We got our beautiful kitty cat a year before I fell pregnant with my son and so she was a big part of our family before he arrived. A few months before he was born I started researching how to introduce my cat to a baby. We’ve distilled that information into these 8 tips for you.
8 Tips on How To Introduce Your Cat To Your New Baby
If your cat has already experienced the arrival of a baby before and had no issues with coping, then you should not have too many issues. However, if this is the first time that your four-legged child will be sharing a space with a baby, then there are certain things you can do to make things a little easier when you introduce your cat to your new baby.
The moment you know there is a baby on the way, you can start preparing yourselves for the transition. Your cat must also be prepared for your baby’s arrival since there will be changes to the environment, home, and routine.
Things To Do Before Baby’s Arrival
1. Start Preparing Your Cat in Advance
With some forward planning, you can make your cat used to changes before the time, so by the time your baby arrives, he will hardly notice. Try to make preparations at least four months before your baby’s due date, and don’t leave it until it is time for your baby to come home.
2. Play Baby Sounds
Play some recordings of gurgling noises, baby crying, and screaming for short intervals during the day. Play it softly at first, and gradually increase the volume for your cat to grow accustomed to these sounds. It is essential that your cat feels relaxed and calm with these noises before increasing the volume.
3. Introduce Baby Smells and Objects
A cat’s main sense is smell, therefore new objects and smells brought into your home can be somewhat threatening and challenging for him. Make him used to the smell of baby powder, shampoos, soaps and baby milk by using some of them during the months leading up to the baby’s arrival. Put some of the products on your skin, so when you handle him, he can get used to the smells.
4. Allocate a Safe And Quiet Place To Go
Following the baby’s arrival, you are bound to have loads of visitors. For sociable cats, this will not present an issue and they might even enjoy the additional attention they are getting from visitors. Less sociable cats might get overwhelmed if this is not something they are used to. Your cat must always have a safe and quiet place where he can retreat to if he needs to, away from visitors.
5. Health Issues
Make sure that your feline friend is in excellent physical health. He must be free from worms and fleas. Any suspicions that you have about development ailments or illness must be addressed by a qualified vet. If your cat is experiencing pain or irritation, he will have less tolerance for any changes that are about to happen, which can result in spraying or aggression.
How To Introduce Your Cat To Your New Baby – After Baby is Born
When you introduce your cat to your new baby it must be in a quiet room where your cat has limited associations – not areas where he usually eats or sleeps. Hold your baby in your arms and let him sniff your little one. Reward your cat for calm behaviour with tasty treats and gentle praise. Your cat might look interested for a few seconds and then lose interest.
If he runs away from your baby, it is also fine. Forcing interaction could only stress him out further. Allow him to escape and explore when he is ready. Carry on with your normal routine and duties and your cat should readily accept the new addition to your family. He just needs to get used to the idea and see that there is no threat.
6. Cats And Babies – Hygiene
Because of hygiene concerns, people who don’t have pets might try to convince you to get rid of your cat. It is not necessary, but you need to make sure your pet is treated regularly for fleas and worms, using only appropriate products from a vet.
Do not leave dirty nappies on the floor, as it might encourage your cat to mess or urinate on that spot. Clean your hands with antibacterial soap after playing with, handling, or feeding your cat, and be sure to wear rubber gloves when cleaning the litter tray. Wash them afterwards.
7. Do Not Leave Your Baby Unsupervised Near Your Cat
This applies to all cats, even ones with a calm temperament. You can use a screen door for the nursery since you can keep the door shut, but will still be able to see and hear your baby. You can also consider using a pram or cot to prevent your cat from investigating your sleeping baby.
8. Cats And Toddlers
Babies grow up fast and soon your little one will start crawling and move about. Remember to always stay vigilant and ensure that your cat has a safe place to retreat to where he can relax and rest. Preferably one that is not accessible to your toddler. This will prevent a situation where your cat is constantly followed, pestered or cornered.
Also, place your cat’s litter box in a quiet and safe space out of the reach of the crawling reach of your toddler.
We hope you have found this post about how to introduce your cat to your new baby useful and that you will follow some of our guidelines and tips to keep both your cat and baby safe and content.
Our cat and son had an adorable relationship, she used to sleep on the end of his bed. She was like a silent angel watching over him. Unfortunately, she died from pancreatitis when my son was about 4-years-old.
We have a puppy now and he’s wonderful but my son still mentions his cat sometimes. We are sure that she is still watching over him from heaven.