More Cat Care Information:
Having a new baby join your home is a change for everyone there. It is no different for pets that you have. Indoor pets are, especially, affected by the new bundle of joy. They may see a new baby as an intruder to their territory. There are some things you can do to get your cat ready to share the home with a new child.
|General Cat Care #1: Before You Bring Your Cat Home|
|You will need food, food dish, water bowl, interactive toys, brush, comb, safety cat collar, scratching post, litter and litter box.|
|General Cat Care #2: Feeding|
|An adult cat should be fed one large or two smaller meals each day. Kittens from 6 to 12 weeks need to be fed four times a day. Kittens from three to six months need to be fed three times a day. You can either feed specific meals, throwing away any leftover canned food after 30 minutes or free-feed dry food (keeping food out all the time).|
Feed your cat a high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food (avoid generic brands) two to three times a day. Kittens can be fed human baby food for a short time if they won’t eat kitten food softened by soaking in warm water. Use turkey or chicken baby food made for children six months and older. Gradually mix with cat food. Cow’s milk is not necessary and can cause diarrhea in kittens and cats. Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Wash and refill water bowls daily.
Before you begin your training make sure that your cat is healthy. A check-up with a veterinarian is a good idea if your pet hasn't had one lately. A couple other basic things to do are to play sounds of a baby to let your pet get used to the sound of a newborn human and to let him or her explore the nursery. Don't let the cat set up camp in the nursery, though. This will make the situation worse when the baby starts using the room and displaces the cat.
|General Cat Care #3: Grooming|
|Most cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but they do need to be brushed or combed. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat’s coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs|
|General Cat Care #4: Handling|
|To pick up your cat, place one hand behind the front legs and another under the hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck (behind the ears) or by the front legs without supporting the rear end.|
|General Cat Care #5: Housing|
|Cats should have a clean, dry place of their own in the house. Line your cat’s bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often. Please keep your cat indoors. If your companion animal is allowed outside, he can contract diseases, get ticks or parasites, become lost or get hit by a car, hurt in a fight or poisoned. Also, cats prey on wildlife.|
If the child isn't born yet and the pregnant woman is the person that does most of the caring for the cat, the responsibilities should be shifted before delivery. Cleaning the litter box should have already been a duty given to someone else for health reasons. Feeding and playtime should also be taken over by someone else in the house. This will keep the cat from feeling as jealous of the baby taking all of the mother's time after the child comes home.
Get your cat used to the sounds and smells that come with having a baby in the house. Set up the baby swing and let it swing empty. Put some baby powder on a couple blankets and play with some baby toys. Allow your pet to associate these sounds and smells with you or the other caregivers before the child is in the picture.
Crib covers are available to keep the cat from getting into the crib and thinking that is his or her new bed. These can be used after the child comes home, as well. Another idea is to replace the door on the nursery with a screen door. This will allow you to keep the cat from getting into the room but still allowing you to hear if the baby is awake or upset.
|General Cat Care #6: Identification|
|If allowed outdoors (again, we caution against it!), your cat needs to wear a safety collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. An ID tag or an implanted microchip can help insure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost.|
|General Cat Care #7: Litter Box|
|All indoor cats need a litter box, which should be placed in a quiet, accessible location. A bathroom or utility room is a good place for your cat’s box. In a multi-level home, one box per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary. Then do so slowly, a few inches a day. Cats won’t use a messy, SMELLY litter box. Scoop solids out of the box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with a mild detergent (don’t use ammonia) and refill at least once a week, less frequently if using clumping litter. Don’t use deodorants or scents in the litter or litter box (especially avoid lemon scent).|