Having cats is great! having children is great too. But young children don’t know yet how to play with the cat. Here are some tips to help you along to keep both your cat and your child safe and sound!
- Teach your child to read your cats’s body language and show signs that your pet wants to be left alone. (read about body language)
- Don’t let your child’s friends bring their pets into your home without your or another adult supervision.
- Don’t let your cat play with the toys from your child. Because they may not be pet-safe. And don’t let your child play with cat toys for the same reason.
- Teach your child how to play with your animal and when to stop.
- Don’t let your child play alone with your pet.
- If your child has a balloon, don’t let it play with it around your cat. Your cat may be frightened by the noise of a popping balloon and can choke when chewing on it.
Respect & Responsibility
- Know that your pet’s right to end a play session is just as important as your child’s right to do so.
- Teach your child to leave your cat alone when she retreats to a bed or crate that you’ve designated as a pet’s “safe spot.”
- There should be reasonable consequences made for your child when he neglects the care of your cat or other pet. You can let your child think of the consequence.
- Teach your child that all animals needs to be treated with respect and needs to be cared for.
- Never threaten to get rid of a pet if your child fails to do certain duties. Kids may stop caring about the pet to keep from feeling vulnerable to the possible loss.
- When your child and your cat are first getting to know each other, you can create games and fun activities that need your child to rely on words and toys instead on direct physical contact with your pet. This will make the risk smaller than your child or pet will accidentally become injures.
- Teach your cat when to leave your cat alone. And that he shouldn’t wake up sleeping animals.
- Show your child that he can get your pet to listen by using rewards.
- If anyone gets upset during play, a time-out might be a good idea for both children and animals. Create safe areas where your child and your pet can spend time by themselves, separately, for a brief period. For pets, 30 to 60 seconds is a reasonable time-out period. One minute for every year of age is the general rule for children.
- Teach your child what to feed your cat and what not. Teach the routine you have with your cat, when do you feed it, when is it allowed to have treats, how do you brush it. Involve your child in everything you do. Teach your child the basics of caring for your cat or other animal.
Here are some warning signs when the behavior of your child is dangerous for your pet.
- Chasing a fleeing pet
- Locking a pet in a closet
- Leaving a pet outdoors
- Knowingly or unknowingly feeding a pet harmful human foods.
- Feeding human medications that are dangerous to pets to see what effect the pills will have
- Placing a tight rubber band around a paw
- Painting a pet’s body
- Putting a small animal in a washing machine, microwave or other appliance
- Deriving pleasure from seeing a frightened or suffering pet
- Responding to adult reprimands by engaging in secretive, hostile acts toward the pet
- Burning an animal
- Teasing an animal with firecrackers
- Repeatedly showing off the inhumane handling of a pet to others
- Putting an animal in dangerous situations, such as dangling her outside a window or bringing her into the road
Even though those signs are pretty obvious that it’s dangerous for your pets, it is so important not to ignore this kind of behavior.