Prepare Your Cat for Your New Baby
When you bring your new baby home, your baby won’t mind the cat, but the cat might mind the baby. To make the transition as smooth as possible, there are things you can do during pregnancy to prepare your cat for the upset.
Before the Birth
You can get your cat used to baby sounds by playing a recording of a crying baby. Cats are very attuned to noises, especially high-pitched ones, and this will decrease the cat’s negative reaction to your own baby’s cries. When you play with your cat, occasionally use baby oil so he or she can associate the smell with something positive. Assemble your crib at least a couple months in advance so your cat can explore this new piece of furniture.
If the litter box is currently in the same room that the baby will use, slowly move the box into its new room. While you’re pregnant, try to get someone else to empty the litter box, or do so yourself twice a day while wearing gloves. Cat feces can be dangerous, but only if it comes in contact with your body and gets into your system. You’ll also want to keep your cat indoors to prevent it from acquiring a disease from a rodent.
After the Baby Is Born
Once the baby is born, your cat will naturally feel a bit put off, because in its eyes, you’ve brought home a new pet, and one that demands your attention. When you first enter the house, see if you can get some alone time with the cat to help reassure it that you’re still its companion. Let the cat sniff the baby when its ready, which will help it get used to your baby’s presence.
Cats and children generally learn to love each other over time. You care about both your child and your pet, and taking these steps before and after your baby arrives can help all of you live together peacefully and happily.