Need to know how to keep your cat out of the bassinet?
If you’re planning a new edition to your family, just had one (congratulations), or already have this problem, I can help.
Cats are curious animals, and they have a habit of sleeping or going where we don’t want them to.
One place you want to be sure your cats are not going to go is into your baby’s bassinet. Not only is waking a sleeping baby the worst thing in the world to new parents, but it’s also potentially dangerous to their health having a cat jumping into their cot.
In this article, I’m covering some of the risks associated with cats getting into cribs, cradles, bassinets, or whatever type of bed you have for your newborn. As well as some ways to keep cats out of bassinets.
How to Keep Your Cat out of The Bassinet Without Closing the Door
First of all, I know some people are going to say, ‘Why don’t you just close the door?’
It’s not as simple as that with a newborn or young baby. Even with a baby monitor at my bedside, I didn’t want to close my kid’s bedroom door at night. Especially not just so my cat would stay out of the room.
Plus, when I closed the door to another spare bedroom my cat was spending too much time in, she decided to scratch at the carpet to get in.
Get a Cat Proof Bassinet / Pop Up Canopy
One of the most reliable ways to stop a cat getting into a bassinet it to restrict their access. You can either do this by investing in a cat-proof bassinet, or by using a pop-up canopy that covers the bassinet.
I wrote a post here listing some of the best cat proof bassinets on the market. Please take a read if you’re interested in going down this route. Basically, a bassinet that has a cover that locks in place is “cat-proof”.
Canopy’s, like the one you can see in the image below, do the same thing but are less expensive. You’ll need to do a little research to find one that fits the cot you have, but it’s a good solution for keeping cats out of your baby’s cot.
Use a Cat Training Mat
Growing up, when my parents wanted to train our cat not to go on certain pieces of furniture they would lay some aluminum foil where they’d step. Cats hate the feel of foil and quickly learn that going there isn’t a good idea.
The modern version of this is training mats. Training mats send a short electrical pulse to the cat when they stand on it. This doesn’t hurt at all but makes enough of an impression to make a cat turn and go the other way. (most cats!)
Place one in the doorway to your baby’s room, this should send a clear message to your cat that going in there is a bad idea.
Get Some Cat Furniture
Cats love exploring, being up high, and jumping into enclosed spaces. This is why they like cardboard boxes and other items around the home. It’s also why cat trees are designed the way they are. Plenty of platforms to sit on and parts to climb and scratch.
If you don’t yet have a cat tree or some other kitty furniture, it’s time you invested in some. Your cat obviously has some curiosity and spare energy to burn off, and you’d be better off directing it to an item of their own furniture.
You can’t just drop a tree in and expect your cat to prefer jumping on that, however. You’ll need to spend some time playing with your cat and involve their furniture. Something I always do is hide a few treats in my cats’ trees periodically too. This keeps them coming back and investigating them.
Reinforce That They Shouldn’t Enter The Baby’s Room
(Some) cats are not easy to train, but in my experience, all cats can be trained. If you keep reinforcing that your cat should not be going into your baby’s room, and especially not into their bassinet, they’ll get the message. (eventually).
It’s going to take a bit of work. You’ll need to pick them up and remove them from the room whenever you catch them in there. Give them a firm “no”, then place them in another room far away.
I’ve done similar things numerous times with my cats. It can take some time, but they get the message and start returning to the behavior I’m trying to correct less and less.
Keep Them out When Baby’s Not in There Too
It’s equally as important that you keep your cat out of the bassinet when your baby is not in there too. If they’re allowed (or you don’t notice) to sleep in the bassinet during the day, they will return in the night if they want to sleep in there.
It’s a lot easier during the day, all you have to do is put a box, blanket, or anything over the top that stops them from getting in. They’ll find somewhere else to sleep, and hopefully, that place will be more appealing during the night too.
I can share a couple of other tips I’ve read other cat owners saying they’ve done that have also worked. Although I haven’t done these myself.
One is to give their cats a little spray with water if they find them in the bassinet. Generally speaking, this works as a cat training method. It’s not the nicest thing to do, but I do agree that sometimes it’s necessary.
Another is to put something in the bassinet that gives them a bit of a shock so they’ll think twice next time. Nothing too nasty, usually half a lemon or something else they don’t like the smell of will work.
Both of these methods are perfectly fine for training cats during the day. You can’t be spraying water and putting citrus scents in there when the baby is sleeping, obviously.
If you have any tips or tricks that have worked for you, please take a moment to share them below so the rest of the community can read them. Many thanks.