Bringing a baby into your home for the first time is a daunting experience. Bringing a baby home when you already have pets can bring extra worries, so its important to prepare your cat for the new arrival. Cats are highly sensitive creatures and a new baby in the home massively changes the dynamic and this can be very stressful for them.
We had our two cats, Oscar and Max, before we had children. They were my furbabies before I had any babies. When I was pregnant for the first time I worried how the boys would adapt. We followed some simple rules listed below to help from the first meeting onwards, hopefully they will help prepare your cat also.
Ways to minimise your cats anxiety
Quiet introduction – try to minimise stress by introducing the baby to the cat at a quiet moment. Allow the cat to explore the baby and sniff its head safely. Stroke your cat so he understands the baby is not a threat.
Give them a cuddle – the baby will take over, but when you can, try to give the cat a cuddle too. He will feel a bit abandoned if he never receives
Create a safe zone – allowing your cat space to be alone and away from baby is important. This is especially true when your baby starts moving and your cat doesn’t enjoy his tail being pulled.
Pheromone plug-ins – they release synthetic pheromones into your home to relax the cat. You can also buy sprays but a plug-in ensures there is a constant release.
There is a lot of evidence about how a child benefits from having a pet at home. Parenting magazine covers in-depth five benefits:
1. Pets help with learning
2. Pets provide comfort
3. Pets encourage nurturing
4. Pets keep kids healthy
5. Pets build family bonds
The easier you can make that initial introduction and how prepare your cat the better your they will cope. The relationship that your cat and child will forge will be monumental in both their lives. So enjoy the relationship as it grows between your furbabies and babies.