Are you planning a baby (or has one already arrived), and you wonder how to keep your cat out of the crib? It definitely is a matter to which to pay attention to. As we update this article, our kids are now eight and ten, yet still, we remember the struggle. As much as we love our cats we agree: a baby’s crib is a no-go place for your cat.
We don’t believe myths, and your cat won’t steal your baby’s breath. It’s also not highly likely that a regular household pooch will deliberately attack the baby. At the same time, your cat does not need to be mean to scratch, pinch, cause discomfort, or simply to wake your baby up. Yes, after exactly several hours of trying to lull him to sleep.
In this article, we are going to explain how to keep your cat out of the baby’s crib, how to ensure your baby’s safety, and, equally important, how to keep your cat less stressed because of these restrictions.
1. Do you keep your cat out of just the crib or the baby’s whole room?
So how do you want it? Do you want to keep your cat out of your baby’s room completely or should you be worried about only the crib?
It might depend on your cat’s personality and, of course, how fond you are of your cat. We suggest letting the cat inside the room but maintaining a healthy distance from the crib.
First, it’s easier, and second, it creates less stress for your cat. Third, in your cat’s view, the baby will be a lesser inconvenience in his life, which is good for their relationship.
If you think your baby’s room must be completely forbidden to your cat, you should read our article on how to keep a cat out of the room. Otherwise, this article contains everything you need.
2. Add some cat furniture to the baby’s room
A huge part of why cats want to get inside the crib is their curiosity. They want to sniff, or at least to see what’s inside, and, as a rule of thumb, cats want to climb. It makes them feel safe, comfortable, and helps to satisfy their curiosity.
A cat tree or a bed on a window sill would be great. Just place them more than a leap’s length away from the crib. Your cat can nap on the cat tree, soothe his curiosity about who’s in the baby’s bed, and still feel relaxed.
If you are interested, see this article for tips on making your house appealing to your cat, because it really makes a difference. Your cat will be less interested in the crib, and these tips will also reduce other potential cat behavior problems commonly associated with the arrival of a baby.
3. Place an ultrasonic cat deterrent next to the crib, to keep the cat out of it
Now you are ready to actively keep your cat away from the crib. The easiest and the most effective method is to use an ultrasonic sound-emitting pet deterrent, like this one.
It’s a motion-activated device, which emits an ultrasonic sound every time it detects movement. The thing is, this sound is disliked by most cats but is not audible to you or your baby. As soon as your cat approaches it, the sound will go off, and your cat will stop in its tracks and go away.
Watch this video to see how it works:
We have tested several cat deterrents, and the most effective ones are those that release a burst of air or loud beeps upon detecting movement. Unfortunately, they are impractical when keeping cats away from a baby’s crib.
The next best choice for your circumstances is an ultrasonic sound emitter. Its advantage is its consistency. The sound is released every time the cat approaches, with no exceptions. Therefore, a cat sees absolutely no point continuing to trying coming close to the crib. You can buy an ultrasonic cat deterrent here. Our suggestion, however, is to turn it off whenever you are nearby. Your movements may trigger the sound and your cat will dislike it.
Other sources may suggest you spray water from a bottle over your cat, however, we find several problems with this approach. First, it requires your presence; second, it requires consistency to be effective; third, your cat will make the connection that water is squirted on him only when you are in the room; and fourth, your baby won’t like being squirted either.
If you are still waiting for your baby’s arrival, you can start to get your cat used to the situation right away. Get a crib (if you haven’t already), but its assigned spot, and put the motion-activated pet deterrent right next to it. This way you will, first, have an opportunity to observe how the whole thing works. Second, your cat won’t connect his new limitation with the arrival of the baby. And that is a massive difference for their relationship later.
4. Close the door and use a baby monitor during nap time
Regardless of whether or not you have a cat, using a baby monitor is a sound decision. It provides peace of mind for you, your baby will be able to sleep undisturbed, and you will still be able to know that everything’s alright.
If possible, get a baby monitor with video. When we first wrote this article, baby monitors with video were luxury, as the most common ones were audio-only. However, we invested in the video monitor then, and would today. The peace of mind the live picture of your sleeping baby while you cook is irreplaceable.
In the meantime, your cat may be either outside the closed door or napping on his own cat tree inside the room. In either case, at a safe distance from the crib. The latter is cute and safe, as long as you have the monitor. And, while you think they’re both just sleeping, in cat terms, napping together is bonding.
5. Keep your cat active during the day
Okay, keep your attention here for just one minute more. We know, parents of babies are very short on time, and playing with a cat is way down the list of priorities.
In such circumstances, directing you to play with your cat more is like training a fish to fly. Yeah, it ain’t gonna fly.
But playing is fricking important to your cat’s sanity and good behavior. Click here to learn why.
What we want from you is that you be aware that you should, at least, try to find some time for your cat even in your very tight schedule. Treat it like any other task, like washing clothes or preparing food, for which you must find time no matter what.
Involve other family members as much as possible, use a carrier or a sling to carry your baby. As the baby is slightly older, you can even play with your cat for your baby’s amusement.
In these ways, you might even find time to play with your cat for at least a few minutes a day. You can find more tips about playing with your cat when short on time here. Solo play toys and electronic toys are your best friends, too.
If you keep all the above in mind, we’re sure you will be able to keep your cat out of the crib. You will also ensure that your cat’s life quality will not suffer as a result of the baby’s arrival. It’s important for everyone—you, your baby, and your cat. The months where your baby is a baby will fly by, and we hope your kid will grow up being able to appreciate the joy that loving a pet gives.