New mom and Yahoo! chief Marissa Mayer has added gifts for babies, puppies and kittens to employee perks as part of a campaign to bolster morale, the pioneering Internet firm confirmed on Tuesday.

"We've been very focused on making Yahoo! the absolute best place to work," a spokesman for the company said in an email response to an AFP inquiry.

"Over the last several months, we've introduced new benefits like free food to make Yahoos' days easier, new smartphones to encourage innovation, and updated computers to speed productivity."

The latest employee benefits were aimed mostly at fledgling parents.

"New child leave" was extended to eight weeks and Yahoo! picking up the tab for up to $500 in "daily habits" such as groceries, laundry, take-out food and child care for workers when they are new parents.

Yahoo! will also give employees gift packages for babies or new cats or dogs taken into homes.

The Sunnyvale, California-based company will also let workers take as much as eight weeks unpaid leave whenever they hit five-year milestones, according to the spokesman.

Mayer stirred up a controversy earlier this year with a directive banning Yahoo! employees from telecommuting, reasoning that workplace interaction would help energise and inspire the people in the company.

Mayer gave birth to her first child, a baby boy, in October.

Mayer took over in July at Yahoo! after 13 years at Google, in a move aimed at reinvigorating the struggling Internet firm. She announced just after accepting the post that she was pregnant.