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7 tips for when cat meets baby

By: By Scott Dunlop 2012-02-27 12:20
Some expectant parents become very nervous about their cats. Fearful of potential harm coming to a helpless infant, some even get rid of a faithful family pet. Urban legends exist of jealous cats climbing into babies’ cots and smothering them, or sucking the breath out of a baby when trying to lick milk off his face- and while these stories aren’t true, experts are saying it’s important to consider how you can help your favourite feline adjust to a new baby, according to Animal Planet.

Here are some tips for introducing your bundle of fur to your bundle of fun:
  • The litter tray may need to find a new home. You don’t want it to be in the same room as your new baby, so it might need to shift. Make sure you give your cat time to adjust to the change. Also, consider that baby will eventually be mobile and exploring things at floor level. Cat food should also be relocated to an elevated surface.
  • Kitty litter carries the risk of toxoplasmosis, caused by a parasite which lives in cat poo, so if you’re an expectant mom, use gloves when replacing the soiled litter (or ask your partner to make this one of their chores).
  • Cats are curious. They’ll likely explore something new and interesting, such as a cot. You’ll want to discourage your kitty from leaping into the cot out of curiosity- cats are heavy, and have sharp claws. They don’t like sticky surfaces, so you could put double-sided tape or sticky paper on the sides of the cot.
  • Your cat is not going to smother your baby, but do ensure that if they are snuggling, that this is supervised. Some cats are playful, and liable to scratch as part of their romping. Invest in some clippers, and keep your cat’s claws trimmed. This can also be done by your local vet.
  • Visit the vet and get your pet parasite-checked before baby arrives.
  • If you use baby products before baby arrives, your pet will get used to the strange new smells. You could get a CD of baby sounds such as crying, too, or download some from the internet.
  • While some cats love to chase or “hunt” their owners, some children can be rough with cats. Make it part of your parenting plan to teach your child how to handle your kitty- tail-pulling and incorrect handling may irritate or even injure your feline friend.
Your family is growing, but, with a little care and sensitivity, you can make sure that there’s plenty of room in the home for your beloved pet and your new baby. Don’t forget to spend time with your cat- although, as with all cats, he’ll decide whether he wants to or not!

Do you have any top tips to add for introducing a cat to a baby?
Parent24
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