How to introduce your cat to your baby

Ginger cat peering at a baby in a moses basket

So you have a cat. And now you have an infant. It’s time to introduce your human baby to your furry baby, and you’re worried about how they’re going to adjust to each other.

Here’s my advice on managing the cat/baby relationship:

  1. Let the cat smell something of the baby’s, like a hat or blanket, when you come back from the hospital. The cat will seem uninterested and you will feel a bit slighted on your baby’s behalf, but remember that cats aren’t interested in much of anything except for food and clawing the s**t out of your couch.
  2. Don’t be surprised if your cat is f***ing terrified of your baby. You will be terrified of your baby too. Nothing gives you the fear like a baby who won’t stop screaming and you DON’T KNOW WHY.
  3. You may want to designate the baby’s room, or your room if that’s where they’re sleeping, as a cat-free zone. This will help prevent any potential cat-peeing-on-the-baby’s-cot issues. It will also make that room the most interesting room ever to the cat, and they will spend all day trying to get into it.
  4. As your baby gets a bit older, they will want to pet the cat. Teach them to do it softly. Show them how to stroke the cat’s back slowly and say, “Look, gentle.” They’ll slap the cat and pull its tail anyway, but you’ll feel slightly less bad about it because at least you tried.
  5. Your baby is probably going to get scratched a few times because…well, they’re slapping the cat. Discipline the cat, because that’s not on, but try not to get too mad at them. The baby did, after all, kind of have it coming.
  6. When your baby becomes mobile, you’ll want to stop them from getting into the cat’s food bowl, water bowl and litter tray. This will not be possible. If you hide them too well, the cat won’t be able to get to them either. Just accept that your baby is probably going to eat some cat food. There are worse things.
  7. Make time for the cat too. They’re not king of the house anymore, but it’s best if they don’t know that. If can be hard to pay attention to your cat when your baby is crying/pooing on themselves/insisting on being carried/generally demanding that you focus every single ounce of your being on them, but try. Scratch their back. Dangle a toy mouse in their face. Give them a treat. (But don’t let the cat find out where you keep the treats, because then they’ll make it their life’s mission to get into them – especially at night. The baby will have finally gone to sleep and you’ll be just about to drift off yourself, and then you’ll hear it. Scratch. Scratch. Scratch. Smash. Meow. Scratch. Cats can be real butts sometimes.)

16 Comment

  1. I only have a dog and the introduction went rather well. I do miss having a cat and wonder how the meeting would’ve gone down if I had one. #triballove
    Sarah – Mum & Mor recently posted…Blogging Recognition: It Takes PatienceMy Profile

  2. We had this with our dog and it was similar. Our dog wanted to guard our son when in his cot which we couldn’t allow. #ablogginggoodtime

  3. Haha completely agree with this list. I have 2 cats and I’m constantly telling Georgia to be gentle… sometimes she is, sometimes she isn’t.
    She absolutely adores them though with one of her first ‘names’ that she can say (okay, I’m not counting mummy, daddy or nanna) as Penny. 🙂 xx #tribalcat <– see what I did there? 😉

  4. I think our cat won’t even bat am eyelid when our baby arrives next month..she’s been dealing with my hyperactive toddler for the last year!xx #blogginggoodtime
    wendy recently posted…5 reasons you need a National Trust membershipMy Profile

  5. I think that our cats would be terrified of a baby and stay well clear! Great advice though. Thank you for sharing. Alison x #stayclassymama
    Alison (MadHouseMum) recently posted…So Fucking What?My Profile

  6. Oh those cats can be fickle beasts. We used to have a cat before we moved to Jersey. He now lives the high-life with our friends, he has a heated floor and everything. I digress! He changed over night. When I was pregnant he kept bringing me little presents back, like live field mice. Then when Oldest arrived he decided she was far too noisy for his liking and he refused to come back indoors ever again! At least it meant we didn’t have to worry about the scratching. Thanks for linking up with #FridayFrolics
    Emma recently posted…Does being female mean that we all have a responsibility to parent?My Profile

  7. My parents had a dog when my eldest was born. He would sit my the car seat as if guarding the baby! Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics
    Claire – Life, Love and Dirty Dishes recently posted…Friday Frolics Linky – 23rd SeptemberMy Profile

  8. My 10mth boys LOVE our cat and weirdly our cat seems to love them too! We are slowly learning to not clamp down on the skin, one twin is better than the other, but we are getting there! We got our kitty after the boys were born though so I think that has been a help 🙂

  9. Ahah I love it. I keep trying to teach TM to be gentle to other babies/people’s pets but he is having none of it. My friend had family round and had kept the cat shut out of the room that her baby nephew was sleeping in. One of the other kids went in and left the door open then she found their cat just stood on top of the baby… creepy as fuck!
    Ellen recently posted…The Battle of the NapMy Profile

  10. I remember introducing Charles to our Labrador. It was terrifying but the dog was absolutely fine. A bit boisterous but he definitely knew what was going on. #stayclassymama

  11. Aaah we have never had to tackle this being a peters household. I’m not sure that’s a good thing though as my daughter is now petrified of all animals ever, which isn’t good! My boy on the other hand will pounce at all animals so he definitely needs a lesson is the gentle approach! #ablogginggoodtime xx

  12. I remember all this with our cat and first baby. Our cat was terried of the baby too, we went about the whole introducing thing all wrong. Especially since we arrived home and I burst into tears. It’s just one of the things where you need to rip off the plaster x

  13. Haha! I have a not very sociable cat and two toddlers. In fairness, the cat tries very hard to avoid and ignore them at all times, but I do worry that the youngest’s persistence in trying to get in the cat’s face is going to result in a scratching.

    Thanks so much for going us on #FridayFrolics. Hope to see you next time.

  14. Lol one of our cats is still f@&£ing terrified of our son and it’s been three years! The other gets along fine with him. The cat litter was def a obsession when he started crawling you are right! #stayclassymama

  15. Ha ha great post. We have 3 cats – Shima is the mummy cat and wonderful and patient with A and lets her get away with murder. Kitten and Merlot just scarper!!
    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime #triballove
    Mummy in a TuTu (@mummyinatutu) recently posted…D is for Designer….My Profile

  16. I know right. Cats and babies are such pain, but I’m willing to endure them all for the rest of my life 🙂

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