It’s shocking the strange myths that still surround introducing new babies and cats. But the truth is – if you’re expecting a new baby, your cat is going to be welcoming a new family member too.
Before we cover how to include our cat in the exciting event of welcoming a new family member, let’s remove the well-known scary misconception.
Cats smother babies because they smell like milk – or because the cat is ‘jealous’. This is just False. There has been no documented case of a cat killing a newborn in the history of ever. Yet, unfortunately – to this very day – people vilify cats with this ugly old-wives tale.
We understand that having a newborn can make humans extra protective and fearful of everything. But let’s just leave cats out of this. We’ve heard far too many heartbreaking stories of cats being surrendered or just dumped outside because a new baby is coming. No one should treat an existing family member this way. Instead, we should be considerate and proactive about helping the whole family prepare for this exciting time.
Preparing Your Cat For A New Family Member
Make them part of the process. It’s easy to forget our feline friends in all the excitement to prepare for baby. The home and territory they’ve come to know will be changing. Lots of new stuff with new smells will now be a part of their space. Let them be curious. Exploring all the new blankets and baby things before baby arrives will help them feel included and secure throughout this transition.
Play baby sounds. If you’ve every watched a cat hear something they’ve never heard before, you know it can sometimes cause alarm or stress. Let your cat hear what a squawking infant sounds like (before an introduction) while engaging in positive reinforcement. Share some treats, love, and talk to your cat about the excitement you have to share a new baby with them. Cat understand us more than we know.
Maintain resources and routine. As much as humanly possible, keep your cat’s routine and resources the same when baby arrives. This is a great way to reduce any stress that comes with so many other changes. If the baby room means that the location of litter boxes or meals needs to change, help your cat adjust to these new locations before baby arrives. This will help ensure your cat knows their valuable resources – food, water, litter – remain secure when the new addition comes.
Newborn babies require constant love, attention, and supervision – so your cat will be adjusting to your new priorities. Communicating with your cat and including them as much as possible will help create a beautiful life-long bond for all family members.