Bringing a new baby home is a big change for the whole family, feline friends included. Cats and babies don’t always get off to the best of starts.
So how can it be done safely while keeping everyone happy?
It’s not always easy to keep the peace when a new baby comes home, but with some careful planning and preparation, introducing your furry friend to your new born can be a fun and memorable experience.
Keep reading for important tips to make introducing your new bundle of joy go smoothly and how to spot signs it’s not working out!
Preparation Is Key for both Cats and Babies
Cats are creatures of habit and like consistency and predictability. The more you can do to prepare your cat for the arrival of your baby, the better.
One of the best things you can do to help your cat adjust to having a baby around is to start making any changes you need to make well before the baby arrives. If you need to move some of your cat’s things to make space for the baby do it slowly and way in advance.
Also, shut off parts of the house they won’t be allowed in anymore —like the nursery— and expose them to baby noises beforehand, using recordings. This will help them get used to what’s coming down the road.
Cats are very sensitive creatures, so you have to be careful when making changes in their environment or routine. Introduce one change at a time, and give your cat treats with each one so they know there’s something good coming from them!
Many experts Highly recommend Feliway as a way of managing Cat Anxiety. Vet’ and Behaviourists recommend plugging this in a few weeks before your Babies arrival, in areas of the house where your Baby is likely to spend time. The Feliway diffuser releases an Odourless pheromone into the air which has been formulated to replicate the same pheromones your Cats mother will have released when it was only a kitten. This has a calming effect on Cats, and has been widely backed by extensive studies.
We can personally vouch at the effectiveness of Feliway. After plugging just two diffusers into our home (One upstairs, one Downstairs) the cat stopped batting at our Daughter, and instead decided to start giving her a gentle ‘Head Rub’ or ‘Bunt’.
First Impressions Count
It’s finally here. The big day is here, and you’ve prepared your house and cat for baby’s arrival. Now it’s time to introduce your new family member to their furry roommate.
First impressions are everything when it comes to introducing a new baby into the family, so we’ve put together some tips on how to do it right. Let’s start by saying that cats are naturally cautious creatures and they will not rush into this situation.
Introduce your baby in a quiet room where the cat doesn’t usually eat or sleep, so it doesn’t feel like its territory is being encroached upon.
Holding your baby in your arms and allowing your cat to sniff them is the best way to kick off this interaction and get them comfortable with the new scent—but don’t force it! Cats will usually become used to your baby if they are allowed to approach them in their own time. Don’t rush things or force your cat into situations that will make them uncomfortable;
If your cat runs away, allow it to escape and come back in its own time, and carry on with your normal daily routine. Your cat should begin to accept its new companion in no time.
The most important thing to remember when introducing a cat and baby is to keep the baby safe. When your cat and baby are interacting, make sure you watch for signs of distress on either side. Although cats are generally gentle creatures, they can move quickly and could cause injury to small children.
Curbing Curiosity of Cats and Babies
So your cat and baby have been acquainted, what now? How do you make sure their relationship blossoms without any mishaps?
The key to keeping your cat and baby safe is to make sure they are in separate rooms when you’re not there to supervise, even if you’re just going to the bathroom. Cats can be very playful and curious, and they have sharp claws that could scratch or hurt your baby’s delicate skin.
Don’t let them sleep together! Cats are notorious for snuggling up with sleeping babies, which puts the baby at risk of suffocation. It’s important that you keep doors closed so that your cat doesn’t wander into the child’s room and onto their bed.
Cats can be very territorial, and it’s not uncommon for them to attack babies who get too close to their food or litter box. If you can, block off areas where the baby can’t go until they’re old enough (and big enough) to understand the dangers of being around cats.
A great addition to any home is This Child gate with built in Catflap. It will help ensure your Cat can still access areas (E.G Stairs) without compromising on the safety of your Baby. This goes a long way to helping keep your Cat Happy, and your Baby safe!
Handling the Hygiene of Cats and Babies
Cats and babies are two of the best things in the world. But when you have a cat, there are some extra precautions you have to take when it comes to your baby’s safety. Here are some general hygiene rules for keeping your little one safe:
First up, it’s important to wash your hands after touching them or anything in their environment before touching your baby
Secondly, always make sure litter is kept out of reach of the baby, and clean it regularly. Many parents opt for this Self-Cleaning Litter Box to help make life easier.
Thirdly, you should also clean food and water bowls regularly—you don’t want any bacteria or germs growing in them!
Next, if you’re planning on putting your baby down on surfaces where the cat has been, make sure that those surfaces have been cleaned recently with disinfectant or have been washed thoroughly with soap and water first.
And lastly, make sure your cat has had all its vaccinations before introducing it into your home with a new baby—this will help prevent any diseases from spreading between them!
When To Get Help
The arrival of a new baby in your home can be a stressful time for your cat. Cats are territorial animals, and the arrival of a new person in the house can cause them anxiety. It’s important to remember that cats also have feelings too, and they might need extra attention and care during this time.
If you notice that your cat is acting differently than usual, it might be because they’re having trouble adjusting. They may exhibit signs of stress that show they aren’t coping so well with the change.
Some of these include:
- Excessive meowing, crying
- Urinating outside the litter box
- Lack of appetite or weight loss
- Aggression toward family members or other pets
When introducing a baby into a multi-cat household, remember that cats are like people. Each individual has their own personality and preferences, which means they will all react differently to changes in their environment (like having a baby in the house). The good news is that most cats adapt pretty well if provided with enough love and attention during this transition period!
The key is to be patient—and never force your cats into situations where they don’t feel safe.
Introducing a new baby to a home with cats can be stressful for both you and your feline friends. But if you follow these steps for a safe, smooth introduction between cat and baby, you’ll have a happy home with your new addition in no time.
Thanks for reading!