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New baby = cat reacting badly

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by BandB, Mar 18, 2017.


  1. BandB

    BandB Owner of Bella, Bailey, Barnaby, Poppy and Mika

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    My husbands cousin has a new baby and also has two British short-haired cats. Percy is nonplussed by the new arrival but Cyril is being very naughty. He is destroying the babies toys and has now started to try and mark the baby as his territory. She could really do with some advice as to how to settle the situation down. She adores her cats and obviously their new baby and wants it to be as harmonious as possible. Any tips or suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hi :) . Cyril sees the new baby as competition for his resources, and he doesn't like the situation. And I expect the cats' owner is busy with the new baby and the cats are having to take a bit of a back seat at present, which can't always be helped.

    The best way to reduce the cats feeling they are in competition with the baby is to involve the cats as much as possible with the baby's routine. Do you know if the baby's mum prepared the cats for the new arrival, before baby arrived, by letting the cats smell and thoroughly inspect all the new equipment and the baby's furniture that was brought into the house. Did the owner put baby creams etc on her hands every day for weeks and let the cats get used to the scent? Were the cats allowed plenty of access to the baby's nursery before the baby arrived?

    If none of the above happened, then I'd advise the owner to start straight away involving the cats more in the baby's routine. e.g. when she is feeding the baby always allow the cats to be nearby. Likewise if she is changing the baby and when she is bathing the baby allow the cats to be in the bathroom watching. The cats need to feel they are still a very important part of the family, not being shut out of what's going on.

    If the cats haven't been allowed access so far to the nursery, it may not be wise to allow it for now, as there is a risk that Cyril might spray in there. Later on perhaps when Cyril feels happier and more involved, he could be let into the nursery (under your supervision).

    It is best to put the baby's toys away in a cupboard or plastic toy box when the baby is not playing with them, or there is a risk Cyril may decide they are his toys to do what he likes with (baby toys may seem like cat toys to a cat).

    The cats' owner should set up a routine that every evening once the baby is settled in bed, both cats get some one-to-one attention from her, in the form of interactive play, grooming or cuddling - let each cat decide what it is they want from her (she will be able to tell from their reaction what they need) I appreciate she will be tired after a busy day with the baby, but it is essential the cats get this focused attention from her if she wants them to start feeling happier.
     
    moggie14 and Lurcherlad like this.
  3. BandB

    BandB Owner of Bella, Bailey, Barnaby, Poppy and Mika

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    Thank you very much for your detailed reply. I will pass on the information. I think they did some prep before the baby arrived however not sure how much. I let you know how they get on. Many thanks again.
     
    chillminx and moggie14 like this.
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