One of the things that many people forget to do in their excitement of getting a new kitten or cat is to teach their children how to behave around the animal. Unfortunately, this is a crucial step for both the children and the kitten.
Prior to bringing your new pet home it is important to explain to your children exactly how to hold a cat or a kitten. A great way to teach your children how to hold a cat is to use a stuffed animal. Start by showing them how they should hold the cat securely while at the same time, not too tight. Read also: Cat Scratching Posts.
They should also learn to support the cat’s weight evenly as well as to avoid grasping the animal around the middle. Remember to explain the proper way in which to pet a cat and tell them not to grab a cat’s tail or pull on a kitten’s leg.
Explain the rules of behavior around the cat. You want the children to clearly understand that the kitten needs to sleep. Let them know that there will be lots of time to play with the cat but they have to allow the cat plenty of time to rest. This is especially important during the first few weeks while the cat is settling into his new home. Read also: Selecting a Cat – the Right Breed for You.
Children and kittens
Children love to play with kittens. However, it is essential that your children understand what kind of play is acceptable. They have to clearly understand what they may and may not do with the cat. You should always try to be around when your children and kitten are interacting, at least for the first few days. You want to ensure that the rules are being followed.
This is both important to avoid injury to your pet as well as avoid a nasty cat scratch. A cat is more than capable of inflicting a wound that will require stitches and cuts that are caused by a cat are prone to infection. A cat’s nails are dirty and are often absolutely full of germs. Read also: Prevent Scratching.
Kittens are just babies and they are going to be extremely anxious about moving. This may be the first time that they are separated from their parents and siblings. As a new owner you have to do everything possible to make them feel safe and secure. Before you and the new kitten enter the house, talk with your children about the need to be calm and quiet when the kitten comes in. This is not going to be easy as chances are your children are going to be overly excited with the addition of your new household pet.
The first thing that you should do is introduce the new arrival to his/her litter box area. While you and your pet explore the kitten’s new area, ask your children to sit quietly on the floor. Tell your kids that if they wait patiently the cat will come to them. Teaching your children patience is going to be hard but it is a crucial and often overlooked step. Read also: How To Choose A Scratching Post.
Taking the time to inform your children about how to act around the new cat will ensure the safety of both the children and the cat. Kittens and kids are frequently injured when children engage in overzealous play, a consequence that is easily avoided with the proper precautions. You also want to ensure that your new family member is able to blend into the family with a minimal amount of stress.