Friday, April 5, 2013

Babies and Cats

I've been wanting to do this post for a while, but I wanted to wait and make sure it was true, and that Thomas wasn't going to do a 180 on me.

As many know, a concern through my whole pregnancy was how would Thomas react to this whole thing. I'd heard so many friends that had to get rid of their cat once they had children because they became jealous and would spray all over, and/ or attack the parents or children. I was terrified this would happen, I've always viewed Thomas as "our first child," we got him as a kitten and he was the first pet we got together. I was going to do every thing in my power to make this work.
Thomas as a kitten
Things we did to help Thomas adapt to his new "sister" BEFORE she was born:

Schedule change: We knew the routine he was in would have to be changed. So we slowly changed his feeding schedule to one that would work for us with a baby. He was also used to being played with through out the day. That too wasn't going to happen with a baby. We changed it so he gets one on one time at night once we are both home. He also got used to the fact that I was going to be home a lot more.

Noises: We did what we could with this one before Kelli came. Thomas can be skiddish to noises in the house but if the same noise is played on the TV he doesn't care. We watched baby movies and played some on the computer and he really didn't care.

Smells: I opened some wipes a month before she was born and would periodically wipe my hands with them. I also put baby lotion on. 

Baby Toys: Since Kelli was early we didn't do this one too well. While we were still in the hospital Troy and other people finished getting the swing, bouncy seat, and play gym out and assembled. So it would be ready when we got home and Thomas could check them out. He's still not a fan of the bouncy seat.

Then Kelli came!
Things to do after the baby is born, but before they come home: 

The next morning I had Troy bring one of her blankets home. He laid it on the couch so he could sniff when we wanted but also be able to "get away." This I think was key. The next day before we got home I had Troy bring another blanket and put it in the crib.

Another huge help was the calming pheromones. I originally thought Troy had just fallen to the marketing scheme, but they really did help. He was spraying all over his litter box, and seemed tense for a while. Once we plugged it in, he stopped spraying the next day. They are worth a try if you are struggling.

Once we got home Kelli stayed up stairs till night time. I went down and played with Thomas by myself. He came up a few  times, but stayed far away. I brought her down that night and he was just like "whose this? And why is she down in my area?"

The next day he was more comfortable.

Kelli and Thomas day 2

And now he's:
Kelli is in her crib in the above picture. He lays or stands in front of the crib when we first lay her down, then he'll put his paws on the side almost like he's trying to say "good night." Then he follows the person out.

If someone other than Troy and I is down there with her he'll sit in the office door way. He doesn't want to get close to them, but he wants to keep an eye on whats going on.


Those of you who are expecting a baby or are trying to get your cat to adapt to a baby, be patient and know it can happen.

** Every cat is different and you should do what you believe is best for them. Speak to your vet if you have any concerns or questions.**

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