Once you are having a baby, the routine and environment change drastically. This can be startling for your cat. Cats are highly sensitive to their environment, people and the routine of the place. If your cat has a behavioural problem, then it might be even difficult for both you and your car to adjust to this new arrangement.
However, we have your back. We will share some tips to safely introduce a cat to a newborn baby.
Be prepared even before the baby is home!
Preparing your cat for a newborn baby even before it arrives in the world can really smoothen the process. Being a cat owner, you might be aware of how sensitive cats are. Start with the basic, avoid handling your cat directly with your hands. Instead, use toys to interact with them so that the cats don’t favour fingers or hands. ( Read about The Secret of Cat’s Behaviour changes )
Introducing a cat to baby sounds and smells first
Cats are very particular about certain sounds and smells. If your cat is suddenly exposed to these new sounds of your baby and the new smells from various baby products, it might be very unsettling for it. Instead, use recorded baby sounds to habituate your cat so it feels at ease with these new sounds. You can begin with pleasant sounds and then move to unpleasant sounds like that of crying. Get your cat used to baby powder, soaps, shampoos and baby milk by using them in the months leading up to your baby’s arrival. You can also use a Feliway diffuser to make strange items smell familiar. These are a synthetic version of pheromones produced by a gland on cat’s face. ( Read about Cat’s Sleeping Positions and What They Mean?)
Get an initial introduction in a quiet place
Avoid the first introductions in a noisy or crowded room. Cats and babies can be introduced safely in a quite pleasant room where you let your cat sniff the baby. The pre-preparations will make it easier for the cat to feel secure and familiar.
It is not wise to let the cat investigate the newborn without your supervision. Always be around the baby whenever the cat interacts with your baby. You can use a screen door for the nursery so that the cat can still see and hear the baby. Consider using a cot and pram net to avoid your cat sneaking on your baby when it’s sleeping.