How to Prepare the Cat for Baby’s Arrival

If Fluffy has been your pride and joy for several years, things will likely change when baby comes along. When your entire focus has been on the cat’s needs and comforts up to now, your priorities will inevitably change, as they are channeled into the baby. Just as older siblings need to be prepared for baby’s arrival so that they do not feel left out or ignored by their parents, so too does the cat. How can you prepare the cat for baby’s arrival?

Let Kitty See Baby’s Nursery

Cats are creatures of habit that like to know that each day’s routine will be much the same as usual without any startling changes. When anything changes in the home, such as the addition of new furniture, this can unsettle the cat’s sense of well-being. When baby comes along, the cat will not only have to get used to a new family member; he will also need to become accustomed to baby’s nursery, toys, cot and other possessions.

Once you start to establish baby’s nursery, satisfy the cat’s natural curiosity by letting it come into the room and look at how the room is shaping up. This can help kitty get used to the changes gradually so that when baby comes along, he will feel more at ease.

Carve Out Time for Kitty

Once baby arrives, much of your time and attention will be redirected to your new bundle of joy. But it is important to not forget about the cat! Spending every waking moment with your new baby can prove harmful to the cat. Do not underestimate just how much the cat still needs you, as your presence, time and company often mean a great deal to cats. While baby is napping or has gone out with your husband, carve out time to spend with the cat. This can help a cat see that it still has value in your eyes, even though you have other priorities now.

Supervise Kitty Once Baby Arrives

While you may be more concerned about your precious newborn baby being mauled by a Rottweiler than by your docile Russian Blue, it is still important to supervise your baby around kitty. The cat needs time to get used to your baby’s presence.

While most cats have no problems with babies and would never attack, you should not assume that it is safe to leave baby unsupervised in a room with the cat. Keeping a watchful eye when your baby and cat are in the same room together will help you gauge how your pet is really feeling. If any adjustments are required to help safeguard the baby, then you can put these in place before anything happens.

Cats make wonderful pets and are a joy to own. But once baby comes along, it is important to make sure that you also prepare the cat for baby’s arrival. Doing so can help the cat get used to some changes around the home and also keep baby out of harm’s way.

More from this contributor:

How to Curb a Cat’s Jealousy.

How to Prevent Your Cat From Turning Into a Bully.

How to Treat a Distressed Cat.

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