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Move over puss! Preparing your cat for the arrival of your baby

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How To Prepare Your Cat For The Arrival Of Your Baby

Move over puss! Preparing your cat for the arrival of your baby

Cats may seem pretty chilled, but a new baby can be a major disruption for them. Get your furry friend ready for the new addition – and not being the centre of attention.

Cats dont have owners, they have staff, or so the saying goes. If your mog feels your home is her domain, and shes going to be sharing it with a baby pretty soon, its best to prepare her well in advance.

Curiosity wouldnt have killed the cat if it were just a passing fancy ndash; cats are persistent when it comes to things they want to explore. So, introduce yours to your babys new nursery ndash; if youre using one ndash; so she can have a look and a sniff around.

lsquo;Once shes had a look around, put the nursery room strictly out of bounds, says Beth Skillings, Cats Protections clinical veterinary officer. lsquo;This is particularly important if your cat has previously had free rein in the house.

It may not look pretty, but you could try ripping up bits of cardboard, put double-sided sticky tape on them and put them at the entrance of the nursery. That should deter your cat from going in ndash; and this can also work on furniture too.

Another tactic is to spray citronella on the baby spaces youd rather she kept away from, as cats really dont like the smell and afterwards will associate it with something unpleasant.

Cats have a very sensitive sense of smell, so a sudden influx of mini clothes, toys, buggies and your baby, could really distress her. If the arrival of your baby and her paraphernalia is too sudden, your cat may even start peeing on things associated with the baby. This isnt aggressive behaviour. Shes just nervous and is trying to reassure herself by marking these new things as her own.

So, while your cat may not be too thrilled when your baby cries (who is, really?), at least shell recognise it.

Maintaining the schedule

If youre the main caregiver to your cat, its best to pass your duties on to your partner if you can. lsquo;Gradually reduce the amount of ldquo;lap timerdquo; your cat gets ndash; your attention will obviously be elsewhere once your baby arrives, says Beth.

It may make you feel a little sad to move away from your relationship with your cat, but the alternative is pulling away your attention all at once when the baby comes, which could confuse her.

While lots of parents worry about a cat being aggressive towards a new arrival, her instinctive reaction to stress is to hide ndash; preferably somewhere high up with a good view, so she can look down and assess the situation.

You might want to put a few cat beds or cardboard boxes on top of furniture, maybe with some tasty treats or a favourite blanket. That way, shell have a sanctuary while she works out who this little stranger is.

Remember, a cats natural reaction when something is frightening or strange is to run away, so never try to stop her fleeing. She might feel trapped and lash out.

‘Unneutered male cats tend to urine-mark their territory ndash; and you can certainly do without the smell and health risks that brings! lsquo;And, get the vet to check her over to make sure shes in good health for the arrival of your baby.

Move over puss! Preparing your cat for the arrival of your baby

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