Preparing Your Cat for Your New Baby
It 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!