So you’re expecting? Congratulations! While you’re getting the nursery in order, buying baby supplies, and getting ready for your new bundle of joy, there are also a few things you should do to ensure your feline “baby” adjusts.
First, take your cat to the veterinarian for a routine exam and to get her current on her vaccinations. You want to be sure that your fur baby is healthy! If it’s not already done, you should have your cat spayed or neutered. Altered cats tend to be healthier, calmer, and less likely to bite than cats who are still intact. Your vet can also give you advice and calm any concerns you might have about your kitty interacting with the new baby.
Now is also the time to address any behavioral problems. Does your cat have a tendency to play-bite, scratch, or pounce on you? While you may be used to this behavior, a new baby could be injured. Work with your cat to stop this behavior. For example, if kitty tends to bite your hands, redirect her to biting cat toys instead.
Get your cat used to having his nails trimmed, and do it regularly.
Get your cat accustomed to all the strange sounds babies make before baby arrives! You can do this by playing YouTube videos of babies, playing recordings of crying babies, and turning on any baby toys or swings. Encourage your friends with babies to bring them over so your cat can get used to tiny humans. But, obviously, always supervise your cat when he’s around a baby. Get your cat used to the strange smells, too, by sprinkling baby powder on your skin.
Before your due date, make arrangements for someone to take care of your cat while you’re giving birth. You’ll be a bit preoccupied! When you get home with the new baby, be sure to pay extra attention to your cat, offer treats and cuddles and positive reinforcement. You want your cat to associate the new baby with a positive experience, so keep treats handy and reward your cat when she’s near the baby. But – never force your cat to interact with the baby! And always supervise any interaction.
Life with a new baby will definitely be hectic, but do your best to stick to your regular routine as much as possible, and set time aside for one-on-one time with your kitty. That time will be good for you, too!