Are babies and cats a good pair? This question usually pops up when there is a newborn baby in the home.
Many couples who discover that they are going to have a baby soon would usually seek a new home for their pet or worse give them up to a shelter or leave them in the corner away from home.
Sure enough babies and cats can get along very well but it is important also that parents provide supervision on this friendship and should not leave them alone together.
Yes, cats can warm your heart as they can be adorable pets. However, keeping your baby safe is very important that it is also worthwhile to know how to keep your child safe when they are with your kitty.
Prepping your cat for your baby’s arrival
Before the baby’s arrival, start preparing the cat for her arrival by playing a recorded sound of an infant crying for your kitty to get a feel of what to expect within the nine-month time frame.
Also, begin mimicking your baby’s scent by wearing his/her cologne, powder or lotion in advance weeks before the baby arrives home in order for the cat to familiarize your baby’s scents.
When the baby is home, continue to shower your cat with your love and attention so that your pet will not be upset when you suddenly stop giving him attention.
Bear in mind that cats are unpredictable. Sometimes they might not be open to the idea of children approaching them, prompting them to scratch or bite without warning.
What are the benefits of cats around baby
There are lots of beneficial outcomes from the mere presence of a cat in the life of a baby. Journal Paediatrics reported that babies who said to have grown up in a home with a pet were less likely to get sick compared to babies who live in pet-free homes.
Also, the National Institutes of Health released a study in 2002 saying that the mere exposure of babies to cats lessen their risk of developing allergies. Being with cats early in life also helps children reduce the risk of developing asthma in later life, says the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
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Here are other benefits that cats provide around babies:
- They provide entertainment. Cats are too adorable that is the reason why so many videos on cats went viral. Cat loves to entertain its owner. They love to frolic around like rolling around, climbing up curtains, and even hide inside the boxes.
- Help kids build friendships. Cat teaches your child to be kind and loving and to share and give. Thus teaching your children to care for cats will enable them to be cooperative and willing to share.
- Cat eases stress and anxiety. Their mere presence can trigger the release of calming chemicals in your body thereby lowering stress and anxiety levels. Moreover, a simple petting activity can make you and your cat happy.
- Make a child smarter. When your child spends a lot of time with cats, the child does not only provide care for them but also tries to find ways to surpass the cat’s sly ways.
- Decreased Risk of Having Asthma. Children who are exposed to cats early in life may have a reduced risk of developing asthma, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
- Turning your child become faithful companions. If a cat and a child have a good and loving relationship, the cat will become attached and loyal to the child, providing the child protection from other animals and watching over them.
- A ray of sunshine during difficult times. Having a cat that is loyal, cuddly, and sweet is truly a source of real joy.
While there are benefits, there are also risks!
1. Having a baby that has specific allergy may breathe in cat allergens, so your baby may develop itchy eyes, runny nose, a scratchy throat, sneezing, hives, or asthma symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
2. When a cat sleeps where a baby is sleeping. Do not allow a cat to sleep near a baby’s face as this is very harmful, obstructing your baby’s breathing, and suffocating a sleeping baby then. Never allow your cat to interfere with any of your child’s playthings or gadgets/equipment.
3. Cats can be the source of stomach illnesses. Watch your baby carefully and do not allow him/her to touch infected cat poo and then bring their hands to their mouth, they can contract bacteria that can cause diarrhea and vomiting.
4. Don’t allow your cat to lick your child on the face or mouth. Cats and dogs play and lick together, so don’t allow them to lick your baby to keep him/her safe from infections. Wash your hands before cuddling or touching your baby.
5. Cats can pass on cat-scratch disease, so be mindful to look for swollen lymph nodes, fever and headaches in your child in case they are bitten or scratched by your kitty, immediately seek doctor’s expertise.
Cats as pets can surely make a great companion. But when expecting a baby, paying attention to the needs of your resident cats and giving proper preparations will somehow set you, the child, and the cat toward a harmonious and even joyful time together in the home they will share.
Supervised interaction is important between a baby and a cat. Surely, cats and babies can get along well, but again they should be monitored and watched by parents at all times. They should never be left alone together or unsupervised since it is not 100% safe as they could still potentially hurt each other.