Bringing your new baby into the home is a wonderful, thrilling time, but it’s also a time that can cause some stress with your pet children. Preparing both yourselves and your cat for the changes that are to come as you bring a new baby into the house is going to be essential.
Before The Baby Comes Home
If possible, the best thing that you can do for your cat and your baby is to start the adjustment process long before there is a baby in the house. Cats and humans will often develop codependency, and this can lead to some stress whenever the routine changes at home. By doing certain things early on, you can ease this process.
One of the most important things to do before you raise a child alongside a cat is to make sure you understand what type of handling your pet is comfortable with. As much as possible, teach your cat that you will be gentle with them, and they can learn to be gentle as well. This will be key as you bring a baby home. Additionally, before you bring your new baby home to meet your cat, make sure you visit your vet to check your cat is dewormed, healthy and fully vaccinated, as well as up-to-date on their flea and tick medication.
Baby Sounds, Smells, and Toys
Start introducing the sounds, smells, and items that are going to become part of everyday life with your baby to your cat early on. By playing sounds that babies make, bringing in items that you will use on your baby like lotion, and other things, your cat will get an understanding that these sounds and smells are part of the home.
Set Up Quiet Places
Help your cat find parts of the house where they are going to be safe and still involved. Finding ways to make sure that your cat is still integrated into the family while having their own safe spaces and somewhere to hide and watch like a cat cave is a great way to ease the process. You’ll be getting more visitors once your baby arrives, and this can cause cats without safe spaces to act out.
After The Baby Comes Home
Once your baby is ready to come home and join your family, you’ll want to make sure that you go through the proper steps to introduce your cat and baby to one another.
A Quiet Introduction
Set up for the introduction in a room where your cat doesn’t eat or sleep so it is more neutral territory. Hold your baby, and give your cat a chance to sniff. As they calmly react, make sure to reward your cat as you usually do for good behavior.
Don’t force your cat to interact with your baby if they run away; just move on with your day. Provide more chances for a quiet introduction as they come up, and your cat will begin to accept the new arrival.
Supervise The Pair
Even if your cat responds well to the baby right away, it’s important to supervise your baby and cat whenever your baby is playing on the floor. For example, you don’t want your baby to be disturbed by an investigative cat while they’re sleeping.
Just as it is important to make sure that you clean up after your cat properly so that hygiene is a priority, you also want to be sure that you don’t leave dirty nappies or other things around the home. These can lead to hygiene issues. Always use soap after cleaning up messes.