+372 50 80 660 Õismäe tee 115A, Tallinn
Mon-Fri: 10-18 | Sat, Sun: closed
Haabersti Loomakliinik
+372 50 80 660 Õismäe tee 115A, Tallinn
Mon-Fri: 10-18 | Sat, Sun: closed

Cats and Infants

+372 50 80 660 Õismäe tee 115A, Tallinn
Mon-Fri: 10-18 | Sat, Sun: closed
11 February 2024
Regulations on transportation of animals Rus/Est/eng

Dear pet owners, at the link below you will find the rules of pet transportation in three languages. And all three links. 1.   &nbs...

11 December 2023
Endocrine diseases of cats

Diabetes mellitus is the most common disease of the endocrine system in cats. Adult and aged cats are susceptible The most common reason of this path...

11 December 2023
Endocrine Disorders in Dogs: Symptoms and Treatment

Endocrine Disorders in Dogs: Symptoms and Treatment Endocrine disorders mainly occur in older dogs. Such conditions require special attention and ...

22 November 2023
How to properly trim a dog's nails

How to properly trim a dog's nails: Entrust your pet to professionals Every dog owner recognizes the importance of scheduling regular veterinarian...

31 October 2023
Tumors in Cats

For any pet owner, a benign tumor in a cat is a frightening diagnosis, not to mention oncology. But there's no need to despair. Qualified surgeons ca...

31 October 2023
Animal Microchipping

Animal chipping is a modern and practical method of identifying domestic pets. In many European countries, this procedure is mandatory for anyone who...

31 October 2023
Tumors in Dogs

Tumors are common diseases in dogs. Without timely treatment, they can lead to the death of the animal. Dog cancer treatment has made significant str...

29 October 2023
Worms in cats: symptoms and treatment

Helminthiasis is one of the most common problems in domestic animals. Worms are periodically found in 80% of cats, regardless of their diet and acces...

29 October 2023

Peritonitis in cats, or feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), is a severe disease accompanied by health disturbances. Experienced veterinarians classi...

29 October 2023

Cats, like humans, can suffer from various infectious diseases. Some of them are quite severe and require long-term, and sometimes lifelong, treatmen...

29 October 2023
Eye diseases in cats

Cat eye diseases are a common problem. However, many owners may not pay attention when their pet squints or rubs them. Without proper cat eye infecti...

29 October 2023
Worms in Dogs

Worms in Dogs: Types, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Helminthiasis or worm infestation is a fairly common problem encountered by dog owners. Hear...

29 October 2023
Eye Diseases in Dogs

Eye Diseases in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Eye diseases are a rather serious and common issue among dogs. Dog eye disease refers to var...

11 July 2023
 Traveling to the Veterinary Clinic with Your Cat

How to Reduce Stress during Your Visit Every cat needs occasional check-ups at the veterinarian. Prevention of most diseases is easier, cheaper, a...

11 July 2023
 How to Give Pills to Your Cat

Using medication in the form of pills can cause stress for your cat, as not many cats are willing to swallow pills on their own. Nevertheless, it is ...

11 July 2023
Ensuring Safety in Cat and Small Child Playtime

Cat behavior and well-being specialist (and the newest member of the iCatCare team), Dr. Sarah Ellis, addressed the coexistence issue of cats and inf...

20 April 2021
Endocrine diseases in cats and dogs

Cats have high predisposition to the endocrine system disorders, which lead to important changes of the whole body and therefore, bringing quality of...

4 February 2021
Why and how to train your at to recall

Why is training your cat to recall useful? Training pets to come to us when called is something that we generally associate with the training of d...

4 February 2021
Training a cat to use a carrier: a four-stage approach

Many owners would cite difficulty getting a cat into a carrier as a reason not to visit the vet, or a reason that the visit is stressful. Giving ...

Having a baby will turn your life upside down, requiring you to adapt to the needs of a helpless little person. Taking care of an infant often consumes all your time and energy, while worry becomes a constant companion for parents. However, just like with any other matter, proper planning and preparation can not only significantly assist you but also provide a little peace of mind.

For many pet owners, their cat is like a “child,” so it’s not surprising that they want to avoid any issues after the baby’s birth.

Established order and predictability are incredibly important for cats. Moreover, cats are often more attached to their home than to the people surrounding them in that home. Some cats may feel anxious about changes in the house, such as the introduction of new furniture or baby items, while others may remain calm and unaffected by such changes. In fact, they might even appreciate having their owner around more often and staying in one place during infant feeding. For a young mother, a cat can be an excellent companion, while for a child, it can become their first friend if the introduction to the infant is approached correctly and the child is taught to treat the pet with respect.

Why might your cat be cautious around an infant?

