Is it possible for my 3 year old to be gentle with our 9 week old kitten?
Cecilia - posted on 05/07/2013
I think it honestly depends on the child in question. Just because they are rough in one situation does not mean they will be in other areas. My daughter is 2. She is so gentle with our cat. She does really great with her. She is rough as hell on the dog though. (who is almost 80 pounds and can handle it) She plays rough with siblings, who are teens. She is gentle in her play with me and the 8 month old.
Does it mean yours will be good with a cat.. Test it out. Let her be around a cat that isn't yours. When looking for pets, don't go for cute. Look for an animal that fits your family.
Since it seems you already have a cat.. these don't seem to apply. So for now, show her how to do it right. Show her how to pet the cat. Probably not good to let her pick it up. Pay attention to the cat and how they are reacting. If nothing else get a pole toy for her to play with the cat at a distance,(my kids call the kitty fishing poles) or a infrared light. This will make it where the cat associates the child as a good and fun thing to be around.
â« Shawnn âªâ«â« - posted on 05/07/2013
Firebird is right. Not to mention, kitty will most definitely let LO know in no uncertain terms what too rough is.
I never left my 3 yo alone with my cats, dogs, or any other animal. The potential for injury is just too darn high.
Yes, a 3 yo can learn (and most definitely should) how to be gentle
Mary - posted on 05/07/2013
Not without constant supervision.
Firebird is right, children can be taught how to appropriately interact with animals, but it is something that needs perpetual reinforcement. It's just like any other skill or behavior we try to instill in our children when they are young - there will be times when they screw up, and need to be reminded or corrected.
The best way to protect both your child and you pet is to not leave them alone together without a responsible adult present. Think about it this way - chances are, you have taught your child not to hit, push, pinch, or in any way harm another child. She "knows better", but that does not guarantee that she will NEVER do these things to sibling, friend, or classmate for years to come. The same is true with children and animals. They are taught how to be kind and gentle, and yet inevitably, they forget those lessons, and pull a tail or ear, poke an eye, or play too roughly. Trouble is, when the animal reacts justifiably by hissing, scratching, or biting, the animal is usually blamed, and seen as "bad". Protect your child AND your pet by trying to prevent this situation from occurring.
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