The bonny baby’s parents appeared ready to introduce their little one to the current ruler of the house – the family cat. But felines have a reputation for being fickle; how would the moggie react to a miniature human? Mom and dad mentally prepared themselves for the first meeting and – with camera in hand – tentatively opened the door…
When a family is expecting the arrival of a new baby, it is more often than not a turbulent time for all involved – including any domestic pets. Since parents naturally want to protect their newborn from injury or disease, they sometimes understandably consider getting rid of the animals of the house. And this is especially true when pet and baby come into conflict.
However, new parents can limit these clashes – or even avoid them completely – by preparing their furbabies for the new arrival in advance. One of the reasons pets suffer when a newborn comes along is because the thoughtless mini-human upsets their routine. Animals thrive on familiarity, so it disturbs them when their normal day-to-day life is disrupted.
With this in mind, animal experts advise that prospective parents prepare their pet well for a baby’s arrival beforehand. In fact, these specialists consider it prudent to introduce changes to a household animal’s routine approximately 16 weeks prior to the birth. Scent plays a big part in an animal’s life, so it is thought that this is always a good place to start.
Consequently, mom and dad-to-be are advised to introduce baby-related smells to their cats four months in anticipation of the due date. Talcum powder, infant shampoos and soaps – even baby milk – can be subtly presented to pussy in the second half of a pregnancy. The advice is for the owner to rub the baby products on their own skin, so that their feline gets used to the new smell in conjunction with a familiar scent and so does not feel the need to freak out.
New babies are also notoriously noisy, which – of course – sounds another note of concern for sense-orientated animals. Believe it or not but expectant pet owners are advised to play progressively louder recordings of crying babies around their cats. Apparently, the feline will become accustomed to its future living conditions much more quickly and without traumatizing a vulnerable infant.
Any other dramatic changes to a cat’s living conditions – for example, moving its bed or litter tray – should also be executed well in advance of baby’s arrival. In addition, owners should start to use toys and other implements to play with kitty rather than their bare hands. As a result, the cat in question will be much less likely to take a swipe at human fingers.
Nevertheless, it should be borne in mind that once the baby does arrive, there will still be plenty of preventative work to be done with a domestic pet. Firstly, an infant should never be left alone in a cat’s presence – someone responsible should always be close at hand. And initial meetings between actual baby and furbaby should always be on mutual ground, well away from the feline’s recreational area.
However, perhaps the most important thing for cat-owning parents to keep in mind is hygiene. Parents should ensure their pussycat is parasite-free and its living space is clear of soiled diapers. If mom and dad are sensible and have prepared their feline properly, there is no reason for them to call the rescue center and surrender their beloved pet as soon as baby rocks up.
But if any prospective parents with a pussy in their pad need further reassurance, perhaps footage uploaded by the New York-based online news and entertainment agency NTD in June 2018 provides it. The video in question features a collection of clips showing cats with their young human siblings. And, needless to say, the super-cute selection is enough to melt even the hardest of hearts
One sequence in the NTD upload shows a baby in the company of a black and white cat sitting on its hind legs. The animal’s front paws are comically lifted in the air, much to the amusement of its laughing infant playmate. The baby even mirrors the cat and similarly lifts her own hands in the air with a giggle.
Another stars a white and ginger feline rubbing its furry head on its tiny human. When the baby fails to take the hint and stroke the attention-seeking animal, the pet sheepishly waves its paw at the human. As a last ditch effort, the cat pushes its cranium against the baby for some self-derived affection.
Meanwhile, another young-looking cat wants to avoid attention in a pretty playful – and totally hilarious – fashion. When the pussy pokes its head from a sofa’s cup holder, its infant human sibling instantly wants to pet it. However, the cat swiftly ducks out of sight from the entertained toddler, only to reappear in a different hole shortly after.
And haters who sneer that cats are simply selfish obviously have not set eyes on the generous felines who entertain tots with baby toys. Further on in the cat clip collection, a child’s spinning device makes a black family cat highly curious. The pussy paws at the toy, which slides towards a crawling baby who appears equally fascinated by the colorful object.
Later in the reel, a baby is shown sharing its miniature cars with its kitty companion. The infant places a car on its elevated track, but the toy slides to a halt. The cat apparently has no time for the car disappointing its human, and pulls the tiny vehicle the rest of the way down with an impatient paw.
And from viewing the NTD video, it would seem that moggies have a very similar taste in toys to babies, as another cat shows. We see the helpful animal assist its baby human with the tricky task of posting a ball into a multi-colored toy slide. Seeing the two play so nicely together is truly heart-warming.
In fact, all of the cats selected for the video collection show so much love and affection for their babies that it is a beautiful thing to watch. One clip features a ginger cat lying on a baby’s lap as the infant strokes its furry head. The feline just cannot get enough of the petting, and happily rubs its face against the baby’s hand.
But that was by no means the only cat who appeared to enjoy a special bond with their baby. The footage also reveals a toddler snuggling with a cat in the youngster’s pushchair. The cuddling kitty has its legs around its human teddy bear, rubbing its face lovingly against the infant’s arm.
Sharing closeness with their kitties is clearly a joyful experience for the babies too. The gleeful look on this infant’s face as the baba holds her cat close is just priceless. The bonny baby is beaming such a massively engaging smile for the entire clip.
But not only do pets bring immense happiness to infants, domestic animals also have other benefits for babies. For example, a cat’s companionship can actually help strengthen family bonds. So if news of a baby does arrive in your life, you should think hard before you decide to rehome your moggie. To quote none other than Leonardo De Vinci, “The smallest feline is a masterpiece.”