Arrival of new baby is a joyous and proud moment for parents but for cat it can be stressful and frightening. Celebratory event for family but for your pet it means major changes to the surrounding and routine he/she is familiar with.
Your house now has diapers, cribs, baby toys and many other objects unfamiliar to your cat.
Your cat now encounters baby cry, noise and smell that is strange to him/her.
And suddenly your cat is no longer getting the amount of attention he/her is used to. It is naturally for your feline friend to feel neglected and anxious.
Under these circumstances your cat can display undesired behaviors. These behaviors include urinating around the house instead of litter box, frequent meowing, and aggression.
Fortunately, here are few things you can do to introduce your cat to your baby.
Prepare your cat for the changes
Cats do not like abrupt changes as they are creature of habit so introduce necessary changes slowly. These changes may include when you feed your cat, duration of play and restricting the access to the areas of the house.
Also introduce furniture and baby’s item, if possible, one or two at a time to your cat so that your pet can explore and get accustomed to them without getting overwhelmed.
Prepare your cat for baby arrival
Get a baby doll and treat it like a new baby in front of your cat. This will help your cat in getting used to the presence of new baby. You should also play the recordings of baby sounds in the house so that your cat gets familiar with baby noises. At first, play the sound at low volume and gradually increase the sound. This will prepare your cat not be startled or frightened when your baby make noise or cries.
Any baby product items such as baby oil, lotion powder and shampoo that you bought for your baby, apply to yourself. This way your cat can get accustomed to baby scent.
When your baby is born, get someone to bring any cloth worn by your baby to home. Place it in your cat’s favorite area or where he/she sleeps so that your cat is used to baby’s smell.This make things easier when you finally bring your baby home.
Introduce solo games
It can be upsetting to your cat, if he/she is not getting same amount of play time and lap time with you as in the past after the arrival of baby. To minimize such incident you can train or introduce your cat to solo games and exercises ahead of time. Tunnels, boxes or crinkly bags are some of the toys you can give to your cat for solo play. You can hide catnip or treats inside the toys to make it even more fun for your cat.
Make accessible area more enticing
If you don’t want your cat to play or stay in certain areas of house such as your baby’s room or near your baby’s crib then you can make other part of your house more enticing to your cat. You can place comfy bed in area where you want your cat to be.
Get scratching post for your cat to engage so that they won’t be scratching baby’s crib. Another trick to keep the cat off baby’s crib is to apply double stick tape. This will get paws sticky which cats don’t like.
It is important to remember that restricting large areas of house to your cat is unadvisable because this can result in undesired behavior from you pet.
Get your cat examined by vet
Your pet will be less likely to be tolerant to any changes to his/her surroundings if unwell. Therefore, if any medical condition is bothering your feline friend, bring it under control before he/she has to face imminent changes to his familiar environment and routine.
Make sure your cat does not have any condition that can pose threat to your baby.