Your little crawler has suddenly taken a new interest in the cat – but your independent kitty would rather be left alone, thank you. Here are some suggestions for keeping the peace before something scratchy goes down.
Always supervise. Make it clear that playing with the cat’s tail or other parts is a no-no, and never leave your cat and your baby together unsupervised.
Protect food and litter. Keep your baby away from your cat’s water and food, and put the litter box somewhere the cat can reach but the baby can’t.
Make an escape hatch. Make sure your cat has places where it can escape. Try installing a baby gate to close off a private area, like a basement room, so your cat can retreat.
Rearrange furniture. Give your cat her own chair pushed against a wall so she can retreat from the baby either by perching on its back or by hiding underneath it.
Monitor vermin. Don’t forget to have your cat checked for worms and to give her regular, nontoxic flea and tick treatments. Wipe down eating surfaces if your cat walks across them, and remember to keep the litter box covered when not in use to prevent transmission of parasites from cat to child.
Treat bites and scratches. Cat scratches can be especially prone to infection because of the way a cat’s germy claws can hook into skin. Wash any bites or scratches with salt water, and report any scratches to your pediatrician that show signs of infection or don’t heal in a few days.
Sandy and Marcie Jones are the authors of Great Expectations: Your All-in-One Resource for Pregnancy & Childbirth.
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