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Small Kids and Kittens
The smaller your child, the more interested he will be in the new kitty. It will be his baby, his companion, his toy ….only the kitten isn’t a toy and that’s something that you need to make very clear about right from the get-go. Even a toddler can understand that they are not to pick kitty up if they are told firmly enough. Your child is fragile against the outside world, but the kitten is fragile even against a small child and can easily be hurt by simply being loved too much! Young kids have a habit of wanting to hug the kitten tightly, and this can be fatal as it’s easy to restrict cat’s air supply. Picking up the kitten in a rough way, or by its legs can create the need for a visit to the veterinary where you and your child (if there) will be admonished for ill treating the kitty.
It can also create internal injuries on a young kitten that doesn’t have much body fat to protect its internal organs. The best way to bring young child and kitty together safely is by first not allowing your child to pick up the kitten until you are sure he can do it in the correct manner, and by teaching him to fuss the kitty while the kitty is on your knee. The kitten will soon follow your child around if he feels safe, and within no time at all you’ll probably find you have two “kittens” crawling around the floor as your child becomes the kitty’s shadow! By first teaching the safe way of fussing, and then playing, you decrease not only the chances of the kitten being unintentionally, but seriously, harmed – but also the chances of your child being scratched by a fearful cat who is being held too tight. .
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