Cats and Babies: 7 Tips for Healthy Coexistence

Cats and babies can coexist, but there are several factors that need to be considered. Cats are known to be very jealous of new babies and new pets, so you need to ensure your baby is safe and the cat is comfortable.

1. Prepare for the Baby’s Arrival

You need to establish some ground rules for the baby’s safety that the cat needs to respect; apply these rules before the arrival of the baby, so that the cat doesn’t associate the baby with the new interdictions.

2. Get a Crib for the Baby

Get a crib for your baby and make sure the cat does not make it his own or sleep in it. Cats and babies are not allowed to sleep together as the baby may suffocate.

Show the cat the crib but train him to know he is not allowed in the crib.

3. Cat Checkup

Cats may transmit a number of diseases to humans and babies are particularly susceptible to catching bacteria, worms and viruses. So you need to make sure your cat is healthy.

Schedule the vet checkup at least 2 months before the arrival of the baby, to make sure the parasites are gone. Fleas are particularly difficult to get rid of and it may take up to 6 weeks to fully eliminate them from the environment. Even if fleas cannot be transmitted to humans, the ingestion of a flea may lead to the formation of a tapeworm in the baby.

4. Gradual Introduction of the Baby

Given that cats may be very protective of their territory and owners, they can be very jealous when a baby appears. This is why the baby needs to be introduced gradually. First, keep the baby isolated and give the cat a blanket or a toy belonging to the baby. The cat will get accustomed to the baby’s scent.

When presenting the baby, one of the owners should offer a lot of affection to the cat.

Allow the cat to get close to the baby and study him; otherwise the cat will be tempted to look for the baby when you are away.

5. Spend Time with Your Cat

Cats may easily develop stress due to the arrival of a new baby. This is why you need to offer a lot of affection to your cat, to ensure that he knows you still care.

Play with your cat while the baby is asleep. Try to keep your regular daily routine and groom your cat according to your schedule prior to the arrival of the baby; instead, have someone else (i.e. your partner) perform the grooming and playing or take turns.

If your cat feels neglected, he will start spraying around the house and have a hostile behavior.

6. Toys

Offer your cat plenty of toys, scratching posts and cardboard boxes to play with, so he won’t be tempted to spend his energy on the baby.

7. Train Your Baby

As he grows, the baby must also be taught how to safely handle the cat. Show your baby that cats need to be patted with gentle moves.

Having a pet may be beneficial for the baby’s immune system and will also make your baby more sociable and caring.

Preparing prior to the baby’s arrival and continuing to offer affection to your pet will make him confident and will grow to accept the baby, so they can safely coexist.