Baby and cats — The Bump
2nd Trimester

Baby and cats

I have two "fur babies" at home that are inside cats.   I have many friends who have cats and babies and I grew up with three cats myself and never had any problems.  But if I hear one more person tell me I have to get rid of my cats when I bring the baby home, I might scream.  They're inside cats- one's afraid of his own shadow so I'm not worried about him; the other is very inquisitive and very social.  Both are attached to my hip. I can't fathom the thought of getting rid of them because they are my "babies."  Any tips on how to deal with this situation? 

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Re: Baby and cats

  • You do not have to get rid of your cats! Just ignore that piece of advice! As long as your cats are heathly, and no harm to the baby, then the thought wouldn't even cross my mind. I have 5 furbabies (2 dogs and 3 cats) all are well trained, and properly cared for! I am not getting rid of a single one. Everyone keeps telling me I have to find homes for my dogs!  Its frustrating, but I just ask why,  they usually don't have any good explainations. I just ignore them!

    My grandma loves my cats, but told me the other day that she had heard of cats getting in the crib with the babies and being a potential risk for smothering the baby.  I plan to prevent that from happening, and there are many ways to do so!

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  • Oh they are absolutely like family!!  I know it will be a bit of a challenge as well, but I have a feeling once the newness wears off, it'll be fine.  They're too mellow to cause problems.  I'm just sick of people (mostly the in-laws) telling me they're going to smother the baby!  Please...as if no one has ever grown up with a cat before! 
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  • Thank you reneenearl!!!  What are some of the ways you know to prevent them from getting in the crib??
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  • Tell them to knock it off.

    Plenty of people have cats and babies at the same time. No one has said anything to me about getting rid of mine. (Good thing too because I probably wouldn't be very polite about it if they did.)

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  • We have two cats at home that are both indoor. My husband and I plan on installing a screen door in the doorway of the nursery. You can get them at most hardware stores for $20-30, plus $10 in hinges. We're setting the door up to open out into the hall so we don't have to remove the existing door. This way, curious kitties will stay out of the crib and we can minimize hair as well.

    Just ignore naysayers, they obviously do not appreciate animals like the rest of us! Good luck.

  • I've been told to be wary of my pet cat and the new baby, too. Specifically, people seem to be worried that the cat will sit on the baby and smother it in its sleep or something. I'm going to try and keep the cat and baby separate when sleeping by closing the nursery room door.

     My cat is pretty harmless most of the time but has been stressed out by any toddlers who have visited the house. It's going to be interesting to see how she deals with a little, crying baby! One of the best tips I've gotten is to try to keep the cat as an important member of the family by not ignoring it when baby arrives. I'm going to work hard on this one!

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  • Our cats are not allowed in the basement, where the bedroom is, and our dogs are allowed in the basement under supervision, but never allowed in the bedroom.  We keep the doors shut at all times to enforce this while we are not home or whatever.

    Make certain rooms no-pet zones and enforce it before the baby arrives.  There is no need to get rid of them! Just set boundaries.  As far as how your fur babies will behave around your child- supervise!  All will be well, and there really isn't any need to worry.  :)

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  • image jparkinson:
    Thank you reneenearl!!!  What are some of the ways you know to prevent them from getting in the crib??

    I'm not reneeearl, but before the baby arrives, I'll be lining the crib with aluminum foil to scare the crap out of them if they try to jump in there. 

    If it really becomes a problem later, we might get a crib tent, but hopefully it won't come to that. 

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  • OMG really?!?!?! The nerve of people to actually tell you that you need to get rid of your cats.

    Pets are a member of the family, you don't just get rid of them (unless you have a legitimate reason to). That's like telling someone they need to get rid of their 1st born because he/she may mishandle the newborn. WTH...

    Don't listen to that advice. If you have a concern with smothering, just make sure you keep your cat in another part of the house, close the nursery door during naps (use baby monitors to keep and eye on the LO), or use gates...there's plenty of measures you can take to ensure the safety of your baby and the happiness of your pets.

    I grew up with pets my whole life - cats and dogs...never had an issue with them doing anything to me or my siblings. I have a cat and I have no plans to get rid of him. He's been part of my family for 14 years! If anyone tries to tell me that I need to, I will have no problem telling them a very big F U VERY MUCH. Wink

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  • I think I would've asked the person if they got rid of any of their family members when the brought home the new baby!  We have 2 cats and 2 dogs and are eager to see how they will react to having a LO in the house.  We've played videos of crying babies a few times to see how they reacted and to start to de-sensitize them to it.  We'll keep doing that for the duration of the pregnancy.

    I think the hardest part will be teaching my one little kitty that once the baby is here she won't be able to be held 24/7 like she does now!  I've started to set some boundaries with her, much to her dismay, so that it isn't too much of a shock when she realizes that my arms are fully of a baby.  

    I like the idea of crib netting to keep the kitty out of crib when the baby is little.  Other than that I don't think we'll make much off-limits.  I'm looking forward to seeing the kitties snuggle with the baby.    

