When new babies arrive… getting the cat used to the newcomer

Baby and cat, does that work? Many mothers-to-be worry how the beloved pet will react when the new arrival appears. Some couples, in anticipation of their offspring, start toying with the thought of having to give their friend away. This is because of the danger to an expectant mother of a toxoplasmosis infection which can severely damage the unborn child. The experts are sounding a cautious all-clear: the probability is very slight if the future mum leaves the business of cleaning the cat-loo to her partner during her period of pregnancy, because the pathogens are to be found in the cat droppings.

Before the baby comes

It won’t be quite so easy for moggie when she’s no longer the centre of attraction as per usual. For one thing, your partner can take over a lot of the responsibilities and see to it that playing and petting time isn’t missed out on. And for another, you should prepare your cat gently for the imminent changes in advance of the birth. This includes softly reducing certain privileges which your beloved armchair tiger. If moggie has been sleeping in your bed, she should no longer do this when the wee one is there – so you should lovingly teach her this before the birth. Then she won’t link the loss of this amenity with the baby, so no jealousy can surface. You can provide your pet with a cosy basket in its place then it won’t be so hard on her. You can even reach a compromise by putting her on the floor on a “comfort blanket” now and again and cuddle and play with her there. The creature won’t then feel “dumped”.

When the baby arrives

Let your partner now feed the cat and also take over most of the playing and cuddling. When the child arrives is when he could play with the cat more so that the creature doesn’t feel neglected. It’s important that moggie doesn’t get jealous as this can lead to behavioural problems such as uncleanliness. Indeed, the cat has to learn that she must not under any circumstances lie in baby’s bed (danger of the child suffocating!). The baby’s room should ideally be taboo. Still, even during the initial period of the new family membership, the little tiger should be experiencing attention and loving fondness, and then she most certainly won’t suffer either, even under changed situation!