Cats and Kids: How to Keep Both Safe and Happy
If you have kids and are considering getting a cat, consider a few things before you bring home a new furry friend.
The first thing that you want to rule out is allergies. Before buying or adopting a cat or kitten, take your kid(s) around a friend’s cat, or maybe spend some time with a perspective new kitty.
Give it an hour or two after exposure to the cat to make sure that the dander does not leave your child with hives or itchy eyes.
If everyone in the house is allergy-free, start making room for your new pet!
If you already have a cat and are expecting a new baby, you will just need to make sure that each of them has a space of their own.
Follow these simple steps to keep both your cats, and your kids safe and happy:
1. Keep the litter box “hidden”.
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Obviously the cat needs to be able to get to it, but that is literally the last thing you want your kids playing in.
Find a good place for it that the kiddos can’t get to, like the garage or basement.
Consider getting a kitty-door installed, this way the cat can come and go as they please, while even the smallest of kids couldn’t penetrate that fortress.
2. Keep the food and water at kitty’s reach only.
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This means if you keep dry food out 24/7 for your cat, keep it somewhere your kids can’t reach.
To a toddler, cat food looks a lot like liver-flavored Goldfish. Keep the dry food in the kitty fortress—out in the garage or in your basement if possible.
If that’s not an option or if you feed your cat canned food for breakfast and dinner, put their supper out on your back porch, or up on a counter or window ledge.
3. Keep the carpets clean.
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It’s fairly common knowledge that cat’s have dander, which is what causes allergic reactions. Even if no one in your family has allergies, you may have guests that do.
Not to mention that keeping the carpets and other surfaces in your house clean is just a good and healthy practice.
It will keep your home smelling fresh and clean; not like a cat farm.
4. As mentioned previously, it is very important to let both your cats and your kids have their own spaces.
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If at all possible, try and give your kitty a miniature fortress.
A small area that they have a comfy bed or pillow to sleep on, fresh water, a snack, perhaps even a scratching post; somewhere away from noise and kids.
Bonus points if you can get them a ray of sunlight to bask in.
Just as important, make sure your kids have a safe and personal space of their own.
Keep bedroom doors closed to keep pets out during the day, and let them decide if and when they want the cat in their bedroom.
As long as you can give both your cats and your kids a little space, you can provide a safe and happy home to everyone.