Back when we were contemplating about getting pregnant, one of the things we worried about was how our cats would deal with a baby. We love our cats and didn’t quite know what to expect. The good news is, it’s worked out better than we ever expected.
Here is what we did that seemed to work well.
Talk to them about the coming baby.
What? We did. Whether or not they listened or understood is a different story. We also let them see the babies room and be a part of the preparations. Keeping secrets from your pets before the baby even arrives is not starting out on the right foot.
Introduce them right away.
In our first moments home from the hospital, the cats got to see and smell Lily. We didn’t force them, we just let them take a peak at their own connivence. It’s important that they investigate the new baby on their own terms so they don’t feel threatened.
Don’t forget about the pets!
This one is hard, but you still need to find time to pet the cats (or dogs), talk to them and play with them. They are going to feel left out if you don’t make some attempt to interact with them. Our cats didn’t get as much attention as before, but we tried to make time for them.
Let them interact.
After a few weeks, or months, we started to let the cats and Lily interact. That could be with a quick petting, or just looking at each other while sitting close. Again, it’s about learning about each other and be careful not to force anything.
As time goes by, Lily and the cats get more comfortable together. One of our cats won’t let Lily get closer than a foot, unless mom or dad is right there too, while the other one will let Lily pull his hair. Granted we are working on learning how to pet, not pull.
It’s going to take time and I think the cats and Lily will have lots of fun as she grows up. However the introduction has to be slow and you can’t force anything on the cats or the baby.
There is enough love to go around, it’s just about being patient and keeping everyone involved.