Some cats may turn aggressive, and their owners are left to wonder why, how come, when did that cute little creature start to become a monster? Such a cat can be quite hostile when your guests show up at the door, hissing, spitting and even trying to scratch most anyone around. There is still hope for such aggressive pets; at least that’s what experts have to say about that. Generally, cats can be quite possessive and jealous when it comes to attention and affection. Because of that, when there is a change, the arrival of a newborn child in the family, cats are likely to suffer if their owners are unaware of the situation.
There can be some specific reasons why cats act a certain way in certain circumstances. According to Pam Johnson-Bennett, a licensed consultant on animal behavior issues from Nashville, Tennessee, sudden changes can make an already nervous and anxious cat become even more aggressive and ready to attack. The more you prepare the cat in a continuous and gradual manner, the more efficient the methods used will be for the cat to feel at ease when the new element comes along.
Since nothing scares a little cat more than the appearance of a newborn that may take away all the attention and the care which had been offered to the beloved pet by its owners, Johnson-Bennett suggests that it’s best to prepare the cat for the great event from an early stage. Thus, we can begin by preparing the baby’s room, by painting its walls, bringing new furniture, and so on. Thus, the cat will become interested and curious about what’s going on and even make it expect something new and unusual is likely to happen in the future. Johnson-Bennett even goes as far as to recommend cat owners that are expecting a newborn baby to show up in their family, to play some tapes with recorded baby sounds for their cat to become accustomed to them and feel less scared and traumatized when the real-life baby is crying and making all sorts of unusual noises.
But it’s not just their dislike of changes that could make cats become more aggressive. There are other situations that can be stressful for the cats. Thus, if there isn’t any hiding place for the cat to go to when the baby is crying too loud, then there might be a problem – the cat is sure to become irritable, upset and to adopt a defensive, more or less aggressive behavior.
Another important thing for the cat and the baby to stay away from any negative interaction is to remember and always place the cat’s litter box and food bowls in places outside the baby’s reach. Cats can be very territorial, and if that is not respected by humans, they can be quite revengeful. Thus, a baby’s act of upsetting the cat’s food bowl can be responded with the cat’s urinating outside its litter box. Some other experts such as Alana Stevenson from Boston advise us that in order to avoid such passive-aggressive manifestations of the cat’s frustration, we should take time to play with the cat at least 5-10 minutes everyday. That should be quite enough for the cat to feel less stressed out and less scared of losing all the attention and affection it once enjoyed from the part of its owners. Also, if every playing session is followed by a delicious treat, then the cat’s happiness is most certainly ensured.
Treats can be used to turn the cat’s moments of interacting with new family members seem more pleasant and less stressful. Thus, we should give the cat a treat every time we introduce a new element related to the newborn, whether it pertains to smell, to sight, sounds or other sensorial dimensions. No matter what, we should avoid creating negative associations for the cat’s mind, such as yelling at the cat to go away from the baby’s bed or to forbid the cat to even enter the baby’s room. On the contrary, we should let the cat inspect all the baby’s toys and equipment, the baby’s room in general, until the element of novelty disappears to the cat’s mind.