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March marks Chloe’s adoption anniversary. We brought our first cat home in 2009. We’d gone to “just look” at the cats during an adoption weekend and somehow this tortie captured the heart of my husband.
Fast forward two and a half years, and Chloe’s world was turned upside down by a new baby in the house. She handled it like a champ and I luckily checked out some tips on introducing a cat to your family beforehand which definitely helped. Now she’s been part of our household for 7 years and we’re about to change things up again. Seeing how we’ve done this to her before, I’ve been more aware of keeping her happy.
Tips for keeping kitty comfortable while introducing new baby:
1. Make sure she has a safe place. Chloe has a cat bed in the living room. If she’s closed out of any of the bedrooms, she always has that cat bed and I make sure our son doesn’t play with it.
2. Show her attention. I have tried not to ignore Chloe during this pregnancy, but I know it’s going to be important to give her attention when the baby arrives. This will also force me to slow down even more and take a break from all of the parenting.
3. Keep her spaces clean. Be sure the food and water looks okay, but also make sure the litter box is cleaned regularly. Try a litter such as Cat’s Pride® Fresh & Light Ultimate Care® to keep things lighter and involving less dust.
4. Let her be interested in the baby – just stay close by. Chloe sniffed at our newborn boy when he first came around, and rather than try to keep her away, I just watched to make sure she was gentle with him. As he got older, he knew the rules of no pulling on her.
5. Give her toys! Sometimes Chloe’s toys get caught under the couch or chair, so I check often that they’re in plain view, for when she’s feeling a little more active. And keep reading – I have a quick tutorial for making your cat’s toys.
One key component to Chloe happy has been making sure her litter box is cleared every night. It’s easy to forget to clean it out daily, but she lets her frustrations known if she’s not fully satisfied (and who enjoys using the bathroom that is filthy?).
We’ve used a couple of different kinds of litter over the years. What we’ve hated is the heavily scented litter and litter that has so much dust. We knew that it couldn’t be good for us to breathe in (much less our cat!) At one point, her litter box was in our guest room (we didn’t have that many guests.) Well, two years after moving her box into our bathroom, you can still find dust in that old room.
Cat litter shouldn’t be so complicated. Thankfully, there’s a new litter that isn’t so difficult to get along with. Cat’s Pride® Fresh & Light Ultimate Care® is so much lighter, still masks odors and doesn’t kick up the dust like we were seeing before. The container I picked up at Walmart recently was only 10 pounds. Other containers we’ve purchased have been as much as 25-30 pounds. The weight of the container alone enticed me to try this out. It’s as much as 50% lighter† than other brands! (†See packaging for details)
Fresh & Light Ultimate Care® also touts 10+ day odor control & powerful absorption (*Based on laboratory testing, when used as directed). When you have a cat’s litter box in such small, closed quarters, odor control is a big deal.
Chloe’s still fairly active, and to keep her from getting so bored, I have made a couple of small toys for her to toss around. They’re so easy – this triangle took me less than 30 minutes to make, and that was with Chloe trying to sit in my lap and check out what I was doing.
1. Cut your shape (in my case, I cut a triangle) from two pieces of fabric. I measured my sides at 4.5 inches, but I would go a little bit larger next time. I allowed for a half inch of a seam when sewing.
2. Place the two fabric pieces right side to right side. Sew along the edges, leaving about two inches open (so you can pull the fabric through.)
3. Pull your fabric threw that opening.
4. Stuff your shape with poly-fill, catnip, or something else worth stuffing. (You can even do a combination of poly-fill and catnip!) At this point, you could also add a small bell or two.
5 Sew along the side with the opening. I like to sew back and forth, just to be sure that it is closed.
6. Watch your cat go wild!
What tips would you add for introducing your fur-child to your newborn?