Are Cats Good First Pets? Five Reasons Why They're Perfect

Adopting a pet is a huge life step for many. Maybe you’re considering adopting the best cat breed for your son or daughter who you think is old enough now to handle the responsibility. Or, you’re a young adult who has just moved out on their own and want a furry companion to come live with you.

Cats make good beginner pets for a handful of reasons. For one, they’re super low maintenance, which helps to take the stress off of getting used to taking care of another living being in the home. Cats are also highly adaptable to their environment, they aren’t as expensive as dogs, they are born potty trained, and they’re okay with alone time.

Low Maintenance

To those who have lived with a cat before, it goes without saying that cats are one of the lowest maintenance pets a person can own. Except maybe if you compare them to a goldfish or pet rock. This point alone essentially summarized all of the following points that explain why cats make good first pets. Consider the fact that cats use a litter box, eliminating the need to walk them or let them outside in the wee hours of the morning. They also don’t need to be walked or tended to every couple of hours. As long as a cat has access to food, water, and a litter box, they are fine for several hours at a time. They make the best first pets for kids who still go to school or adults who work long hours away from home.

They Adapt to their Environment

Another great benefit of having a cat as your first pet is that they are incredibly adaptable to their environment. This is great for Dynamic households with younger children who are constantly growing, learning, and running around. Or young adults who are still trying to figure things out, who may be moving from one place to the next as they search for the place they belong in this world. Cats aren’t usually fans of car rides, but once they’ve reached their new location they will settle in rather nicely after some time. They will claim their spot by the window or in your closet in no time. On that same note, cats make great apartment pets. They’re quiet beings who don’t need to be let out to use the bathroom or run around in a yard constantly.

They’re Less Expensive than Dogs

On average, cats are less expensive than dogs in the long run. Vet trips are generally cheaper, as dogs tend to have more medical issues that need to be attended to. Depending on the size of the dog that you are envisioning right now, dog owners will generally spend much more money keeping up with their dog’s food supply. Dogs also require more expensive accessories and toys. Accessories such as leashes, collars, a bed, and some durable toys. Cats are perfectly happy sleeping in an empty box you have lying around and playing with whatever items they find around the house that look entertaining.

They’re Potty Trained by Nature

Unlike dogs, who take some time and effort to potty train, cats essentially are born potty trained. They know from a young age that the litter box is the place to do their business. Some may argue that this makes cats more expensive, as litter isn’t the cheapest. But wouldn’t you rather buy a box of litter every few weeks rather than replacing rugs and flooring or paying for professional cleaners because of a dog having a lot of accidents?

They’re Okay Home Alone all Day

Cats are solitary, low maintenance creatures. Even when you’re home you might notice that they spend a lot of time by themselves. sleeping, staring out the window or getting into small spaces for fun. Cats still will come around and want to be social and friendly, but they are perfectly okay being left to their own devices for several hours on end if you live a busy life that keeps you away from home for many hours of the day. This is just one of the many reasons that cats are great for young adults who are still in the busier years of their life and want a pet for the hours that they are home. Cats are great first pets for kids for the same reason as them always being on the go. 

When looking for the perfect first pet, it can sometimes be challenging to choose between all the options. Everyone has their preferences. Some people like dogs because they are friendly and active. Others like fish because they are beautiful to look at and can be a fantastic hobby. Of course, many people believe that a cat makes the best first pet. While the other four-legged animals (and fish) make excellent pets, there are five reasons in particular that you should consider getting a cat first!

Cats Are Less Expensive

Our feline friends are less costly than dogs, especially when compared to larger dogs. Cats require relatively little food and not as many toys as dogs do. They also have fewer "maintenance" costs. There are often no trips to the groomer, and you can leave them alone for a night or two. By contrast, dogs need someone there every day to walk them. You'll either have to hire a dog sitter or take them to the vet for boarding. Cats don't require any of these expenses (unless you are going away for a very long time).

Cats Keep To Themselves

A lot of people use this reason as evidence why a dog is better than a cat, however for first-time pet owners, having a cat that can keep themselves occupied is a more gradual transition. You don't go from having the house all to yourself to needing to walk the dog every day early in the morning. Your cat will be able to fend for themselves, which is helpful if this is your first pet!

Cats Are Affectionate

Despite their reputation, many cats become quite affectionate over time. Many owners love holding, petting, and playing with their feline friends. Of course, who can resist hearing a cat's purr? While they might not fetch as dogs can, cats can be incredibly entertaining and loving in their way. Plus, the way cats are is often more suitable for smaller children since they are not as physical as dogs are.

Cats Can Groom Themselves

Dogs get dirty incredibly quickly. Between the daily walks and their general playfulness, dog owners need to bathe their pets regularly. Cats, however, lick and groom themselves. They need the occasional bath (you can have this done by your vet), but for the most part, they are a self-contained unit that doesn't require any extra cleaning. As a first pet, minimizing the amount of cleaning you need to do can be incredibly helpful.

Cats Can Improve Humans' Health

There is some evidence to suggest that a cat's purring is therapeutic. Research also suggests that owning cats can reduce blood pressure and lower the risk of having a heart attack. Having a first pet that is not only adorable but also beneficial for your health seems like a remarkable proposition!

As A First Pet, Cats Are Ideal

Cats are the ideal first pet because they tend to be easy to take care of, they don't require significant money, and they can improve your health. If you are looking to get your first pet, stop by your local shelter and take a look if the perfect cat is waiting for you there!


Cats are, without a doubt, the best pet option for first-time pet owners. This is not to say they should be the only pet a person ever has, just because of their great qualities. Cats help a person to get their feet wet in the world of pet ownership, without being overwhelmed by a pet that needs around the clock attention and maintenance.

Are cats a good first pet?

A cat is an excellent choice for a first pet, simply because they require less time and maintenance than dogs and other animals. Getting a cat gives you the opportunity to have a taste of what it's like to care for another living being without overwhelming you with responsibilities and chores. They can groom themselves and can be left alone without any problem.

What is the perfect first pet?

As much as we love dogs, they may not always be the perfect first pet for many reasons. It's recommended that you start with something small for your first pet. Small animals like guinea pigs, cats, hamsters, and gerbils are great companions and require very little maintenance.

How do I find the perfect cat for me?

Different breeds have different needs and personalities. Some breeds are more energetic than others, some require less grooming, and some may need more. Although it's not a must, it's recommended that you get a cat breed that matches your lifestyle.

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Written by Leo Roux

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