Welcoming a new baby into your home is a blessing and you should embrace each stage of motherhood and its unique experiences. However, owning a pet during pregnancy and in the first months after the baby is born could prove challenging.
While most cats and dogs are protective of their owners and will have no problem adjusting to the new lifestyle, some individuals can get jealous since they won’t receive the same amount of affection from their owners as before. But this simply means that you need to communicate better with your pets and show them that you can still look after them, even if your baby will become your number one priority.
And, since new moms certainly have a lot of questions, fears, and insecurities regarding this new stage of their lives, here is everything you need to know about the baby and pet topic.
Are cats safe pets to keep around while pregnant?
Although pregnancy is not a condition, women need to look after their health more during this special time of their lives. The main concern regarding cats is that women should be careful of toxoplasmosis when handling these furry pets.
You can contact toxoplasmosis by eating undercooked meat, especially deer, pork or lamb. However, cats can pass this parasite in their feces and pregnant women can easily contact it by cleaning the pet’s litter boxes or touching dirt soil where cats may have been.
There are several hygiene rules you need to take into account if you’re pregnant and living with a cat indoors, and these include having another member of the family cleaning the litter box daily, keeping your cat indoors, and staying away from stray animals.
You should also avoid feeding your cat pet undercooked meat and wash your hands thoroughly with water and soap each time you get in contact with your pet. We suggest taking a look at a comprehensive guide from drfoxmag.com to make sure the food you’re feeding your cat won’t put you or your furry friend in danger.
Preparing for the baby’s arrival
As we previously mentioned, each cat is unique and has a certain personality, so your pregnancy might take your pet by surprise. Animals will immediately pick something is “different” about you in the earliest stages of the pregnancy, so you need to try to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Some cats will be thrilled and will become more protective of you, while others, on the contrary, won’t tolerate changes too well. Most pets sense the pregnancy of their owner as a sign of someone else invading their territory, getting all the attention and affection from them.
Thus, the first thing you should do is give as much attention as possible to your pet. Cats can become jealous, so a few rubs on the belly and sleeping with your ball of fur once in a while will show that you still love your pet. Whenever you’re home, try to integrate the kitty in as many activities as possible.
One easy trick to make the transition smoother is to rub some drops of baby lotion onto your hands before petting your cat to allow it to associate the smell with a positive memory.
You should also try to set up the nursery furniture as soon and possible to give your cat enough time to properly investigate each surface before declaring some of them off-limits, such as the crib or the diaper changing table. Setting boundaries may not be your favorite activity but your pet needs to understand as soon as possible that some changes are welcome into their home.