It is an exciting time! You are expecting a baby! But you worry if your old baby, the kitten you have pampered and adored, will accept your new child and the new situation. Some people may have even advised you to get rid of your cat to avoid problems with the baby.
This is what you need to know about cats and babies, do not get rid of your kitten, follow these tips and learn to promote a healthy coexistence.
Do not get rid of your kitten, when you are expecting a child
The best way to ensure that your child’s relationship with the kitten is safe and mutually beneficial is to be proactive about it . Don’t wait until there is a negative incident between them to intervene – set them up for successful interactions right from the start. Here are some things to do before the baby is born:
Establish a safe space for the baby
The first rule of cat-child interaction is adult supervision . Make sure your baby has a safe place to sleep and hang out when you’re not watching. This can be a closed play area with a door or a high crib, where the baby can sleep without a curious kitten jumping on top to investigate the situation.
Give your kitten a few scratchers
Scratching is a good way to relieve stress in cats . This is partly due to the physical energy that can be released through a good scratching session, and partly because scratching is a way for cats to mark their territory. Marking territory gives a cat peace of mind, and helps it better cope with changes in its environment.
- Do not wait for the baby to be born to buy it. It is important to have a scratching post or two, available well in advance, so that your cat is already familiar with them.
- Make sure to choose an appropriate scratching post for your cat.
- Having a scratching tree can also make things easier, since being in the heights relaxes cats.
Prepare your cat for the new baby
Use the time of pregnancy as a preparation and adaptation process for your cat.
- You can play back recordings of babies crying and making other noises to get your kitten used to it.
- Routinely use lotions and baby products on your hands to get your cat used to the smell.
- Install your baby’s new furniture as far in advance as possible so that the kitten will review and adjust to it.
Change your cat care roles
If someone else, such as a parent or a child, is going to take care of the cat when the child is born, make the transition as soon as possible and gradually. Let the cat slowly get used to the new role so that he will not blame the baby for stealing from his mother.
When the baby is born, continue with the strategies
When the baby arrives, focus on keeping things as normal for your cat . This is why you did the whole prep process ahead of time: to be relaxed and focused on caring for the baby while also making sure your cat gets what she needs. Here are some things to remember:
When you arrive at your house for the first time
Say hello to your cat without the baby first. If possible, give your cat a few quiet moments before introducing the baby. This will make the cat understand that you still love him.
Put on a used baby garment
In a quiet place so that the kitten can smell it whenever he wants. You can even have someone do this, before bringing the baby home, if possible. This is a nice, low-pressure way for your cat to get used to the idea of the new little person, before dealing with crying.
Keep the baby safe when you are not with him
Cats like to snuggle up in warm things, especially humans. However, newborns cannot move and you could be injured or even suffocated by a well-meaning cat. Your cat should not have access to your baby unless you are present.
Keep your cat away from the crib at all times
Your cat should not be in the crib at any time, even if the baby is not in it. This will keep kitty litter and other offensive substances out of your child’s sleeping area. For cat-child interactions, use neutral zones. Neither the child’s area, nor the cat’s.
Spend time alone with your cat
When you can, be sure to spend some quality time with your cat . Try to take five minutes as often as possible to pet, groom, and play with your feline friend. Use interactive toys with your cat to strengthen your relationship. Playing can also help you release the stress of change.
Spend some time considering the new baby from your cat’s point of view, prepare some ways to help him through the transition, and plan for your baby’s safety and subsequent relationship with the cat.
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