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If you’re looking to start a family and happen to be a cat owner, there are high chances that people around you may suggest that you give away your pet. This does not have to be the case if you groom your cat well throughout your pregnancy and take ample precautions. Here are some tips to make this transition easier:Before the Baby’s Arrival
Once Your Baby Arrives
- If your cat does not like changes, begin preparing him or her at the start of your pregnancy.It is best to continue preparing your cat slowly throughout your pregnancy. You can start with playing CDs of baby noises and letting the cat explore the nursery (while marking spots that are off limits, of course). In this way, the cat is not overwhelmed and scared when your baby finally arrives.
- Keep your cat indoors and avoid befriending straysCats that go outdoors tend to eat small mammals and birds, which can cause parasitic infection toxoplasmosis. This disease can result in miscarriage, stillbirth, or certain birth defects. Also, infected animals shed toxoplasmosis cysts in their feces. So, make sure you wear gloves while cleaning out that litter box and dispose of the fecal matter at least twice each day.
- If the litter box is kept in the soon-to-be nursery, it is best to slowly begin moving it each day closer to the new location.If the litter box is moved too quickly, your cat may defecate in the original spot. To avoid this, place another large object in the old spot.
- Decide on a consistent schedule and stick to itThis will help keep things in order when the baby arrives. Also, it would be a good idea to shift cat care routines from one parent to another at least one or two months ahead of the baby’s arrival.
- Take a moment to reconnect with your cat alone once you’re back from the hospital. You can then let the others interact with the cat. The goal here is to not overwhelm him or her.
- Place the baby’s sock or other infant-wear in a quiet area for the cat to investigate. It is best to keep the cat away from the baby’s crib for the first few months.
- Make the nursery off-limits to the cat by closing the door or installing a temporary screen door to block entry.
- Take time out to play with your cat when you’re off baby duty. This will help your cat feel less disconnected and understand that the baby has not replaced him or her.
If you feel that your cat won’t react well to the new baby, you can get help from a professional trainer to ease the transition. In a nutshell, you don’t have to compromise your pet for the baby. In time, your cat will learn to co-exist with your child.