Monday, 20 June 2016

10 ways to introduce your pet to your baby

10 ways to introduce your pet to your new baby Cat and Baby
Chance and Aoki Cat
WHIITELIST guide to the 10 ways to introduce your pet to your new baby, tips learnt through the relationship between 6-month-old Chance and 6-year-old Russian Blue Aoki.

My fur baby Aoki recently celebrated her 42nd birthday, yet she doesn’t look a day over 6! It got me thinking about how Chance and Aoki have managed to co-exist without the horror stories that people would tell me when I was pregnant.

Aoki has always been an indoor cat, and I was advised by our local vet, that she is certainly an only child, not to be placed in an environment too often with other cats, or for us to even consider bringing home another cat for her to play with. She wouldn’t have it, she wants to be the only fur child. The upside to her being an only child and indoor cat is that whilst pregnant I didn’t have to worry too much about her coming into contact with other cats, or clearing her litter and contracting toxoplasmosis, which can be harmful in pregnancy. Read more about that here.

10 ways to introduce your pet to your new baby cat flowers
Aoki Cat
Potential downsides very much involved that...only children don’t respond to change much! Whilst I was pregnant, I spent a whole lot of time with Aoki preparing her for the huge change. To be honest, I think she may have known I was pregnant before I did, she seemed awfully clingy and wanted to nestle on my belly at all times. Saturday mornings were spent playing listening to nearly 10 minutes of baby’s cries on Youtube which she responded initially with turning the other way, completely unphased. Other times were allowing her to watch whilst we prepared Chance’s room, then promptly shooing her away, making sure she was aware that it was a no-go zone. Now she tentatively sits outside the door wanting to come in, but knowing that she isn’t allowed.

Mainly, our concern was ensuring that she was aware that things will change, and getting her acclimatised to a brand new routine, sadly that involved her not receiving the level of attention she was used to.
When we brought Chance home, we called Aoki over to say hello, she came, had a smell and walked off very disinterested, that’s when I realised that any worry we had had was unwarranted. It seemed as though Aoki had understood that a tiny human was joining the family, that was more vulnerable than us large people and she didn’t want to come too fact even now that Chance is 6 months old, when he pulls her at her tail or makes a grab for her, she allows him and doesn’t respond by playfully biting or playing like she would if it were Mr.L or me.

10 ways to introduce your pet to your new baby cat flowers
Aoki Cat
Our experience has been incredibly positive, and I believe it is due to the below:

  1. Preparing our fur child for the huge change ahead by slowly reducing the amount of contact to specific times
  2. Playing baby cries from Youtube
  3. Involving our fur child in the setting up of equipment, allowing her to smell, then promptly telling her NO 3 times to ensure that she is aware that the item isn’t her new play place
  4. Establishing a new comfortable place for our fur-child, so that she has a place to sleep and rest
  5. Joining the local vet health club for worming and flea reminders, so that our fur-child is in good health
  6. When we brought Chance home, we allowed Aoki to smell him and say hello
  7. Promptly throwing dirty nappies away, and ensuring to wash our hands (and the baby’s if necessary) following stroking session with our fur-child
  8. NEVER leaving our fur-child or baby alone
  9. Using the Feliway diffuser the week that baby was due
  10. Trying to enjoy some snuggle time with our fur-child so that she doesn’t feel like she is no longer important, hard to do at times but it’s important to ensure that she doesn’t feel neglected or get depressed

10 ways to introduce your pet to your new baby
Chance and Aoki Cat sleeping

Read more advice on how to introduce your cat to your baby here on Blue Cross

What tips helped you introduce your pet to your little one? What pets does everyone have?

SAL xx

P.S. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @SimiLindgren here for more cute snaps ;-)

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