We are giving you some tips for developing a healthy interaction between the cat and the child. Both cats and children need to be supervised and trained to keep them safe from each other.

Cat and Child

Arrival of a baby brings happiness in everyone's life. But if you are a cat owner you need to take care of certain things so that the cat and the baby can get used to each other without any problem.

Introducing the cat to the baby
  • Introduce the cat gradually to the baby. Cats take time to adjust to a new family member.
  • Before the birth of the baby review the behavior of the cat. Ensure that it consistently obeys you. The commands to "sit/stay" and "down/stay" are essential to control the cat and give direction for desirable behavior.
  • A curious and affectionate cat may harm the cat. The cat may accidentally scratch the cat. Hence keep your cat's nails well trimmed.
  • In the initial days after the birth isolate the baby from the cat.
  • Maintain positive interaction with the cat in the presence of baby. In this way, the cat is unlikely to view the baby's presence negatively, which could result from reduced attention.
  • Before the birth, carry an imaginary doll and do the daily chores such as changing diapers etc in the presence of the cat. This will help in acclimatization of the cat.
  • Similarly, you can make a tape recording of your crying infant and play this at gradually increased volume while you practice obedience commands and praise your cat for desirable behavior.
  • Cats may urinate or defecate on baby blankets or baby clothes, or on your bed. Some cats may urinate or defecate in a newborn's crib. These are not acts of malice or jealousy. Territorial marking relieves a pet's anxiety, covering the baby's scent (or yours) with its own. Do not scold the cat for this behavior, as this will only increase its stress during adjustment to new circumstances. Prevent access to its targets and spend more time with the cat.
  • When your baby becomes a toddler, reassure your cat during supervised interaction. Remain watchful and teach your child to respect the cat. More often than not, you will need to protect your cat from your child.
  • Training the child to behave with cat.
  • From the moment children begin to crawl, they investigate everything around them, including your pet. Your cat's toys, food or water bowl and litter box are fair targets. Hence, children should be taught to interact appropriately with pets from the time they begin to crawl and walk.
  • Many children delight in waking a sleeping pet by screaming in its ear or persistently chasing it, giving it no peace.
  • Under adult supervision, children must be taught how to treat cats. Children must learn that cats are not toys and are living beings. They must be taught to substitute unacceptable behavior with acceptable behavior toward your cat.
  • Children must be shown which parts of a cat's body can be touched and how to gently pet them. Teach them not to disturb an animal while it is resting or sleeping, eating a meal, or playing with or chewing on a favorite toy or object.