Advice on introducing a new baby to our two cat home(6 Posts)
We are due to have our first child in early July. We have two 4-year-old cats (Persian tabby cross) and they are very used to a pretty quiet home with lots of attention. Whenever kids come to visit one of them spends most of her time in our bedroom.
Does anyone have any advice on how to prepare them for a new addition to our family / how to introduce the baby to them?
DH and I love the cats to pieces so want to make this as easy as possible for them.
This Zylkene leaflet might give you some ideas.
I found that letting our cat be curious and investigate under very close supervision helped. He also got fed at the same time as the baby even if it was just a few dreamies.
Just make sure the cats can be shut out of any room where the baby is when you need them to be.
With our cats, the newborn stage was fine. They just treated DD like a new piece of furniture! We already shut them downstairs at night, so it was no change for them not to be allowed up, and I was BF so night time activity was constrained to upstairs. I was feeling smug about how well it had all gone, then at 8m DD started crawling. They then got pretty stressed and one had to be treated for cystitis a couple of times and wasn't grooming herself that well. DD was just so interested in them, and the cats wanted to be near me all the time, and obviously I was near DD most of the time. It was stressful for all of us! With time and DD learning to pet them open handed and gently, things have improved. She's 18m now.
My main advice would definitely be to get them used to being shut downstairs / out of certain rooms at night, if they aren't already. We never shut them out of the baby's room (unless she was sleeping in there) and so they've never really been that intrigued by it. They never even jumped in the cot or Moses basket!
When I was pregnant with my first child, Sara I used a book called Tell Your Cat You're Pregnant: An essential guide for cat owners who are expecting a baby. It was really helpful and came with downloaded baby sounds. Max (my fur child/cat!) took some time to get used to the sounds but the book helped on how to do it. It gave me advice on what changes will occur and how to prepare my Max for them. It also talked about common behavior problems (like weeing inside which Max liked to do!) why it might occur and how to avoid it. It is written by a vet behaviorist too so it cover toxoplasmosis and health issues as well - mayb that will help you too! Best of luck as my 2 are now best of friends!
Thanks everyone this is really helpful advice. I am quite nervous about as my cats (which are essentially my fur babies) do what they like now and live a fairly charmed existence!
Will definitely check out that book - the sounds you can play sound good, I did read about that on the Internet.
Glad it can be done!
Get a Feliway plug in from the vet to help calm them. Let them sniff and explore all the new baby stuff that comes into the house. After baby's born, get dh or someone to bring home a blanket or muslin that smells of baby before you bring baby home (if you're staying in hospital for any length of time).
Our cats were freaked out by the new baby sounds but otherwise unworried (until ds became mobile and then they became recluses until ds learned to be gentle with them --and not scream at them--) Ds is now 3 and the cats are his buddies
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