are cats safe around infants

Remember that cats are safe with newborns. Consider how your child can benefit from having a furry friend. Take appropriate precautions for your cat and your infant. Teach them both how to respect each other’s space.

Preparing for Your Baby’s Arrival

  • Cats that consume small mammals or birds can carry the feline parasitic infection toxoplasmosis, so keep your kitties inside and avoid making friends with neighborhood cats when they’re expecting! When a pregnant woman contracts this parasite, it may cause miscarriage, stillbirth, or birth defects like hydrocephalus, epilepsy, blindness, or deafness. Toxoplasmosis cysts are shed in the feces of infected animals. Wear gloves whenever you are gardening because cats frequently use gardens as litter boxes. Additionally, wear gloves when handling raw meat, cleaning surfaces used in food preparation, and washing raw fruits and vegetables. Wait to rub your eyes until after washing your hands. Additionally, it’s best to avoid giving your cat raw or undercooked meat. Scoop fecal matter at least twice a day to keep any cysts passed in the feces from spreading.
  • Some cats do not tolerate change well. Utilize the entire pregnancy to gradually acclimate these cats, as they are the most likely to be impacted by a new baby. To help your cat get used to the new sounds she will be hearing, play recordings of baby noises or apply baby lotion to your hands before starting a fun activity with your cat. This will help your cat form positive associations with the smell of babies. As soon as the nursery furniture is set up, give your cat a few weeks to explore before deciding which surfaces, like the changing table and crib, are off limits. Next, prepare the surfaces for the baby’s arrival at least one month in advance. Cut cardboard sheets to fit the dimensions of the furniture surfaces, then use double-sided masking or adhesive tape to cover one side. Cats should learn to avoid sticky surfaces by the end of the month since they tend to avoid them.
  • If the litter box has been kept in the soon-to-be nursery, start moving it to its new location a few inches each day several months in advance. Should you make the change too soon, your cat might go back to his old spot in the soil. Putting something solid there, like a dresser or diaper pail, could discourage him.
  • Lastly, any cat care regimens that a parent will change once the baby is born should actually be changed one to two months prior to the birth. These might include feedings, grooming, play sessions and sleep locations. The cat might require some time to get used to the new caregiver’s mannerisms and abilities.

How to Prepare Before Baby Arrives

Even though it could seem overwhelming, there are a few things you can put on your baby’s to-do list to ease your cat’s transition from being the only child to having a new little one living with them. These may include:

Take health precautions. As a cat owner, you may have heard of toxoplasmosis. A parasite called toxoplasmosis can infect humans through cats, undercooked meats, or raw goat milk. It can also spread from mother to unborn baby. This parasite can result in blindness, deafness, or hydrocephalus in an unborn child, among other health issues. Â.

Stay indoors and stay away from stray cats if you want to stop this parasite from spreading from cat to human. When working with outdoor gardens or litter boxes, wear gloves. Pregnant cat owners should try to limit their litter scooping and get screened frequently.

Make gradual changes. Spending lots of time with your cat will help them get used to life with a baby as you get your house ready for your new addition. Take these steps to help your cat adjust smoothly:

  • Prepare your cat to be handled by a baby. Some cats love to be petted, while others simply don’t. Increase the frequency of touching your cat and learn to recognize their preferences. When your child starts to become more mobile, be prepared to step in and stop them from bothering or grabbing your cat.
  • Avoid playing hand games. As soon as you can, cease playing games with your hands if your cat is accustomed to it. Even a kind cat can unintentionally agitate or hurt a newborn. Teach your cat that only toys are appropriate for play. Â .
  • Get your cat used to baby sounds. To acclimate your cat to these new sounds in the months before your baby is born, play recordings of babies gurgling, cooing, and yes, even screaming, throughout the day. As your cat grows accustomed to the new noises, gradually turn up the volume from a quiet start. Proceed cautiously to prevent your cat from becoming stressed out.
  • Introduce baby smells and objects into your home. Due to their strong olfactory sense, cats may find new baby items to be offensive. Bring shampoos, powders, and formula into your house so your cat can get used to the new baby before they arrive. By putting baby products on your skin, you can encourage your cat to form good associations with the novel scents.

Things to Watch Out For

Watch out for signs of stress as you, your infant, and your cat adjust to your new life together. Important things to consider are:

Hygiene. It’s more crucial than ever to keep your cat clean and pest-free when you have a newborn at home. Keep up with preventative medication regimens and schedule routine examinations with your veterinarian. Remember that a dirty diaper may inspire your cat to make a mess of their own. Always put soiled clothes or diapers in the appropriate container right away.

Safety. You shouldn’t leave your cat and infant alone together, even as they grow accustomed to one another. Use a screen door to let your cat see and hear the baby without letting it investigate unsupervised to avoid any mishaps. Cats find toddlers particularly stressful, so as your child gets older, keep an eye on them. Maintain a calm, secure space where Kitten can go if necessary to get away from the infant.

Patience. It may require some time for your cat and infant to become pals. Be understanding with your cat and the baby, and don’t hesitate to accept the possibility that your cat might want to avoid the infant. A peaceful home will arise from taking the time to ensure that the cat and the infant are both secure and content!

FAQ

Is it OK for cats to be around newborns?

Babies, children and cats should never be left together unsupervised. It is important an adult supervises them at all times. The main health and safety risks to your child are: risks to their breathing.

Will my cat be OK with a new baby?

If your pet has already experienced the arrival of a new baby, and has coped well, you shouldn’t have too many problems. Most cats are extremely adaptable and will cope well with some planning, but some cats might struggle. If they are struggling, your cat may: become more avoidant of you or the new baby.

Can cat hair affect newborns?

Please rest assured that pets or their fur don’t cause growth defects in babies. On the contrary, children living with pets develop better immune systems, lead healthier lives, and have a best friend growing up who will never leave their side.

How do I keep my newborn safe from cats?

You may need to fit a scratch-guard to protect the shut door from an over-curious cat. If you’re concerned that Puss will try to sleep with the baby (they are nice and warm to snuggle up to), get crib and pram nets so he can’t bed down with baby. These must be taut when fitted or the cat may use them as a hammock.