Prepare Your Cat for a New Baby

Baby nursery

A new baby is a big change for a family — and not just for the human members of the household. Cats are often treated like children, and while a baby doesn’t change the love that pet parents have for their cherished felines, the amount of time, energy and money they have to spend on the cat will decrease drastically after the baby's arrival. If your cat is sensitive to change or has never been around children, it is important to prepare her for this tremendous change.

Start With a Visit to the Vet

Protect your child and your cat by taking your cat to the veterinarian for a health checkup well before the baby's arrival; while you're there, be sure all her vaccinations are up-to-date and she's protected against internal and external parasites. In addition, if your cat has any ongoing behavior issues, such as aggression or going to the bathroom outside the litterbox, now is the time to resolve the issue with your veterinarian and, if needed, a recommended behavior professional.

In addition, during your pregnancy your cat should be kept solely indoors to reduce her risk of contracting toxoplasmosis, which can be dangerous to your unborn baby. (Pregnant women should also refrain from cleaning the litterbox if at all possible, or at the very least should wear disposable gloves while changing the litter and wash thoroughly after the chore is finished.)

Practice Living With a Baby

Next, it’s time to get your cat ready to have an actual baby in the house. Teach her to enjoy the sights, smells and sounds associated with the baby so that when your child arrives, your cat won't be stressed out by these new sensations. Introduce her to the sounds of a baby, such as cooing and crying, by playing a baby sounds CD at a low level while offering a delicious treat. As your cat becomes accustomed to these new noises, gradually increase the volume of the CD, but be sure that your cat stays relaxed as the noise grows louder. My favorite baby sounds CD is Preparing Fido.


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