Teaching your child how to interact with your cat is far too important to overlook. Learn how to keep the peace between kids and cats.
If you have kids, you can still have a cat. You just have to make sure your children understand how to interact with cats.
It will be up to you to teach your child how to make friends with your kitty. This article will share a few pointers to help you through the process of introducing kids and cats to each other.
Always Supervise Interactions
If your child is very young, never leave your child alone with your cat. You should stick right by your child’s side during every interaction in case you need to step in.
Teach Your Child How To Pet Your Cat
Although it seems simple, very young children don’t know the proper way to pet animals. You can teach your child how to pet your cat by following the steps below.
- Tell your child to pet your cat gently. Guide your child’s strokes by holding his or her hand the first few times.
- Make sure your child understands that poking, hitting, rubbing too hard, and yanking on your cat’s fur or tail is not allowed.
- Tell your child to only pet the back, should, neck, and head areas. Make sure your child knows to avoid the face, paws, tail, and belly.
Give Your Cat Some Alone Time
Your child probably just wants to shower your kitty with love. But sometimes a cat needs space and doesn’t want any attention.
Tell your child that when your cat walks away, the kitty needs a break. Teach your child not to follow your cat when this happens. Make it a rule that the cat will be left alone when he or she shows signs of wanting to get away.
Make sure your cat has a spot to be alone. If your child is very young, high places are probably best since your child can’t reach them.
You will have to teach your child to avoid disturbing your cat whenever your feline is in this zone. This will probably only work if your child is a little older and can understand this rule.
Don’t Forget To Train Your Cat Too
Your child isn’t the only one who needs to learn about proper interactions. Your cat needs to learn too.
Whenever your cat is having a positive interaction with your child, offer praise and treats to your feline. This will teach your kitty to be patient with your child.
However, that doesn’t mean you should punish your cat if he or she starts to get annoyed with your child. Instead, redirect your child’s attention away from your cat so that your furball can regroup. Then, your cat will be ready to interact with your child again a little later.
It might require patience and close supervision, but you can teach kids and cats how to get along. When you succeed, you will be rewarded with the sight of their budding friendship.