You are overjoyed with the arrival of your baby, but is your cat feeling the same way? Many cats have absolutely no problems with the arrival of a little one, but others have more difficulty with that. Below you will find a number of tips to help the cat get used to (the arrival of) the new roommate.
Start on time
The more sensitive your cat is to stress, the sooner the changes must start to take place as gradually as possible. Many problems arise because the cat suddenly has lost its permanent place, is confronted with countless new smells and sounds, and probably suddenly receives less attention. As a cat, you would be quite upset!
The baby room
If you have decided to use your cat’s favorite room as a baby room, start ‘moving’ the cat as early as possible. Move the litter box to a new (and permanent!) place, preferably with small pieces so that the transition is not too big and sudden. Do the same with food and water bowls.
Create a new place for the cat to sit, sleep, and preferably look outside. It’s best to make sure that there are several safe escape places, in case there are a lot of visitors and/or maternity assistance.
If the cat has found a new place, close the door of the nursery so that he gets used to the fact that it is no longer available.
You can also do odd jobs in phases, so that the cat gets used to the new smells of paint, wallpaper, carpeting, new furniture, etc. if he responds anxiously to new objects and smells, use Feliway spray to give the new furniture a familiar odor. You can rub the new furniture with a towel that has been lying on the cat’s bed for a few days to apply the cat’s own scent.
Baby smells and baby things
Cats have a sensitive nose and, therefore, react very strongly to new scents. Use the baby oil and other care products regularly before the baby is born, so that the cat is used to the smell.
Place baby items and toys regularly in the living room. Toys that move or make noise are particularly threatening. Let the cat get used to it at its own pace. Do it step by step, especially if the cat is scared. Reward the cat regularly if it is near a new object and still manages to remain calm.
Get used to crying a baby
The penetrating cry of a baby can make a cat quite nervous, especially because it can resemble the screaming of aggressive cats among themselves. Play the sound of a crying baby (Youtube) very softly – so that the cat can hear it – when you are cuddling or playing with the cat. If it responds anxiously, try again with the volume a little lower. Reward it exuberantly if it stays calm.
Building new routines
Probably your whole life will be shaken when the baby comes and, a lot will change in your daily schedule. Try to anticipate this and to implement possible changes earlier, such as a different feeding pattern. Although it seems more logical to let the cat ‘benefit’ from the undivided attention, it will make it more difficult for it when the baby arrives.
However difficult it may be, have someone in the family regularly make time to cuddle or play with the cat once the baby arrives. The cat does not understand why everyone is so busy and no longer has time for it.
Escape from gripping hands
Even though your cat may not be impressed at all in the arrival of the baby, once the baby starts to crawl, it may change its attitude. Make sure the cat can retreat to a high place (climbing pole, boards, etc.) where the toddler cannot reach it!
The cat is not jealous of the baby
If you sit quietly with the baby on your lap, then chances are good the cat will join you too. Not because it is jealous, but probably because that’s the only moment when you sit quietly, in addition to the fact that it used to sit on your lap before the baby arrived. Have it come and browse the baby quietly, do not panic because of the cat’s proximity. Give the cat hugs if it stays calm so that the moment will be pleasant for it too. Enjoy being together!