How to teach a child to play with a cat?

How to teach a child to play with a cat? When a baby appears in the family, it changes the lives of not only parents, but also other family members – cats and dogs. Over time, the child begins to show an active interest in the cat, and the pet does not always reciprocate. The task of parents is to teach the child how to handle pets. Often children play with cats so that the animals are ready to hide in any crevice away from the inquisitive child.

We will tell you how to behave as parents, so that neither the baby nor the pet is not affected by joint games.

What is the first thing to remember?
Introducing the cat to a new family member
Making contact
How to protect a child from a cat?
How to protect a cat?
What games can a child play with a cat?
How to improve the relationship between a child and a cat?

What is the first thing to remember?
If you are expecting a child and do not yet keep a cat at home, then it is better to wait for 3+ years with the purchase. To a child who does not understand speech, it is difficult to explain that it is impossible to pull out the hair from the animal and pull it by the ears. Small children play clumsily and can cause harm to a living being. And the cat, in turn, will not tolerate the pain and will strike back.

What if the cat was in your house long before the baby was born?

Introducing the cat to a new family member
The relationship between a child and a pet largely depends on how their acquaintance will go. You need to be very careful: watch the reaction of the baby and the cat, do not insist if one of them does not want to continue communication and do not leave the two of them unattended.

What else do you need to know?

  • It is important not only to protect the child from the cat, but also vice versa. Young children often injure animals through carelessness or because of their inability to handle a pet. Your task as a responsible parent is to teach the cat to communicate with the child, and the child to communicate with the cat.
  • Be prepared to repeat the pet care information several times for your child. For maximum efficiency, use different formats: talk about care yourself, read specialized literature, watch training videos, attend seminars. All this will bring you very close.
  • Be consistent. Having decided on the rules of behavior, strictly follow them-even on holidays. You can not forbid a cat to sleep in a crib today, and tomorrow run it «for a minute». So the cat will not understand what is required of it.
  • Do not push the cat away when it sniffs the baby’s things out of curiosity. So the pet gets acquainted with the child and new smells for itself.
  • Do not forbid the animal to enter the room of the newborn, but only in your presence. The cat should not have free access to the territory of the baby.
  • Of course, caring for a newborn will take a lot of time, but do not forget to pay attention to the cat to prevent her from jealousy and resentment.

Making contact
A small person begins to be interested in animals at the same time when he tries to explore the world around him and crawl around the house, i.e. at about 4-6 months. A cat for children at this age does not act as a living being, but as another object that needs to be studied and felt. The kid is not yet able to assess the risks – and you have to do it for him. Even if you have the most calm, affectionate and kind cat, you should understand that it can behave unpredictably.

It is important that during the communication of the cat and the baby, one of the adults is always present nearby. In no case should you leave a cat and a child in the same room alone, because this can turn out to be disastrous for each of them.

Watch the animal carefully. If the cat looks worried or hostile, does not want to communicate and play, it is better to leave it alone and take the baby to another room. Try to make contact later.

When a child grows up and begins to walk, his interest in the world around him and pets increases. Already from this period, it is necessary to instill in the child the rules of communication with a fragile, but dangerous cat. At the same time, you need to take care of the safety of both the baby and the pet.

How to protect a child from a cat?
Every parent is afraid that the cat can scratch the child very much. Some decide to take extreme measures: remove the pet’s claws with a special operation. But the claws are the main way to protect any cat, and to remove them is a real barbarity. So you will make the cat disabled.

The best way out is proper parenting and clipping of the claws. As well as observing the cat’s personal boundaries. It is important to explain to the child that the cat should not be disturbed when it is resting or shows that it does not want to communicate with anyone.

Sharp cat claws are not the only danger to a child. It is important to vaccinate the cat in time, treat it from parasites, maintain the cleanliness of its toilet, pass preventive examinations at the veterinarian.

Make sure that the child does not have access to the animal’s tray, does not eat from its bowl, does not lick cat toys.

Pay attention to the stability of the scratching posts and the contents of the shelves in your apartment. The scratching posts should not wobble, because they can fall at the most inopportune moment. And the cat should not be able to drop something heavy from the shelf or window sill directly on the baby.

How to protect the cat?

