How do I go about introducing a cat to a new baby?
Sara, many cats don’t do well with sudden changes so ideally preparations should start before the baby is born. There are going to be many adjustments for everyone to make, including your puss.
If you’re the one doing most of the feeding and grooming, gradually start to transfer those tasks to your partner so your cat is less dependent on you for them. If you can find a recording of babies crying and cooing, play it regularly so your pet is at ease with them. The baby’s nursery will develop its own scents of body lotions and powders so if possible, start using them on your hands or skin so puss isn’t bothered by them. All of these are designed to avoid sudden changes in your pet’s environment which can cause stress.
When baby is born, bring a wrap home and let your cat smell it. Then when baby comes home your cat can be allowed to sniff and become familiar with the new family member. You may find that they’ll prefer to keep to themselves in the early stages while everyone is fussing over baby. It’s important that your cat still gets some attention and play time so be sure to set aside in your new schedule for that. Feliway spray can help; it’s a pheromone that reduces anxiety in cats and helps them to adapt to change. If you do these things, your cat should cope well with the arrival of your baby.
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