A new baby is on the way!! Wow!! The feeling of having your cute little bundle of joy is in itself very exhilarating. A new baby brings new changes, new environment, new demands, and new adaptabilities at home for the whole family.
Your pet, the dear little Kitty, is also a part of the family. Like all other members, your cat also has to learn how to handle this new addition to the family.
A cat’s first reaction when you bring your baby home
Your cat has the habit of getting your full attention till now. Also, you have been fulfilling its needs at each soft purr or a meow from the Kitty. As soon as you start paying more attention to the newborn baby, your cat will start feeling left out. As you will exclude your cat from having its own happy time with you, it will feel confused at first.
There are all the chances that your cat will feel sad, stressed, and act weird and unacceptable. It may begin to scratch the furniture, start hiding things, tearing or scratching carpets, spilling milk, or even hide behind a curtain for hours. It may run away from the baby or scream while you are holding your baby.
Don't panic. Remember that your cat is trying to capture your attention. There are ways to let your cat know that your baby is just as crucial as the dear little Kitty.
Why is it important to introduce your cat to your baby?
First and foremost, one must remember that the cat was here first. Then came the newborn or a toddler or young children. So, earlier, it was just cats and the adults living in a home. This small new baby of a human being, a tiny creature, will seem to be as good as an alien to a cat. Because the baby smells different, it sounds odd, and as it moves zigzag throughout the house, it causes a feeling of anxiety in your feline wonder. As a result, your cat might behave erratically by hiding or become becoming defensive or trying to scare away that cute baby, which is moving around. To avoid these depressing sights, you need a well-formatted plan to introduce your cat to your baby correctly.
Well, some cats are just like the old maids, who fret at any change in their lifestyle. There are some cats for whom the addition of a new member in the family can be a bit unpleasant by way of a baby. You can use the entire pregnancy to prepare the cat enough to adapt to the change as soon as it arrives.There are some Kitty steps which you can follow for that purr-fect relationship between your cat and your baby –
1) A cat-tour of a nursery
The best action, to begin with, is to prepare a nursery for your new baby. Decorate it beautifully. And now start a cat tour of the nursery every day. Let your cat feel everything and anything in the nursery like touching a new piece of furniture or a bassinet or a tub or toys in the baby's nursery. As a safety measure, don't forget to put up a small cute gate to keep your pet out of the baby's nursery when required. You may find your cat sleeping in the bassinet of your baby or may love to play with toys. That's what we are here for, right? The cat will slowly familiarize and understand that these things are meant for someone small and cute like it.
2) Cats love smells and sounds
Cats have a good sense of smell. They are swift in identifying the scents that are similar to their friends. Thus, a cat associates the smells with someone it already knows or loves too much. In this way, they become familiar with that person faster.
You can begin familiarizing your cat with your new baby by wearing a baby powder or baby lotion on your hands from weeks in advance. In this way, the cat will be aware of that the scent and whom does it belong. As an alternative, you can also bring something with a baby smell attached to it like a blanket for babies or a baby pair of socks or even a diaper. You can pet your cat using the baby socks so that the cat gets the baby's scent and doesn't get apprehensive when the baby is wearing the socks. This small procedure will play a significant role in your cat accepting and loving your baby.
Cats are found to use sounds for communication. A newborn baby or an infant cries sound like a distressed kitten cry. To make your cat familiar with baby sounds, record some infant sounds like gurgling, crying, or even laughing and playing regularly in the nursery. These sounds will communicate better to the Kitty that there is a child in the house. It may so happen that the crying sound made upset the Kitty. During such times, stop playing the audio and rub and caress your Kitty for soothing him out. Then you can turn on the recording again, and in this way, the cat will associate the cries of the infant with a pleasant time that it had.
3) No extra cat-tention to Kitty
It may so happen that you may give loads of attention and love to your Kitty before your baby's arrival. This phenomenon occurs with the knowledge that you will be providing full care to your baby afterward, so you want to make that time for your Kitty. But this results in increasing a kitty's expectation of getting the earlier attention and love, which is further dampened by disappointment as soon as a poor little feline discovers that the baby is the center of attraction. Therefore, give only as much attention to the Kitty, which you will be able to provide after your baby arrives.
4) A consistent schedule should be maintained
Once a newborn baby comes home, all the plans go haywire and become unpredictable. But cats are vain little pots. They love a routine and quickly adapt to it. No matter what happens, the schedule of a cat must be followed. You can solve this problem by preparing a plan of cleaning, feeding, and playing with your cat by syncing in your baby's schedule. It will automatically train the cat to follow the schedule on the arrival of the baby.
5) No lousy behavior dear Kitty
In case if your cat has any behavioral issues, then try to resolve them before the baby's birth. A cat can react in a weird manner at the sight of the baby. It may show its displeasure by screaming or hiding or scratching/ damaging the furniture in the nursery and even chewing away the toys for the baby. Contact a veterinary doctor or a cat behaviorist if required. Otherwise, you will be distracted by the cat's behavior rather than focus on your infant's needs. The behavioral issues of your cat will only escalate your troubles and become tiring to maintain peace in the house.
6) Praise your pretty Kitty
Humans and pets equally love praises. When you bring your new baby home, take care to bring your baby and cat together in a quiet room. Allow your cat to sniff the baby's socks, which may be smelling like the Kitty, and while it does that, continuously pet and praise the little furry ball. This praise will assure the cat that there is nothing to fear. Also, you can feed your baby in the presence of the Kitty in the same room by giving it small treats at the same time. The cat will thus associate having a good time while the baby is around. Shower your Kitty with praises each time it behaves confidently around the child.
7) Proper hygiene for baby and the cat
Cleanliness is the main concern for many people as being the reason why they don't keep pets at home. It's quite simple actually to maintain a hygiene schedule for both your cat as well as your baby. Take care to treat your cat for worms and fleas regularly by using products recommended by your veterinary doctor. Also, wash your hands with a bar of antibacterial soap after feeding or grooming or playing with your cat and always wear rubber glows. Clear the cat's litter tray and wash it along with the rubber gloves regularly. Also, don't leave any dirty nappies on the floor; otherwise, the cat would love to wet it or mess with it.
8) Paws Off ! Please!
Cats often love to be alone and have a quiet nap away from the routine humdrum. You can install a cat tree or perches or even shelves where you can ask your Kitty to climb up and relax while you cope with the baby chores. But these Cats are often found sleeping in the crib, on the mattresses, or even on a table. To prevent your cat from making a new perch everywhere in the house, place a piece of cardboard covered with the double-sided tape on the surface, where you don't want the Kitty. Cats hate walking on anything prickly or sticky. So, they won't come near that place.
9) Respect your Kitty's space
Your cat is also a member of your family, and it requires its private retreat where it can escape or spend some alone time. Try to see that your child or your crawling toddler doesn't mess up with that private space of your Kitty. This mutual respect will help towards a furr-tastic relationship between the cat and the baby.
"A home is incomplete without a purring cat and a babbling baby."
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