So, any ideas or suggestions on getting kitty (or any pet) ready for the new baby? Olivia is a pretty chill cat but who knows how she may react to her non-furry new sibling….
I had grand dreams about Kali, our dog, and Jasper being immediate best friends. In creating said dreams, I momentarily forgot that Kali is by nature quite skittish, and suddenly bringing a tiny, squawking newborn into our home didn’t do the best things in the world for her nerves.
Initially, we tried bringing home blankets and shirts of Jasper’s from the NICU and letting Kali smell and sleep with them so she grew used to his scent, but it didn’t seem to do much for her. She would immediately leave whichever room we entered with him — and kept leaving for the first eight or so months of his life.
For his part, Jasper has been enamored with Kali as long as his eyes have been able to solidly focus on her. Once he was able to grab her tail, he did it constantly. As soon as he gained the ability to crawl, his goal eight times out of ten was Kali. Basically, as soon as he was able to stalk her around our apartment, he did — and he’s never stopped.
Ultimately, my biggest piece of advice is to know your animal. If you know your dog is skittish and clingy, go out of your way to make sure he or she is still appreciated and gets to do the things they like to do — especially in those first few months. We made sure that one of us took Kali on walks every day, even the days when we were completely exhausted.
Also, try to facilitate a friendship, but don’t force it — Kali and Jasper finally started to get along when two things happened. The first is that he became old enough to understand what we meant when we asked him not to pull her tail/hit her face/etc., and the second is that he started walking, and could thus walk back and forth from Kali to where we keep the dog treats. For some reason, she’s just loved him ever since then.
What tips and ideas do you guys have? How did you get your pets used to your baby?