Aversion to my cat ever since I got pregnant (DS is now 2!!) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 01-30-2011, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DS just turned 2 and my aversion to my cat has not gotten any better. In fact, it's gotten worse. I used to LOVE her... she literally came everywhere with me. I've had her for I think 6 years now, but when I got pregnant I just couldn't stand her. I didn't want her on or near me. I think it's partly my allergies... I have always been a little allergic to cats but in the past few years my allergies to everything have gotten way more severe (I now suddenly have a huge list of foods I cannot eat, for example) and it's hard to breathe when she's near me... plus with a high-needs kid I'm very touched-out too.. But I also think something inside me changed pretty much the moment DS was conceived. I can't figure it out exactly what it is, but it's like my Mama Bear instinct kicks into overdrive & I don't want the cat near us, especially when DS is nursing or sleeping, even though she's not a threat. It's to the point that it's pretty much intolerable. I actually feel rage when she comes near us. I feel crazy. Intellectually I still love her but in practice I just can't stand her. She's such a good cat (and DS adores her!) and I feel like there's something wrong with me that I don't want to be with her. What the heck is going on??


Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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#2 of 14 Old 02-02-2011, 07:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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No replies?? greensad.gif

 

Seriously... I have someone interested in the cat. I have no idea what to do, this is the third time I've almost rehomed her and every time as soon as I get someone really really interested I back out... which obviously is not fair to everyone involved but I just don't know what to do, and if this guy is really a good home for her I don't want to burn another bridge. I can't bear to part with her but keeping her is driving me insane, making me angry, etc. and I don't get it. Maybe it's a hormonal thing??? Am I nuts?????? I try being more affectionate toward her, and I can't breathe. I try staying away from her, and that just destroys our relationship. 

 

I know. Everyone here is going to say that 'pets are not disposable' and I should have thought about all the life changes and potential allergies and how pregnancy would affect this etc. Yeah, you're right. To be honest, I thought cats only lived 1-3 years max (we had indoor/outdoor cats growing up & none of them lived very long obviously). So I'm a total failure at the pet thing. I feel horrible. Oh and my grandmother bought me this cat... not long before she died... so that complicates my feelings too. I know I'm a terrible person for even considering rehoming her. I just don't know what to do.


Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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#3 of 14 Old 02-02-2011, 07:49 AM
 
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Hmm. . my dd1 was pretty high needs and one of our cats (who was pretty attached to me before kids) would always try to crowd in because I really didn't give her attention the first 3 years of dd's life and it would make me really angry at her - so I get that.  I'd guess that my anger/annoyance subsided a lot when dd was around 3 and we were working on her sleeping on her own in her room, and this cat (who is very tolerant and friendly to kids) would come up to lay in her bed in the evening every night.  We'd both pet her, dd would fall asleep, cat would stay there all night.  It was a very good thing for dd.  

I think those first few years can be very intense and it isn't weird at all to not really want to give out more attention to your pet - even if you like them.  

 

My dh does have asthma and cat allergies - we don't allow them in our bedroom (a change like that might help your situation? - it's one of the biggest recommendations if you're going to keep a pet), he does take medication which helps with the cats though due to the severity of both asthma and allergies.  Something homeopathic might be worth trying it out if you didn't want something more serious.  If that wasn't an issue (as in, if you had a medication or something that fixed it) would you feel differently?

 

I don't think it's terrible to consider passing your cat on to another family - you can't really control allergies or your family's needs, or your own.  Finding another good home is not treating your cat as 'disposable'.  Go easy on yourself about that.  

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#4 of 14 Old 02-02-2011, 08:06 AM
 
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We decided to rehome our cat because he was scratching and otherwise behaving aggressively towards our 2.5 yo son. He never tolerated him well, and when we had a second child it put him over the edge. But I can tell you that even with that behavior aside I had a lot of the feelings you're describing. I would get so upset when the cat would sleep in one of the baby's spots and get hair everywhere. Normal cat things, like cat litter sprinkled outside the box or hairballs thrown up in the corner, would fill me with so much rage. It was hard for me to go through because I've always loved animals, especially cats. I guess motherhood is such a global change that it can even change that.

 

If it had just been a few months I'd say wait and see, but I think you've tried long enough. I was so happy when we found a new, loving, kid-free home for our kitty, and he is a LOT happier too. Just my two cents.


