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Preparing cats for the arrival of baby.

(30 Posts)
Gillian1980 Sun 28-Dec-14 23:27:38

We have a lot of cats and we love them to bits, they're part of the family.

I've been given a couple of tips of how to prepare them for the baby's arrival, but any additional advice is welcomed.

So far we have been advised to play the sound of babies crying, starting very quietly and getting louder, to desensitise them. Also not to let them in the nursery (was our spare room and they've never been allowed in there anyway).

The poor things are not going to know what's hit them! I'm not sure they'll appreciate a baby.

blackwidow74 Mon 29-Dec-14 00:25:06

I also heard that sending an item scented by baby home ahead of your discharge so they know the smell before you get home helps

Allstoppedup Mon 29-Dec-14 00:41:25

We have two cats and I was worried about them just before DS arrived.

It's honestly not been a problem. The cats were initially wary of DS andgave him a wide berth.

We just were careful watching any interactions ( curious sniffs etc...) We tried to stay positive and encouraging offering treats/fusses when DS was with us.

I did send a muslin home with DP so they got new baby smell!

One cat still stays well away from now 1yo DS but the other quite likes to sit with DS and watch him play/ cuddle up next to us. DS's face lights up whenever he see the cats and they still get fussed and are happy.

The cats have been great for teaching my LO about being gentle too.

CCongratulations and good luck. The fuzzy little critters are surprisingly adaptable.

Gillian1980 Mon 29-Dec-14 13:53:01

Thanks blackwidow that's a good idea, we'll do that.

Gillian1980 Mon 29-Dec-14 13:54:05

Good to hear it's all been ok with your cats allstoppedup fingers crossed we have a similar experience.

wtffgs Mon 29-Dec-14 13:57:00

They will never forgive you but they will come to accept the situationgrin

This will be directly related to the mini-human's ability to give them food/treats! grin

DanyStormborn Mon 29-Dec-14 15:21:28

Also start shutting the door to your bedroom if you plan for the baby to share your room initially. Let them have a sniff round the new baby furniture when it arrives but swiftly remove them if they jump into something the baby will sleep/sit in. Do you have any friends with young babies that could visit ahead of the birth to get your cats a little used to real babies?

Stillyummy Mon 29-Dec-14 15:26:18

Where did you get your baby crying sound from Gillian? I am about to start the same. I have also brought a load of feliway refills.

espa Mon 29-Dec-14 16:14:00

We came home with baby last week. Our cats are lovely but quite timid, although very attached to us. We thought they'd be totally unimpressed by baby but they've been really good. They'll go and check on her every now and then and if she's crying one of them will come over to see if she's okay. The rest of the time they just sleep as normal. We keep them out our room and never in nursery unattended but do let them in to see what's in there now and then.

We didn't do anything to prepare them other than let them smell some clothes we took home. I've been surprised how well they've adapted tbh!

Hellohellohowareyou Mon 29-Dec-14 16:28:51

If you need to shut them out of any part of the house that they are currently allowed access to them do that now so that they don't associate them being 'banned' with the baby. Our 3 used to sleep on our bed but we stopped that when I was about 6 months pg so that they didn't associate it with the arrival of the baby

Gillian1980 Mon 29-Dec-14 17:01:18

It's quite lucky that they don't have open access to most of the house; only to kitchen and utility and the landings. They only go in the lounge or our room if we're in there so that will stay the same.

stillyummy I haven't tracked down the crying sound yet as not due for ages but I was told that there's lots on YouTube.

Gillian1980 Mon 29-Dec-14 17:03:45

That's good to hear espa. Ours are all quite timid too, they scarper as soon as anyone apart from us comes in the house. Hopefully they'll be as adaptable as your cats.

TTCMrsF Mon 29-Dec-14 18:56:40

I am the cat lady of our marriage and hubby likes them but also after moving into our new home now likes a cat free bedroom / hair free clothes!

So our cats don't really ever come upstairs and into bedrooms / nursery. The girl cat is a scaredy cat and runs / hides at lots of people (esp young kids) but my lover boy cat is a fussy devil and loves everyone and gentle toddler fussing even. Will be interesting to see how they both cope when baby arrives.

Do you all think there is truth is stories of cats sleeping in baskets / cribs/cots etc (cus they are warm and snuggly) and suffocating babies?! I love my kitties but will be so cautious of them hurting baby. Hubby will def want to take a firm line with the cats over the baby.

RL20 Mon 29-Dec-14 18:57:44

Hi Gillian. I'm in the same cat situation too, I'm due in April so I actually posted this question in the April thread. We have had a cat since he was kitten, he's now 3. I only ever owned a dog before him so I knew I had to look into this as I got fed up of people (mainly my interfering "mother in law") saying "oh well I don't know what you're expecting to do about the cat when the baby is here." I've heard that cats don't like immediate change so it does make sense to gently break the news to them! He's an indoor cat too, not sure if that makes any difference. A few people said the cat nets weren't worth buying so I've cleared that idea out of my head. The main thing we'll be doing is not letting him in our bedroom at night because of the cot. (He doesn't sleep in our room anyway). We played crying baby noises to him the other night, from YouTube. I can't say he looked remotely interested or even noticed? Maybe it's because he's an indoor cat and is used to the different noises from the tv, etc? I'm not sure, but will be keeping an eye out on this post for ideas! X

