As independent a pet as a cat may be he will still respond to a major change in the home environment, particularly if that event is the arrival of a baby who looks, smells, and sounds different than anything he is familiar with. Pet owners who are expecting a baby can do a number of things before the newborn arrives to to prepare their cat for the new infant.
Speak with Your Vet
Before the baby is born pet owners should make an appointment to consult with their cat’s veterinarian. The vet will be able to make sure that the cat is up to date on all vaccinations and provide information on spaying or neutering if the cat has not had this done already. Vets may also offer the option of declawing the cat if this has not been done already, or offer alternatives to doing so. A good vet’s advice can be invaluable as he has seen many infants enter what have previously been pet-only homes.
Let Other Family Members Bond with Kitty Too
If a mother-to-be is the person the cat spends the most time with, Daddy should begin to spend more time with the cat. Chances are a new mother will not have as much time to pet, cuddle, and groom a cat as she did before the baby was born and the cat may reflect this change with negative behavior. If another member of the household takes over some of the nurturing duties before the baby arrives the cat will not be as negatively affected by the change.
Introduce Cats to New Toys and Sounds
Before a baby is born pet owners can get their cats used to the new sounds and movement that will be taking place in the home. Pet owners should set up and run baby swings, bouncers and other items that vibrate or move so that the cat will not be startled by their presence. Playing a tape of a baby crying before the baby arrives will also help ease some of the cat’s anxiety. You can consider getting a cat scratcher for your cat to prevent any damage to your furniture.
Click Here for a list of top 10 Cat Scratchers.
Bring Home Baby’s Blanket
Bringing home a blanket the baby was wrapped in before the newborn allows the cat to get used to the scent of the infant. This will help the cat adjust when the baby does enter the household.
Above all else pet owners should try and show their cat love and patience after the new baby comes home. After a while the pet will get used to the child and the two may even become best friends.