When it comes to cats and babies, I had cats many years before I ever had my one and only daughter. However in 2001 I became pregnant. First, I would here all the stuff about the how cat feces can contain the parasite toxoplasmosis. Most of this talk came from other mothers, about how I needed to stay from cats because they not only could they carry this type of harmful parasite, but because cats do not belong around new born babies, and that they may even lay and smother a new born baby. After researching toxoplasmosis, I realized that from the years of exposure to the parasite that I was most likely immune to the infection. So I did become concern about cats and babies, and how a multi-cat home can adjust to a the coming of a new human.
During pregnancy especially the last trimester, most of your concerns are completely shifted toward the new baby. Then after birth, things really change! It was very amusing seeing that my cats were not interested at all of this crying newborn that was getting all of my attention. It’s like they knew and understood what motherhood all was about. It’s funny, they didn’t even want to sniff this newcomer, believe me when I say, they completely stayed away! Never wanting anything to do with this crying bundle that was taking up all my attention.
So now 18 years later, my daughter DeAnna grew up with cats, and the bond and love between toddler to teenager, to young adult grew stronger than ever.
So now let's make sure that your baby and cat will get along perfectly, and what to do just in case things do not go according to plan.
Cats have the reputation of being aloof creatures. Most people who are not cat people think this, that cats do not make good pets. Of course, many cat parents would totally disagree to this. They are sofa and bed lions, and they are family. So when it comes to cats and babies if a family expands to incorporate a tiny human, preparations need to be made to introduce our furry companions to a new baby.
Cats are creatures of habit. They thrive in constant environments. So making this introduction slow is very important for having that loving relationship of the future, its important to have this set off with a positive first impression.
When you are expecting a baby, there are months that parents spend in the preparations for the new arrival. This may include setting up a nursery, prenatal classes, and lots of gifts. It’s a remarkably busy time. So, it’s also a good time for kitty prepping/
Preparing for cats and babies, one of these things include establishing a new routine for your kitties. If your cat is use to getting fed first thing in the morning, this routine may become disrupted with the arrival of the baby. So instead of feeding your cat first, like putting kibble into a bowl, do other things first, like eating breakfast or doing other typical chores.
The litter box may need to be moved to make room for the upcoming baby and toys, so go ahead and move that litter box or boxes. This can illuminate behavioral changes early on.
A new baby will bring new scents and sounds to your cat’s universe. Get her use to things like this before the grand entrance.
Use baby lotion on your hands and then pet your cat. This way they will associate the smell of baby lotion with love and affection.
Parents can rub baby socks or a coming home outfit on the cat. This way the cat will recognize their own sent and will quickly consider that baby as part of the family. You can also bring a receiving blanket home from the hospital before the baby arrives, this way kitty can get use to the smell of the baby.
Also, with the use of technology parents can also introduce baby sounds early on. I am sure there are many YouTube videos of baby sounds. I would suggest starting with a low volume first.
Depending on delivery, returning home may be one to four days postpartum. Even though cats can be left alone for some time by themselves, this do miss their family. Before bringing the baby in, have someone stay in the car with the baby and go inside to love and greet your cat. Then can be a very chaotic time, with lots of changes, sounds, and people coming over.
How your kitty accepts the new baby depends on his personality. Sitting calmly on the couch and allowing the kitty to sniff the baby’s foot will be a great introduction. As long as the kitty is calm, praise him and give him lots of love. Include your kitty during family time and make sure he is involved in the bonding with your baby. Also consider that when the baby sleeps, consider sharing the nap time to reconnect with your cat.
Even the most prepared may experience setbacks. Your kitty may start hiding more, quiet kitties may start meowing constantly and sweet ones may display defensive behavior like hissing and busy tails. If this happens provide lots of space for your cat to retreat. Make sure you kitty has a sanctuary, just keep the baby stuff out of it. Create your kitty a retreat where he can stay calm and safe.
Cats and babies - Having a multi-cat home has been great. It has taught my daughter how to love and respect animals. Its such a sweet bond between them and her. She has become such a cat person like me. It is sweet to see them sleep with her at night, and how she is constantly rubbing and loving on them.