I Have A Cat Is It OK With A Newborn

18 Replies
Melissa - January 9

I LOVE my cat and want to keep it when the baby comes. Anything I should watch for? It is an inside cat and has no claws. I also got a playpen that has a tent on the top, so the cat won`t be able to jump in it. Anything I should "cat/baby proof" ?


amb - January 9

probably some of the obvious that you have already thought of but keep the cat away from baby clothes and other baby items. im going to have an issue with my cats cause they just LOVE laying on clothes, keep the baby room door shut if you can. vac_mn alot :-( and use your own best judgement :-)


Angela - January 9

My doctor said it was fine. I guess like with any pet you would't want to leave the baby alone in a room with the cat, just in case. Some cats get jealous when a new baby comes home and can act out in weird ways (like peeing on things), so I'd suggest trying to make time to give affection to the cat when you can so they don't feel "left out" :)


dwc - January 9

I was always told to watch and not let the cat sleep around the baby or to get on it clothes or items, because of allergies I guess. I am having the same doubts about my cat and newborn even though the cat was fine with my first child, I am worried about this time.


mel - January 9

mostly depends on your cat and keep an eye out for the allergies thing like dwc was saying. my cat likes to sleep on my head, so I'll have to keep an eye out for it laying on the baby as well.


A - January 9

Cats are VERY loving sometimes to loving creatures... The smell of milk on the babies breath will make the cat curious and sometimes they will sniff and even lick the babies mouth if you don't see them... They also love the warmth of the baby and WILL try to sleep in the crib with them! So please be VERY aware of this.... It is quite cute but it can be dangerous and your cat may accidentally smuther the baby...


Ca__sie - January 9

I had to get rid of my cat because my husband is so sure that this will happen. He says the same thing about the cat smelling the milk on the baby's breath and smothering the baby trying to get at it. I see what he means but I know a lot of people keep cats with babies and it seems to be ok. I tried to keep my kitty but it was a lost cause... at least he's just trying to look out for the best interest of our little angel


MichelleB - January 9

I had a 2 year old cat, and 1 kitten when my baby came home. I was so worried before the baby came home, but really, there was not much to worry about. If the baby is sleeping in his own room for the first 3 months, make sure ot keep the door closed so kitties cannot get in. We build a screen door so we could close the door, but still see and hear the baby. It works really well. I keep an eye on them to make sure nothing happens, but really there is not much to worry about, especially once they get a little older and stronger!


KATZIIZ - January 10

I have 3 children and have had cat or cats the entire times. Main thing to remember, cats are smart and can learn what and where they can be. I never allowed the cat(s) in the nursery or playpen in another room. I always shooed them away when they try to nose about the baby's area or things. I have never found a cat lying in my baby's bed yet. If your cat is not fixed (spayed or neutered) spraying territory (and items)can be a problem. Get them fixed. So just make sure you are consistent and teach your cat or kitten that baby area's are off limits. A water spray bottle will work to shoo them off if need be. And the smothering thing....that is an old wives tale. :-) I have never actually heard or read of this actually happening. Just make the kitty understand the baby's stuff is off limits. They can and do learn. Some people will not believe that they are that smart. You know those people when you go into their house and their cats are roaming around on the kitchen table or countertops....I have never had a cat that did not understand they should not be on these surfaces...the same goes for beds and other furniture...you can train them where it is ok. Mine know the beds are off limits, but the couch or chair is ok. The table and counters are off limits but the kitchen chairs are ok. My room is ok, but the kids rooms are off limits...just be consistent and they will catch on.


chrisy - January 10

Actually I have let my cat sniff the baby clothes and he likes to explore the room and he seems to know that a change is coming. OUr cat walks in our room as well. Because he is a big part of our family my husband is going to carry our baby into the house so I can give attention to our cat and then our cat will be allowed to sniff our baby. We don't want to make a big deal about it and will try to make it a positive experience since our cat is very snuggly, playful and basically follows me around the house!!! Both doctors agree that it's the way to go.


chrisy - January 10

Oh ya, my husband and I have a sheer netting that goes over the crib to prevent animals from getting into the crib. I don't know where to get one because a friend gave us it but it's called a crib tent


Chris - January 10

I'm so gald to see this post. I have 2 outside cats that sometimes come inside to nap. I keep finding cat hair in the crib and basinet. Iv'e told my daughters to quit letting them come inside so they are out of the habit before the baby comes. I'm super worried that the cat will jump in to sleep with baby.


