There are many old wife’s tales about cats smothering babies or stealing their breath. There are others concerning a cat hearing a baby crying, then attacking it thinking it’s a strange cat. While there may be some historical accuracy to these tales, most of them are spread about by ignorance.

Cats are by their very nature curious creatures, and when you bring a new baby into your home – your cat will want to investigate. It is most likely that your cat will be frightened the first time she hears the baby cry, or sees them in your lap. Your cat is more likely to run and hide than to attack your child. Until the cat gets used to the baby, it is likely she will want little to do with the newest member of the family.

You can help your feline companion to adjust to the strange new scents, sights, and sounds that invariably accompany a new baby. Let your cat get involved before the baby comes home.

Allow your cat to investigate the nursery. These visits should be supervised to prevent the potential spread of allergens or other undesirable things. Let your cat sniff about. Show them a diaper, the powder and crème containers, and other objects with distinctive scents in the room.

If possible, before bringing the new arrival home, have someone bring a blanket or article of clothing the baby has worn while at the hospital and introduce it to your cat. This allows the cat to experience the newcomer’s scent and get used to it before actually meeting the baby.

When Mom comes home, have someone else take the baby for a little while. She will need to greet the cat, and reassure her that she is not being displaced in the family.

There are adjustments to be made any time your family grows, be it from having a child, or adding a new pet or roommate. Don’t forget that your pet is part of the family, too and give them the same consideration you would anyone else.