My Grandson, a Toddler, Chases My Cats

CatChannel and CAT FANCY cat behaviorist Marilyn Krieger, CCBC, explains how kids and cats can get along.

By Marilyn Krieger, CCBC | Posted: July 29, 2011, 3 a.m. EDT

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Q: My daughter and her 3-year old son, Austin, are coming to live with me. My two sweet, older cats, Angus and Sirloin, love to nap quietly or sit sedately next to me on the sofa. They do not enjoy the attentions of a toddler. Unfortunately, Austin, at times, is out of control and doesn’t leave the cats alone. In his desire to pet and love the cats, he chases and corners them. I’m worried about the cats and I’m concerned the cats will scratch Austin. Any suggestions?

A: Start by supervising your grandson whenever he is in the same room as your cats. Additionally, gently teach Austin how to behave around cats. Encourage him to tip toe quietly around your cats and to sit still when he wants to pet them. Discourage Austin from chasing or cornering the cats. Teach Austin how to formally greet cats by extending a finger toward the cats as he sits a few feet away from them. When your cats want to interact with your grandson, they will touch his extended finger with their noses.

In addition to working with Austin, help your cats feel secure. Every room should have childfree cat sanctuary zones that Austin is not allowed to climb. Tall cat trees, bookshelves, armoires and high cabinets can do double duty as childfree zones, perfect spots where your cats can nap and relax while still being part of the family. Baby gates are also good solutions, transforming rooms into sanctuary zones for the cats. An added benefit for installing baby gates is you can place the litterboxes in the gated-off rooms, making it impossible for Austin to play around them.  

Read more articles by Marilyn Krieger here>>

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My Grandson, a Toddler, Chases My Cats

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Reader Comments

CatChannel Editor    Irvine, CA

10/18/2012 9:29:24 AM

Melisa -- It is possible that a one-time visit could upset your cat. This is a good question for our forum, CatChannel.com/Forum. You can reach out to other cat owners there and see if they've experienced the same thing.

melisa    orlando, FL

10/17/2012 10:50:01 AM

can children being over for the first time traumatise a cat into different behavior?

0    o-, MD

8/18/2011 3:39:24 AM

ko

D=    -=D, MD

8/17/2011 1:33:33 AM

OFD

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