Baby Talk

Get the lowdown on how to help kids and cats mesh into one happy household.

By Sandy Robins

Page 3 of 4

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When its time to go to the hospital, leave worn items of your clothing around, especially where the cat sleeps. Also make sure worn items of the babys clothing or a blanket are taken home and casually left around for the cat to sniff and become accustomed to the new smell.

Make sure that feeding time and other routines don't change.

When the baby actually arrives, this is the time to take out the new kitty toys. If an increase of visitors coming through your home makes kitty anxious, use feline pheremone and other calming products to soothe feline nerves.

Allow the cat and the baby to meet one another. If anyone in the household is tense and worried, the cat is likely to pick up on these feelings. So remain calm and let them get to know each other particularly during feeding and changing routines. This is a time to nurture bonds that will become more evident when the baby reaches the toddler stage.

However, if your pet is skittish, supervise these encounters carefully, said Wright. If your cat is near the baby and catches a fright, its first instinct is to leap away and in so doing, could dig in claws or accidentally scratch.

And give your cat space make sure there is somewhere it can go and chill out when the noise becomes too much.

Close Encounters
As the baby becomes more mobile with age, make sure it doesn't reach out and grab a tail. Cats have long memories and, instead of nurturing future bonds, the relationship may regress.

When a child enters the toddler phase, its time to introduce what Wright calls the Don't Do This, But Do That rule.

Teach your child by example and simultaneously tell them, Don't pull the cat by the tail, but stroke it like this. Immediately offer praise and let [the child] know that the cat is pleased and shows pleasure by purring.

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Reader Comments

janet    bethlehem, PA

2/24/2012 4:20:20 AM

thanks for the info

janet    bethlehem, PA

12/30/2008 4:36:13 AM

good article thanks

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