Welcoming a new baby into the family is an exciting event for everyone but Kitty. Cats are territorial creatures and they often have difficulty adjusting to a new human addition. Cats may act out in retaliation toward the new child by urinating in the child’s room, shredding furniture, yowling or being disruptive. Fortunately, there are many ways to make the new baby transition easier for your cat.
As Soon as You Find Out That You Are Pregnant, Make Baby’s Room Off Limits
Cats are more likely to accept gradual change gracefully than they are sudden change and you can help facilitate a smooth transition by ensuring that baby’s room is off-limits from the get-go rather than simply barring it off the day the baby comes home. By doing this, you lessen the chances that the cat will react negatively to being excluded from a room.
Help Kitty Get Used to Baby’s Toys
Cats often have a difficult time with the addition of new furniture or accessories to the home. You can help ease this for your cat by leaving the new baby’s toys, clothing and furniture in a place where the cat can see and smell it. Getting Kitty used to these things before baby is due will help facilitate the transition and reduce anxiety surrounding the due date.
Prep Kitty for Baby’s Sounds
It goes without saying that babies behave differently than adults and, therefore, it makes sense to help your kitty get used to what baby will sound like by purchasing a CD with recordings of crying babies. This may seem absurd, but baby cries can be startling to a cat and getting your feline used to them beforehand can go a long way toward making things easier when the baby arrives.
Make a Safe Space for Kitty
Cats feel more secure if they have a familiar place to hide and observe their surroundings. If your cat does not currently have an area like this within the home, consider purchasing a cat tree with a built-in den. This will provide a secure perch for kitty and provide her with some security in the moments when the house feels a little chaotic.
Give Kitty Space from Guests
Unless your cat is very social, there is a good chance she will not appreciate all of the guests that come with a new baby. To alleviate the cat’s anxiety at so many visitors, consider shutting the cat in a secluded room while the visitors are around. This will make the visit easier for everyone and reduce your cat’s fear.
The parasitic infection toxoplasmosis is a big concern for pregnant pet parents, because it can result in miscarriage, stillbirth or such birth defects as blindness, deafness, hydrocephalus or epilepsy. Please take the necessary precautions when pregnant. These include;
- Pop on a different pair of gloves when you are washing raw vegetables and fruits, handling raw meat for Kitty’s supper (always cook the meat after you prep it, never serve your feline raw meat) or cleaning food prep surfaces.
- Have a family member clean the litter box for you.
- Wear gloves when you garden or handle soil or better yet no gardening if you are pregnant.
Having a new baby is an exciting adventure for the entire family and, although cats often get nervous in the face of a new arrival, these simple tips can help facilitate the transition and make it as easy and comfortable as possible for everyone involved. With a little luck and some planning, your cat and your new baby will soon be close friends!
Content reviewed by a veterinarian