TTCMrsF Mon 29-Dec-14 19:03:26

Rl20 funny about your MIL, I mean why do people think cats are so dangerous / bad / unable to cope around babies? We've always had cats, I'm sure my mum had them when we were babies and we had our first kitten at 5yrs old. It's not like each of us will be the first people to ever have cats and babies now is it?!?! wink

nannynome Mon 29-Dec-14 19:08:26

I made sure our cat had a lot of high perches to watch DS from so she could see without getting involved (jumping in to investigate!)

nannynome Mon 29-Dec-14 19:10:17

If they are outdoor cats, be warned, mine tom to bringing live mice in during the 3am feed, I think she thought she was being helpful and teaching him how to hunt. It didn't make life easy having to feed him whilst DH scrambled around playing catch the mouse!

RL20 Mon 29-Dec-14 19:39:21

Espa that's lovely! I hope mine does the same. He is boisterous as he is a boy after all, (although saying that, he's had a real lazy day today and he's been asleep most of the afternoon!) but I have a feeling that he'll hopefully bond with the baby. Maybe that's just all in my head though! My partner has a 5 year old daughter and I feel like her and the cat have always had a love/hate relationship. Without sounding awful I can tell that she gets on his nerves a bit as she has teased him before. Hoping it all goes ok for us all! X

espa Mon 29-Dec-14 19:52:30

I think my boys would quite like to lie next to baby's Sleepyhead as it does look a bit like a cat bed, but they are just behaving as normal. Maybe getting slightly less attention but they don't seem to mind. Well one was a bit put out earlier when baby beat him to get fed when he wad wanting a cuddle! Both are indoor cats btw.

My neighbour's cat would bring presents in and leave them in front of the baby's bouncer when he was born!

Gillian1980 Mon 29-Dec-14 21:55:27

Our cats are all very snuggly so I'm sure they'd love to get in and cuddle with the baby.
I think we'll just have to be vigilant about not leaving them in a room unsupervised with the little one.

They do like to bring us presents so I'll prepare myself for possible increases there.

They don't like change too much but they seem capable of adapting. We got our kitten 4 months ago and the others welcomed him in ok.

Plateofcrumbs Tue 30-Dec-14 04:42:00

I think so much depends on the cat - our last cat hated new people and noise and was a bit of a scratcher and I'd have hated to have to introduce a baby to her (in fact we inherited her from our neighbours who had a young family, it was really not her scene).

Our current cat it is amazingly laid back and a bit stupid seems to actively enjoy being poked and prodded by small children, has never ever unfurled a claw in anger and shows zero interest in climbing into things so cots, cribs, bouncy chairs etc are all cat-free. So I've not introduced any new rules and even when DS was co-sleeping in our bed I'd still have the cat with us too. It's lovely having the entire family, furry members included, snoozing together! But I know my cat and feel very confident about her behaviour.

missingpinotgrigio Tue 30-Dec-14 12:30:12

Both our cats sleep in our bedroom, one on the bed one under it so I have purchased 2 cat nets from Mothercare to go on the Moses basket and carry-cot. They are a bit like mosquito nets and will stops the fluffs from sleeping in them whether baby is in them or not!

coastergirl Tue 30-Dec-14 13:12:39

I've never had cats before but since we moved into our new house we've got 2 kittens, they are now around 9 and 7 months old. They're indoor cats and very snuggly, although they will take themselves off for peace and quiet at times. Baby is due in March, and we aren't planning on a lot of changes. They sleep in the kitchen now so that will stay the same. Going to play crying noises to them and will probably send something home with baby scent on it. We got them a very tall cat scratching post /toy thing for Christmas so they have high places to escape to, and won't leave them alone with baby. Really hoping they bond. My family don't like cats and have made lots of comments about them being dangerous with the baby. It drives me crazy!

Alb1 Tue 30-Dec-14 23:20:36

We have indoor hyperactive young cats and DS is now 3 months old. Initially they were curious but scared and now they pretty much ignore his existance, but it's a constant battle keeping them away from warm baby things that they like to try and nap in! The female gets very fussy when DS cries, like she wants to try an help, an the male cats just look at DS with discust and leave the room grin

We just have to make sure we never ever leave the cats unattended in the room with the baby, they arnt very interested in him but when a little arm is waving around they see it as a game, an they are abit careless when jumping around and I wouldn't trust them not to accidently land on him! Was quite difficult in the first few weeks with the extreme tiredness as I couldn't just fall asleep in the living room when DS was asleep as I had to make sure the cats were locked out of the room (we have a very open plan house) and I found it hard giving them enough attention with a lovely new baby, but after a few weeks it had all settled down and the cats seem perfectly happy again smile

Only real advice I have is get something you can distract the cat with, like a lasor pen or treat stash as I got stuck a few times breastfeeding while the cat tried to sneak into the Moses basket or bouncer and there was nothing I could do about it as I couldn't get up or shout!

TTCMrsF Thu 01-Jan-15 22:29:32

Woke up this morning to find we know only have one pussy cat to prepare for our new arrival in 2015.

I am one heartbroken and sad cat lady, :-(

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