When Babies and Cats Don’t Mix: Addressing Behavior Problems and Rehoming
Bringing a new baby into your home can be a wonderful and joyous occasion. However, for your pet cat, this can be a confusing and stressful time that can lead to behavioral changes. Understanding these changes and how to address them is critical to maintaining a harmonious household.
Understanding Cat Behavior
Cats are creatures of routine and habit. They thrive in an environment that is predictable and stable. The introduction of a new family member can disrupt their routine and cause stress. One common stress-related behavior is inappropriate elimination, or urinating and defecating outside the litter box.
First Steps to Take
If your cat begins to exhibit this behavior, the first step is to consult with your veterinarian. A sudden change in litter box habits could indicate a medical issue, and it’s crucial to rule this out. If the vet gives your cat a clean bill of health, the next step is to consider environmental stressors, such as a new baby.
Improving the Environment
There are several ways to modify your home environment to help your cat feel more secure:
Litter box location and placement:
Cats prefer to do their business in a quiet, low-traffic area. Ensure the litter box is not near the baby’s room or other areas with increased activity.
Adding vertical territory:
Providing high spaces for your cat to escape to can help them feel secure. Cat trees and shelves can create vertical space.
Using calming products:
Products like Feliway, a synthetic cat pheromone, can help reduce anxiety in cats.
Exploring different cat litters:
Some cats may prefer different types of litter, especially during streful times. Attractant cat litters, such as those offered by World’s Best Cat Litter, may help your cat return to using the litter box.
Understanding “Substrate Preference”
If your cat is eliminating on a specific type of material, such as carpet or clothes, try using a similar material in the litter box, like a puppy pee pad.
Patience and Persistence
Don’t forget who your “first baby” was. Your cat deserves every chance you can give them, no matter how angry it makes you to find cat pee where it doesn’t belong. It’s important to give your cat time to adjust to the new changes. Patience, understanding, and consistent care can help your cat return to their normal behavior. While it can be frustrating to deal with litter box issues, it’s important to remember that your cat is not acting out of spite or anger (or jealousy). They’re simply communicating their stress in the only way they know how.
When Rehoming Is the Best Option
Despite your best efforts, some cats may not adjust well to a new baby in the home. In such cases, rehoming might be the best option for your cat’s wellbeing. Remember, this doesn’t make your cat “unadoptable”. Many potential adopters are looking for a mature cat to fit into a calm, adult household. In fact, by taking the time to understand and work through these issues, you are demonstrating that these behaviors can be managed in the right environment, making your cat an attractive prospect to the right adopter.
In situations like these, Pet Rehoming Network can offer invaluable assistance. We can help you navigate the cat rehoming process, ensuring your cat finds a suitable new home where they will be well cared for and loved. For more information, visit our [contact page](https://pet-net.net/contactus) to reach out to us. We can call you to discuss your situation and explore the options available to you and your feline friend.