Deterrents and barriers keep a cat out of a crib. Cats can pass on an infectious disease called toxoplasmosis. And any cat owner knows cats are attracted to warm, soft places such as cribs. You can either keep a cat out of the crib or out of the baby's nursery altogether. Changing circumstances are stressful for cats, so begin preparations two months before the baby is due, to allow your cat time to adjust.
Preparing For the Baby's Arrival
If you plan to allow your cat into your baby's room, introduce the cat to the nursery before the baby arrives to help satisfy his curiosity about the crib. Leave the nursery door open so your cat can explore at his own pace. Leave out items with unusual scents, such as baby powder and baby lotion, for him to smell and get used to. To help your cat adjust gradually, decorate and add new furniture to the nursery piece by piece over a period of several weeks. Play with your cat in your baby's nursery so that he views it as a friendly place.
Discouraging Catnaps in a Crib
A range of materials discourage your cat from climbing into a crib. You can allow the cat to explore the crib until a month before the baby arrives, or always keep the crib out of bounds. When you want to teach your cat the crib is an undesirable place for a nap, cut pieces of cardboard to fit inside the crib and cover them with double-sided adhesive tape or lay sheets of aluminum foil on the crib mattress. Cats dislike walking on both these surfaces. Another option is to fill the crib with balloons or empty soda cans so she gets a shock if she jumps in. Be warned that The Humane Society of the United States says this can cause additional stress for your cat.
Fixing a Crib Net
Crib nets prevent cats from climbing in cribs. Made of netting similar to a mosquito screen, crib nets allow air and light through to your baby but protect her from curious cats. Fix the netting according the manufacturer's instructions, and take care to pull it tight so that your cat can't lie on top of it and use it as a hammock. Put the netting back in place when you take your baby out of her crib to prevent your cat from sleeping in the crib while it's empty.
Preventing Access to the Nursery
You may decide the best way to prevent your cat from entering your baby's crib is to keep him out of the nursery. Removing the nursery door and replacing it with a screen door allows you to see and hear your baby while preventing your cat from entering the room. This also allows the cat to become familiar with the sight, sound and smell of your baby without having access to her crib. Alternatively, keep the nursery door closed all the time, and use a baby monitor so you can see and hear your baby while she's asleep.
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