The arrival of a baby home is always a happy event for the family, but it can be stressful for our cat.
Any sudden change in the environment can be interpreted by the cat as a threat that can trigger stress and anxiety.
In this sense, there is no doubt that the arrival of a baby involves many changes in family habits, changes in the rooms and furniture, the baby himself will bring new smells and sounds, family visits, etc ...
Most cats will adapt quickly to the baby. According to their character, some will get out of the way, retreating to a place they consider safe and quiet and only after a while will they start progressive approximation movements, others more affective will seek contact and affection from the first moment.
But there is a small percentage of cats more timid /> that the arrival of the baby can be a major source of stress.
It is absurd to think that a cat can feel jealous of the baby, the reality is that the baby and the changes that occur at home, cause fear and stress in some cats.
Some cats suffer a lot when they can't do what they need or can't avoid what scares them.
This can happen for example, when the room we are going to dedicate to the baby was his favorite resting place or when the baby's cries scare our cat.
If for any reason, the cat is not able to adapt to the new situation, it will become more inactive, stop doing behaviors that were usual before and use fewer parts of the house.
Stress can also change your behavior, avoiding contact with family members, you can return more irritable and even aggressive.
On other occasions cats under stress situations begin to mark with urine.
Therefore, the first step to avoid any behavior problem in the cat will be ensure that it adapts progressively to the changes in the environment that lead to the arrival of the baby.
Before the baby comes home:
Plan changes in the territory: the baby's room should be prepared during pregnancy.
The cat should be allowed to gradually investigate new objects, such as the changing table or the cradle so that he realizes that they are not dangerous and accepts them as part of their territory.
Keep in mind that comfortable surfaces located at a certain height, such as a cot or a changing table, can be very attractive to our cat and may want to use them to sleep and rest in them.
If you don't want the cat to use these objects, cover them with adhesive paper. Cats do not like sticky surfaces and therefore avoid them.
Nor do they like unstable surfaces, so another idea is to fit one of the legs of the cradle so that when the cat climbs, the cradle moves sharply, which will cause the cat to reject it. Another possibility is to cover the crib or bassinet with a net.
Using these tricks before the baby comes home, we will make these objects stop being cozy and our cat learn that they are not suitable places for him.
If the changes mean that the feeder, drinking fountain, sandpit or rest areas must be moved, alternative sites must be provided and allowed to adapt to them before the baby arrives.
Smells are very important for cats, during pregnancy we can impregnate areas of the house with the future colony of the baby.
After delivery and while you are in the hospital, it is recommended that someone wear clothes and objects with the smell of the baby home so that the cat can approach them and get used to the smell.
The cat's behavior must be taken into account: if it reacts badly to the smell, it will react badly to the baby.
The normal thing is that they react with curiosity, it is always good to accompany these moments with a caress or some candy to relate the presence of the baby with something positive.
These types of situations should be avoided.
When the baby comes home:
The first and fundamental rule is that you never have to force the cat to come in contact with the baby.
Unless it is very sociable, it is normal for the cat, with all the fuss that is formed, to hide, especially if there are also visits.
When everything calms down, we must allow it to approach gradually, on its own initiative and always under our supervision.
Keep in mind that a newborn, until 6 months of age, can not move his head or turn around in the crib. This is why a cat that is looking for heat can be dangerous, decide to take a nap near the baby's face and make it difficult to breathe.
Close the bedroom door when the baby is sleeping.
Synthetic pheromones help the cat become familiar with the new situation. They should be used until the cats are fully adapted.
Most cats will get used to the new situation without problems. But if the cat reacts with fear, anxiety or aggressiveness, it means that it is not being able to adapt to the situation. Another sign of stress is when the cat urinates the baby's crib or changing table.
In these cases it is always better to ask a veterinarian for advice.
- You may also be interested: How long does a cat live?
Cats and babies: great friends
Most cats get along with babies. In addition, their coexistence will not be a source of problems, but will benefit the child: living with a feline reinforces the child's immune system, boosts the self-esteem of children, fosters their sense of responsibility and can even promote the habit of reading in the small.
- It's simple how catching the house, to make it more relaxing for cats and reduce their stress before the arrival of a baby.
But the newborn will not only turn upside down the lives of recent parents, it will also transform the day-to-day life of felines, who will need the help of their owners to adapt to the little one. "We must bear in mind that the arrival of a baby in the family implies a significant change of routines for the feline," explains the Cats association.
Housing is the whole world for cats. Any change can be a cause of stress or fear in cats. So, How to make living together at home, with cats and baby, good and that the whole family, human and hairy, is happy? The following tricks help to achieve a good coexistence between recent parents, felines and newborns.
1. A safe pregnancy with cats
Toxoplasmosis is probably one of the main fears of pregnant women living with a cat. In fact, 13% of the abandonments of felines in Spain occur during the pregnancy of women, according to a report by the Silvestre Foundation.
However, an extensive study published in the specialized medical journal British Medical Journal, one of the main investigations on the spread of toxoplasmosis at this stage, strongly denies that there is an association between living with cats during pregnancy and the spread of toxoplasmosis. In other words: Pregnancy with felines at home is not only not dangerous, but these animals can help pregnant women get rid of stress. So, what are the main sources of infection of the toxoplasmosis parasite ?: Contact with contaminated soil, eating raw meat or eating unwashed fruits and vegetables.
"Anyway, to stay calmer, It is advisable to go to the veterinarian, check that the cat is healthy and avoid exits outside the cat during pregnancy"added the experts of the association Cats. Another measure that will provide greater peace of mind during pregnancy is clean the sandbox of the felines with the help of gloves or that it is another person who is responsible for this task. These are simple guidelines that will allow women to enjoy a happy wait with their beloved four-legged friend.
