Preparing Your Cat for Your New Baby

catIt is important to prepare your cat for baby’s arrival in order to make the transition smoother for everyone. Below are some simple guidelines to help you take the proper precautions when you have a new addition to your family!

  • Set up the nursery as soon as possible. This will help your cat get used to the new environment. You should also discourage your cat from sleeping in the new comfortable crib. Stores, like radio shack, sell motion detectors that you can set up to discourage kitty from sleeping in your baby’s new crib.
  • Introduce your cat to all the new scents that will be in the house. Before bringing baby home, make sure your cat has a chance to sniff all the new soaps and powders you will be using.
  • Make any changes in the cats routine at least a month before you bring baby home. We all know some cats love to cuddle, which you cannot allow your cat to do while baby is sleeping, so if it is necessary, start shutting the door to the nursery, making that area off limits to your cat. You can also try installing a safety gate in the nursery doorway if you do not want to close the door all the way once baby arrives.
  • Get your cat used to the sight and sound of children. If possible, invite friends with babies or children over to meet your cat.
  • Remember, cats identify people primarily through scent. If possible, have someone bring home an unwashed piece of your child’s clothing before you come home from the hospital for kitty to smell.
  • Once baby is home, keep your cats routing (feeding, playtime) as regular as possible.
  • Do not reserve praise for when you are alone with your cat. If you are able to praise and pet your cat while your child is awake and with you, the cat will associate the family with positive things, and not view your new child as competition for your attention.
  • Be patient. If their behavior is erratic, take the necessary precautions and give it time. This is a big adjustment for everyone, especially your cat

Congratulations, you are on your way to one big happy family!

 

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18 comments

  1. Avatar of Rebekkah Rebekkah says:

    I love my cat and want him to be familiarized with a baby before the baby I have my niece around and he seems okay with her not too much interactions but didn’t think of some things in this article can’t wait to try

  2. Avatar of Donna Donna says:

    My daughter has a cat and is worried she will not accept the baby. The cat already smells the new items coming in. This is going to help her understand. Thanks for a great article.

  3. The cats were not sure they wanted anything to do with it at first, and now they act as if the baby is another family member, but with caution. They do not like getting close to the baby.

  4. Ugh, my wife brought two cats to the table before we got married. If they are any trouble with the baby I told her we are getting rid of them.

  5. Avatar of ErinF ErinF says:

    My only concern is jealousy on the cats’ part, and any resulting behavior like urinating outside the litter box. My cats are cuddlers and like to spoon at night; they’re going to have to get used to having their snuggle space replaced with a cosleeper. They’ve been increasingly affectionate since I’ve been pregnant, so I hope that they instinctively know what’s coming. I’ll be delivering at home, so no worn receiving blankets/baby clothes to prepare them ahead of time. I’m very curious to see how they react during labor and birth.

  6. Avatar of ErinF ErinF says:

    I know this is months old, but declawing is very harmful to a cat, structurally (it’s not just like fingernails, it actually involves removing an integral part of their anatomy used in balance, analagous to the last joints of your toes) and mentally. It’s not necessary to do this or to rehome it. My cats have their claws, and we figure that both baby and cat will learn how to appropriately interact with each other. Getting scratched once or twice (if it happens at all) may startle the baby, but won’t seriously hurt it.

  7. Avatar of AmyC AmyC says:

    My cat has never been a "lap cat" she prefers to be adored from a distance rather than a lot of cuddling. So far she has ignored the baby furniture. I’m hoping aloof attitude continues once the baby arrives.

  8. Avatar of emi285 emi285 says:

    The only problem I had with Lioness was shes a "Mama Cat" so when the babies cried, she was under my feet or racing the house Meowing loudly until I had them quiet lol.

  9. Avatar of Jeanetta Jeanetta says:

    Great information…my mom has cats and will be babysitting, I’m still concerned about all the cat hair.

  10. That’s some good info but I do not have any cats.

  11. Avatar of malamonis malamonis says:

    we have 2 cats and they are great with our baby:)

  12. Avatar of youngmom92 youngmom92 says:

    I was 6 months pregnant when my kitty was born, so they bonded right away. Kitty slept in the baby chair, Bumbo seat, and the crib all the time. She loves baby furniture.She even slept in the crib with my son or sat by the crib facing the door, to guard him. She even lets my baby pet her, grab her ears and tail, and even pull her fur. They are best friends.

  13. Avatar of Mrs. Mrs. says:

    It would be easier to get your cat declawed only in the front paws. You may be against it, but it will help your child from getting scratches and bruises because baby wants to pull on kitty’s tail.

    I am at 36 weeks now, and my husband and I had both of our cats declawed in the front paws only. I was against it, but it will pay off in the end when our baby isn’t getting clawed for pulling babys’ tail.

  14. My cats can already sense that their is a baby inside of my tummy. It will be hard to keep them from wanting to sleep on all of the baby stuff.

  15. Avatar of jen jen says:

    we have 2 cats.. one is really lovey and cool with what ever you do to her…. but the other is quick to claw when aggravated or wants attention….we love our cats very much but we are scared about the baby getting scratched my the not cool cat… should we get her a new home or hope that once baby arrives she will leave him/her alone…

  16. I actually just had this conversation with my husband. We bought a new kitten and he is awfully needy, I’ve had cats before and none of them were as attention hogging as this one. We havn’t allowed him to be in the nursery and have been allowing him to sleep in the room with us, but I just recently started closing him away from our room also because the bassinet will be in there- he meowed ALL night. I’m due in a month so I can only hope I can get him trained before then.

  17. Avatar of Anna Jones Anna Jones says:

    My 6 year old cat transitioned fairly well when we brought Jack home. He was upset at first since he was no longer the baby but he now knows that I still make time for him too. He is really good with Jack, who loves to pull his tail and grab his ears. He loves when Jack goes to sleep and he can come and curl up with me.

  18. Avatar of Miranda Miranda says:

    this was helpful, my cat is now sleeping right at my head and more needy now that im pregnant. She always sleeps with me but now shes is putting her back and stuff and lying on my face where i need to breath wich is kind of concerning but im sure she will do good. its my dogs that im gonna need help with lol

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