Introducing your cat to kids
Cats and kids can get a lot from one another as long as time is taken to ensure they are comfortable together. Read our five tips on how to introduce your cat to children.
It's best not to force the two together; it could make the cat nervous of being around the children and the children fearful of the cat. Instead, try this gradual introduction programme over a week or two.
Five step cats and kids introduction programme
Step 1: Initially ignore the cat
Start the introductions once your cat has settled into their new home. Ask the children to sit down quietly and to stay calm throughout the introduction. When the cat is let into the room, ask the children to ignore her.
Step 2: Blink very slowly
To let the cat know that they aren't a threat, ask the children to blink very slowly at the cat.
Step 3: Build up time together
Gradually build up the time your cat and children spend together. They can hand feed the cat treats and play games as long as they don't touch the cat or get too excited or noisy. If they do, stop the introduction session.
Step 4: Stoke gently
Get the children to stroke the cat gently twice, then give a treat. Gradually increase the time they spend stroking the cat. If the cat runs away, stop the introduction and try again later.
Step 5: Wait for the cat to approach first
As a general rule, teach children to only touch a cat if the cat approaches them first. Children should never pursue or pester a cat for attention as they will quickly learn to avoid them.