Cats are curious by nature. They love to observe changes around their surroundings. Your cat will try to jump in the crib to see what is in it. So, you might be wondering how to keep the cat out of the crib. If there is some time in your baby’s arrival, then it will be easier to train your cat. Already have a baby in the home? it is still possible. In this article, we will be discussing all those ways to create a safe environment for your baby and kitty.[contents h2]
Can Cats and Babies Live Together?
Of course, cats and babies can coexist. But for a peaceful environment, you need to prepare them. Just like you prepare your older child for the newborn or how you introduce him, the cats also need training. No doubt they are energetic, curious, unpredictable, and jealous, taking small steps can make things a lot easier. Here, we will also discuss the steps to familiarize with the newborn to keep the cat away.
Why Do Cats Love the Crib?
I guess cats are more social than us. They love to create relationships with those around them. So, jumping into the crib, your cat is curious to greet the baby.
You know well how curious creatures they are. You find them listening, smelling, and tasting things. Thus, it is unlikely that your cat will stay away from your baby.
Why You Should Keep the Cat Away from the Crib?
About 3,500 U.S babies die every year due to sleep-related reasons (American Academy of Pediatrics). The causes include sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), illness-related deaths, and accidental choking or strangling.
Cats love to snuggle into cozy places. Baby cribs are one of those comfortable surfaces. Your cat may end up sleeping too close or on your baby. Allowing your cat in the crib can be risky as it can suffocate your baby. Infants have restricted movements; they cannot move the cat from themselves. Therefore, precautionary methods are extremely important for your baby’s safety. Some recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are as follows.
- Lay your baby to sleep on his back on a stable surface like a crib. The crib mattress should be covered by a tight-fitted crib sheet.
- Do not keep anything in the crib. No stuff toys or pillows should be there as they can choke your baby.
- Keep alcohol and related products away from your baby.
Preparing Your Cat for Your Baby’s Arrival
Spend your pregnancy duration preparing your cat for your baby’s arrival. This will help to make the transition easy. Start introducing new things to your cat. Do not worry if your newborn is already home, you can still train your cat.
As cats and babies are alike in curiosity, they will later develop a very good bond. But for now, your baby’s safety is important.
Here are some of the ways to prepare your feline friend for your newborn.
Purchase the baby products early such as baby powder, baby lotion, and shampoo. Rub the lotion on your hands before playing with the kitty. This way, it will get familiar with the new odors. Also, you can allow the cat to investigate the crib months before the baby’s arrival. Using baby products earlier will help the cat to relate them to the daily routine.
Cats find it difficult to accept new sounds. You can start introducing them slowly. Using the internet, you can play different baby sounds. Now when your newborn cries, your cat will not get surprised.
This loving creature needs its own peaceful and quiet space. You can prepare a new cozy and secure space for it where it can rest well.
Preparing your cat before the baby’s arrival will help it get familiar with the baby stuff. It will not be much curious to investigate the new arrival.
How to Keep the Cat Out of the Crib
There are multiple options to keep the crib cat-free. We have discussed some of the implemented ways here. You can check what works well in your case.
Install a Screen Door
Installing a screen door in your baby’s nursery will keep the cat out. It will allow you and your cat to check on the baby. Checking from afar would not wake him up. Another benefit of a screen door is that it will help to maintain adequate airflow, especially in summer. To block pet access, you cannot neglect ventilation.
Make Space for Your Cat in the Nursery
Your cat would want to see or sniff your baby. Climbing on the crib, the kitty will love to observe the tiny one. Seeing how important the baby is to the family, it will want to stay close to it. This can be uncomfortable for the baby, So, to satisfy your cat’s curiosity you can place some cat furniture in the room.
Setting up a cat tree or a cat bed, you can provide alternative options to resting in the crib. Keep it a bit far from the crib. Your cat will watch the baby from there and feel relaxed.
Make the Crib Less Attractive
After letting your cat observe the crib for a few weeks before your baby comes home, you can make it uncomfortable. Put some noisy products in the crib so that when it jumps in, the noises make it run away. This technique will stop it from coming into the room and your baby can stay in peace.
