As the clock gets closer and closer to the big day Im starting to worry about how my six year old male cat is going to react to my new arrival. Any suggestions from anyone who has done introductions? Google isn't really much help at this point. Thanks!!
Our cats were scared of the baby for the first little bit so they wouldn't come in the room. Then their desire to be near us overwhelmed their fear until she would make noise. After a couple weeks, they were totally fine with her. Now they put up with anything.... from her.
I think it is hard to say how they will react. Our cats have never scratched or bit DD1 despite the hugs , the rough treatment and being used as seats. Our cats are extremely shy and hardly ever come out when we have visitors (they were rescues). However, they seem to realize DD is a baby version of us and treat her with the patience of an adult to a child.
Last edited by Danifo; 08-04-2011 at 11:21 PM.
DD1 July 2008 (41w3d)
November 2010 (13 weeks)
DD2 August 2011 (33w5d)
I think with cats there really isn't much you can do. We didn't get our cat until DS was 5-ish months old so I'm not sure how the cat would be with a brand new baby. She's a very social 'dog-like' cat and she's always been good with the kids, she puts up with a lot and if she gets too irritated she gets away from them. She's always tried to get DS to pet her but she's never laid on top of him or anything so i'm not worried about it.
DD1- July 2004
DD2- April 2006
DS1- December 2009
DS2- August 2011
You can do the same thing you do with dogs- bring home the baby blanket and let kitty smell them before bringing them home... We've never done it though- our cats have learned to adapt to most changes in the home environment seamlessly.
I will say- it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to buy a good enzymatic cleaner (like Nature's Miracle or whatnot) before baby comes home. On occasion- kitties do react a bit snotty to a newborn in the house and they might potty in the wrong spot. In that case- I'd zap the behavior in the butt by cleaning with the enzymatic cleaner right away and putting kitty in his/her own room (it can even be a bathroom) for a few days until they settle down. That's about the only issue I've seen over the years with cats and newborn babies- some of them can be brats for a bit, but tend to settle down.
I never had a problem with my DD and my 2(at the time) cats. The male was 4 years old, the female 1.5. The male slept in the crib from the day we set it up until the day we brought DD home from the hospital, then never set foot in it again, although he did like to sleep on the stroller seat.
The female was pretty protective of DD, a couple times when I was holding her and she was crying, the cat would gently bite my leg as though to say "stop hurting my baby".
When DS was born all 4 of the cats had moved to my mom's due to DH being allergic, and they just stayed away from him for the most part. They are starting to tolerate him and letting him pet them now as long as he's quiet
This has been my experience having introduced all of my cats to all of my kids.
When Marisa was born, we brought one of her blankets to the hospital with s and wrapped her in it. his allowed for her scent to get onto he blanket. DH brought the blanket home the next day and placed it in an area where all the cats could get o it and smell it and ge acquainted with her scent. When we came home we brought her in the house and before even taking her out of her car seat we allowed the cats(we had 6 at the time. Sorry if that grosses anyone out) come up and check her out. 2 of our cats were very curious as to what this new thing was that their humans were bringing into he house. They sniffed near her feet mainly, kind of got near her head, but not really. All the while we spoke to them in soft comforting, reassuring tones, telling them they were good kitties, and anytime we gave her attention, if one of them was around we gave them attention and talked to them as well.(and we always gave hem attention when they needed it.
For us it was about making sure that we did not completely neglect any of them. For me it was a lesson I learned from my sister and BIL when they had my oldest niece. It worked well for them and so I figured, it would make for a smoother transition in our home. In all honesty, my cats are more afraid of the kids than anything else. They stay away for the most part.
We did the same for the twins and we'll do the same for this LO as well. Though by the time we brought the twins home, the cats couldn't have cared less that we brought them in. They were so used to Marisa by that point. I guess they figured "What's 2 more kids?" It does take patience and understanding on your part, just because this can be nerve wracking on your kitty the first couple days. Which is why we always shower ours with alot of attention.
As for what to do as LO gets older, my cats stay away from the kids for the most part. One of our cats scratched Marisa near her eye but really? Marisa was pulling his tail and ears even though we warned her many times not to do it. Now she knows to treat him with a gentle hand. The twins get excited and run after he cats but they dart out of the room. Or if Joseph gets a hold of one, we immediately correct the ear pulling or fur tugging behavior. (He even comes up to us and pets our head "soffff, sofffff, nice")
Alot of people say "I hate cats. They scratch. But that is their defense mechanism. Cats can't tell you "OW, you idiot, that hurts." Their reaction is to bite or scratch. Hardly a reason to hate them when they can't talk. or to get rid of them (IMO unless here is an allergy, you don't NEED to get rid of your animals when a baby is born. Unless naughty behavior, like pooping and peeing,as was mentioned earlier gets far to out of conrtol)
Last edited by Disneykat; 08-05-2011 at 06:41 AM.
Wife to Derek 8/12/06
DD Marisa 11/9/07
DD Shayna 8/27/09
DS Joseph 8/27/09
DD Simone 9/12/11
Being a big animal lover and having several pets (right now I have 2 dogs, a cat, and 3 ferrets) I find it to really be no problem at all. The only thing I will say is when DS1 was born, I had a pet ball python, and he kept getting out of his aquarium at night and I'd find in him in all sorts of places, even places up high. So I gave him away to a friend because I was worried about him choking the baby in the crib at night.
But as far as cats, my cat has always been great, he does occasionally like to sleep in the bassinet but I can always wash the sheet before I put baby in. I've never had a problem with him jumping on to a baby, I think cats can sense when a baby is in the bassinet and they know not to jump on the baby.
Now with dogs I'd say some may try to mark their territory, I agree with Prudence, with spraying the nature's miracle spray so they don't go marking their territory when they smell a new baby. My cat is fixed so I don't have a problem with him spraying.
When we brought Brayden (DS1) home from the hospital, our cat Bella was very protective of him. Every time he would cry, Bella would come up to one of us and start licking our faces and biting our chins. She never wanted him to cry. It was almost as if she was trying to tell us to help him. As Brayden got older, and more mobile, they became best friends. Brayden is now 3 years old, and he is obsessed with cats. He absolutely LOVES Bella. We have to constantly remind him to not be so rough with her. We have caught him laying on top of her with his hands and feet lifted off the ground. With all of the things Brayden has done to Bella, Bella has only scratched him twice. She has all her claws so it would be very easy for her to scratch him all the time...but she doesn't.
I wouldn't worry to much about your cats. They will adjust well. Just let them do it at their own pace.