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Caring for Cats after Children

While most cats adapt reasonably well to having children in the home, the lifestyle and attention they’ve become accustomed to often changes drastically once they’re no longer the only “baby” in the house.

Your energy is a limited resource and cats are reasonably independent creatures, so when the kids are pulling you in every direction, it can be tempting to give your cat a little more freedom by letting them roam outside alone. While this certainly helps to prevent obesity and provide mental stimulation, the dangers to kitty are countless.

Instead, keep your cat on-leash or install a “catio” to allow them to have some outdoor enrichment without the dangers posed by wildlife, cars, people, toxic substances and more. By not allowing your cat to free-roam, you can keep them safe and protect your backyard ecosystem, which can be decimated by outdoor cats. Just remember, if your cat spends any time outdoors, it is extra-important to keep their microchip information up-to-date and to talk to your vet about proper parasite prevention.

Many cats do enjoy supervised outdoor time, however, it is possible for cats to thrive with an indoors-only lifestyle too. The key is enrichment, but when your time is limited, there are many activities that are hands-free. Consider a cat dancer to encourage independent play, a slow feeder to make mealtimes more fun, or a bird feeder near a window perch for “Cat TV”. It is also critical to give your cat a safe space to retreat, out of reach from children and other pets.

Of course, your kitty will still crave some special time with you. One of the most efficient activities you can work into your daily routine is brushing your cat. Not only is brushing necessary for skin and coat health, but most cats love the scratches and will often do most of the work! A quick 5-10 minutes of brushing a day also allows you to give your cat a physical once-over. Cats are experts at hiding pain, so some regular one-on-one time is important to help identify abnormalities that they may be concealing, such as mats, cuts, lumps or bad breath.

For many, our cats are our first loves, predating children and spouses. Life can be busy, but let us not forget when building a family, that the cat was very often the first piece.


Dr. I. Wonder is here to answer your questions regarding your furry family members. If you have a question, email it to us at danielle@NeighbourhoodPetClinic.com. Our team at Neighbourhood Pet Clinic will tap into their collective experience to answer your various questions.


Questions? Comments? Contact us today!

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