  • Cats rely on their keen sense of smell to better understand their surroundings. By rubbing their face on various objects in the house, a cat leaves its scent on them, which we barely notice. In such an environment surrounded by its scent, a cat feels secure, knowing it’s at home. When a baby arrives, all the new items carry the scent of the child, which can disrupt the atmosphere in the house and make your pet feel uneasy.
  • With the arrival of a baby, numerous new items of various sizes appear in the house, ranging from cribs and strollers to various toys. Additionally, children’s toys often flash colorful lights and produce strange sounds.
  • The scent of an infant is different from that of an adult – babies primarily smell like milk and soiled diapers!
  • Infants require a lot of attention, which can disrupt the usual routine, and initially, young parents may have to take care of the cat on a residual basis.
  • Compared to adults and older children, infants are much more unpredictable. Moreover, a baby can make sudden loud noises at any moment, and they prefer to explore objects, people, and animals from extremely close distances (and at a certain age, everything within reach will be grabbed and put in the mouth). It’s not surprising that cats approach infants with caution.
  • Most cats enjoy physical contact in the form of head and face stroking but prefer to decide on the timing and duration of such interactions themselves. Interacting with a baby may not come easily for a cat. It’s impossible to predict how the child will touch the cat and how long they will want to interact. Never leave your cat alone with a baby without supervision.

What can you do to help your cat feel safe with the arrival of a baby in the family?

  • Introduce any changes in the house gradually.
  • Allow your cat to familiarize itself with new items and get used to them.
  • Give the new object the scent of home. When you’re petting your cat and it’s relaxed, gently rub its cheeks and the area in front of its ears with a cloth. Then use the same cloth, which has picked up the pheromones from the cat’s facial glands, to rub the new object. The cat will recognize the familiar scent and understand that the new item doesn’t pose a threat. Don’t worry if the object acquires an additional scent – human sense of smell is not sensitive enough to detect it.
  • Provide your cat with enough hiding places where it can be safe from the baby
  • You may have to prepare the cat in advance for the fact that now another person will feed it, because it is possible that the first time after the birth of the baby, the young mother will not be able to follow the feeding of the pet. If you take care of this in advance, you will save the cat from an unnecessary source of stress during a period of global change.
  • Train your cat in advance to the crying of a child (such sounds are not at all difficult to find on the Internet). At first, turn on the sounds at a very low volume, gradually increasing it. The goal is to help the cat understand that baby crying is not something to panic about. This is extremely important, because in the coming months the whole family will hear the crying of the baby very often!
  • It is likely that the newborn will first spend a couple of days in the hospital. Take advantage of this time to introduce your cat to your baby’s scent by bringing home the romper he was wearing. Having studied the new smell in advance, the cat will be less wary of the appearance of a new person at home.

    Discharge from the Maternity Hospital

    One of the many reasons for concern when welcoming a new baby into the family is the baby’s discharge from the maternity hospital. How will the cat react to it? The universal advice is to stay calm and try not to create a tense atmosphere. Allow the cat to sniff the newborn and understand what this loud little creature with a strange smell is.

    One of the good characteristics of cats is that they can adapt to almost any situation and peacefully curl up and sleep in their bed. Of course, there are occasional overly sensitive individuals who may start ignoring their litter box due to stress, but this can also be addressed. Help the cat feel safe (see what to do if your cat marks the house and ignores the litter box on the website (www.icatcare.org) and maintain cleanliness in its litter box and the house.

    Most cats eventually adjust to the presence of a baby, and the baby’s smell becomes a part of the home’s scent for them.

    The most important thing is common sense and ensuring safety:

    1. Wash your hands after touching the cat, cleaning the litter box, etc.
    2. Don’t allow the cat to climb on kitchen surfaces.
    3. For your peace of mind, do not let the cat enter the nursery, especially in the first few months.
    4. Cover the crib and baby stroller with a net to prevent the cat from getting inside.
    5. Don’t forget about flea and deworming prevention for the cat.

    What should you consider as your child grows up?

    As your baby becomes more active, they will pose more danger to the cat than the other way around! If the child starts moving around and exploring the world, it’s important to provide the cat with enough places where the curious little one can’t reach. Vertical spaces like shelves, cat play complexes, and stairs can be very effective.

    Do not leave the baby or older child alone with the cat – no one wants the child to grab the cat’s tail. Gradually, you can teach the child to touch the cat gently and only with their palm. Show the child the proper way to pet the cat by placing their hand on top of yours – this way, you protect your pet in case the child suddenly grabs the fur.

    By following the advice provided here and understanding that your cat needs stability and a sense of safety, you will help your baby and the cat become good friends. It’s possible that in the future, your child will also become a devoted cat lover!

    Be patient, give it time, and gradually life will become more peaceful and calmer.