Preparing your cat
When preparing the cat for the arrival of the baby, it is important to focus on two main things:
- Gradually introduce the cat to new experiences, schedules, views, they are> Your schedule will be very chaotic when the baby arrives. Plan now when you will be able to feed your cat, clean its litter box and give it some attention and play with it. Start changing your cat's schedule little by little, so that he is already used to it when the baby arrives. If necessary, buy an automatic feeder with a timer (which you can find at any pet store), in order to keep regular and predictable feeding schedules.
Minimize changes in attention
Don't be tempted to give your cat special attention in the weeks before birth. This will only create a bigger disappointment when the baby is born and suddenly receive less attention from you. It is much better to start reorienting the pampering and playing time with your kitten, in order to get used to times that you will probably be able to maintain once the baby arrives.
If the baby's room will be out of bounds
Remove from the baby's room the furniture where your cat loves to sit so he can access them when the baby arrives. Keep the door of the baby's room closed to restrict access. Place a comfortable bed or a cat tree right across the door. Keep a candy pot in the baby's room. Each time you enter, leave a couple of treats in the cat's bed. After the baby is born, when you change diapers or feed him, he occasionally throws a treat in the cat's bed. This practice will make your cat happy to be near the baby while being rewarded for staying out of the room. If you try to sneak into the baby's room, just gently remove it. Do not punish or scold him, as this could cause him to become fearful or aggressive towards you or the baby.
If the baby's room will be accessible to him
Before the baby arrives, place a few empty soda cans filled with pennies on the edge of the crib. If your cat tries to jump, the noisy result will discourage future visits. Also place a cat bed or a cat tree inside the baby's room. Use the candy technique in your bed described above to reward your cat for being close to the baby but staying away from the wedge.
Prepare him for the are> All the new baby things that come into the house will smell strange or even scare your cat. Remove the wrapping of toys and baby items and present them to your cat one at a time or two at a time. Place the baby's new items near your cat's food plate and leave them there for a few days. In this way, your cat will know them by being in a key situation, and will be rewarded with their food for approaching new things. You can also start using some baby lotions, shampoos and creams on yourself so that your cat associates them with a close person.
For some cats, babies seem aliens from outer space. They smell, sound, look and act differently from adults. So download some baby sounds online, and play them while your cat is eating and when you take a nap or play with him. At first, play the sounds at a very low volume. As your cat feels comfortable with those sounds, you can gradually increase the volume for a couple of weeks until you reach a realistic level of noise.
To help your cat get used to children's movements, spend some time every day crawling and lying on the floor, running around the house and playing with baby toys. Get ready to praise your cat or give him a treat if he gets close to you, instead, if he chooses to keep the distances, it's okay, don't force him to get close.
Start getting your cat used to the baby's fingers now. In a very soft way, give it a push, a pat or a pinch, as a game. Then, immediately give him a delicious treat or directly his dinner. Play this with him at least two or three times a day until the baby arrives.
Once the baby is born, help your cat to enjoy being close to him. Offer him a lot of goodies, praise him or play with him every time he comes to you being close to the baby, but does not force him to approach. Stop praise and rewards every time your cat moves away from the baby.
When you have guests
A new baby means frequent visits from friends and family. Nervous cats will prefer to stay in a quiet room with the door closed when guests arrive. During the visits, periodically watch your cat and offer him treats or a couple of minutes of play. If he seems anxious, let him stay in a quiet place until your visits leave. Make sure your cat has access to water, food, something comfortable to rest on and a litter box, while he is in the "relax room."
2. Routines for cat and baby
"All cats will benefit a little from the preparation during pregnancy that helps them understand the arrival of the baby," says the Society Against Cruelty to Animals. This preparation is especially important for felines who are not used to dealing with young children at home.
The routine of the home will become chaos once the baby arrives. Therefore, it is convenient plan with the couple what will be the simplest hours to feed the cat or to play with it, start them up and respect them once the newborn is already at home.
3. Accustom the cat to the baby
Felines need to prepare at the arrival of the baby. Therefore, it is important to gradually introduce into your life the noises, daily routines and even odors (lotions, soaps, etc.) with which you will need to live once the child is.
A trick? It is convenient to establish a positive relationship between the cat and these new everyday elements. How? With games, caresses, pampering and tasty edible rewards. "We can leave the baby's toys near the cat or place the child's new accessories near the food or rest area of the animal, to familiarize themselves with them, "experts say. It is also recommended use some infant lotion or baby cologne on our own body. This will make them more familiar to house cats.
4. Changes for the cat, before the baby
Will need change the cat food area or sandpit once the baby arrives at home? If the answer is yes, these modifications must be made before birth. In this way, the stress and uncertainty of the animal will be reduced when the child is already at home.
5. Attention and affection for the cat
Cats need their humans and will continue to do so once the baby comes home. However, the needs of the newborn will make it difficult to devote so much time to felines. That is why it is convenient to accustom cats to their new game schedule. Without neglecting it!
It is not a good idea to double the affection towards the feline during the weeks before the child's birth: it is much better establish routines of games and pampering in advance and try to respect them after the arrival of the child.
6. Can the cat enter the baby's room?
Can the cat enter the baby's room? This is a question that It should be resolved before the arrival of the child and respect it among all.
If the answer is no, it is advisable to prepare the baby's room with time and close his way to the cats before birth.
Do you have more tips to prepare the arrival of the baby with cats at home? You can share them in the comments section. Thank you!