By guest writer Elizabeth Hines
Congratulations on the baby!
Now, when you have a cat at home, it’s important to ensure that your cat will get along with your child. Therefore, you should prepare for the new arrival by getting your cat involved. From making changes in the home, to introducing your cat to new things and objects, you’ll need to prepare them for having a human “brother” or “sister.”
In this quick guide, we’ll discuss 7 tips on how to properly introduce your furry friend to your new baby.
“First and foremost, you’ll need to think about your baby’s health,” says Charli Hoysted, a pet writer at Lia Help and Paper Fellows. “Toxoplasmosis is one of many parasites that can affect cats and their wellbeing. When this parasite is exposed to humans, especially expecting mothers, it can cause health problems such as deafness, blindness, or even hydrocephalus. Therefore, your cat should be kept indoors, and to wear gloves when handling things like litter boxes. Plus, make sure to take part in regular screenings to ensure that you’re healthy and free from toxoplasmosis.”
Make Gradual Changes In The Home
When making changes in the home in preparation for your new baby, be sure to take it slow. Drastic changes can confuse your cat. Instead, make gradual changes in the home, so that your cat is more comfortable with what you’re doing. It’s also important to spend plenty of time with your pet.
Prepare The Nursery
As you prepare the home, be sure to prepare the nursery early. As you prep the nursery, let your cat explore this new setting. Let them explore the new furniture and the baby items, so that they know that someone is going to occupy this new room.
Speaking of exploring …
Introduce Kitty To Things, Smells, And Sounds
Let your cat explore with their senses. There are many ways you can introduce your cat to every sensual thing in the nursery:
Your cat can see baby things (i.e., diapers, crib, toys, etc.) in the nursery.
Your cat can smell things like baby lotion or powder. Just rub either or on your hands, so that your cat knows those scents as positive and normal.
Your cat can hear baby noises, if you play a recording of baby noises (i.e., screaming, crying, giggling, etc.). First, play the recordings at a low volume while your cat is playing or eating. Then, raise the volume gradually until your cat is okay with the sounds.
Learn To Handle Your Cat Again
Cats like to be handled in certain ways. While some cats want to be stroked, others want stroking in small doses.
Plus, keep in mind that cats don’t like being touched in certain ways; and, if your baby starts grabbing things like the tail, or attempt to stroke the fur, your cat may get rattled. So, handle your cat in ways they like; and have your child stroke your pet correctly. Plus, avoid hand games, so that your cat doesn’t grab or gnaw at your hands or fingers. In this way, your cat won’t think to gnaw or grab your baby’s hand or fingers.
Make That First Impression Count
So, now that the baby has arrived, have the first impression be quiet and slow. First, take your cat to a quiet room, not where they eat or sleep. Next, hold the baby in your arms, and let your cat sniff. If the pet is calm and gentle during this interaction, then give them a treat and gentle praise.
Remember: Don’t ever force your cat to interaction with your baby. If your cat runs away from your baby, then don’t worry; they can investigate in a later time. Eventually, they’ll get used to the new arrival.
“After you introduce your cat to baby, it’s best to supervise both of them as they interact with each other,” says Olivia Kirkwood, a psychology blogger at Boomessays and Essayroo. “With that said, try not to put your child on the floor with your cat. Plus, don’t leave your child unattended with your cat, no matter how behaved your pet is.”
So, now that you know a thing or two about introducing your cat to your baby, remember to take it slow, and don’t force things to happen. By taking this slow and gentle, your pet and your child will soon grow to be the best of friends!
Elizabeth Hines is a writer and editor at UK Writings and Academized. She is also a contributing writer for OX Essays. As a content writer, she writes articles about lifestyle, home improvement, pet care, and childcare.