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Cats and Babies
I am looking for suggestions for preventing cats from freaking out when a newborn is brought home. My two (very spoiled) cats have dealt with visits from friends' babies by disappearing down the block and not coming home until the little visitors are gone. Now that we are expecting our own little bundle of joy and noise, I'm wondering if there are any strategies for introducing cats to their new roommate with a minimum of trauma. thanks!
As our baby grew older, she started wanting to maul the cats. One of them (the pisser) simply ran away. The other refused to give ground, and administered a couple of disciplinary bites. We decided to let the cat discipline the kid. Kid listened to cat more than to us anyway :-< They worked that out, without any damage to either party. It only took two occasions where the cat (quite gently, I might add) bit and made a large fuss for our daughter to get the message. Then we were able to draw our daughter's attention to the fact that cat mauling was a biting offense, and she should think twice about it. In short: Don't worry; they'll work it out.
After mourning our loss and thinking we would never own a cat again, we ended up adopting 2 kittens from the Oakland SPCA in July. It's been a very happy experience for us. As the kittens grow up with our kids they are extremely playful and tolerant of being carried around, having their ears pulled and being petted as only a toddler can. We feel like we've recaptured the joy of owning cats once again.
There is a very good book about cat behavior called 'From the Cat's Point of View' by Gwen Bohnenkamp. It's a paper pamphlet style book that's a quick read and good reference. I ordered mine from Amazon. The book explains the background behind why cats do what they do. Spraying, peeing in the sink, biting, scratching, etc. It gives ideas on how to address the real cause of these very annoying end results. Good luck.
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