Bringing a new baby into the home can be exciting but could also mean extra stress on your pets. Cats, fairly or unfairly, can be a little less flexible when it comes to change.
Before your baby arrives
Make sure the baby isn’t “a forbidden thing” for cats. Allow them to explore the baby’s room and items. This does not mean you have to let them take over those items, but let them be a part of the preparation for the baby.
Believe it or not, cats understand a change is coming and pick up on your excitement and/or nervousness! So, cats should be part of the process. They can watch you unpack new clothes, build the crib, etc.
It helps to play sounds for your cat: a baby crying and cooing. This helps cats become familiar with newborn sounds.
After the baby’s birth
Familiarize your cat with the baby’s scent. Cats take in so much information through their keen sense of smell. Once your baby arrives, help them adjust. Let the cat smell a blanket or hat used in the hospital before you bring the baby home.
“As your child grows, help them respect your cat’s space and boundaries,” notes Dr Penn Chinudomsub (aka Dr Penn). “Teach them to never grab a cat (or dog’s tail) and to leave food alone.”
If your cat is generally nervous and you are concerned about their reaction, try:
-calming cat supplements
-calming cat collars
-pheromone diffusers, like Feliway, before the baby arrives
Want to know how to prep your dog for a newborn? See our tips here.
Please call us if your cat is having trouble adjusting to your new family dynamics. We’re here for you 24/7.