Cats and babies can have a special bond. Still, parents should take proper precautions to keep both the infant and the kitty safe. I’ve heard horror stories about cats in the crib, so you shouldn’t be too complacent. Knowing how to keep the cat out of crib is the first step. Below, I discussed the steps you can take and other information that will help keep a harmonious cat-baby relationship at home.
How do cats react to babies?
For cats used to be the center of attention at home, it might be challenging to introduce a baby. They may perceive the new addition to the family as a threat to their territory. This may trigger your kitty’s territorial aggression, including scratching, swatting, and full-on fighting. This is exactly what you wouldn’t want to happen in the crib.
While some cats might be jealous of babies, there’s a way to help them accept the arrival of your little one. Preparation is necessary, so your kitty won’t be stressed as well.
The following will help your cat adjust even before your baby arrives:
- Acclimate their sense of smell. Cats often get stressed on a baby’s arrival due to the new scent. It’s the smell of the baby, the baby stuff, and the products you’re going to use. To help your cat adjust, let it sniff on your baby’s room. Do this for weeks until your feline is fully relaxed.
- Secure a quiet space. With the arrival of a baby, the household will be noisy and busy. This will overwhelm your cat, so make sure that the kitty has its own room to retreat and rest. A quiet and warm space will discourage your cat from seeking the baby’s body warmth.
- Train with sound. Continuous baby crying can overstimulate a cat, so your kitty must be prepared for it. Playing baby sounds from the internet will help condition your kitty on what’s about to come its way.
- Start cutting back on playtime. Now that you’re expecting a baby, you will have less time to spend with your cat. I suggest that you start reducing playtime slowly so your kitty won’t feel left out once the infant is home. This will also prevent the cat from getting jealous of the baby.
- Address unwanted behavior. Once your baby is home, you’ll have very little time to train your cat. You can work with an animal behaviorist to correct the negative behavior.
How to keep cats off the crib
While cats are known to be fussy and territorial, some of them fall in love with their baby sisters or brothers right away. But no matter how patient and gentle your kitty is, you’ll never know when it will snap on a pinchy and noisy baby. So to be safe, it’s best to keep the feline away from the crib until your baby has grown bigger.
Here’s what you can do:
1. Use a screen door
Blocking your cat’s access to the baby room will stop them from climbing to the crib. A screen door will let you monitor your baby while allowing the cat to smell and look around.
You should never use crib nets because it’s very dangerous for the baby. As you know, cats have an affinity for whatever their claws can play with. This means they love messing with nets. And if your kitty happens to play with the net, it may fall into the crib. It could strangle your child, resulting in a tragic accident.
2. Make the crib less appealing
Another important way to keep your kitty off the crib is making it less appealing to approach. You can spray diluted peppermint oil around the crib. Cats hate its smell since it irritates their nose. However, never spray the peppermint oil directly to your kitty because it’s toxic and can cause adverse side effects. Also, don’t spray the oil directly to your baby’s stuff.
For cats that hate the smell of citrus fruits, you can place peelings around your baby’s crib.
3. Provide supervised interactions
Once your baby has grown a little bigger, you can introduce the cat through supervised interactions. Let the cat approach the baby on its own terms. You should be watching so you can intervene the moment your kitty shows negative behavior.
Keep these interactions short. Also, don’t let your baby pinch the cat because the kitty may retaliate with a swat in the face.
After the interaction, give the cat some treats if it behaved well. That way, the kitty will associate your baby with something positive.
4. Use a cat deterrent
If your sneaky kitty is still trying to get into the crib, you can use deterrents. When my son was born, a friend recommended that we use an ultrasonic deterrent. It produces a sound that only animals can hear. It’s safe for cats, but it’s annoying and disorienting. This will stop them from getting near the crib or the baby’s room.
Still, you shouldn’t rely too much on these devices. It should only be an added layer of security for your baby. A screen door should still be the main defense against a sneaky cat.
5. Keep the cat busy
One way to stop the cat from seeking the crib is by keeping it busy. Get cat towers where your cat can climb and see the baby from afar.
Interactive toys will also keep your feline’s mind away from the crib. This way, the kitty can vent its energy towards playtime and not in trying to break into the baby’s room. Just make sure that the toys are safe and will not be a choking hazard for your kitty.
Do cats get jealous of newborn babies?
For cats used to be the only center of attention, a newborn baby will be a threat. This will make the kitty jealous.
As you spend more time with the baby, the kitty will feel abandoned. If you don’t schedule bonding time with your cat, the jealousy may develop into negative behavior.
Aside from that, poor socialization as a kitty will lead to jealous behavior when you brought a baby home. Your cat must not be dependent on you for playtime and entertainment. If you’re expecting a baby, take the time to socialize your cat so it will be welcoming to new scents, sounds, and people.
Moreover, the sudden change in your routines at home upon the baby’s arrival will stress a cat. A change in feeding will trigger jealousy in your feline.
Do cats know when a baby is coming?
Cats are very sensitive beings due to their strong sense of smell and hearing. They can pick up a change in your hormones based on the scent your body produces.
Aside from that, your cat’s sharp sense of hearing probably allows them to hear the heartbeat in your tummy. And if you’ve had a baby before, your kitty may know that another is coming.
Knowing how to keep the cat out of crib is necessary to protect both the kitty and the baby. A slow and careful introduction is necessary, so the two will have a harmonious relationship. Preparing the cat even before the baby arrives is also important to prevent untoward incidents.