Cats and Babies
"One big, happy family..."
Cats and babies (or children) can be the best of friends! If the transition goes smoothly, your cat may love your kids as much as he loves you!
It will be one big, happy family.
If your family is growing, you may be concerned about having cats and babies or children in the same house.
Some young parents have been told, often by older generations, that their cat will pose a danger to the little one.
When expecting the arrival of the first baby, many people worry about their cat.
How will the cat react? And, will the cat pose a danger to the baby? As the family grows, what will the cat do if he gets stepped on or gets his tail pulled?
These are real concerns! In general, the Maine Coon cat personality is incredibly gentle, patient, and forgiving.
Our two Maine Coons never needed their claws to be clipped when the kids were little. They still get a bit nervous around our youngest, but they know that no harm will come to them.
Every cat is different, though. Many Maine Coons will probably not be phased by a new baby.
After all, a tiny baby is no more than a (noisy) decoration to a cat! There is plenty of time for adjustment!
For other, more sensitive cats, there may be an adjustment period. You know your cat! Does he flinch when he hears loud noises? Does he scramble when kids come to visit? Is his general personality even-keel or high-strung? This will tell you how much work is ahead. Usually, cats and babies can coexist quite peacefully!
Before The Big Day
Some new parents will play audio recordings of babies crying for the cat to hear. This is probably the only thing you can do ahead of time. If you are concerned about your cat, it could prep him a bit.
Honestly, from a parents perspective, bringing home a new baby to a household with pets is no big deal! Your new baby won't be mobile, and he or she will sleep most of the time.
Yes, there will be some crying, but unless you have a colicky baby (and colic doesn't appear immediately) there isn't much crying. A bit of noise when the baby is wet or hungry, then it's off to meal time or nap time. No big deal!
Your cats response to a new baby will usually be mild interest. You should definitely let your cat check out the baby! There are a couple of reasons for this.
If your kitty get "shooed" away from the baby, just once, for no good reason, he will automatically associate the new little person with a danger to himself.
If he innocently goes to sniff the baby and ends up feeing scolded or frightened, how should he feel about it?
You do not want your beloved pet to feel replaced. He needs to see that there is a new family member. He will love this new member as much as he loves you, if his place in the family stays secure. Always keep this goal in mind.
Just like in any type of pet training, the key lies in your personal demeanor. If you are stressed or worried, your pets will pick up on it and they will feel stressed about the situation. They won't even know why!
If you assume the best, adopt an attitude that having cats and babies in the same household is normal and natural, it will be!
Be sure to give your cat plenty of attention during this time. Even though you're busier than you've ever been, let your cat have some snuggle time whenever you can. It will do wonders to reassure him that everything is all right!
Cats And Children
Your baby is crawling, laughing and into everything! Now things are really changing for your cat! Cats and children can be great friends, though.
Here's the good news: by this time, your cat (and any other pets) have had plenty of time to adjust to this new little person. They probably don't even remember a time without your child.
Here are some tips to a happy relationship between cats and kids:
Foster Respect: Your child needs to know exactly what he or she can and cannot do to the cat. This is the time to teach your child how to touch the cat gently.
Rough handling should not be permitted, even for a moment. If that means you have to get up and intervene repeatedly, it'll be worth it.
Supervision: During this "training period" never leave them alone together. Have a room or place you can put the cat. He'll be glad.
Know your cat: Some are super laid-back, others are more nervous. Always adjust your response accordingly.
Know your child: Some kids are naturally gentle, and compassionate toward animals. So some cats and children might make friends sooner than others.
"Should I Get My Cat Declawed?"
No, there is no need to do anything so drastic. Having cats and babies together does not mean the cat should be declawed. On the contrary, cat declawing is becoming increasingly frowned upon now that it is more widely understood.
Your cat may never take a swat at your child. But just to be safe, a simple trimming of your cats claws is quick and easy.
Expanding a family is such an exciting time! Having cats as pets is a wonderful way to raise children.
Cats and babies can coexist just fine, and cats and children can be the best of friends. Cats and kids often have a terrific bond.
A child who is being raised with pets learns so many lessons, from responsibility, to compassion, to respect for all creatures.
Cats and children have a lot of love to share with each other. Having cats and babies at the same time can be a bit of work, but the rewards are awesome!
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