Toddlers & Pets

Sherry - posted on 06/04/2011 ( 5 moms have responded )




Just wondering, what methods have other parents here found that work best at teaching a toddler to be gentle with the family pets, cats, in particular? I've been trying to teach my almost 21-month-old son for a long time, ever since he could crawl, to be gentle with the cats. I show him with my hand or with his own hand how to pet the cats but sometimes he still gets really rough with them.


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[deleted account]

I will hug and love on his teddy bears...He will come to me and he wants to hug the teddy bear too. I spend this minute telling him how SWEET he is...I really coo and go on about it. I kiss the teddy and tell HIM to kiss the teddy. The whole time we are 'teddy smooching' I tell him about being nice to teddy...kisses and love make teddy grow up really strong!
Then...when he's near the pets...I coo the same way and ask him..."Do you love Ruby? give Rubylove! What a sweet boy!
Basically, I take the same things I say to him during Teddy smooches...and remind him that's the way we treat pets and Aunts..and Uncles...and Mommies...and flowers too.

Amanda - posted on 06/04/2011




Constantly repeating yourself and showing him the proper way to interact with kitty is best. My daughter is 25 months. She caught on really quickly on how to pet nice. We still struggle with her laying on kitty. The cat tolerates it most of the time and sometimes asks to be laid on. She will walk up to both of my children and lay down on their heads until they use her as a pillow. Other days the cat will "bite" the kids if they are being too rough. Basically like she would do to her own kittens, never leaves a mark or draws blood, but lets them know to stop. If the baby still won't leave her alone I end up putting the cat in my bedroom for the day. The same concept as playing with toys: If you can't play nice then you can't play at all.

[deleted account]

I just keep repeating myself and showing my daughter how to pet the cat. She'll get excited and be a bit rough, but it only takes a quick reminder and she'll calm down and be gentle. I don't allow the cat on my lap, mainly because I'm allergic to her, but also because it makes my daughter extremely jealous. That of couse makes it so she wants to hit.

Jenn - posted on 06/04/2011




I would repeatedly show my daughters how to treat the cats properly and always monitored them with the cats. I have to say though that one cat loved to play and liked when my youngest lay on her. So they both got scolded...ha ;) do as I do seemed to work best and of course constantly reminding them what was acceptable and not. Now 4, my youngest absolutely adores our 6 month old kitten and is her mommy...the cat lets her tote her around the house in a doll carriage!

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