I am almost 39 weeks pregnant and we recently moved to a new house that has quite a big property with lots of hedges, trees etc. and it is very close to the water in a rural/suburban community... an island, in fact.
We were living in a nearby town in the countryside before, but for some reason the new house has brought out a new side of our cat's personality:
SHE'S AN INCREDIBLY ACTIVE HUNTER.
In the past week, she has killed three rats, three mice and eaten two birds (this is all just that we know of.)
Unfortunately she has been bringing the rats inside to eat and the first time she did this very cleanly without much mess but this morning my husband has informed me there are rat guts in the hallway!
I FIND THIS SO DISGUSTING and I am wondering if I should be concerned about disease with the newborn coming IMMINENTLY.
The rats are not like city rats-- they live in the juniper hedge and probably eat seeds and berries and snails and such, and probably our compost.
I read a warning recently about West Nile Virus being carried by local birds...
We need to find a solution, SOON!
Well the only option is to make her an indoor only cat. Your husband has to be the one who deals with the cat litter.
We had a very active and brutal hunter but he solved our rat problem. The rats were eating our wine grapes. He also solved our baby bunny problem :/, which was so incredibly sad (for disclosure, we didn't view the bunnies as a problem). Fortuantely for us, he brought birds inside only a few times. Once he left a bird in his food bowl as a saving this for later. Our issue was he wouldn't eat the poor creatures, he would leave them for the dogs, and then I would freak out worrying that the dogs would get worms.
DD Seraphina born at home on 2/21/2012!"Childbirth is more admirable than conquest, more amazing than self-defense, and as courageous as either one."
Does she have a kitty door? If so, I'd stop having it be accessible to her. She can be let out and in and if she has prey, simply don't let her in with it. That will stop the entrails from getting everywhere at least. I would also be very vigilant about getting her to the vet to ensure she is up to date on all vaccinations as a preventative measure. (also ensure she is spayed if she isn't already to prevent newborn plus kitten chaos). It sounds like she's always been an active outdoor cat; she just has better hunting opportunities around your new home. Maybe it's the novelty too and she may hunt less once its not as exciting anymore. You could try to get her to be an indoor cat but that could be difficult. In your situation I would control her exit/entry to ensure no kill is brought in and have her innocculations up to date to protect her and your family. Also I would ensure she has no access to the room baby will be sleeping in so that there is no chance of contact between her and the newborn that you are not aware of. Of course she will be curious about the baby and having her sniff baby's feet while you supervise is completely okay.
We have two indoor cats and they have adjusted to the baby beautifully. We don't have much worry about disease transmission but we were still a bit apprehensive. Once baby is born in the hospital (unless you're planning a home birth, swaddle her in a specific receiving blanket so it picks up her scent. (I say her because I have a girl) Have DP or grandma or whoever take the blanket home the same day and make it available to kitty. This way kitty can get to know the new scent before baby comes home and it's less of a shock. By day 2 our boys were rolling around on these blankets and sleeping on them. We haven't had any jealousy issues at all out of either kitty.
I wish I had more advice but I think all you can do is control what kitty brings in and use vaccination to protect her and you as much as possible. Congratulations and good luck.