How to Introduce Your Cat to a New Baby

September 12, 2019 11:35 pm Published by

Congratulations, you’re expecting! This can be an exciting time in your life as you prepare for the new arrival—but how will your cat take the news?

Cats have a reputation for being tetchy, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to get rid of your beloved pet. They can adjust to new human life and will probably end up adoring your child. The key to facilitating a great relationship between Mr. Socks and the baby is to realize that cats thrive on routine. Adding a new person to the mix can be incredibly stressful on your cat, so we recommend preparing cats for changes in Alexandria, VA ahead of time.

Unfortunately, you can’t call a family meeting to sit your cat down and explain that they’ll soon have a new roommate. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of ways you can get your cat used to the idea that for a while, someone else will rule the roost.

Preparing your cat for a new family member

  • Get them ready for new smells: Try to use the same products (shampoo, soap, lotions, powder and more) that you’ll be using on your new baby. After the baby is born, you can bring a blanket home from the hospital to get your cat used to their unique scent before the baby comes home.
  • Prepare your cat for new sounds. Listening to babies scream is stressful enough for adults who know what’s going on, so you can understand why this might not appeal to a cat. Look for recordings of babies crying or screaming, and start playing them at a low volume while your cat is eating or playing. Over time, increase the volume.
  • Incremental changes: As you make changes around your home, especially in the nursery, try to make them gradually, then play with your cat in the new area.
  • Precautions against toxoplasmosis: As always, if you are pregnant, either use gloves and a mask to clean your cat’s litter, or have another person do it. The chances of contracting toxoplasmosis are small, but the consequences are deadly.

Introducing your cat to the new baby

  • Stay on schedule: Babies like schedules, and so do cats. Continue to feed and play with them at the same times each day.
  • No crib access: Keep the door to the nursery shut with a baby monitor on, or install a screen door so your cat can’t get in.
  • Supervise your cat when they interact with the baby: Your cat will eventually be curious about their new friend, so when they show interest, make sure their time together is supervised.

Visit our full-service cat clinic in Alexandria, VA

Are you concerned about preparing cats for changes in Alexandria, VA? You can trust Kingstowne Cat Clinic to take outstanding care of your furry friends. Kingstowne Cat Clinic is your destination for any and all feline veterinary services. We’re a full-service cat clinic in Alexandria, VA, administering wellness exams, surgery, dental care and more. Let us help your cat live a happy and healthy life!

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