Put an Ultrasonic Cat Deterrent Next to the Crib
The ultrasonic cat deterrent produces an ultrasonic sound when it senses some movement. It is inaudible to human beings, but cats can listen to it and they dislike this sound. When your cat approaches this device, the sound goes off. This unpleasant sound helps to keep it away from the crib. You can turn it off when you are nearby as your movement can activate the deterrent.
Close the Door and Use a Baby Monitor
If nothing works to keep the cat away, you can close the nursery door. Using a baby monitor with video will keep you at peace. You will be able to see your baby live while doing house chores. Your cat will also be away from the nursery, napping in its space.
Keep Your Cat Active During the Day
You know well that parents are always running out of time when the baby arrives. In this situation, playing with a pet no longer stays a priority. But playing with your cat is important for its behavior. So, you should try sparing a few minutes for the playtime.
You can play with it for your baby’s enjoyment. He will love viewing you and your cat playing around with toys. This will keep the cat active during the day and ensure that your cat does not feel left out.
3 Things to Avoid for the Safety of Your Baby and Cat
There are some of the methods that involve danger. We have mentioned here the things to avoid for your baby and cat’s safety.
Installing a crib net can keep the cat away from your baby. But that does not seem to be a safe method. The crib net can fall if your cat messes with it and can harm the baby. Therefore, we do not recommend this method to keep the cat out of the crib.
Using peppermint oil is an old strategy. Applying it to all the baby stuff will keep the cat away but it is harmful to your cat’s health. It can cause pneumonia or stomach problems. You would not want to hurt your pet to keep the baby safe.
Leaving Out Your Cat
Keep yourself at your cat’s place and imagine how it will feel to be ignored. Have you seen how the first child gets anxious on the second baby’s arrival? This is the same case. Instead of locking it in another room, you need to train it to accept the new family member.
Cat Training Techniques
If you spend most of the time near the crib, then you can try some of the techniques mentioned here. But when you are away, the devices will keep the cat out.
Squirt with Water
Whenever you see the cat getting involved in an activity that you want to prevent it from, just squirt it with water. You can use a water bottle or a water gun. It works well to train them and is also a safe method. The cat will know next time to not approach the crib.
Seeing the cat messing with the playpen, you can punish it with something to teach it a lesson. You can lock it in someplace for some time so that it knows to not be around the crib. One of the pet owners has tried this method and found it effective. She locked her kitten in the bathroom and upon release, the kittens stayed away from the playpen the rest of the day.
When you find the cat near the crib, you can put it somewhere else. Be consistent in removing the cat from the crib area. Once the cat starts resting in the right place, you can reward it with treats or toys. This way, it will associate the reward with the place.
Increase Play Time
Cats are energetic, they need something to play with. You can buy your pet some toys that do not require your input. A cat tree is great if your cat enjoys climbing. You can get a laser to engage your cat. By chasing the light, the energy will be released. This way you can keep your feline friend away from the nursery.
Use Aluminum Foil
Using aluminum foil, you can keep your cat away from anything. Start training your cat today. Cover the mattress with aluminum foil and see how the cat loses its interest in the crib. When you feel like the cat is trained, you can remove the foil for the trial run. If it still jumps in the crib, then you need to try some other method. Make sure to test before the baby comes home to avoid any inconvenience.
Use a Double-Sided Tape
Cats hate sticky substances. Covering the mattress in a sticky thing will stop the cat from climbing into the crib. You can use sticky paper, double-sided tape, or scotch tape. Anything sticky thing that is in your access will work. Once it gets stuck in the tape, it will not try jumping again. With transparent tape, it will be tricky as your cat will not know when the tape is removed.
Your cat is also a part of your family, having a newborn in the house should not make it feel neglected. It is important to build a boundary to keep the cat away. These measures are taken to ensure your baby’s safety. Taking small steps will help to create a perfect environment for both. Try to introduce baby smells and sounds. You can also install a screen door in the nursery, buy a cat playpen or a cat deterrent. Hopefully, this article on how to keep the cat out of the crib will make it easier to have a pet and baby together in the home. Get prepared now!