How To Keep A Cat Out Of A Crib – Basic Tips
When you have your first human child, it can be tough keeping your furry children in line, especially where cribs are concerned.
These cozy bits of kit call out to our kitties, beckoning them in for a lovely long cat nap, even when our not-so-furry babies are already in them sleeping.
While a baby-cat co-sleep may sound like literally the cutest thing of all time, it’s a terrible idea.
Cats may carry germs that our little ones aren’t yet capable of fighting off, and even if they’re very clean house cats, they pose a suffocation risk.
As such, when I was nearing my due date, I started researching ways to keep my cat, Neptune, out of my daughter-to-be’s crib.
After consulting Neptune’s veterinarian, on top of picking the mind of our postnatal health visitor, I concluded that the following methods are the most effective cat deterrents.
Read on to keep both your baby and your cat safe and sound until they’re ready to hang out together!
Method 1 — Don’t Wait To Set Up Your Baby’s Crib
Cats are smart animals, and contrary to popular belief, you absolutely can train them — I even trained a cat to fetch once!
However, as it does with any animal, training cats takes time, so don’t wait until your bundle of joy arrives to set up their crib.
Purchase and assemble it ahead of time so you can start the training in earnest long before there’s any actual danger to contend with.
This advice came straight from our vet, and I’m so glad I listened, because not only did it give me time to train Neptune, I was able to observe his behavior around the crib and how he would attempt to get inside — A vital insight!
With this information, you’ll know exactly what areas of the crib you need to secure against cat invasion.
Method 2 — Assemble The Crib Away From Furniture
Cats see furniture as their own personal assault course, and if a crib is near their pre-existing jungle gyms, they’ll work it into their routine immediately, something that’s particularly worrying where tall furniture is concerned.
If your cat is tempted to jump from, say, the top of a bookcase or closet, into the crib, their speed and weight can seriously injure a baby.
We have both a large closet and a bookcase in our nursery, not to mention a few smaller shelves on the wall, and although we already planned to station the crib well away from them in case of toppling, we hadn’t even thought of the cat-risk until our health visitor mentioned it.
Method 3 — Be Firm With Your Cat
As soon as you notice your cat taking an interest in your baby’s crib, give them a firm scolding with a clear directive, such as “No!”, remove them from the danger zone, and place them elsewhere.
Of course, they’re not going to get it right away, which is why it’s essential you assemble your crib as early as possible. It took Neptune about a month of tough love before he decided it was probably best not to leap into the crib.
Although, even when you get to this point, don’t take it as a given that they’ll never attempt to get in there again!
Method 4 — The Aluminum Alarm
Here’s another ingenious suggestion we ran with, courtesy of Neptune’s vet. It focuses on making the crib a less appealing environment for cats, achieved by layering aluminum foil on the mattress of your crib.
Cats hate the feel and sound of this metallic material, so if they land slap bang in the middle of an aluminum sheet when they jump into a crib, they’ll quickly exit and decide that it’s not a nice spot to catch a few kitty winks.
What’s more, my partner and I realized there was a nifty secondary benefit to the aluminum solution too… it’s noisy properties! Every time your feline friend makes contact with it, you’ll hear the crinkling and know that your attention is required in the nursery.
Method 5 — The Double-Sided Tape Trap
If you’d rather not hear the rustle of aluminum foil every time your little furry troublemaker is living up to their title, use a board covered with double-sided sticky tape instead.
Cats absolutely hate the tacky feeling under their paws, so they’ll learn pretty quickly not to jump in your baby’s crib.
We only heard about this method after we had already implemented the aluminum technique, but we gave it a shot anyway, as Neptune was still lurking around the crib every now and again.
I think he only ever tried jumping in once before realizing that it was more trouble and discomfort than it was worth.
Method 6 — Install A Screen Door
Okay, so we’ve covered how to get your cat to ease off on their crib break-in attempts, but what if, like I was, you’re still not 100% sure you trust them to stay away from your sleeping baby?
Well, we tried simply closing the door, but you know what it’s like when a cat sees a no-access zone. They automatically need to get in right that second, leading to lots of scratching and meowing — Not cool when your baby is trying to sleep.
Thankfully, we found a simple solution in a reinforced screen door that allowed Neptune to see into the nursery but would not let him into the nursery. His curiosity was this sated, and he no longer cared that he couldn’t get in.
We chose this QWR screen door because it’s washable and environmentally friendly. It’s served us well thus far.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Should I Avoid When Trying To Keep My Cat Out Of A Crib?
Anything that could be considered cruel is obviously a terrible option, but there are a few other things to avoid as well.
While it’s a good idea to lightly scold your cat for trespassing in the crib zone, getting too angry and loud is only going to confuse them and stress them out, which will likely lead to more behavioral issues.
It’s also a good idea to avoid the many motion detector options that emit high-frequency noises to scare off your cat, as they don’t really work.
Should I Introduce My Cat To My New baby?
Yes, absolutely! One of the reasons cats are so hell-bent on jumping into the crib with your baby is that they’re social animals, and they want to hang out with the new family member.
Allowing them time to be around one another outside of the nursery will almost certainly satisfy your cat’s curious nature and ease their obsession with your baby’s crib.
It can be hard work raising a cat and a baby, but with a little bit of thought and effort, you can make it work, and when you see the smile on your baby’s face when they start acknowledging your cat, your heart will melt, and you’ll know it was worth the strife!
For other helpful articles we recommend checking out some of our frequently asked questions. Like, how much weight can my crib hold and when is my baby too big for a bassinet?
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