Melissa - January 10

Chris...I know how you feel! We have an indoor/outdoor cat but he is mostly indoor since it is winter. We have a BIG problem with this cat... Ok our house is old, small, and made completely out of metal so the structure of it is weird. And for years it has just been my boyfriend and his dad living there...so needless to say it hasn't been very taken care of until I moved in. Anyway, the only door that will fit is like this wood sliding door and the cat has learned how to open it. Even if we fix the door problem our closet doesn't have a door and it goes straight into the baby's room....and the cat LOVES to get in the crib. When we catch him we throw him out but it seems like he never learns. Anything we can do????


jilly bean - January 10

i have a two cats and two rather on the large size dogs, they where great with my girls a toddlers and i have no consern with my new baby coming. i think its great to expose kids and your animals to eachother so that there is no fear and the animals will be ok as along as you treat them like yuor new baby and other childern if you have them and make time to give them a little love too. i grew up on a farm so animals have always been part of mine and my kids life and resposiblity. it will also help with allergys down the road having that ex[poser at a your age too.......go with your gut though but it can work....


KT - January 10

Im 27 wks and we just got our ba__sinet and crib. I have put foil all around it and it has worked like a charm. They both jumped up there once and since I haven't heard or seen them in the crib. I left it in there for two weeks and just took it out recently. They still have not jumped up in the crib. :-)


Leanne - February 4

I'm 26 weeks pregnant (our first) and have 2 cats. I love my cats dearly and am not too concerned with them being in the baby's room as I plan on keeping the door closed at all times (our room is across from the baby's room plus I'll buy a baby monitor). I'm just worried about the fur and shedding. I just can't believe how much they shed...fur everywhere. It's a constant battle which I'm losing!!! I'm going to have to vacuum at least every other day. Anyone else have any advice or going through the same thing?? (besides giving them away...I love em' too darn much.)


ba__set - February 5

Giving up a family pet because your husband is ignorant is a sure bet your cat will end up dead. I am writing to you as an animal shelter director and can a__sure you there is NO reason to give up your pets. I have a 5 year old... two dogs and two cats. Its called a crib tent and you can order them online. It works to keep the cats out and actually the baby in... as she/he gets older. The whole suffocation thing is an urban myth Possibly the oldest and most persistent myth still in current circulation is that of a jealous cat sucking a baby's breath or smothering the baby. While most cats are repelled by the human breath, they may be attracted to the smell of milk on a baby's lips and may even try to clean away any milk still there. Although milk isn't a natural food for adult cats, the equally pervasive belief that cats and milk go together like love and marriage has ensured that many cats become accustomed to milk at an early age. In addition, cats may instinctively clear up milk on a baby's face just as they would wash kittens - it stops the milk from going rancid and attracting predators. Cats also like to snuggle in warm places and may try to sleep alongside the baby in a warm crib. Mostly they tuck in alongside junior, but parents are obviously concerned that they may end up on top of the baby, accidentally suffocating it. In the past, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS or Cot Death) wasn't recognised and many a household cat was blamed by distraught parents who found their child dead one morning and the cat in the vicinity of the "crime". The belief in breath-sucking comes from superst_tion which is several centuries old. It has appeared in print in 1607 and 1708. In 1791, a coroner's court in Plymouth, England delivered a verdict that a baby had been killed by a cat sucking out its breath. By then, the superst_tion had turned into "common knowledge". In Nebraska in 1929, a doctor reportedly witnessed a cat in the act of sucking a child's breath. The cat was lying on the baby's b___st with paws either side of the child's mouth. The cat's muzzle was pressed to the child's lips and the infant was pale and had cyanosis (blue colour caused by oxygen starvation). Quite possibly, the much maligned moggy was perplexed that the infant was no longer breathing. In December 2000, 6 week old Kieran Payne was reportedly smothered by a cat when his mother found the cat lying on her dead baby's face. However, a post mortem recorded Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The only case where a cat may have been responsible was around the same time, but in that case cat hairs were found in the baby's airways. How did such a superst_tion arise? Cats were once believed to be witches' familiars who would steal a baby's soul. Many old wives' tales evolved from simple hygiene messages. In the days before good health care or veterinary care, zoonoses (disease spread from animal to man) were a hazard and keeping a animals away from newborn was a sensible precaution. Although a__sociated with witch-craft, "sucking out the breath" may have been intended to mean suffocation. Another form of the cat/baby superst_tion is that a kitten and a baby must not be raised together else the cat will thrive while the child wastes away. This suggests that the cat is magically stealing the child's vitality (yet again, a form of "sucking the breath"). Once more, this may relate to hygiene - cats carry tapeworm (intestinal parasites) and can be infected with consumption (tuberculosis), both of which will cause wasting. In modern times, most cats are wormed regularly while TB is far less common in the developed world.



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