Introducing Your Cat to Your Newborn
I have two cats and they are treated like family. When I was pregnant I wanted both my baby and cats to feel comfortable with each other. I wanted it to be a smooth transition for everyone. While looking online most of the results were tips on introducing your dog to your newborn. I felt it was important to write about introducing your cat to your newborn because while researching before my daughter was born there was little information to be found. I hope the following tips are beneficial to expectant parents in introducing your cat to your newborn. It was mostly trial and error for us due to little information being available. Hopefully, it is an easier process for you.
Safety is the main concern for both your baby and cat. I hope with these tips you have a safe and smooth introduction.
- First Meeting: When you are first introducing your cat to your newborn I would suggest to let your cat come to your baby when they are ready. Since cats are curious by nature they will typically try to sniff the baby as soon as you arrive home from the hospital.
- Listen to your cat: Follow your cats' instincts. For instance, if your cat is needing space, give it. You know your cats' personality best and act accordingly to it.
- Do Not Force It: By all means, please do not force your cat to interact with your child. They will interact with your baby when they are ready.
- Monitor all interactions: Until you know fully how your cat will react and interact with your baby I would monitor every interaction. I would not suggest leaving your newborn alone with your cat until everyone is comfortable.
- Be Cautious: Watch out for any reactions that your baby may be having. Since they have not been around a cat before they may be allergic. If they are showing any signs of allergies I would contact their doctor just in case.
- Consistency: Try to keep your routine as normal as possible. There is enough change happening that if you switch things up it can create more stress.
- Multiple Cats: If you have multiple cats I would suggest introducing them to your baby one at a time. This will help make the situation less overwhelming.
- Attention: Try to give one on one attention to your cat without any distractions. Even if it is only for 15 minutes every day. They need the reassurance that they are still part of the family and are important to you.
- Give it time: Allow time for the cat to adjust. If they seem to be distancing themselves or becoming more clingy. The cat is trying to find its place again. Since you are giving them less attention to care for your newborn it may take time to adjust to the changes.
- Do not give up: It may seem like they are not forming a bond but give it more time. It takes time to make a friendship. Our daughter has a great relationship with our cats. If we would have given up and kept them away from each other we would have never got to see it grow.
- Be Patient: Having patience is key for this transition. It may get frustrating if it seems like they are not forging a friendship or the interaction is not going as expected. It is a learning experience for everyone. Through trial and error, you will find what works for your specific family.
Best Friends Fur-Ever
If you take anything away from this the key is to be patient. It is a really big change for everyone so allow it time. I am glad we pushed through because it is beautiful to have watched their relationship grow. It is the start of them being best friends. I can not wait to see their bond years from now.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Amber