When we got pregnant, one of my many thoughts along the way was “how will our cats react to the new baby and vice versa.” I wondered if they would get along, if the cats would try to attack her, or if she would be allergic. I googled how to introduce pets to babies and just how to make everyone more comfortable.
As we were getting the nursery ready, the cats assumed it was all for them and the room shortly became a favorite of theirs. The gliding chair and changing table pads were among the big favorites. As I became bigger, the cats would start to snuggle my belly and boy did it freak them out when she would move.
Once she arrived, I had heard that you should take something the baby has come in contact with and send it home for the pets to smell so they recognize the scent. So I did that with a hat she had worn in the hospital. When we got home though, the cats just really wanted nothing to do with her. They would stay out of our way and in other rooms where the baby wasn’t. I wouldn’t say they were scared of her, they just didn’t seem to want to have anything to do with her.
Luckily, she wasn’t allergic to them as well so that really eased our mind too. As she has now gotten older, she is more curious about them and wanting to chase them and “pet” them, or her version of that. And she’s very interested in their food, so we’ve had to work on keeping that out of reach of her. The cats are now even more not wanting anything to do with her because they are grumpy old men that just want to sleep all day.
It has been an adjustment for all involved to become a family of 4 to a family of 5, but I believe we are handling it well and trying to make sure the cats know we still love them and consider them our babies and don’t want them to feel ignored in any way. They were our first children after all.