An Interesting Question: Are cats good with babies?

October 26, 2018
With proper training, socialization, and gradual adaptation, a cat can be affectionate toward and even protective of a baby.

People love to talk about how dogs have an instinct to protect babies. There’s a constant debate about whether people should let animals be in close contact with babies, but there’s scientific evidence that mentions animals are good for children’s development. Which brings you to the question: are cats good with babies too?

Are cats good with babies?

Most people’s start having concerns as soon as they find out a woman is pregnant. A lot of them ask things like: “What are you going to do about your pets?” People ask themselves this question due to an old myth about babies and house pets not being able to live together.  Unfortunately, most people believe that cats aren’t good with babies.

It’s even more of an issue because of all the rumors about toxoplasmosisThis is a disease in cats that can transmit to a mother and her kittens. Therefore, you don’t have to get rid of your cats just because you’re pregnant.

Cat sleeping with baby

After the baby is born, people are scared the cat will scratch the baby because they believe that cats aren’t able to hold back, especially when it comes to their most lethal weapon of all (claws). However, anyone who’s familiar with cats knows that’s just not the case.

A properly domesticated, socialized cat knows how to control these kinds of instinctive behaviors. Just like dogs, cats can also develop a special affection (and even protectiveness) towards babies. They’ll want to keep them safe, and would never dream of doing them any harm. So, are cats good with babies? Yes, but only with proper training.

How to train cats to be good with babies

As with most things, this process requires training. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for cats to be good with babies. It’s actually the opposite! There are some things that make it harder, like the fact that cats are territorial or that the change to routine or the baby’s crying could stress them out. Don’t worry, the best solution is proper preparation.

Prepare your cat

The best way to prepare your cat for the baby’s arrival is to gradually get them used to those kinds of noises. Put on recordings of a baby crying. Lay baby lotions, soaps, and toys on the floor and help it learn not to play with them.

Cat at a baby's feet

You can also put the baby lotion on your body so that your cat gets used to the smell. If you think you’ll need to change your cat’s litter box, water bowl, or food bowl when the baby comes, then do it beforehand so that your cat can get used to the change.

Don’t leave the baby out

Once the baby is born, he/she will obviously take up most of your attention. However, try to maintain a balance so the cat doesn’t feel left out. Make sure you set aside a time to play with your cat and try to stick to this routine.

Get your cat used to the baby

With help from another person, let the cat slowly approach the baby and smell it, or maybe even touch it. Don’t leave the baby out of your sight, and make sure you can grab it in a flash if necessary. If it seems like your cat is going to attack, pull it away immediately.

Let the cat come up to the baby for a few seconds every day and the cat will start to see the baby as a family member. The idea is for your cat to realize they need to learn to live alongside the baby.

Be patient, things like this can take time. Cats can be good with babies, they just need some help. Yours might even surprise you by adapting better to your baby than you would have ever hoped!