Congratulations on your upcoming new arrival--this is such an exciting time, full of so many changes! And though those changes can be exciting for your human family, they can be a little confusing for your feline family members. But don't worry, we've compiled the ways that you can prepare your kitty and yourself for your new baby.
Start preparing your cat for the new baby before the baby even comes. You want to start introducing changes gradually so you don't shock your cat with a huge life change, which will cause a much higher likelihood of your cat having a negative reaction to the new baby. Set up the baby's room and let the cat explore, although be sure to not allow the cat to go into the baby's crib so they don't get used to being allowed in there as they won't be allowed in there once the baby's born, and you don't want any cat dander in there in case your baby has any allergies.
Once baby is born but before you come home, if possible bring home something with baby's smell on it for the cat to start to get accustomed to your new baby's smell.
Once you bring your new baby home, make sure to keep your cat's routine as normal as possible. Use your baby's nap times to make sure to give your cat attention so they aren't jealous of the new addition that stole all of their people's attention. Make sure their feeding times come at their normal times. If you have other routines with your cat, try to keep them as best you can. Obviously this won't always be the easiest and if you can't always be perfect it's totally fine, but as close as you can keep your kitty to their normal routine will keep your cat as happy as possible. You can also introduce some toys for your kitty to keep them entertained while you take care of your new arrival.
Make sure your child and cat are never left alone unsupervised for the safety of both your baby and cat. Also make sure there is always somewhere in your house that your cat has access to that your child does not so that your cat has a safe space that they can retreat to if they feel unsafe or threatened so that you can avoid any potential issues. As your child gets older, make sure to teach them how to interact with your kitty gently and to respect the cat's boundaries.
Hopefully these tips help you have a seamless introduction of your new family member to your furry one. Just remember, it can take time for your cat to adjust so just be patient and make sure to follow these guidelines for a smooth transition!
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