2018-07-25 / Front Page

New baby and cats

Some cats do not tolerate change well. These are the cats most likely to be affected by a new baby, so use the entire pregnancy to slowly prepare them. Play tapes of baby noises to acclimate your cat to the sounds she is about to hear. Rub baby lotion on your hands before engaging in petting the cat, to have positive associations with baby odors.

Set up the nursery furniture as soon as possible, and allow the cat several weeks to investigate before you select surfaces to declare off limits, such as the changing table and crib. Then at least one month before the baby arrives, make the surface look unwelcome. Cut sheets of cardboard to the size of the furniture surfaces and cover one side with double-sided adhesive/ masking tape. Cats tend to avoid sticky surfaces, and by the end of the month should learn to steer clear of these sites.

If the litter box has been kept in the soon-to-be nursery, begin several months ahead of time to move it, several inches a day to a new location.

When you first arrive home from the hospital, greet your cat in a quiet room without interruption.

Place a used receiving blanket or piece of infant wear in a quiet area where the cat can investigate it. Make sure the crib and other baby sleeping locations are off limits to the cat. A heat-seeking cat who chooses to cuddle up close to the baby’s face could make it difficult for the baby to breathe. Close the door to the nursery when the baby is napping. If there is no door, either install a temporary screen door or place a crib tent over the crib to keep the cat out. These precautions prevent the cat from urinating in the crib, something she may try if extremely stressed.

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