The Pros of Having a Cat – 31 Reasons You Should Get One

This article is part of a two-part series exploring the pros and cons of having a cat. Although there are also downsides to cat ownership that you should be aware of, there are so many reasons why having a cat is a wonderful thing. And that’s our focus here.

Close-up of brown tabby cat sitting upright on a person's lap with all four paws extending toward camera.

Let’s jump right into it – all the benefits of having a cat.

31 Reasons You Should Get a Cat:

1. Cats provide top-notch companionship

Cats form close bonds with their owners, offering companionship and affection. For me, there’s something truly special about having a cat curled up on my lap as I unwind with a book or TV at the end of a long day.

2. Cats are relatively independent

Cats are independent animals that don’t require constant attention or exercise at particular times in the day. This gives cat owners the flexibility to be gone all day every once in a while.

3. Cats are good for kids’ development

Having a cat can teach children responsibility and empathy. Cats also serve as a source of emotional support that can be very comforting and reassuring.

4. Cats keep themselves clean

Cats are meticulous groomers. Their fur doesn’t get stinky or grimy like dogs’ fur does. If only they also kept the litter box clean!

5. Cats live longer than many pets, including dogs

Cats typically live for 15-20 years.

6. Cats are entertaining

Cats provide endless entertainment through their playfulness and curiosity, along with their athleticism and graceful movements.

7. Cats are smart and can be trained

It will probably require some learning on your part, but cats can be trained to perform tricks and respond to commands.

8. Cats have a calming presence

Many people find that having a cat around can be soothing and comforting. I love the sight of a cat sleeping or bathing in the morning sun.

9. Cats purr, which is fascinating and mysterious.

Purring not only has a calming effect but also adds to the fascination of these animals. Science still hasn’t completely figured out how cats do it!

10. Cats keep pests away

I’ve even had two cats that love to eat spiders! Even better, cats are natural hunters and can help keep your home free from mice and rats. But if you have rodents around your home, make sure no one ever uses poison to get rid of them, as this method poses a grave risk to your cat as well (a cat that eats a poisoned mouse also becomes poisoned and can die).

11. Cats are really fun to play with

Not only are they fun to play with, you can do it from your own sofa if you want. One of the things I love about my cat, Phoebe, is that she fetches. But I can’t play this game with her sitting down because she doesn’t always bring her toy all the way back to me before she drops it on the floor. What games will you create with your own cat?

12. Cats can do well in any size home, big or small

Cats are adaptable and can thrive in various living environments. For smaller apartments, it may require some flexibility and rearranging to create cat-friendly spaces. But cats need and love vertical spaces, which makes set-ups in small apartments possible.

13. Cats make great snuggle buddies and lap warmers

Most cats enjoy cuddling with their owners, and are an excellent heat source on a chilly winter night. Some cats will do this readily, while others will need to build up to feeling comfortable in a full-on snuggle. The potential downside is that if your cat loves snuggling on a lap as much as mine do, they might insist on it even on hot summer days.

14. Cats can reduce allergies for kids

Studies have shown that when kids grow up in a cat household, they are less likely to develop allergies to all kinds of things (not just cats).

15. Cats make great photography subjects

Cats’ unique grace and beauty make them excellent subjects for photography. You might just have a new hobby with a cat doing cute and amusing things all the time. The downside is that you could easily run out of storage on your phone in a hurry if you’re not careful!

16. Cats can help reduce stress

Cats don’t judge us no matter how bad a day we’ve had. If you’re under a lot of stress, petting or snuggling with your cat can be a good antidote. As a bonus, doing this will probably cause your cat to purr, which is calming in itself.

17. Adopting a cat can save an animal’s life

Many shelters are typically overburdened with the number of stray animals that have been rescued and need homes. Tragically, many cats who aren’t adopted within a certain amount of time are euthanized in order to make space for other rescued animals. By adopting a cat from a shelter or rescue agency, not only will you be adding a pet to your home, you will also be saving a precious animal’s life.

18. Cats are funny and a steady source of laughter

Their playful antics and quirky behaviors provide endless amusement. I love seeing Gandalf race around the house in a crazed zoomies session.

19. Cats have a extremely high cuteness factor

With their adorable round faces and playful nature, cats are undeniably cute. One of my favorite cat poses is when they sleep with a paw covering their eyes – something Gandalf does quite a bit.

Gray and white tabby cat sleeping on sofa with paw covering his eyes.

20. Cats have a smaller impact on the environment than dogs

Cats generally have a smaller carbon footprint compared to dogs mainly because they eat less, and we also don’t typically take trips in our cars just for the sake of walking a cat.

21. Cats are quiet

Cats are relatively quiet animals, making them good for apartment living. I suppose it could happen with a very vocal cat, but I’ve never heard of a neighbor complaining about a noisy cat. (Although I have heard people complain about neighbor cats pooping in their garden bed).

22. Cats are easier to care for than many other pets, including dogs

Though they do require time, money, and effort, their low-maintenance nature simplifies pet care.

23. Cats don’t need to be walked or let out on a schedule

Cats are easily trained to use a litter box, and can get adequate exercise through play and interaction with their owners without ever needing to going outside.

24. Cats are easier to arrange care for when you’re gone

Finding cat care when you travel is typically more manageable than for many other kinds of pets.

25. Cats are typically cheaper to feed and care for than dogs

Cats eat a lot less. They also tend to have fewer and less expensive vet bills.

26. Cats are good for families

Cats can be great additions to family households. Not only for their companionship and entertainment, but they can also provide a source of family pride, solidarity, and teamwork.

27. Having a cat may provide health benefits

Some studies have shown that having a cat may be good for mental health and wellbeing. But getting a cat is not a replacement for getting health care. We need more rigorous research (e.g., peer reviewed and randomized control studies) in the future to gain a better understanding of just how cats may or may not be beneficial to our health.

28. Cats are beautiful animals

Their unique and diverse coat patterns and colors, along with their graceful movements, make them visually stunning creatures.

29. Cats are fun to create spaces for

Designing cat-friendly spaces in your home can be really gratifying. I love seeing my cats enjoy the special spots I set up for them where they can soak up some morning sunshine in front of a window.

30. Cats don’t make your hands smell bad when you pet them

As mentioned earlier, cats tend to keep themselves clean. This means that your hands won’t smell gross or feel dirty after petting or snuggling your cat.

31. Cats can foster a sense of routine

Taking care of a cat provides daily routines and rituals that can give important structure and sense of purpose to your days.

Final Thoughts

Clearly, there are many reasons why having a cat can be a wonderful thing.

If you’re considering getting a cat, make sure you explore other articles in this series about what to know before you make the commitment, to be sure you make an informed decision and know what you’re signing up for. And take the Am I Ready For a Cat Quiz to see if you’re ready to bring your very own feline fuzzbutt into your life.

Explore other articles in this collection:

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The information provided here is not meant to replace professional guidance from your own veterinarian or cat behavior specialist.

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