Bringing a new baby into the family is a joyous occasion, but without proper preparation it can be very stressful for your cat. Following are suggestions to prepare your cat for baby’s arrival.
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Decorate Nursery Gradually
Cats are creatures of habit and need time to adjust to changes. If you plan to redecorate a room for the nursery, do one or two things at a time and give your cat a chance to investigate and get familiar with the new environment. Conduct play sessions in the new area and offer treats.
Buy Crib Early and Train your Cat to Stay Out of It
One way to do this is to fill the crib with plastic bottles or shake cans (empty soda cans with a few pennies inside). Make sure there are enough cans or bottles in the crib so the cat won’t be able to find a comfortable place to lay down. If your cat does attempt to jump into the crib after your baby arrives, buy a sturdy crib tent to keep your cat out. Make sure it’s strong enough to not become a hammock for your cat.
Familiarize your Cat with “Baby Sounds”
Baby noises are unfamiliar to cats and can be stressful. To help familiarize your cat with baby sounds, try recording a friend’s baby, or check online for crying baby sound effects. Play these tracks during play sessions with your cat to help get him comfortable.
If you have a friend with a baby, invite them to visit to help your cat become used to the movements and sounds babies make. Conduct a play session while the friend is visiting and reward your cat for calm behavior around the baby.
Expose Cat to Baby Scents
Scent is very important to cats, so begin using products yourself that will be used on the baby such as baby lotion or powder. Smelling the scent on you will help your cat become familiar with them when he smells them on the baby.
Keep Cat’s Schedule As Normal As Possible
If you have regularly scheduled play sessions, keep them intact. This might involve some rearranging, maybe one member of the family conducts the play session while mother tends to the baby. It’s important to allow your cat to be a part of things. If it’s baby feeding time, allow your cat to sit beside you.
Cats are very good at picking up on our moods, so keeping calm and relaxed will help you, your baby and cat build a happy relationship that will last for many years to come.
Reward your cat when he’s exhibiting positive behavior. When he’s biting and clawing, do not interact with him at all.then. Give him attention when he’s being quiet and good.
For a very active cat, schedule at least two regular play sessions with him each day. Maybe one in the morning, and one in the evening, depending on your schedule. Once you’ve determined the best times, be consistent with those times each day. Cats thrive on consistency. Conduct one-on-one play sessions with him, so the focus is entirely on your cat during that time. Change the toys out on a regular basis. cats gets bored easily. Introduce new and challenging toys to keep him busy.
Challenge your cat’s mind. Incorporate puzzle toys to challenge his mind and help hone his hunting skills. Rather than simply putting his food in his dish, put it into a food dispensing toy. That way, he’ll have to work to find his food, which will keep him busy much longer than munching food from his bowl. Have a variety of puzzle/food dispensing toys and rotate them regularly to prevent boredom.
When it’s time to prepare your cat for the baby’s arrival, it can be challenging keeping both happy and healthy. Yes, It can be frustrating and challenging to maintain harmony, but once it’s there, it’s the best!