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How to prepare your cat for a baby to come?

author Lucy Byrne | Care and raising

Cats can handle a new human in your family very badly. They are more sensitive to the changes than dogs. Are you interested in what you can do to enjoy this time and not to deal with the problems with your cat?

 

Cats don’t like changes in general. Moving or a new piece of furniture is sometimes enough to irritate them. Not to mention a baby who unavoidably steals a great deal of attention and disturbs the cat when relaxing and new rules and restrictions come after he/she is born. That’s why it is better to prepare your cat for the baby in advance to avoid putting it in stress and an undesirable behaviour which can even pose a threat to your new-born.

 

At first, check and add vaccination and warm treatment of your furry friends if need be. Also think about the fact that it is good to start with all changes which come with the baby before it’s born. Animals should get enough time to get used to it and not to associate it with the new-born.

Many new things and new pieces of furniture are needed for the baby. A cat can see such change in its territory as a danger and it can start marking the new baby’s things. That’s why it’s good to bring these things home step by step. From the cat’s point of view, lots of new possibilities for sleeping come. A baby bed, a pram – these can seem comfortable for sleeping to your cat. Teach your cat to get used to it before the baby is born and also show clearly and strictly it has to avoid these things. Also, if you don’t wish your furry family members to stay in the room where the baby will sleep, get it used to this change before the baby is born. They won’t associate the loss of this possibility with the arrival of a new family member. The same applies to moving cat toilets, bowls or beds to another place. You can also play audiotapes with gradually increasing their volume to get your cat used loud noises and crying. It is also necessary to reduce the time spent by cuddling. You won’t be able to pay so much attention to your cat after you give birth and if this change comes suddenly, it would be very difficult for the cat and it could also start being aggressive towards the baby as a consequence of such sudden change.

 

And when the baby is born, bring your cat its cap for example so it can sniff it before you arrive home with your newborn and get used to its smell so it won’t take him/her as an intruder. You can also use Feliway diffusers which calm the cat down at the places where the child will be most of the time.

 

Every cat will handle the arrival of a baby differently. Apart from the preparation, it is also based on genetic properties (the breed and the origin of the cat), its nature and experience. For example, if you have a country cat at home and children would pull its tail when it was a kitty or did other inappropriate things, it will be more difficult for it to get used to the baby. In some cases, the cat’s predispositions don’t make a harmonious co-existence of a cat and a baby possible and it is necessary to take this situation seriously in order to avoid hurting the baby or suffering of the cat.

 

Have you already experience introducing a cat to a baby? How did it go? I will be happy for any tips to make the situation easier for the cat. It went quite well at our home and no big precautions were necessary. It’s been two months and although we sometimes still fight with the cat’s attempt to occupy our daughter’s bed, the arrival of our daughter was smooth and the cat didn’t make too much fuss about it. She sometimes sniffs at our daughter from distance and sleeps at the foot of her bed, otherwise, she is not very interested in her and it doesn’t look like her arrival had too much influence on our cat’s life.