COLUMN: A new baby in the house does not mean a cat has to go

editorial image

Recently I have been thinking about the importance of neutering cats, and it occurred to me that maybe addressing some of the reasons a lot of cats end up in rescue care might be a good idea.

There are a number of things that can be done to make it possible for homes to keep their feline family members.

I thought I’d start with pregnancy.

For many years, people have been told terrifying tales about cats being around babies.

That they’ll climb into cots and smother a child, or that it’s totally unsafe to care for your cat when carrying a baby because of exposure to litter trays.

While it is true there can be risks, with the right actions put in place they are very much minimal.

Any animal should not be given access to a young child alone.

And ensuring you wear disposable gloves and clean your hands thoroughly before and after cleaning a litter tray will mean you can care for your cat safely.

A new baby may make a cat jealous, so try and set any necessary routines in place before the baby arrives to minimise the cats reaction to the new arrival.

For instance, closing the door to the nursery so the cat realises this room is now out of bounds.

There are many wonderful pages with guidelines illustrating how to care for a cat when expecting and further details on ensuring a raised likelihood of harmony in the home once the new arrival takes up residence.

Pregnancy and parenting doesn’t mean your cat can no longer be part of your family, done correctly it can be beneficial to your child growing up around your cat and learning how to care well for an animal.

In my next column I will be addressing another reason cats are regularly sent to rescue; inappropriate toileting.

This is usuallyurinating as opposing to the other alternative.

By Shonagh Staten.