Introducing your cat to your baby
Before our first born arrived out cat was our baby and Im not embarrassed to admit it. We realised when we moved from our rented flat to our new house that our cat actually had more furniture than we did! Our little fur baby kept me company all day and although not the cuddliest of cats he was always up for play time and he knew he was the boss!
I was really worried when I was pregnant that he would soon fell left out and resent the baby so I Googled madly and followed these steps.
As soon as I knew I was pregnant I started preparing little things. I bought some baby products to use in the shower so our cat would get used to unfamiliar smells. I also played noises of babies using videos on YouTube, especially of babies crying so it wasnt such a strange noise to hear.
About three months before the birth I bought a crib and put a cardboard sheet, with double sided sticky tape on the top, in the crib. This meant that every time the cat tried to jump in, he would have a very unpleasant sticky feeling on his feet so he soon stopped doing this. This was a great idea as he has never tried to jump in the crib since! You can also use this for prams, Moses baskets and anywhere else you dont want your cat exploring!
We changed his feeding area. Our cat has a raw food diet so I really didnt want the baby when they were crawling to end up putting raw meat in his mouth so as soon as we found out I was pregnant the cat started eating up high. We dedicated a space in our utility which is nice and quiet for him and he has never minded the change, in fact I think he prefers to eat up high as it must remind him of his ancestors dragging their kills in to trees!
Our cat does not have a shortage of safe zones. He has a huge high cat tree where he can observe the goings on and be free from grabby fingers. He is a very sociable cat so likes watching people so this is perfect for him.
When we brought the baby home we didnt make a big deal of introducing them both. I carried on with routine as much as possible, feeding the cat at the same times and making sure someone plays with him at least twice a day for 10/15 minutes. The cat was naturally very curious about the wriggling small person in my arms so came up for a sniff and I was prepared with a cat treat too to make it a pleasurable experience. Actually the cat lost interest very quickly with the baby and went for a nap so all in all an easy hello!
Despite the ease of introduction I never left the cat alone with the baby. I used a sling a lot in the early days so the baby was normally attached to me which made things much easier. As the baby got older and started crawling things got more difficult as he really wanted to hold and cuddle pusscat like a toy but pusscat was having none of that. The cat normally managed to stay well away from little hands although we did do a few practices of gentle stroking.
Having a pet certainly makes bringing a baby home slightly trickier but I wouldnt have changed anything. Watching my babies laugh in delight at the cats antics has definitely been worth it and I think even the cat secretly likes these tiny humans too!