Cats and children - how do you cope?
We have just returned from holidays and have friends staying at our house. They have 2 young children, around 4 years and 6 years. They arrived the day before we got home.
Our boys have never been around kids before. They aren't too bad with new people anymore, they just come and go as they please. But with the kids, I can tell it's a lot harder for them. The kids are really good, they are just kids and want to pat them all the time. Plus sudden noises etc tend to spook the boys. The kids are really gentle and everything, they don't try to pick them up or chase them. Their parents are good telling them to leave them be and wait til they come to you, but again kids are kids and they tend to forget, going up to them and patting them when the kitties just want to do their own thing.
The boys came out a lot more yesterday and even played with the kids a little bit so it does seem they are getting more used to it. But this morning Panther didn't touch his food and was hiding in the bedroom (their 'safe room'). I brought him back out but he bolted straight away and I noticed how scared he was. I took his bowl into the room and he ate everything. I'm not sure what happened, but the young boy was near their food place so I thought maybe he tried to pat them while eating or something. I've told them to let the kitties eat quietly and not try to pat or talk to them while they are eating so I am not sure what actually happened.
I guess, I am looking for suggestions as this family are really good friends of ours that have just moved around the corner so we will be seeing them a lot. I don't want my kittens to be anxious every time the kids are around but I am not sure how to make the kids understand.