There are a lot of different theories and practices when it comes to introducing your new baby to your cat.
Parenting sites may have a different approach than a pet site like CatTime. However, the best advice I can give you is to read as many articles and research as much information as you can, and then do what feels right for you and your family.
Here are a few ideas to help you make the transition into life with your new bundle of joy smooth for everyone.
1. Go For A Vet Checkup
Before your baby is born, make sure your cat or cats have been to the vet for a full checkup, and make sure all vaccinations are up-to-date. Some diseases can jump from cats to humans, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Even if your cat is perfectly healthy, a checkup with the vet is always a good idea. Your vet can find medical issues and recommend changes before there’s a problem.
Addressing your kitty’s health before you have the added responsibilities of your baby in the home will save you some stress later on.
2. Talk About Responsibilities In Your Relationships
Take a look at the relationship you have with your cat. If you are the expectant parent and also the main caretaker of your cat, you may want encourage your partner or other member of the household to take a more active role in caring for your pet.
You’ll want to help encourage their bond to grow so that your cat won’t feel snubbed when you start spending more time with your new baby. Provide them with treats, toys, and tips about your cat’s likes and dislikes.
Give them opportunities to spend time alone together when you’re not present. This will help them grow accustomed to not having you around to help all the time.
3. Invite Friends And Family With Babies For A Visit
If you have any friends or family members with small children, invite them over! This will give you a great opportunity to introduce your cat to the sights, sounds, and smells of a baby or child.
It will also help you to see what steps you might need to take to childproof your home and litter box.
4. Set Boundaries Before Baby Arrives
If your cat isn’t going to be allowed in your baby’s bedroom, you should start shutting the door now before the baby arrives. Let your cat get used to the idea that some places will be off limits.
Your cat will have their personal space, too. You won’t be allowing baby to climb the cat tree or sit in the litter box, so don’t feel like your cat is getting put out if you plan to have a space just for baby.
If you’re going to close the bedroom door and take afternoon naps with your baby, start practicing that now. It will be much harder to put a newborn to bed later on if you have a yowling, angry cat swiping at the door.
5. Create A Calm, Soothing Environment For The First Meeting
When you do finally bring your baby home, you’ll want to give your cat some time to meet them.
Find a comfortable place to sit and invite your cat over. Offer treats and rewards for good behavior. Make their initial meeting a mellow and positive one.
If your cat or baby shows signs of distress, separate them for a while and reintroduce them later. Move at their pace and take it slow.
These are just a few of many ideas to help you and your family adjust to the new arrival. Give everyone lots of love and get rest when you can. It’ll all work out just fine.