    I think the more difficult part will be teaching the dogs that they can't chew on every toy that is on the floor.  

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  • We have two cats.  The cats did explore the crib, PNP, etc. before they were born and even still go into them.  however, the cats are not allowed in the room when the girls are sleeping.  Right now, the cats sleep in our bedroom.  When the baby comes, the cats will no longer be allowed in our bedroom while the baby sleeps in there with us.  They adjust.  I tried putting aluminum foil in before DD#1 was born but that didn't do anything to prevent them from jumping in and laying down to go to sleep.  I put a mess tent over the PNP to try to keep the cats out in between the girls sleeping in it, but they'd just jump on it and sleep in the PNP with it under them.  

    The only issue we had with having cats is that one cat I had when DD#1 was born did not do well with kids.  She started peeing around the house out of frustration because DD#1 wasn't leaving.  It continued after DD#2 was born.  Unfortunately, we had to have my ILs take her home because nothing we did would curb it.  She hasn't peed in their house since moving!  She just wasn't a kid cat -- and when we visit (they live in another state from us so it's only occasionally), she hides from the girls. 

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  • We also have 2 cats and had them both when our DDs we each born.  If anything, our pediatrican told us that growing up with pets would increase their immunity (both of our cats are indoor only cats and the pediatrician knew that) and give them more "pro-social" behaviors growing up.  Our oldest is now 4 and she helps with making sure the cats have plenty of food and water.  Our soon-to-be 2 year old loves to play with the female cat, who is very social. 

    The only things I would suggest are: keep the litter box(es) away from the reach of crawling and curious children, make sure the cats are up to date on vaccines even if they do not go outside, if your cats are not declawed make sure their nails are trimmed when the baby comes (no matter how tired you are!).

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  • image reneenearl:

    You do not have to get rid of your cats! Just ignore that piece of advice! As long as your cats are heathly, and no harm to the baby, then the thought wouldn't even cross my mind. I have 5 furbabies (2 dogs and 3 cats) all are well trained, and properly cared for! I am not getting rid of a single one. Everyone keeps telling me I have to find homes for my dogs!  Its frustrating, but I just ask why,  they usually don't have any good explainations. I just ignore them!

    My grandma loves my cats, but told me the other day that she had heard of cats getting in the crib with the babies and being a potential risk for smothering the baby.  I plan to prevent that from happening, and there are many ways to do so!

    This is my mom. She freaked out over the thought of a cat smothering the baby. After a few round and round conversations with her I told her it is our choice end of story. I told her I did not want to hear any more about it. I hated having to put my foot down like that, but she was going over board about it. I have a 60 pound boxer in the house and her main concern is the cat. lol. If anything I thought she would worry about the dog. Our dog is hyper, but trained. When we had our friend's one year old at our house, she learned to lay down when she would walk by her. Plus we have kept our friends babies over night before and the cat and dog never went near the pack and play the whole time they were there.

    To prepare for baby, we are using a co-sleeper. I have a sheet tightly across it so when she steps on it, she falls in which scares her. After doing that twice she has stayed away from it. Also I made her stop sleeping on that side of me. She normally with sleep about an hour next to me and then move to the end of the bed. I just place her between DH and I instead of me and the co-sleeper. She is getting used to it now.

     

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  • Depending on how or why the other person is saying that you could just tell them to mind their own biz.  If they have some genuine concern and think they are being helpful you can still tell them to mind their own, or you could tell them that you've thought of that and you've got it covered.

    In my case, I had a cat that would sleep in the crib relentlessly.  He even figured out how to open closed doors to get into the nursery. 

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  • Just ignore them!  They're ignorant!!  And people who abandon their animals when they have a baby should never have gotten animals in the first place! 

    We have two cats and they have been nothing but wonderful to our son.  One of the cats is scared of him so pretty much takes off when he's in the room, the other one would never touch him.  And he has pulled that cat's fur and tail left and right.  My son has learned to respect the cats now that he is older and I really think that's a valuable lesson for kids to learn.  

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  • oh extra love to the kitties tonight...I kind of give mine extra attention now as I know he'll be a bit jealous soon but he'll still be part of our family. I love him too much!
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  • Tell them to F*** Off! And I'm not kidding! It's all OWTs!
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  • Doesn't sound like there is anything to deal with other than ignorant people.  I would just tell them not to be silly, the cats and baby will be fine!

    I have three cats, one healthy happy three year old and another on the way.  Never had any problems.  It has been my fear that my children may have cat allergies but so far so good.  We just don't let the cats sleep on DS's bed.  No big deal. 


  • I think this fear of cats and babies is based on an old wives tale.

    My mom told me that when she was pregnant with me, someone told her that cats would "take the babies breath away" meaning that they would lick their mouths because of the formula or breast milk smell... Sounds pretty crazy.

    That's what baby gates are for, right?

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