I’ve grown up with cats. I was born into a house with a cat, and I’ll likely die in one. I’ve also had some hamsters and turtles, but cats are my family’s animal. The longest I’ve ever been without a pet is only around two years, three at the most.

Having a pet has had a huge effect on the type of person I am today. I learned responsibility, sympathy, and kindness from my animals  and caring for them.

I’m pretty sure almost every kid begs for a pet and is told no, unless they promise to care for it. That’s exactly what my parents told me when I asked for a hamster, and they made sure I stuck to my promise.

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I had to clean out the cage at least once a week and make sure the hamsters were fed and watered every morning and evening. Because I was still a kid, my parents helped me out and reminded me to keep tabs on my pets, but overall it was my job. I learned a lot about responsibility from those hamsters, even if they actually didn’t live their full lives.

It has actually been scientifically proven that playing with cats and dogs decreases stress and blood pressure, which is extremely helpful now in my stress-filled teen years.

Children who grow up with active pets, like dogs, are more likely to play outside and be active. This definitely contributes to better health.

Growing up around animal fur makes a child more tolerant to seasonal allergies and asthma. They’re healthier and require less doctor’s visits.

Any kind of pet can be man’s best friend. I have no idea what I’d do without my cats and I know people who’d be lost without their dogs or birds.

Clearly, I am an advocate for getting a child a pet. I could sit here all day and list the benefits of having pets. The pros far outweigh the cons in this situation, I think.

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