Childhood pets always have a special place in our hearts. And your child and kitty could forge a lifelong friendship.
Here are our hints to help your new fur-baby and tiny humans get off on the right paw.
Set up for success
Adopt the type of pet that would suit your home and lifestyle. Outgoing, friendly cats or kittens are usually better suited to families with kids.
Always supervise when your fur-baby and kids are spending time together. That way, you can keep everyone safe.
When you can't actively supervise, separate your kids and pets. Baby gates are a great way to separate rooms.
Tips to teach your little human
- Stay calm: encourage your child to always be calm, quiet and gentle around your cat
- Let your cat set the pace of the relationship: let the cat ask for pats rather than your child chasing your kitty
- Listen to your cat: teach your kids about your cat's body language and how your fur-baby will ask for pats, to play, or to be left alone
- Pat gently: when they're spending time together, have your child sit quietly next to your cat and gently stroke their back and side with an open hand
- Use toys, not your hands: make sure your kids use toys when playing with your cat, not their hands
- Use a low, calm voice: cats have much better hearing than we do, so loud screaming and yelling can be very stressful
- Help with feeding: encourage your child to feed your cat at mealtimes – this will help forge a strong bond between them