Having A Baby - How To Keep Your Newborn And Cat at Home Happy

If you're having a baby, then congratulations! Having a child is one of the most amazing things in the world. It's phenomenal knowing that you're going to have a beautiful new baby in the home. For cat owners, though, this time also has some heightened anxiety. Some people may, incorrectly, advise you during this time that you need to prepare to get rid of your feline friend. You may also be worried about how cats and babies will react to each other. After all, you don't want either your pet or child to accidentally be hurt.

Fortunately, there are some ways to help make life with both cats and newborns a positive one. Let's explore three of those!

Be Mindful Of The Litter Box

If the cat's litter box were either in the soon-to-be nursery or close to it, you would likely want to move it out of the way. There are a couple of reasons for this, but the primary one is that your cat will be heading to the litter box multiple times per day. To make the introduction between baby and cat as stress-free as possible, you want to also make it as gradual as possible.

Forcing the cat to use the same room as your newborn can result in some problems early on! Plus, if you want to close the door to spend time with your new child without a cat also wanting to play with you after using the litter, you'll need to move the box out of the way. Do this a few weeks or months before the child comes so that way your cat has had plenty of time to learn and adjust to the new location!

Figure Out Cat Care Duties Before The Baby Arrives

Figure out who will feed and care for the cat before the newborn arrives. You don't want to be up all night feeding the baby and forget to put food down for the cat, which results in a very angry pet. Delegate feline caring routines before the baby comes so that way your cat will have plenty of time to adjust to the new caregiver's way of doing things!

Make The Introduction Gradual

The child's cries will startle your pet at first. When you first come home with your baby, reconnect with your cat in a quiet environment. Let everyone else, including baby, come in after you've had a couple of moments to yourself. Take something of the baby's - a blanket or onesie they've worn - and put it in a place where the cat can sniff it. You want your pet to get used to the smell of your newborn. Also, make sure you always close the nursery door when the baby is sleeping.

Newborns cannot roll over, so if your cat decides to curl up next to the baby or on the baby, it could result in problems. At least to start, keep the newborn baby and pets away from each other unless you are there to supervise!

Can newborns be allergic to cats and dogs?

Studies found that newborns who were exposed to cats and dogs during their first year of life will have lesser sensitivity to pets later on in life. However, newborns can still get allergic to pets so it's important that you gradually introduce your pet to your newborn to see how your newborn will react to it. 

Do cats and babies get along?

Generally, cats and babies can co-exist harmoniously. However, it's still important that you take precautions when first introducing your cat to your newborn. A baby smells and sounds different, and this may or may not cause your cat to be anxious.

Is there a danger with cats and newborns?

Cats are loving and affectionate pets, but do be aware that your cat may pose different health and safety risks to your newborn. This includes risks to your newborn's breathing, risk of infection, and risk of cat scratches and bites.

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Written by Leo Roux

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