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Preparing your cat for your new baby's arrival

My baby is due in about three weeks and there are so many myths out there between the Internet and old wives tales, that it is easy to get discouraged and wonder if you have to give your cat away before the new baby arrives. There are many things that you should concentrate on during this exciting time in your life to help ease the introduction.

Most cats do not like change, that is not a hidden fact. My cat, luckily loves change, but he can get jealous when there are new items coming into the household and he doesn't get anything. The best thing for that is buy him a new toy or give her a small treat when you are bringing home a bunch of stuff. Don't keep your cat from sniffing and checking out all the new gear, this is a cats' way of accepting things into his or her home. Begin buying things early, this will help him get accustomed slowly (which is the key to all of this) and will also help ease the financial burden on you and your partner.

My cat, like most, feels he is part of the family and doesn't like to be excluded. I have a plan to be able to keep him out of my baby's room without him feeling left out. He swears that if there is a closed door in the house we are throwing a party for him and forgot to invite him so I plan to have help installing a regular screen door on the inside door to the baby room. I will place the hinge of the screen door on the opposite side of the door jam that the hinge for the regular room door is on. This way I don't have to remove and store a door and also it will only cause a total of 6 - 9 small screw holes in the door jam so this shouldn't create any problems for renters like myself. With the use of a screen door I can keep my cat out of the room until I can completely trust him to be around my baby without supervision. This is my first baby so I have no clue as to how my cat will respond. My cat will be able to see thru the screen door to see what I am doing in the baby's room, but will be able to be kept out easily. Baby gates are not going to work to keep a cat out, they will jump over it. If you close the regular room door your cat may, like mine, feel left out and this may prolong a good bond between your new baby and your cat.

If you change things suddenly, like locking him out of a room, he may resent the baby for this. Try not to keep things that are his in there because you probably won't be keeping these there as soon as your baby arrives.

Since I have not given birth yet, I can not testify as to how this works, but I have done a lot of research online and everything says to bring an extra crib cap or pair of socks for your baby to the hospital with you and put it on the baby and then after the baby's scent is on it send it home with a family member to give this item to your cat as far ahead of baby's arrival as possible. Animals discover and learn to accept new things primarily by smell. Don't be surprised if at the first cry of your baby your cat hisses, I am sure if your cat has not been around a crying baby this will surprise him. It doesn't mean he will not eventually love your child, it just simply means the crying probably startled him. I will keep you updated on how my introduction of my cat and baby goes when that time comes.