Kittens and Kids: Cohabitating Considerations

Kittens and Kids: Cohabitating Considerations

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Kittens and babies have a lot in common – they love to sleep the majority of the day, can get fussy for no reason, are very food motivated, and usually are bursting with personality and adorableness. 

Cats and kids existing together can be a daunting idea. Young ones tend to struggle to navigate boundaries and cats can be reactive creatures. Whether you currently have a cat and are soon to add a baby to your household or vice versa, this can be a beautiful thing! Here are some considerations for cohabitation among your sweet babies – human and feline. 

The Bad Rap

Cats can get a bad rap for their saucy personalities and sometimes aggressive playful disposition. Their sharp claws and moodiness can be a lot to get used to. It is important to ensure your cat gets plenty of playtime. This helps to reduce their stress levels which, in turn, may help them be calmer and more loving. 

Due to their sometimes concerning reputation, cats and kids may seem like an impossible duo. Like any pet, there are certain considerations to ensure safety, security, and serenity for human and fur babies. 

Bringing A New Human Into a Cat Household 

If you currently have a kitty or two (or maybe even a few) and are anticipating the addition of a new baby into the household, here are a few items to consider.

Assess Your Routine 

It is important you get your feline ready for any changes a new child will bring. Ensure your cat’s current routine is synergetic with your anticipated (hopeful) routine of your new family member. Will feeding time need to change? Are new spaces off limits? Will there be new stimuli? 

If possible, get your fur baby ready in advance of the arrival of your human baby, so they have a chance to adapt without the added stress of a newbie. According to The Human Society, get your cat used to the new baby scents and baby sounds! 

If you have any friends with little ones, ask if they can stop by so your cat can get used to having tiny humans around. Start putting new products on yourself so your feline can adapt. Make sure you still provide some attention to your fur baby when your human baby arrives so they can destress and feel some love, too! 

Cat Hideouts 

Feline friends love to have their own special hiding spots that can be their refuge. This is especially important if your cat will be adapting to change and a new human. Ideally, the human and baby spaces are separate so they can both rest peacefully. 


The Meeting

Here are some thoughts for when it comes time to introduce your babies. Allow your cat to set the pace. Try to keep their meeting on your feline’s terms – if they seem to not want to be in proximity, don’t force it. 

Allow your cat to approach – don’t carry your cat to your baby or vice versa. It is important your cat feels in control and that the experience is positive. This means it can be a good idea to provide them with positive stimuli like treats or playtime when the two are in close proximity. 

For more information, check out Introducing Your Cat To Your New Baby! As this article points out, it is important to teach your little one how to healthily interact with your cat as they grow up. This includes petting nicely and identifying basic cat body language: “for example, hissing is the cat saying “leave me alone right now.”’

Considerations For Bringing a Feline Into a Kid-filled Home

If you already have kids and are looking to add a kitty to your household, it is important to note that a pet can be a big change! In many of the same ways as you may consider what is best to prepare your cat for a new baby, it is important to prepare your human companions for a four-legged one. 

Is a cat the right pet for you and your crew? This can be a tough question to answer. Make sure that allergies are not a cause for concern among your humans. If possible, try to expose your kids to felines before bringing one into your household. Consider volunteering at a shelter or going to a cat cafe to see how your little ones react to these creatures! 

Fear of Cats in Kids 

I am a reformed cat woman – once upon a time, I hated cats! Now, I look at cat pictures on the internet for fun. Silly, I know. Both my brother and I had quite a fear of felines. We never necessarily had a negative interaction, I just think we were rarely around any cats so never got the chance to form a positive opinion.

As a dog family, we found cats to be off putting and “the other.” It wasn’t until my 20s I learned to not be scared around cats. It feels silly to say now as I love to pet any cat I can. Fears of cats or dogs in younger years can have a lasting impact. 

If your kiddo isn’t used to being around one or the other, it might be a good idea to orchestrate some positive interactions. This is especially true if you may want to introduce a feline into your family at some point. 

In the end, though, cats can be a beautiful family member alongside kiddos. Growing up with a pet can bring such beautiful joyous memories. Kitties and kids can be beautiful friends and build a sense of empathy and family. 

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