New parents are often (and understandably) concerned about how their cat will react to a new baby. But even if things are going well and the cat warms up to a newborn, life will change when your baby transforms from a stationary bundle of joy into a toddler.
“The toddler is a little different from the baby,” says Dr. Catherine Lenox, DVM and Regulatory Veterinary Manager at Royal Canin. “Toddlers are more mobile … the child begins to walk and interact with the cat in other ways.”
This can lead to interactions between your two babies that put stress on one or both of them, e.g. B. when the toddler pulls on the cat’s tail. Dr. Lenox says the most important thing a parent can do is monitor every interaction. She shared ways to keep the peace between your cat and toddler if you watch things go the wrong way as you watch.
Give the cat room
Real Conversation: As much as you love your child, sometimes you need a break from them. Suppose your cat does too.
“It’s really important to let the cat decide if the cat wants to interact,” says Dr. Lenox. “Have a safe place for the cat. You can eat there and use your litter box there. When they need a quiet time, they have an area to go into where the toddler cannot access. “
This space could be in an enclosed space or in a large closet. Try to give the kitten a place to jump in order to get away too, e.g. B. a scratching post.
Observe body language
Cats can’t speak, but they tell us a lot through their body language.
“Supervising a cat and a toddler can be an absolutely good interaction, but the cat can also have too much at some point,” says Dr. Lenox. “It is really important to be able to read the cat so that you can safely end the interaction if necessary.”
Dr. Lenox advises paying attention to the tail and ears.
“If the ears roll back or they swing their tails a lot, that can be the first sign of irritation,” she says.
On the flip side, when kitty is purring, has forward-pointing ears, and a silent tail, they love to play with their human siblings.
Keep track of what’s on the floor
Toddlers usually go through at least one stage of throwing food on the floor. Some of these foods, like garlic, are toxic.
“Leave the cat in a separate room when the toddler eats,” suggests Dr. Lenox before.
Dr. Lenox also recommends including toys with small parts that the cat could choke on when you leave the room.
Have the toddler help with the cat
Pets are great for kids – they teach empathy and how to care for someone else. It can be both a learning and bonding experience to involve your toddler in the care of the cat, such as caring for the cat. B. Measure kitty and feed her.
“Helping gives the toddler a sense of how to treat them,” says Dr. Lenox.
And it lets the cat know that the little human is here to help and give love.
“Having positive things to relate to the child will help maintain a better relationship,” says Dr. Lenox.
Featured image: FamVeld / Getty Images
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