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Pets & kids question

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by EStreetJoe, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    For the cat owners with babies out there......

    What's the best way to have a 10-year old cat adjust to having a new born baby in the house and what safety precautions do I need to take to make sure cat and baby get along?
    (Won't have to worry about this until November, but figure it's never too early to prepare)
  2. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    Congrats! And I'll be watching this thread for potential tips a few years down the road.
  3. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member


    If it doesn't work for the cat, you can always keep the baby in the crate.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  4. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    Just make sure to give the baby some attention on occasion so he doesn't feel too lonely.
  5. I dealt with this.
    The cats actually adjusted to the baby pretty quickly. One thing I read is not to completely ignore the cats (as you'll tend to do because you are so focused on the baby) as it can create jealousy. A jealous animal is never a good thing to have around a helpless baby. It wasn't an issue in our house, though.
    Also, there are stories of cats suffocating babies (it may be because they smell milk on their breath). Just to be safe, we always shut the door to the baby's room when she was in there alone (like at naptime or at night).
    My crazy mother has read that you should put the baby's drool in with the pets' food. She said animals instinctively know the leader of the pack eats first, so if they get that drool in there, they will know they are lower on the chain.
    I never did that.
  6. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    Your mother is either brilliant or batshit crazy. You probably have a decent idea of which is more accurate.
  7. It depends on the day with her, actually. Most days it's the latter, but every once in a while...
  8. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    She might be both.

    My sister didn't have any problems with her two cats when she had her babies (other than them sitting outside the nursery door if the baby cried). No idea what she did to prepare them or to keep the baby safe though.
  9. I Digress

    I Digress Guest

    When the little Digress was born five years ago, we had two cats.. they were old.. one was 14 and one was 12 and they had gone from being mine, to having a husband and moving across the country... blah, blah, blah....there were never any problems and the older one was calico and as could have been the temperamental poster child for calicos. There was never a crib issue. They weren't allowed in it and didn't go. They were a little skittish at first, but that went away. We have tons of pictures of the younger cat sitting on our lap with the baby, usually on the baby's feet. The older one refused to cede her territory (me) to the baby, so she got grabbed and pulled, but never bit at the child. The funniest thing she did one day was smack the kid on the head about six times. Since she had no claws, I didn't worry about it.
    I never once worried about one of my cats smothering my child or, especially, stealing their breath. That, I believe, is horseshit.
    The first day or so will be very weird, especially because the baby will smell different. But, just call me the cat whisperer, I think your progeny, once you get past the new baby smell, carries your odor and the cats will accept it into the herd.
    By the way, those cats have since passed (cancer and kidney ailment).. we have three others. Kid gets way more scratched now because, she holds the cats and lays on the cats and ..you get the picture.
  10. Birdscribe

    Birdscribe Active Member

    We didn't have that much of a problem with our two, largely because our three cats wanted nothing to do with a squalling baby. The moment either of them started to make noise, the cats were gonzo.

    Our son didn't do much with them, other than stare at them with the same incomprehensible amazement the cats were employing on him. Eventually, he just came to realize they were a part of the house and living creatures that needed to be loved and taken care of.

    Our daughter -- who is a lot more outgoing and interactive with animals -- was a bit more of an issue, since she wanted to touch, pet and hold them all the time.

    When she was very young, we took her hand and moved it in a petting fashion along the cat's back, repeatedly telling her "Nice. Nice kitty." That way, she equated "cat" with "nice."

    It worked rather well; she's obsessed with animals and one of our cats (not one of the original three) follows her around all the time, head-slams her with a skull-cracking nuzzle and sleeps with her.
  11. waterytart

    waterytart Active Member

    Most cats adapt fairly easily to newborns (and if you have one of those unusually ill-tempered cats who won't, you already know that). The cat stealing the baby's breath is an old wives' tale. Not letting the cat sleep in the crib goes along with the emphasis on keeping fluffy blankets, stuffed animals, etc., out of the crib, but cats typically don't want to sleep there anyway.

    Jealousy will vary with each cat. The only issue we had was that the cat was determined to be in my lap when the baby was nursing. I figured out the logistics because it kept everybody happy (including more cuddling for me :)).

    When the baby starts crawling, if you have an indoor cat with a litterbox, that's when you really need a gate!
  12. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    thanks for the advice so far. my main concerns are keeping the cat out of the crib and making sure the cat has no jealousy issues.

    So far nobody's suggested what the baby furniture salesperson said. He said that cats are territorial and if they can't see what's going on in a room they've always had access to, they'll get mad. So what you need to do is put a screen door up on that room's door. That way the cat can see into the room and what's going on but still be kept out. He also warned that since cats like to cuddle up to people and since babies are small the cat could cuddle up to the baby's face and accidentally smother it while trying to be friendly.
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