When a cat lives at home, it doesn’t have to give up its little friend for the arrival of a baby. Conversely, when you have small children, it’s useless not to adopt a little fur ball for fear that it will be difficult to live with. Indeed, cats are excellent pets for children because they are affectionate, affectionate, playful, lovable, sensitive beings who will be appreciated and admired by little people. The latter, on the other hand, learns a lot from contact with cats. By caring for this little animal, the child learns to take responsibility, adapt his gestures to show kindness, and develop empathy, patience, a sense of sharing and concern for others.
However, for all things to go well between small felines and youngest children in the home, it is important to lay down some foundations that will promote healthy and successful coexistence. Discover 6 must-know secrets in this area.
Secret n°1: Respect the animal
The cat is the perfect little companion for a child, but it is also, and above all, a pet with very special needs and a routine-loving animal. Relatively independent, needs peace, calmness and thoughtfulness. The little cat organizes its daily life around its territory and daily routine in a very structured way. So don’t disturb his little habits, because he is very sensitive and can feel unstable quickly.
Consequently, it is essential, above all, to teach the child to respect the rhythm of the cat and its different needs. The very young, little human can understand that the animal has its own rhythm. Teach him these needs and habits he should respect at all costs. Thus, your child will be able to integrate the fact that the cat is a being with its own character, its own desires and its own limits, and you need to know how to listen to it and protect its well-being. .
So teach your child as early as possible not to disturb your cat while he sleeps, eats and goes about his business. This advice should be respected both by the little man and by all members of the family.
Secret n°2: Learn how to treat the cat
Teach your child how to treat the cat and what behaviors it should not have at a very early age. The principle for doing this is simple: Be a role model yourself, because if our kids don’t always do what we ask them to do – or always avoid doing the things we ask them not to do – they will imitate us! Set an example and caress your cat correctly, respecting her desire for peace and doing her well. Your beloved kitten will be very inclined to follow your model and will respect the little cat as you do.
Of course, do not hesitate to tell your child about the gestures and actions to be taken. Put your hand on the animal’s back and explain to him, for example, how to love, with gestures and words.
Finally, it goes without saying that you need to very quickly teach your child not to yell at the cat, hit it, pull its ears, tail, or hair. Your little one should integrate these prohibitions very early, because if he could hurt the little cat, he could be seriously injured in return for the animal trying to defend himself. Of course, do not yell at the cat yourself, punish or be violent towards it. Have a consistent speech and attitude.
Secret n°3: Learn to understand the cat
Once you’ve taught your child not to wake the sleeping cat, not disturb it while it’s eating, and let it do its business in peace, it’s important that the little cat understands that it has other needs that must be respected as well. In particular, the child must integrate the fact that the cat may need moments of calm and not force him to play, frighten him or risk hurting him. To do this, teach your kittens to understand the cat and decipher its behavior.
Indeed, cat meows communicate with us through their mannerisms and postures. This is how he expresses to us what he feels, what he wants and what he does not want. Explain to your little one that when a tom-cat is self-isolating, it must be respected. When he wags his tail in a certain way, makes certain movements with his paws or takes certain postures, he may mean that he wants to keep quiet, that he does not want to play, and that it can be understood by scratching or biting, if any. necessary.
These basics are important because it will allow your little one to interact properly with your cat, better respect him, avoid injury, as well as understand that it’s important to be mindful of his needs, wants, and rejections. animals and other people.
Secret trick 4: Teach the cat the right moves to touch and hold it
Your child is not born with the ability to love a cat, it is a learned gesture. Even if your little one sees you do this, they may have a tendency to repeat your gesture badly and improperly caress your cat or pulls her hair. If your little cat doesn’t appreciate this strange tenderness, a paw is quickly gone.
So be precise in your movements and stroke your animal with your open palm, gently and with your straight hand in the direction of the hair. Lead by example and help your child do the same with their hands. Accompany him and repeat the instructions as many times as necessary, because a young child cannot learn anything new on simple advice. You will probably have to repeat the rule many times before you understand it and repeat it correctly.
Also teach your child to avoid sensitive parts of the cat’s body such as the face, ears, tail and abdomen.
Of course, it goes without saying that your child should understand that he can’t love the cat whenever he wants, whenever he wants. Your little cat should not be disturbed when she’s eating, sleeping, comforting herself, but also when she’s hunting or just wants to be quiet. And that means your little one needs to integrate it very early to avoid unruly moves.
For this, do not hesitate to invite your child to obtain the animal’s consent beforehand. Slowly show the cat that he can move, extend his hand to make contact. If the cat turns away, the child must learn not to insist and to be patient. If this is difficult, especially with the youngest, help him by diverting his attention so he can engage himself differently and leave the tomcat alone without experiencing this rejection badly.
Finally, teach your child not to handle the little cat in any way. You have to wait for the cat to accept it and teach it what moves it should do (especially where to put your hands to carry it) and what it shouldn’t do (restrict it, pinch it, force it, hold it by the legs, etc.). ).
Secret n°5: learn to play together
The cat is very playful, but does not like to be challenged. Therefore, your child should wait until your pet is ready to play with him before sharing a play session. Do not insist if the cat refuses contact.
Don’t let your child play with your cat unattended and opt for games that don’t risk exposing your little one’s face, hands and arms. So you will allow them to play together in all serenity and share beautiful moments of complicity without danger to one as well as the other.
Secret #6: Be mindful when it comes to health
From the moment a cat lives in the home, it’s important to maintain good hygiene and take some sanitary precautions. Indeed, the cat can transmit to humans some diseases called zoonosis, as well as many parasites. So the risk has been proven for everyone, but is usually higher in younger children who have a more fragile immune system.
Therefore, you should make sure that you follow some basic rules that will contribute to a healthier coexistence.
- Be sure to follow your cat’s annual vaccination reminders. Always take the opportunity to make a small checkup visit.
- If in doubt, consult your veterinarian.
- Treat your little friend regularly against internal parasites (especially worms) and external parasites with vermifuge every 3 to 6 months and an external parasite preventative (flea and tick preventative) every 4 weeks. .
- Wash your hands and make sure your child washes their hands after touching your cat, especially after going outside and after applying products (antiparasitics and various external treatments).
- Avoid your child’s contact with the litter box.
- Do not let your cat sleep in your child’s room at night.
- Prevent the cat from getting into your baby’s crib, whether your baby is there or not.