Cat and baby
My wife and I are going to be welcoming a little girl into our lives in July. We've started buying lots of baby supplies - strollers, cribs, etc. My cat is super curious about them and just wants to climb all over them and even nap in them! I don't mind it, and I even think it could be good for her to get used to all this stuff before the baby comes. But on the other hand, I wouldn't want her to keep using all this stuff once the baby comes, as I'd be worried about the baby. What's the best approach?
Thanks so much!
I'll start by saying congratulations! what an exciting time for you and your wife! I think you are doing the right thing by allowing your cat to investigate the new items as it will help her acclimatise to the changes that are happening. By nature, cats are curious. In fact, they have a very similar curiosity to that of a child! Addressing some of your cat’s curiosities before the baby arrives can help keep the kitty out of the crib:
- Scents: What do babies smell like? Your cat will want to know! Bring out the baby products early on and use them around the house so your cat will associate the new smells of a baby with their everyday life.
- Sounds: New sounds are one of the most stressful changes for a cat, so start slowly with a monitored, careful introduction. Playing baby sounds you find on the internet may help do this. Now when your baby cries or coos, it won’t surprise the cat!
- Space: As loving as our cats can be, they need their peace and quiet too. A cat may wonder if they have a room to themself now, so prepare a quiet, secure area for them.
However i do agree that it may be a concern once your baby arrives as you will want to have some cat free areas (such as the crib). I would suggest placing detterents on the items you do not wish your cat to get too comfortable with.
Cats are well known to be 'offended' by citrus so you could try putting some citrus fruits, scents etc on or in these items so if she jumps up to she will be greeted by a less than favourable environment and will just down and go elsewhere. This way your cat will associate the crib, buggy etc as a place to avoid and instead head over to *their* space. Other ideas would be to add something noisey or uncomfortable to the crib (before baby arrives ofcourse) such as tin foil,tissue paper which will startle her if she jumps up. Finally there are items such as crib tents or screens which you may be interested in as it will ensure your cat stays off!
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