If you're worried a family cat may inadvertently harm your baby, protect your bundle of joy for a more harmonious homecoming.
Step 1: Acclimate the cat Acclimate the cat to the newborn by playing recorded baby sounds and petting them with baby lotion or powder on your hands.
TIP: Reward your feline friend with treats so they will associate the sounds and smells with something positive.
Step 2: Set up nursery Set up the nursery several months in advance so the cat can investigate the new setting and ease their stress.
TIP: Move the cat's food and litter away from the nursery, but avoid drastic changes all at once.
Step 3: Block the nursery entrance Block the nursery entrance with a gate or place a baby tent over the crib to prevent the cat from getting too close.
Step 4: Allow time during nursing Allow the cat to sniff and lay in the same room as the baby while nursing -- but watch for signs of aggression, like growling, a flicking tail, and dilated eyes.
Step 5: Give the cat attention Give the cat attention when the baby is not around, or have another family member pet and play with the cat so it doesn't feel ignored. Your cat will learn to love and protect your baby sooner than you think.
FACT: One female cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 cats in seven years.