Teaching Toddlers Responsibilities With Your Pets

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Before having my son, I always had cats. At one point, we had 4 cats in our house. My oldest cat was the cat I had when I first moved away from home. Over time, other cats have come and gone, but there was always my oldest, Onyx. Right before my son was born we had Onyx and 3 others. One was given to me when I first started dating my husband (Cocoa) and the other two (Peanut and Socks) were born in our backyard after we were already together. Unfortunately, over time, we lost 3 of them, and unfortunately, it happened not long after the birth of my son. We lost 2 due to deaths (Onyx and Cocoa) and one (Peanut) had to be re-homed because of behavioral issues towards my son. So now we are down to one - Socks.

Socks, has always been a fun cat. She has one heck of a personality! She gets herself into all kinds of things that really just boggles the mind sometimes, like the pot picture below.

(*Note: that pot was turned off. I had just finished cleaning it and she decided it would be fun to jump in.)

She and her sister Peanut were just a few weeks old when they came into our lives. That was 7 years ago and since adding a child to this little mix of ours, her curiosities haven’t stopped. They've just gotten more interesting. As soon as we started fixing up the nursery, she was curious about everything having to do with the coming baby. She would jump into all kinds of things. I would always find her in the bassinet, inside his closet, in his crib, under the crib - whatever had to do with the baby, she wanted to be a part of it and still does.

They had their meet and greet when Sebastian was really young and he still didn’t understand what she was.

...and they have been buddies ever since. She comes and hangs out with him and he goes looking for her to show her a new toy or to just give her a hug. He even likes to show her his new tricks and she watches intently...and cautiously.

We have always taught him to be gentle and kind with the cat and there have been a few bumps along the way, but we have been consistent in teaching him how to pet the cat and how to treat the cat with kindness. He used to love "patting" her instead of petting her, and she didn't like that. It took some time to teach him properly, but now he has learned the right way to pet her so we have minimal incidents.

Because of their mutual affection, my son wants to participate in everything having to do with the cat. It has become his chore to feed Socks as he's taken a keen interest in it. He loves to be mommy's "big helper" so feeding Socks seems a natural way to allow him to help me. It’s also the start of him having any chores since he’s only 2 and can only do so much. I feel that by having him do this one thing it’s the start of teaching him how to be a participating member of the family and it also teaches him how to care for others.

He enjoys the time he spends feeding Socks, and if I feed her before he has his chance to do it, he actually gets upset so I always make a point of telling him it’s time to feed Socks that way it helps him to build his routine.

Since Socks is a very much loved member of our family, we also make sure we feed her right. We decided to try out Purina® Pro Plan® Savor® from PetSmart because it gives our cat extraordinary nutrition with exceptional taste and gives her the advanced nutrition she needs to help her live a healthy, active life; something she’ll need with a toddler for a buddy! Purina® Pro Plan® Savor® is composed of real poultry or fish and these real ingredients are the #1 ingredient in all dry formulas. The shredded blend adult dry formulas feature a combination of crunchy kibble and tender shredded pieces for a taste and texture cats love and all formulas provide omega fatty acids for a healthy skin and coat. These formulas are also available in wet food with over 20 different flavorful wet entrees that are protein-rich with accents like pasta, rice, cheese or vegetables.

At PetSmart, Purina® Pro Plan® Savor® can easily be found in the cat food aisle. As you can see in the pictures below, the aisles are very well marked and there are plenty of options to choose from for each of your pets life stages.

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