Five ways to prepare your cat for a New Born Baby
Cats love freedom, they adore the wilderness, and unlike dogs, they enjoy living life on their terms. But sometimes, when you domesticate a cat, you have to take away certain liberties from them. For example, most pet parents do not allow their kitties to go around and hunt down their food; instead, they provide for it at home only. A human-fur relationship calls for sacrifices from both ends to make up for the best of both their times. Just sometimes, it becomes unavoidable to tame the cat; such is the case of pregnancy. Although a cat and a human baby have had proven to form the best of companions, nothing comes without its hassles. Since they are a part of your family, some sacrifices are imperative from their end for the overall betterment of the family too.
A new member in the family might seem intimidating to fellow humans, too, let alone a kitty. Try getting into their paws for a kitty who has forever been in an environment of adults; an infant might seem an organism from Mars. Moreover, an infant has all-together different and developing sounds, scents and habits. Thus, to be suddenly asked to keep up with a toddler is not at all easy.
Owing to popular misconceptions, a lot of people suggest newly-parent couples rehome their fur babies. But, remember who came there first, and would you ever be satisfied with compromising one baby for the other over a mere misconception?
Cats are highly perceptive creatures. While they can be varying of a new member, they can easily transform themselves for the likings of their loved ones, if taught well. Thus, the role of a pet parent becomes very important in being the effective communicator and introducer in this case. A pet parent should take proper notice of the reactions of the cat to newer things. Make the cat comfortable enough to avoid the stranger-danger mode.
Nothing can happen in a day; every process takes time, so will this. Therefore, it is imperative to give a heads up to the cat and take them to places with an infant. Give them a chance to acquaint themselves with the sound, touch, smell, habits of an infant.
On the other hand, give them a chance to be handled by a mobile toddler as well. For you would not even know when the baby starts moving and is running after the cat. So, you need to give them the experience of a little grown-up toddler too.
SOUNDS TO COMMUNICATE
It is no surprise that a cat’s sensory organs are unparalleled to that of humans. Thus, they grab the early signs of human calamities like earthquakes, dogs etc.
Cats use this sense of organ to associate with their hoomans as well. They recognise and make acquaintance with people through sonic senses. It works as a bane when introducing them to a fellow-cat, or a human baby. Instead, it is used as a training method; repeated association with the same sound makes them familiar to the source of that sound.
Similarly, use this technique to introduce the ‘baby on board’ to them. Play videos of a baby crying and laughing in front of them so that gradually, they get the hang of the sound.
Otherwise, cats are peace-loving creature; an alien sound in the house can make them irritated. Moreover, it could create havoc in a situation, for, on the one hand, you would have a fur baby meowing, and on the other human baby will be crying too. Thus, prior acquaintance with the sounds of the baby eases the process significantly.
When a new member joins a family, things ought to change. Remember when your little kitty entered your life, how your world changed in accordance to them. Consequently, now that the kitty has to prove to be a good elder sibling, they must go through a certain training period. It would also ensure that they don’t feel left out and the new baby is not completely overwhelming.
If you had been playing with hands with your kitties until now, change these habits right now. Maintain a safe playing space for them with toys. DO NOT inculcate the habit, which could create issues for you and the baby in the future.
Hence, a new prospective routine can be incorporated, which ensures the benefits for both the babies. In addition, prioritising alone time for the two babies would be essential for you as a pet parent. Thus, the training would also provide you with ample space to experiment with your time.
All the prepping for the baby, from the new room to the nursery, should as much be checked by your kitties as you. We mean here that does not aggravate their curiosity by doing everything under the table; let them explore the new furniture, involve them in the process of prep, save them from the sudden shock, and let them be a part of your happiness.
It is also important for them to maintain a safe distance from the nursery in the initial days. Once they have explored the new furnishings, please encourage them to not go inside the room with positive reinforcements; treat them when they choose not to go inside the room. Discourage the cat to form any associations with the room the baby is going to be in.
When a baby comes into the picture, should you take care of these things, but more so when a baby is there.
Feline parasitic infection, known as toxoplasmosis, may occur if the cat can roam around and meet other animals during the pregnancy. It can cause fatal diseases in the new born child. Thus, it is important to take proper care and attention to any allergies the cat may have and stay on top of the screening process with the Vet.
When the baby is in life, keep a tab of the dirty diapers and wastes. But, do not mindlessly keep on spilling things; this could encourage you to make a mess. So, better to follow the doctrines of cleanliness from the beginning.
Once the baby has been delivered, half of the job is done. While the whole family has been away in the hospital, keeping them all alone, the cat deserves something in return for its patience. Thus, greet them with a good homecoming, praise them for their patience. Make sure that the baby is not there with you; let them sniff you, lick you. Pamper them, pet them, treat them like you always liked to do. Now that you guys have settled down and the cat is calm and cool. Get the baby in.
You could have the most amiable of cats in the world, and still, you need to maintain distance between the human baby and fur baby; after all, they are all babies. Space away, restrict the areas where the baby is at all times of the day. Take extra care when the baby is sleeping because the curiosity in your cat will lead them to explore. In addition to this, cats love to curl up while sleeping with their pet parents; as a sign of amicability, they could try it with your infant too, which can make them breathless.
If the cat is on heat, it is a no brainer that spaces should be strictly maintained, for the cat could try to heat with the baby, making them breathless.
Hence, it is only prudent to maintain separate spaces for the two babies. If you have already been training them over the months to not enter the nursery, this would not be a very hefty task for them.
Thus, training plays an important role in such a situation.
SCENT TO COMMUNICATE
Cats mark their territory through scented association. They consider scent an important marker for familiarity and friendship. Thus, training comes into play again. When a significant number of days have been passed with amiable distant co-existence, it is time to take the next step.
Give your cat a towel or blanket used by your baby. Let the cat sniff it and continue this process until you are sure of an affirmative association with that scent. This scent will form the basis for the budding human-fur relationship.
Then gradually let them break off the barriers that you had kept for them in the initial phase. Finally, let them get in the nursery together, under supervision. DO NOT haste at any step, and consider treats as your armour in this process.
Reward them when they have been gentle around the babies. It will create a sense of pleasure just by being around the baby.
MUTUAL EXISTENCE AND RESPECT
Patience and practice take you a long way. Every cat is different. Thus the time taken by them to adjust would be different too. However, some months of the habits mentioned earlier and training and your cat and kid will be the same. Companionship is a great element of human life, and a selfless companionship is the human-fur relationship, transforms the two, the cat and the kid, for their entire life.
It is scientifically proven that children born with pets have proven health benefits instead of those not born at home with pets. They are bound to develop an emotional quotient very early in life.
Along with this, if you have a female cat, you are gifting your human baby with additional motherly love, care and protection. They even help raise early alarms; if the baby is dealing with an underlying issue unknown to the human eye and senses, they have a gift of knowing.
It is important to restore respect from both sides. It is important for you, as a pet parent, to instil the values of respect in both babies. While the fur baby has been put to training to maintain this respect, even before the birth of the human baby, it is important to teach respect for cats in your human babies. Once they start crawling, it is possible that they barge in the territory or safe place of the cat, discourage such behaviour from the beginning. It will boost a sense of homeliness in the cat, and he or she will share a more loveable relationship with the human baby. Moreover, a healthy pet is always a happy pet and to keep them like that you can look for the best products from online pet store so that even if you have a baby to take care of you won't have to walk stores all by yourself.