Introducing Pet to Baby

The Truth About Cats and Dogs

baby lying next to cat

Digital Vision/Veer

You'll prep them both the same way, for the most part. But these are the concerns that are specific to each animal.

If you have a cat:

Bring the noise. A cat's hearing is very sensitive, so get your pet used to a baby's cries and laughter. You can download "Baby Sounds for Pets" and play a few minutes at a time ($7; iTunes). Give lots of love and treats during these sessions.

Beware of crib climbing. Only allow your cat inside the nursery when you're there to supervise—and always keep it out when the baby is sleeping. Anything that moves or is colorful (such as a mobile) is attractive to a cat. A newborn can't move her head at first, so it would be difficult for her to breathe if your cat cuddles up close to her face, says Justine Lee, D.V.M., a veterinary specialist and author of It's a Cat's World... You Just Live In It.

Move the box. Once your baby starts crawling, you'll want to keep the kitty litter far from her reach. But since cats are creatures of habit, it's best to reposition the box slowly, in two- or three-foot increments.

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