By Jackson Galaxy
Expecting a baby? Congratulations! In all the anticipation and excitement, don’t forget that bringing home baby disrupt in your cat’s routine. Without proper preparation, litterbox problems, aggression or other forms of acting out can be an unfortunate result.
To a cat, routine is everything. It’s hard to predict how a cat might react to the unexpected arrival of a baby, who smells funny, makes a lot of noises, gets lots of attention, and changes the household schedule radically. The cat may also get much less loving attention. These changes can precipitate significant unwanted behavior.
Your cat may even display resentment, but it is important to understand that the resentment is not of the baby itself, but of all the changes – the new scents, sounds, and seemingly odd parental behavior.
However, no matter how friendly the feline and no matter how docile the baby, the two should never be left alone unsupervised. While it is unlikely that your cat would deliberately attack a baby, she could accidentally injure or suffocate the baby just by snuggling up too close.
You can use a realistic infant doll to simulate the sounds, movements, and activities commonly surrounding a new baby. Get the cat used to the presence of this “baby” starting several weeks ahead of your due date. Purchase and use baby products such as baby powder, infant formula, diapers, lotion, shampoo, etc. to accustom the cat to the new behaviors and smells surrounding the baby.
When your cat expresses calm interest, be sure to praise her, and give her a favorite toy or treat as a reward. She should also get special petting and play times on a regular schedule that can continue after baby comes home.
When expecting any changes in your household, Spirit Essences’ formulas “Changing Times,” and “Ultimate Changing Times” can help your cat maintain its balance and sense of belonging during the transition. But as always, slow and steady always wins the race when acclimating your cat to anything new.