You’ve mastered cat-parenting, now it’s time for the human kind. Introducing a new member to your pride does not have to be a stressful experience. By providing a slow and steady introduction, the result can be enriching for both your cat and your child. Here are a few quick tips to make the initiation process as smooth as possible for everyone involved:

Prepare Your Pet and Yourself

Set up the nursery early. Let your cat explore the new setting and get accustomed to any new furniture or baby items that may frighten him. 

Introduce your cat to all the baby supplies and scents. Rub baby lotion or baby powder on your hands so that your cat will associate a positive connection with the scent. 

Introduce your cat to baby sounds by playing a recording of various baby noises (such as crying, screaming, giggling etc.) at a low volume while your cat is eating or playing. Raise the volume gradually with each session until your cat appears to be comfortable with the sounds. Gradually introduce your cat to any sound-making toys and devices that may be used when the baby arrives. 

Praise your cat regularly. To avoid any potential anxiety, give your cat some extra pets and praise when they are around items such as baby tables and cribs. 

Establish the ground rules early. Do not allow your cat to jump or sleep on any of the baby furniture. Pets tend to avoid sticky surfaces, so if your cat views the new furniture as a napping place, consider a double sided-adhesive to make the new items undesirable.

Take precautions against toxoplasmosis. Although toxoplasmosis is extremely rare in indoor cats, it is often a concern for pregnant women. Toxoplasmosis is only transmitted through infected feces or soil, so indoor cats are hardly ever infected. However, you should wear gloves when cleaning the litter box as well as when gardening and during contact with soil or sand. Try to abstain from adding a new cat to the family until after you have had your baby. 

When the Baby Arrives

After arriving home from the hospital, greet your cat in a quiet room so you can reconnect and bond. After you’ve had a few minutes of undivided attention with your cat, you can let everyone else, including the baby, in the house.

Let your cat investigate by placing an item that smells like the baby, such as a receiving blanket or article of clothing, in a quiet place for him to smell and get acclimated with the item.

Don’t let your cat feel forgotten about. Praise your cat and give him attention when the baby is in the room. Baby naptime is the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time, just the two of you. 

Babies and pets can live in unison, so please don’t give up on your pets when you are expecting a new baby. If you have any questions or need further assistance, call our free Behavior Helpline at (312) 645-8253 or email help@anticruelty.org.

Recent Articles

The most common behavior problem that cats engage in is eliminating outside of their litter boxes. It is important that you treat this problem early, as the longer the cat continues to do this, the more likely it is that it will become a habit, regardless of why it started.

The first thing you should do when

First impressions between pets are just as important as they are between people. By providing a slow and steady introduction, the result can be rewarding for both your feline companions. Here are a few tips and precautionary steps to help make cat-cat introductions pleasant for everyone involved.

Keep the cats

If you think it’s cruel to keep your cat indoors, think again. Cats who are let outside are faced with a multitude of risks and more likely to die prematurely than those kept inside. Rather than letting your cat fend for herself on a daily basis, make her part of your family inside. As a responsible pet owner, it is

Many cats enjoy being stroked– they purr, knead their paws, and lean into your hand. Sometimes it seems they quickly change their minds and bite out of the blue. Other cats only briefly tolerate petting and show no indication of actually liking it. Whatever the reason may be, there are steps that can be taken to help