animal shelter.