How to Introduce Your Cat to Your Newborn Baby
Are you ready to welcome a new baby into your home? Before you know it, you’ll be cooing at the sight of your newborn, but while you’re waiting for that moment, there’s something else to look forward to. You’ll have to introduce your cat to the newest member of the family. Introducing cats into homes with infants is not always advisable (in fact, some vets recommend waiting until after six months). However, research shows that most cats adjust well over time when provided with proper care and supervision on both sides. Take a look at how you can handle this process the right way.
Keep the cat out of the baby’s room for now
You can also keep your cat out of the baby’s room for now, or at least make sure it stays in his own safe space. If you’re not sure where that should be and you’re finding yourself constantly shooing your cat away from the nursery, consider buying it a new bed or scratching pad elsewhere in the house. That way, your can will have a place to go where he’s still near family but far enough away from any noise or commotion that might upset it (or even scare it).
Provide a safe space in your home
If you want your cat to feel comfortable in your home as you introduce your cat to your newborn, it must have a safe space to call his own. This can be as simple as an enclosed room with no windows or doors (such as a bathroom). It should include a safe place for the cat to hide, a place for the cat to sleep, a corner or a room for the cat to play and use his litter box, scratch post, or scratching mat.
Take time to acclimate your cat to the baby’s scent
To do this, you can place a blanket or other item that has been in contact with the baby against their bedding for 10 minutes. Then place it in the corner of their room until they get used to it being there. You can also hang up baby clothes or washcloths by their litter box or food bowls for them. This way, your cat will see and smell it regularly until they’re comfortable with it around.
Welcome cat into the nursery before you bring baby home
By doing this, when you bring your new little one home from the hospital, you will be less likely to be frightened by all of these new things in its environment. So, before bringing the baby home, allow your cat to explore the nursery. Let your cat check out the crib and give it a chance to sniff it. It would be best if you also allowed it to check out (with his paws) any toys, clothes, or leashes that you have set up for your newborn’s arrival.
Protect child from feline illness by working with your vet
To protect your child from feline illness, work with your vet to keep the cat’s vaccinations up to date. If the cat is sick, keep it out of the room with the baby. Be sure to wash your hands after handling your cat and keep your cat healthy. Also, make sure to avoid letting them have free access to food that may be shared with the baby.
Practice cat attention-seeking behavior baby is not present
You may be surprised to learn that cats can be trained to do tricks. Start by teaching your cat to sit, stay, or come when called. This will help you build trust with your cat and make it feel more comfortable with attention-seeking behavior in general.
Once this is mastered, teach your cat a trick, such as shaking hands or rolling over on command (which is great for when the baby comes home). When you’re all done practicing these tricks with your cat, start feeding the cat treats so he’ll associate good things with them – this will make it easier for the cat to perform them once it knows what’s expected of it!
Always supervise cats and children together
Cats and babies can make an excellent combination. However, it would be best if you always supervised cats and children when they are together. Instead of leaving them unattended, you should allow safe space for your cat’s exercise. Don’t let the cat play with the baby’s toys or get near food or drinks (including formula). This is important because some cats may be attracted to your newborn’s head, which has a sweet smell similar to an adult cat’s urine. It could also try to eat your baby’s fingers.
Keep a safe distance between cat and baby
If you have pets and a newborn at home, you should consider whether everyone has their own space. Before you safely introduce your cat to your newborn, you’ll have two options to choose from:
- Keep your pet out of the baby’s room before it’s safe to introduce them. Ideally, you’ll want to keep your cat and newborn in different rooms. If that’s not possible, at least keep them on different floors or as far away from each other as possible. Remember: you’re trying to prevent any potential accidents or mishaps that could happen if they’re too close together!
- Consider moving to a bigger home. If it’s not feasible to have your cat stay downstairs while you have the baby upstairs, it might be time to upsize. The birth of your baby could be the best time to move into a bigger home where there’s more room for everyone and everything.
Cats and babies can be wonderful together, especially after making sure to safely introduce your cat to your newborn. Hopefully, these tips helped you welcome your new cat into your family. Remember that all animals are different, so this process may take some time. If you have more questions or concerns, call your local pet store or talk to a veterinarian who has experience with pets and kids!