Animal Care 101: Veterinarian Tips

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How To Introduce Your Cat To A New Baby

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If you're expecting a new child, you might be experiencing some anxiety about whether your cat will be accepting of the baby. Cats can experience anxiety or territorial behavior if they're not gradually introduced to a newborn. Read this guide to help your cat get accustomed to your baby.

Scent First

One of the best things you can do when introducing your cat to a new baby is to avoid having them meet face-to-face at first. You want to give your cat a chance to get accustomed to the baby's smell first. Since a cat's sense of smell is many times stronger than a human's, they don't have to even be in the same room as the baby to detect their scent.

To do this, take a piece of clothing your child has worn and let your cat smell it. You can even let them use it to sleep on, but the important thing is for them to get accustomed to it. Change it out every day until your cat seems calm around the scent.

Keep Baby Controlled

When your cat has adjusted to the scent, it's time for the two to meet. The one thing you must do here is to make sure that your baby is under control. If your child cries, screams, or tries to grab your cat's tail, your cat will most likely be terrified. They could potentially lash out or flee and be unwilling to go anywhere near the child.

It's a good idea for your cat to meet your baby while the baby is asleep. Let your cat sniff the baby and experience what it's like to be around a tiny human while it's relatively still and quiet.

Calming Products

Lastly, consider picking up a calming product for your cat, like a pheromone collar or room spray. These products are designed to soothe cats by emitting a similar hormone to the one that female cats produce when they're nursing new kittens. It may help keep your kitty at ease around your baby during their first encounters with each other.

Having a new baby join the family can be stressful for pets, so don't panic if your cat doesn't adapt to the new baby right away. Allow your kitty multiple attempts to sniff and look at the baby and don't lash out at it if it acts scared or aggressive. Always supervise the encounters to make sure your baby is safe, and be patient with your cat while it experiences a big adjustment to its day-to-day life.

Contact a company like Pittsburgh Spay & Vaccination Clinic for more information and assistance.