They were there through it all - college, countless moves, new jobs, new friends, new relationships and now they're still around after watching you grow for years into who you are today. Who am I talking about? Your cat, of course! They have seen us through many stages of life and now, for a lot of people, they're even seeing new babies and kids added to the family! Children take precedent over pets when it comes to daily priorities and care, as they should. But your cat might not see it that way and it can be a challenging transition for them when a new baby joins the household. Here are some tips to help ensure that your cat is prepped for the new arrival and continues to get the TLC they deserve after the baby comes home.
Kitty Exploration of the Nursery
When you’re setting up the nursery, let your kitty inspect while you set it up and when it's completed. This includes all of the new objects that you will now have to care for your baby - swings, diaper bags, toys, etc. Cats are curious creatures and will be interested in these new items. So it’s your job to make sure your cat feels comfortable with them. Give your cat praise and some treats to associate the nursery as a positive presence. Just be sure to cover up the crib, the changing table and anything else you may have in your nursery that you won’t want your cat sleeping on.
Get Kitty Familiar With Baby Sounds
Babies come with a lot of new noises around the house, and many can be pretty darn loud. Cats are sensitive to loud noises, so getting your kitty used to these sounds before they happen is a must. Start by slowly shaking rattles and toys that will make noise around your cat so they recognize the sound. Like the nursery, praise your cat and comfort it while these sounds are being made. This association will help calm the cat’s nerves. Same goes for actual baby sounds. Find a stock recording of a baby crying on YouTube. Lightly play it for your cat and increase the volume as your cat adjusts. That way, when your real baby is upset, your cat won’t be unnecessarily alarmed.
Set a New Routine
Most cat parents already have a feeding, cleaning and play routine for their feline. Although it will be difficult to imagine what your new routine will be with your newborn, try to compare that routine to the one you have with your cat now. Does it need to change? If so, make sure to figure out when the best time will be to take care of your cat’s needs.
The number one chore for any cat is their litter box. This is one of those things that can definitely be left unattended on a busy day with kids, work and just life itself. But this is also one of the things that cats care most about - a clean, hygienic litter box for them to do their business. Instead of feeling bad about not tending to the litter box like you used to, you can just get one that takes care of it for you! Consider adding a self-cleaning cat box, like The CatGenie to your cat care routines. CatGenie will even scoop waste, flush it away and wash your cat's litter box every time they use it so they'll actually have a cleaner litter box than ever before. This can help make your cats feel more comfortable in your home while having the new presence of babies and children to adjust to. Plus treating your kitty to something special before their life with you goes through such a major change is bound to help them feel extra loved!