Congratulations if you are proud new parents bringing your new baby home for the first time. It is a hugely exciting time and a life changing experience – but you also have to remember about your tortoiseshell or any other cat that is already part of the family as she will require plenty of love and attention as well!
The most important thing to think about is the safety and welfare of your baby, so even if your tortie is beautifully behaved at all times, make sure you don’t leave her unattended with your baby as she could lash out with one of those sharp little claws, lick her face or nip your baby if provoked.
You will probably be sleeping with your baby in your bedroom for the first few months, so unfortunately for your tortie this means that she is going to have to stay out of your room at night for a while! If she has been sleeping on your bed, then try and introduce her to the idea of sleeping elsewhere several months before the baby is born, otherwise you could have a long running battle on your hands. Create a warm and cosy place for her to sleep, either in her favourite bed or on a bed in the spare room, and maybe cover it with her favourite blanket so she can make it her own. Then she won’t be so put out when you shut her out of the bedroom when the baby comes home!
We all know that cats also love warm and cosy places, so if you have a comfy moses basket or a padded pram in the house then she is almost certainly going to try and jump into them. This isn’t good for your baby’s health, so either keep them covered up with a cat net or in a room that she can’t get into. It is also important to make sure that your cat is immunised and kept worm and flea-free, as some pets, especially kittens may carry parasites that cause diseases such as toxicariasis.
While most of your attention will naturally be on your new born baby and her constant requirements, it is important not to forget your cat’s needs as well. Make sure that you give her plenty of strokes, lots of love the occasional treat and don’t forget to play with her sometimes as well – especially if the weather is bad and she can’t get out of the house.
It may take a while before your baby grows up enough to develop a relationship with your tortoiseshell cat, but if you keep both of them safe, happy and healthy then there will be plenty of rewards and lots of fun in the years to come.
How have you coped with bringing a new born baby into your family with your tortie? We would love to hear from you!