  • Do not let the baby grab, squeeze and pull the cat’s ears, whiskers and tail. Even if the pet does not break out and heroically holds on, it does not mean that he likes it. At such moments, the cat experiences severe stress and can protect itself with its claws and teeth at any time.
  • Show your child how to stroke the cat: smoothly, gently, in accordance with the growth of the coat, from the head to the back. It is better not to touch the muzzle, ears, tail and paws, many cats do not like it.
  • Don’t flatter yourself if the cat is lying on its back. So he asks me to scratch his stomach! From this position, it is more convenient for the predator to attack the hand – grab it with its paws and use its teeth.
  • If the child is already old enough, entrust him with the simplest procedures for caring for the cat. For example, feeding or treating with treats.
  • Let the baby repeat after you and learn how to play and behave properly with a furry family member. Teach your child that a cat is a living creature that also feels pain, has its own desires and needs. Therefore, you can not tear the cat from food, wake it up, forcibly pull it out of hiding. This will cause stress in the pet and provoke behavioral problems: fearfulness, aggression, unsociability, and so on.
  • If a child grabs a cat and it scratches him, in no case do not scold or beat it. Explain to the crying baby that he is to blame for this situation, and not the cat, because she was in pain, she tried to defend herself. The next time the baby will remember his bitter experience and will treat the animal more carefully.

What games can a child play with a cat?

The classic game with kittens is a butterfly on a string. Let the kid run around the house and pull the toy, which will be hunted by a predator. This toy is good because it can be built at home in just 5 minutes from a thread and folded paper or wrapper in an accordion.

The child will perfectly cope with mechanical toys that need to be started and lowered to the floor. The cat will rush with excitement in pursuit of a mechanical mouse, and the baby will be pleased with this performance!

The laser pointer will also amuse both the child and the cat. For cats and children, it will be not only fun, but also a safe pastime. During the game, the cat runs after the red dot. It does not come into contact with the child and can not accidentally scratch it. However, remember, at the end of the game, it is important for the cat to catch prey — this is the hunter’s instinct. Prepare your child some small toy so that at the end of the game he can give it to the cat and complete the game process.

A good solution will be toys with catnip. The plant contains essential oils that are pleasant for most cats. Mint relieves tension, calms, eliminates the effects of stressful situations. Usually catnip is placed in special soft toys for cats.

Buy several teasers with feathers, mice, bells and other attributes at the pet store. The advantage of these toys is the long handle that the child will hold on to. Even if the cat plays out and starts actively waving its paws, it will not touch the baby with its claws.

Pay attention to the three-story cat track with balls. This toy will not leave indifferent either cats or children, and several pets will be able to play it at once. Just make sure that the two-legged and four-legged kids do not quarrel over the balls!

Most often, children and cats discover interesting games, give them the opportunity to experiment together. For example, children are very amused by how cats jump into boxes and hide there. Or how a pet with its mischievous paws destroys a tower of cubes, runs after the railway, and so on.

Make sure that the cat does not lick or bite children’s toys, does not try the dolls ‘ hair on the tooth, does not rip open soft toys and does not chew the filler from them. All this can end badly for a furry friend. Toys for the cat must be purchased at a pet store.

Kids ‘and cats’ games look cute from the outside, but parents need to be on the lookout every minute. Do not allow your child to use their hands as a pet toy. When a cat plays, it hunts. Even the most calm cat can get carried away and cling to the delicate baby skin with its claws. At any moment, something can go wrong.

How to improve the relationship between a child and a cat?

A few recommendations that will help to establish contact:

  • Buy special treats for cats in a pet store and give them to your child-let him treat the pet from his hand. But keep in mind that you can not feed the cat with «delicious food». Read the information on the package or consult a specialist about the optimal amount of treats for your cat.
  • Show your child an example of how to handle a cat. Never raise your voice at her, do not hit, do not kick, if she gets in the way. Also, respect the cat’s personal space: it should have its own private place to hide or sleep. Ideally, if you equip a cat area somewhere on a hill. The feline family likes to climb higher and enjoy the privacy.
  • Do not force the child and the cat to play with each other. Most often, the cat is opposed to communication – this is its right. Let her go about her business and come back whenever she wants.
  • Pay enough attention to your pet. Cats are sensitive creatures. They may become jealous, resentful, run away from home, and even get sick if they feel unwanted. The appearance of a child should not affect your relationship with your pet.
  • Do not move the bowls, tray or cat house to other places to place children’s things there. The cat is unlikely to understand this and may harbor a grudge.
  • Do not support cruelty to the animal. There are a lot of videos on the Internet where the kid «ridiculously» hugs the cat, and he tries to escape with his eyes wide open to the loud laughter of adults behind the scenes. Don’t do that. This is not only not fun, but also inhumane towards a defenseless cat.

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