Adopt A Shelter Cat Month on June, 2023: Advice please : Adopted cat scared of toddler?
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June, 2023 is Adopt A Shelter Cat Month 2023. 270 cats need your help Help rescued abandoned kittens and cats. Our costs = 25k per month
Its hard to tell. So many cats and dogs get dropped off at shelters because of toddlers, and the people who leave their small children to terrorize the animals. The animals nip at the children, or become so shy they never come out.
It can take cats up to 6 months to feel comfortable in a new home. So one week is very early, and this behavior isn't unreasonable for a newly adopted cat, with or without toddlers.
There are a few things you can do.
First, give the cat a toddler free zone. You can do this easily by baby fencing off a room, and leaving a gap underneath the fence for the cat to get in and out.
Second, make sure there are a lot of bolt holes for the cat in any room the toddler has access to. It will take a bit of time for the cat to find them, but it will make the cat feel more secure.
Third, get the cat and the toddler to interact. Start by having the child throw treats to the kitty. Keep the two apart. At this stage, you want the cat to realize that the toddler is the keeper of really good food. The only time the cat gets treats is when the toddler is around. Even if your child isn't coordinated enough, you can throw the treats. Give the cat lots of treats when he looks at the child, more if he is willing to sniff a calm, still child's hand.
If the cat likes toys and especially string, sit the child on the bed with an easy to hold toy on string. Teach the child how to fish for cats. This should encourage the cat to come out and play, and your kid to be able to interact with the cat. You can also use a basketful of cat toys, and bombard the cat with toys. My cats love this game, and really can't wait for the next toy to be thrown. Again, supervise. Toys never get thrown AT the cat.
Third, put naptime, story time, any sort of quiet time with the child in the same room as the cat. As you are reading a story, through out the occasional treat, or movement of the string. This will desensitize your cat to the child and get the cat used to the child without the loud noises and crazy movement.
Fourth, get a stuffed cat. When your child starts going after the cat, instead say "wheres [stuffed cat]" Make a big deal when the toddler is appropriate with the stuffed cat. Not only does your kid learn right behavior, it give him a focus besides the cat.
Fifth, never ever leave your cat and your toddler alone together, especially with a new cat that you don't know. This not only protects your child, but it protects the cat. Letting the two alone means your child might learn to hurt the cat when you are not around to stop it the first time, and that if the cat reacts badly, you know exactly what happened.
Toddlers are much smarter than they appear. Your son will learn control if he wants to play with the cat, and it will happen sooner, rather than later. Also, cats, even super friendly cats, might never have seen a toddler before. Give it time, be cautious, and keep things safe for both the cat and the son. I suspect this time next year, you'll have a son and cat who are inseparable.
June is "adopt a shelter cat" month?
I work as a cat socializer twice a week. So I'll continue to do that, but with a little extra love. :)
adopting a cat?
Adopting a kitten is a huge responsibility, and it may be that your mum doesnt think you have the time or money to take care of a kitten just yet. A shelter will normally have to have parent consent (will not allow anyone under 18 to adopt), and ensure you have a suitable household etc to adopt. Remember, while kittens are cute, they are like little kids - they will chew, poo, pee, rip up everything, get under your feet and cost a lot of money (you need to keep up-to-date vaccinations, worming, flea-treatment, food, toys, litter, scratching post etc etc). Your mum probably see's this aspect rather than the "cute kitten" aspect.
I used to work in the cat shelter, during kitten season and I have seen MANY kittens and many people wanting to adopt them. I also have three of my own, so I can tell you first hand they're not all cute and fluffy. A kitten will need someone to play with it when you're at school, or they get bored and become destructive. They also need to be fed 3-4 times per day for the first couple of months.
If you are still keen to get a kitten, you can take your mum into the shelter, speak to the adoption officer and show that you can be a responsible pet owner. Mums will always hear "oh, but mum I WILL take care of her, I promise" and most of the time its the parents that take care of the pet... That's not to say you will do this, but you have to look at your mothers persective, and this may help you convince her that you are responsible enough!
As an alternative, try looking at the adult cats, or older kittens (over 6 mths) - these guys desperately need homes, as everyone goes straight for the kittens, and you don't have to go through the painful kitten stage.
I would recommend going in together and speaking with the adoption officer - your mum will see how keen you are and understand the implications and costs - and it will also help you determine if you can provide the perfect home for this kitten.
I hope this helps and good luck - whatever cat you do decide to get, even in the future, they are well worth all the effort and money (though at times I do questions this lol!)!