Many new parents fear that they’ll have to get rid of their beloved cats. The rumor is that the cat will crawl into your baby’s crib and either smother or claw him. This idea is enough to make any parent-to-be cringe, at the very least.
Fortunately, your precious kitty and your adorable new baby can get along just fine together. You don’t even have to have your cat de-clawed to protect the new baby.
The first thing you need to know is that many of the tales are just that: stories. It’s very rare for a cat to harm a baby. There are far more people who were born, and grew up, with cats and had no problems than there are people who did not survive infanthood because of their parents’ cats.
Many of the cases in which cats allegedly suffocate babies actually involve SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), not the housecat. Cats rarely suffocate humans of any size or age.
If you love the cat, you can help him adjust to life with a new baby without getting rid of him. It’ll take a little work, but it’s worth the effort: your baby will grow up safely with a feline companion and your furry buddy won’t have to go to the pound.
Here are a few of the most important things you should do before your new baby arrives.
Have your cat examined by a veterinarian. Your vet should check for all diseases that can affect humans. If your cat is healthy, it can’t pass anything on to your baby. While you’re talking with your vet, ask about other things that you should do before the baby comes. He or she can help you prepare for the safe arrival of your new child.
Buy netting for the new baby’s crib. This will keep kitty out of the crib before and after your child arrives. This will keep the cat out but still allow you to check on the baby.
Let the cat explore the rest of the baby’s room. Kitty will want to investigate every change, from the new arrangement and furniture to the smells caused by new paint. Let him check things out to satisfy his natural curiosity.
Here’s what you should do after the new baby comes home.
Let your cat sniff the new human in the house. Kitty will be curious: don’t try to chase him off. If you do, he’ll just sneak into the baby’s room when you aren’t looking. Instead, let him explore to his tiny heart’s content while you watch. He’ll be satisfied soon enough.
When your baby’s sleeping, you can shut the nursery door and use baby monitors to stay tuned in. You can enjoy the baby’s naptime without worrying about the cat or the baby.
When the baby takes a nap in another part of the house – say, in his carrier in the living room – don’t freak out if the kitty shows up to take a nap too. If the cat’s had enough time to adjust to the new family member, he probably just wants to take a nap – not kill your baby out of jealousy.
Don’t forget that kitty needs attention too! Your cat might be insulted, or even jealous, if the new baby gets all the love. This is important even after kitty has accepted and welcomed the child.
Paying attention to both baby and kitty will eliminate potential problems and give them both the chance to live and learn together. And if you keep your cat, you’ll get some great pictures or videos of kitty-and-baby playtime.
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