So, you’re bringing home a new baby? There are many stresses that come with being a new parent. One of the biggest stresses can be how to not only introduce your pets to the new baby but also how to protect your baby and your cat.
In order to make the smoothest transition possible, you must first ease the cat into the transition well before the baby is born.
There are several tips that pet trainers and behaviorists recommend. Replacing the nursery door with either a screen door or a fence that the cat cannot get over will allow them to see what is happening in the nursery but also keep them from coming too close to the baby. This keeps the cat comfortable with the situation and lets them get better adjusted to having a new family member.
In addition to that, you must stop sharing your bed with your animals and allowing them free roam into your room or on your furniture. Use this time to allow your cat to get used to alternative sleeping arrangements, such as a cat bed or a different location in the home. You can do this by blocking the bedroom from them, relocating them to their own bed, and rewarding them with treats or attention when they properly use their own bed.
If the cat has been in the baby’s room before the birth, make sure everything is properly laundered and kept away from the pet. If you are concerned about the safety of your pet or have heard of babies being smothered by cats, don’t fret – this is all an urban legend. Although this is not true, cats may be attracted to the warmth and cozy condition of the cribs and or bassinets and infants do not have the proper strength to keep breathing or to escape the weight of the cat. If your baby is not being supervised, the cat should be kept out of the room or proper cat protection should be enforced.
If you have friends, allow them to bring babies over before the birth of your own, and give the cat treats and love when they are around the children for positive reinforcement. Gradual change is the best kind of change with cats.
While it may be difficult to incorporate your pet with your baby when bringing them home, these helpful tips will not only protect your baby but also prevent your cat from feeling too much discomfort. It will also make your life less stressful and give you more freedom with the many stresses found when bringing home a newborn.
For more information please contact Cat Hospital of Tucson today!