My cat and the arrival of a baby: what precautions should I take?

My cat and the arrival of a baby: what precautions should I take?

When the house cat has been the sole focus of its owners, it is important to take certain precautions when the family grows, and this begins well before the baby arrives. The birth of a child can indeed shake up household habits and the cat must be able to find its way around without stress. It is therefore necessary to ensure that the cohabitation between the animal and the baby goes well. Let’s take stock.

During pregnancy: preparing the cat for the arrival of the baby

The birth of a child involves a change in lifestyle, and new parents will be completely absorbed by their baby. They usually ask themselves many questions about the behavior of their cat, hygiene, and the safety of the child.

Schedule a vet consultation

Ideally, a short visit to the vet can be scheduled a few weeks before the baby is born to check whether the cat:

  • East in good health which may require a blood test for example,
  • East up to date with vaccinations and if necessary have him vaccinated or have the necessary booster shots,
  • Has no parasites in which case we have him dewormed or we are advised to use an antiparasitic product.

We take advantage of this consultation to gather valuable advice from the veterinarian regarding the attitude to adopt with the animal when the baby is born.

At home

At home it is necessary to resolve certain behavioral problems if this has never been done before. A cat that is getting a little too comfortable should be cropped long before the child is born.

  • There is no longer any question of the cat squatting in the room intended to become the baby’s bedroom.
  • If the animal is quite solitary and does not tolerate visitors, it must be accustomed to them because friends and family members will come one after the other to meet the baby when it is born.
  • The cat must be familiarized as soon as possible with the cries and screams of children. You can regularly invite a couple of friends who are young parents, for example, or why not have the cat listen to these sounds through a recording.

It is equally useful to do discover new smells to the animal like baby cleansing milk. Let’s not forget that they will soon be part of everyday life and that the cat has an extremely developed sense of smell.

When the baby is born

During the few days that the baby is still in the maternity ward, it is important to bring home some clothes that he has worn so that the cat gets used to its smell. Upon returning from the maternity ward, the newborn must be present to the cat, always under the supervision of his parents.

It is normal to spend a lot of time with your little one, but you should not neglect your kitty or keep it away all the time. Some parents choose to place their cat during the first few months, but this is not advisable because this way, the cat risks being very disturbed Or jealous to feel abandoned. On the contrary, if he is fully integrated into the family, the cat-baby cohabitation will go much better. It is recommended to set up a corner of his own for the kitty, sheltered from comings and goings, and if possible away from noise. He will be able to take refuge there at his convenience and find his calm there.

If a caregiver is going to spend time in the home, you should also think about doing everything possible to get the animal used to her presence. Some cats do not like sharing their environment with strangers.

Behavioral problems in cats discovering newborns

Despite many precautions on the part of their owners, some cats show behavioral disorders when the baby arrives. Some suddenly relieve themselves outside the litter box, others become aggressive, still others neglect their kibble or spend their time compulsively licking themselves. For calm a cat who has difficulty accepting the arrival of a newborn, we can for example:

  • Provide him with a pot of catnip (Nepeta cataria) commonly called catnip.
  • Use of pheromones spray to spray on the cat’s basket for example,
  • Ask your veterinarian for treatment with essential oils,
  • Make an appointment with a veterinary behaviorist if all else fails.

Cat and baby arrival: hygiene precautions

It is essential to brush your cat very regularly and to check its coat when it comes back from a walk in order to dislodge ticks and fleas if necessary. Its litter box must also be cleaned very frequently and disinfected, as well as the bowl and water bowl of the little feline. The cat’s claws must be cut very regularly to limit the risk of scratching.

One crucial question remains: should access to the baby’s room be allowed? In this area, it is mainly a question of common sense. We do not leave the cat alone with the toddler but nothing prevents it from entering this space if at least one of the child’s parents is there and if the animal is in excellent health of course. It is still necessary to ensure that the child is not allergic to cat hair.

On the other hand, the baby’s room should be strictly forbidden to the little feline if it is accustomed to urine marking, if it is aggressive, if it is sick or if it has always had unpredictable behavior.

To facilitate cohabitation between a kitty and a baby, each owner should make a point of: Train your cat as early as possible even well before having a child. This allows, when the day comes, not to be preoccupied by this type of problem and to be much more peaceful.

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