Cats are known for being complex creatures, and their moods and motivations are often indiscernible. This can be a little worrying when it comes to their strange preference for snuggling up close to your newborn—but experts assure the intent is far from sinister.
“There is not much difference between social species and their desire to commune with and to share their lives with their family members,” explains certified dog and cat behaviourist and trainer Russell Hartstein. “Like all sentient beings, cats have feelings, and oftentimes express those feelings by wanting to smell, touch, taste, listen to, and see their family.”
Simply put, cats get comfort from being close to a warm body—specifically one that’s been accepted as part of the familial clan. And the warmth is actually just one small aspect of the appeal; cats’ super-sensitive olfactory glands pick up on that newborn scent, and it’s very likely the eau de babe fragrance makes them as smitten as we humans get.
Also, cats are just interminably curious, and far less inclined to take things at face value, unlike their canine counterparts. A brand new baby is like an unidentified package from the postman. Exploration is key in developing familiarity.
“Children are new, different, and interesting. From all aspects — sound, smell, movement, chemicals, emotions — your cat is a curious being and wants to explore and be around love. Just as we do,” asserts Hartstein.
Nevertheless, it’s wise to monitor your cat’s tête-à-tête with baby. Your kitty may have nothing but love in his furry little heart, but he’s not clear on the fact that his sleeping on heads should be reserved for Mum and Dad.