10 Tips to Help Your Child and Your Cat Get Along Well

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Every single family in the world has issues with creating bonds between members.  It simply wouldn’t be a normal world if we didn’t have fights, bickering, differences of opinion, etc etc.   But it’s also important to remember that your pet is also a member of your family.   Creating a good bond with your cat is essential to having harmony in your family and if you have kids then it’s super important right from the get go to have everyone’s needs met. We’ve created this guide of 10 useful tips on helping your child and cat get along so that you can get the best out of your child and pet to create that perfect harmony we were talking about….

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Using a Specific Voice – When children like to be expressive they tend to shout or use a voice that’s loud.   This will inevitably frighten the family cat so it’s important that you teach your child to use a certain voice around your cat.   Call it the “special voice” or “cat voice” or whatever nickname works for your kid.   The more calm they can pretend to be around the cat, the better the cat will respond.

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Slow Progression – Children are fairly aggressive when it comes to playing with toys and stuffed animals so when it comes to real animals they may follow suit.  It’s important to progressively accustom your child to playing with the cat.   Perhaps allow them to only touch a paw at first.  Then move to gentle petting, etc etc until they can really play with the family cat.   But be slow and methodical about it.

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Routine and Ritual is Always Better – Create activities and actions that are only specific to your child and cat.  Perhaps your cat likes a certain treat that only your child will give.  That will create an instant bond.   Perhaps at a certain time of day you have only child and cat playtime.

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Rewarding your cat – Here’s where cat training comes in.  If you have a cat that’s squeamish around your child perhaps you can give a reward each time they respond favorably to them.   This could potentially motivate them to alter their behavior.

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Be Aware of Age Discrepancy – If you take the American Human Association seriously then heed their warning of having an adult cat with children.  It’s what they recommend.   Having kittens and children can be way too much of a handful and much harder to pull off.

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Fun Activities – Your child can lie on the floor and your dog or cat can jump over him.  You and your child can hide and then call your pet to come find you.  The more games your cat and child are associated with together the better the bond will become.

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Safe Spots for Pets – Create a safe spot for your pet, such as a secure crate. We are teaching our daughter to keep her hands off the crate and reminding her it is the dog’s special place where he can escape to when he needs alone time.

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Creating Boundaries – Cat should not eat or play with their toys around kids. Even well-behaved, trustworthy dogs can get aggressive protecting their own special objects. When our dogs eat, we play in another room.

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Children’s Books – Read your child plenty of books regarding the proper treatment of pets.  There are loads of children’s books out there on the subject.

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Always Supervise – This goes without saying but when you are attempting any of these tips it’s important to first supervise all activities.  And not until your child is old enough to be around your cat alone (an age that’s tough to determine) do you taper down the supervision.

Thanks to Catster and ASPCA for the inspiration to write this article.

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