Everything There is to Know About Cats and Babies

September 17, 2022 6 min read

cats and babies

Are you a cat owner and the parent of a newborn? Are you worried about how they will react to each other's presence? If yes, you have come to the right place. We have curated relevant information to help you raise a happy child and a secure cat together in harmony.

Knowing what to do is as vital as taking proactive measures or parental precautions to ensure the baby and the cat get used to each other's company.

cats and babies

Things to Consider Before Owning a Cat

If you're thinking of getting a cat, you should consider a few things to ensure that it's the right pet and that you will be able to raise it. Here are some things to consider:

1. Allergies  

Are you allergic to cats? Do you experience discomfort in their presence? Do cats make you sneeze or itch more? If so, you definitely shouldn't own a cat.

2. More Housework

Cats shed fur all year, so you'll need to be prepared for extra housework if you adopt one.

3. Food and Litter Costs

Cats require exceptional food and litter, the cost of which can add up over time. Ensure to consider these before getting one for yourself.

4. Vet Bills

Cats are generally healthy animals but can still develop health problems. So they might need a visit to the vet now and then, especially in case of infections or diseases. And the vet bill can be quite a lot sometimes.

5. Destructive Behaviour

Some cats like to scratch furniture and carpets, and they may also climb on things around your home, which might need you to get your furniture repaired over time.

6. Energy Levels

Cats can be very active, or they can be pretty lazy. It depends on the individual cat's personality.

7. Independence

Cats are self-reliant animals and don't generally like to be cuddled or played with as much as other pets, such as dogs or rabbits. If you're looking for a pet that will be your constant companion, then a cat might not be the right choice.

8. Temperament

Cats have very different personalities, so it's essential to find one that fits nicely into your home and lifestyle. Some cats are very affectionate, while others prefer to keep some distance.

9. Training

Cats aren't generally as easy to train as other pets, such as dogs, so you'll need to be more patient with them.

You may also like: How to Litter Train An Older Cat

How to Train Your Cat Before The Newborn Baby Arrives?

cats and babies

Cats are not precisely newborn-friendly, but even if your cat has a bad reputation for being prickly and standoffish, it's possible to bring home a baby without any challenges.

However, you must consider a few crucial practices before bringing your cat and the baby together.

  1. To ensure your cat adjusts with the baby, make it listen to some infant sounds by playing recorded audio clips. Also, exposing them to the smell of babies by using any lotions or creams before the baby arrives is a good idea to make your cat accustomed to the baby.
  2. Keep your cat entertained with stress-relieving toys. Cats have a lot of tricks up their sleeves when it comes to dealing with stress and boredom! They are often bored, so giving them something they can play with will provide an outlet for their emotions and relieve the boredom.
  3. Lay double-sided tape around the baby cot or crib to keep your cat from sleeping in the crib. You can also place it around other surfaces like baby toy boxes so they won't come near those areas. Cats don't like sticky surfaces, so they'll avoid them if you try this trick.
  4. As you start to get ready for the baby, it's vital that you not only care about their needs but also make sure that the two of them feel secure together. One way this can happen is by changing some aspects of caregiver roles. Have someone else take over those duties so your cat doesn't feel rejected or abandoned once the baby comes along.
  5. To keep your babies safe from injury, ensure your cat is not playing with them. Even gentle pets can unintentionally hurt a baby! So, teach your cats to play with toys and not the baby. They must get accustomed to playing with toys.
  6. It's essential to know the difference between a cat that likes being petted and one that doesn't. Some cats will come around once they've been touched more often, while others require an immediate behavior change, or else there could be some severe problems on hand! Make sure you're always ready by getting your feline friend used to novel touches like gentle brushing against their skin.

How to Train Your Cat After The Baby Arrives?

Ensure you have everything necessary for your baby and the cat by following our advice after the newborn arrives:

  1. Introducing the resident cat to your new family member can be exciting. Send your kitty a blanket used by your baby for your cat to get acquainted and familiarized with your newborn's smell. Leave it somewhere where they'll find it and sniff it as they want. Before you reach home with your baby, your cat must be familiar with the little one's smell.
  2. All this while, your cat likely missed your love and will want some attention from you. Ensure to enter the home alone before you bring the baby. Share a few minutes with your kitty first. They'll feel more comfortable knowing they don't have to compete with anyone else.
  3. If you want a more active or happy life, provide your baby and cat with the right environment. Creating places for your cat to retreat can help them feel safer and less overwhelmed in the home. Newborns are often overstimulating, so your kitty must have some specific spots in your home. Make certain places in your home belong only to felines, and remove any baby items or clutter from these areas.
  4. Your cat will need a lot of love and care in the days after your newborn arrives. You may not be able to give them all your attention every time, but you should still ensure that their basic needs like food, water, and hygiene are met. Even if it's only 10 minutes of grooming or playing with them each day, ensure you spend that time with them.

Best Practices and Safety Measures To Maintain The Harmony and Love

cats and babies

As you, your baby, and your cat get used to the new life together, be on the lookout for signs of stress. The important things to consider are:

  1. You know that your cat poses a suffocation risk to the baby if you let them sleep near one another. It can be easily fixed by ensuring your cat stays away from the baby while they sleep or doze. You can put up barriers like closed doors and baby gates.
  2. Keep your baby and yourself safe from the dangers of toxoplasma (which results from infection with a common parasite found in cat faeces). To avoid such situations, keep cats indoors, avoid feeding them raw meat (which can increase their risk for this infection), and wash hands after using the bathroom or changing diapers to reduce possible risks associated with cleaning up kitty litter too. It is also imperative to keep your cats away from stray cats.
  3. Cats get jealous; there might be chances your cat could display some signs of aggression toward the baby because they're angry. You might notice them being overly vocal or even their destructive behavior. Urination is a common sign. Try keeping your cat's routine regular after your baby returns. Try to spend time with your kitty too.
  4. The most dangerous thing your cat could do is bare its teeth or claws when interacting with children. However, they still have enough power to cause cosmetic damage and introduce skin infections if the scratches are deep. Keep an eye on your cat when it's interacting with the baby.
  5. As your cat and baby are getting accustomed to each other's company, you shouldn't leave them alone together. It's crucial to maintain peace and harmony between them. To prevent and restrict any incident from happening between the two, try using a screen door so they can see each other through it!

Key Takeaway

Cats are adorable and curious creatures that can provide hours of entertainment. Simultaneously, it is a unique and incredible feeling to get home a newborn baby. Both offer some important lessons – babies teach us about love and compassion, while cats show us the importance of being playful and self-reliant.

Whether you're a cat parent planning a new baby or already have a baby and planning to bring a cat to your abode, these tips will give you a decent starting point for interacting with your little one and your feline friend. Stay tuned for more exciting articles. Thanks for reading!

Also read: How to Get Pet Cats and Dogs to Get Along?

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