Cats & Their Parenting Skills: 7 Hacks To Learn From These Instinctive Animals
When it comes to cats, there are so many things they’ve got down pat. Basically, they seem to know exactly what they're doing at all times: They're independent yet they’ll drop crumbs of love to string you along. Somehow they manage to make playing with dainty cat toys cute, even with their claws out. Most surprisingly, though, they’re pretty fantastic parents — and there’s nothing more precious than a cat in a cuddle ball with their kitten, purring away. You realize what this means, right? There are parenting hacks we can learn from cats, and that’s kind of awesome (if you’re a cat person, that is).
As moms, cats not only demand their matriarchal position (more on that later), but they also nurture and teach their kittens in valuable and unique ways. They’re caring toward their young and encourage them to learn and accomplish behaviors they’ll need to survive successfully on their own. And though some cats have several kittens to a litter — kudos to them for tackling that gracefully — they still have a specific connection to each of their offspring.
So, if you thought you were a cat person before pregnancy or kids, you’re in a for a real treat. These parenting hacks that cats have mastered will make you love adore those felines even more.
1. Demand Respect
No seriously, according to Pet Cube, cat colonies are matriarchal, which is why cat moms are actually referred to as “queens.” And that is definitely parent hack number one in my book. All moms should be called queens and treated as such, too — because we rule the world, for real.
2. Cats Seek Comfort And Quiet During Birth
When a cat is about to deliver her kittens, she’s adamant about finding a cozy, quiet, and dark place to give birth, according to Pet Place. Cats are onto something here, because giving birth is a major undertaking for your body. Doing anything you can to desensitize and relax is going to help you get in the right mind set and deliver your new bundle of joy as comfortably as possible. Be mindful of checking out your hospital or birth place beforehand, ask the nurses to dim the lights if you want, and pack items in your hospital bag that will help keep you stay calm and comforted.
3. Cats Purr During Birth
I’m not going to tell you to purr while you give birth — that’s likely the last thing you’ll want to do. But the reason why they do this is pretty amazing. As I’m sure you’ve noticed if you’ve seen Romper’s Doula Diaries, it’s important to keep yourself as relaxed as possible to help your body help you (give birth). Cats purr during labor as a self-relaxation technique, according to PetMD, and finding self-relaxation techniques that work for you not only during labor, but during any stressful moment, is crucial to your own well-being.
4. Cats Personalize Their Kittens' Call
As a mom of multiple children, it’s tough to get kids' attention sometimes. The difficulty of communicating in loud crowds of people (or siblings) presents itself often. This is why cats have their own personal sound, or “chirrup,” for kittens, according to Floppy Cats. Consider coming up with your own unique sound, whistle, or phrase to shout to immediately grab your children’s attention when you’re out or in the middle of chaos.
5. Cat Moms Deliberately Care For Themselves After Birth
The thing that gets discarded most often after giving birth is surprisingly mom herself. With a baby around, it’s easy to put yourself last and ignore even basic needs like showering or eating well. This is where cat parenting logic comes into play. Hill’s Pet stated that mom cats make sure to care for themselves, too, even after giving birth. So, take this hack to heart and carve out time to make sure your needs are met, too.
6. Cats Develop A Protective Instinct, Unapologetically
Becoming a new cat mom can take your cat from sweet and cuddly to aggressive and protective if you invade her space, and that’s totally OK. Pet Place shared that cat moms, like most other moms, deal with hormonal changes after birth, and they embrace it. Take a note from cats and don’t feel guilty for being emotional, protective, or just not quite yourself after birth. Embrace it, talk about it openly, and if you feel that something is too out of whack, reach out to your doctor.
7. Cats Spend Time With Their Kittens To Socialize Them
As a new mom, you may feel like your efforts to spend meaningful time with your baby are lost because they’re so young. That doesn’t stop cat moms though. The Humane Society explained that kittens who spend more time with their moms are usually better socialized. And I think there’s something to say for that tactic with kids too. Connect and spend time with your little ones as much as you’d like, because your interactions will help them grow, learn, and socialize — no matter what age they are right now.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.