Categories: baby

Gentle interactions between toddlers and cats are charming

It is time for a bit of cuteness and charm. This video has both and it is also instructional. I was immediately struck by the fact that the young infants interact gently with the cats. It is also very clear that the cats like being around the infants. They interact with them as if they were interacting with adult humans only it might be better (see below). They may even prefer it provided the infants are educated on how to interact with domestic cats.

Babies, toddlers and cats. Screenshot

Same size is good

There may be advantages for domestic cats in interacting with toddlers because of the size similarity. There is in this barrier of size which occurs between adult humans and domestic cats. Domestic cats have to look up to huge, towering adult humans who look like giants to them. But toddlers and babies are often on the floor on their hands and knees behaving somewhat like cats themselves. They are at the same level as domestic cats. I am sure that this is a pleasant experience for the family cat. It might be a pleasant change for them to the usual difficulties encountered when dealing with adult humans.

I know this from personal experience because when I do Pilates on a mat in the morning in my home, my cat really likes it. He thinks I’m coming down to his level in a desire to interact with him. He lies down next to me. He purrs excitedly. He clearly likes it when I’m right down to his eyelevel. You should try it.

And it is clear to me that these little people have been trained to behave gently with the family cats. It’s the gentleness which makes the relationship work without the possibility of the cat responding in any way aggressively. When you see this video you might be concerned that at any moment the cat may turn and feel provoked but there is no chance of that happening.

Three species

At one stage in the video there is a three way interspecies interaction. What appears to be a Dalmatian dog, a kitten and the baby are altogether contentedly. There is something beautiful about the harmony which leaps out of the page.

Video

Please note that sometimes videos disappear on this website because they are removed at source which is usually on YouTube. I have no control over that. If it has disappeared I apologise.


Advantages

It seems to me that domestic cats like the presence of babies and toddlers. Perhaps they particularly like the smell of little people as adult humans do. Not only are there advantages for the cats, there are clear advantages for the infants as well. They learn about animals and how to interact with them. They probably learn to love animals through these early interactions which can only benefit animal welfare in the future.

And it’s been found in studies that toddlers build up a resistance to allergens when they are around cats and dogs so there’s a real benefit there as well. All the old wives tales about domestic cats being dangerous around babies are nicely boxed away in this video. Domestic cats don’t suck the breath from babies and they don’t harm them in any way. However, there has to be supervision and education to ensure that our tiny people interact with companion animals as we see in the video.

Japan

I think it is made in Japan. There is a very organised feel about the home. This home sets a good example as to how toddlers can succcessfully interact with family pets.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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