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#5 of 14 Old 02-02-2011, 08:10 AM
 
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I said this before on MDC - I think is a dirty little secret that people don't want to admit publicly but having a human child does, for many people, change the way they think about their fur children.

 

I remember long before I had DS, my BF and her DH had a dog.  This dog was their entire life, no dog was more loved and adored.  Everything revolved around doggy.  They would not take vacations because doggy wouldn't eat for the first day or two when doggy went to Grammy and Grandpa's house - thats how much they loved doggy.

 

It was probably a month after they had their first child, BF tells me how she wishes Grammy and Grandpa would keep doggy full-time, how she can't stand the hair, the slobber, the way he scratches and makes his collar tags jingle, etc.  Her dislike of doggy grew and grew and no matter what she did, she couldn't change her feelings.   I was floored by her attitude.  All she said was "just wait, you will understand..." 

 

And now I do.  I love my cat and was absolutely heartbroken when we had to put his sister down a couple months ago but in our house, after DS was born, I simply did not have the time to devote as much attention to their care as I did pre-DS.  (They are/were very well cared for but not at the same "never miss a weekly brushing/nail clipping, buy them Christmas presents level)

 

I understand your feelings about rehoming but if you truly don't want to care for kitty, maybe that is the best option now while your DC might not remember? 

 

Good luck, I wish I had better advice. 


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#6 of 14 Old 02-02-2011, 08:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caneel View Post

I said this before on MDC - I think is a dirty little secret that people don't want to admit publicly but having a human child does, for many people, change the way they think about their fur children.

 

 

 

Sorry, quote not working right. I totally agree with this.. I used to call my cat "the baby", but after DD was born, I wanted nothing to do with her. This was a cat that I LOVED..I still love her, and it has gotten better as DD has gotten older. But I don't feel the same way that I used to about her, and I am very guilty about that. I have had this cat for 14 years, fwiw.


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#7 of 14 Old 02-02-2011, 08:21 AM
 
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Agreed with Caneel. Pre-DS, I loved, loved my kitty. Once I had DS - and he turned out to be allergic to cats - thank GOODNESS my parents were willing to take her.  If you have someone willing to take her, I would jump on it. 

 

Similar ot Caneel, I had friends whose dog was their life - went to work each day with the husband. They really re-arranged their life for the dog. Once they had a child, and I think the dog showed a bit of aggression(?) to the child, they had the dog put down. At the time, I was SHOCKED. But, I didn't have a child at that point. Your world does change.

 

Also agree that you might try something homeopathic for yourself. Bioallers makes a pet formula. (We've had luck with their dairy formula.) And you might try a flower essence for the "acceptance" part and emotional reaction to the cat. Not sure which one, though.

 


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#8 of 14 Old 02-02-2011, 08:40 AM
 
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We had to rehome our two cats when DD1 was born.  Like you, OP, I just couldn't stand them anymore.  In theory, I knew they were awesome cats, and I still love them and miss them 7 years later.  I still think about Callie and Dicey and know that they were the perfect pets for me, how awesome they were, and still feel intense shame over how they repulsed me after DD1 was born, in return for how loving they were towards me and DD.  To add salt to the wound, the woman we rehomed to had just had a baby too, almost the exact age as DD1 and I felt like such a failure and like such an insensitive evil person.  Why did I despise my cat while this woman was looking for one, being in the same boat as me with a newborn?  They both wound up in fabulous homes (although we had to separate them, they weren't "best friends" anyway) and that's what comforts me.  You know what helps me?  Knowing that Dicey was a wild feral kitten who hissed and spit and scratched, and through love and patience I was able to turn her into an awesome housecat.  So what if her ultimate home did not end up being mine?  She would have had one helluva terrible life if she remained feral, and probably would have died young after likely adding dozens and dozens of her own kittens to the homeless pet population.  So, she got a good life with a loving family, and they got an awesome cat.

 

Don't feel bad.  The cat needs a loving home.  If it's not yours, there is nothing at all wrong with finding one for her.  Treating her as disposable would be dropping her off in a field.  Taking the time to find the perfect home for her is commendable, so don't feel ashamed!  We very recently adopted our first cat since Callie and Dicey, and she's here for the long haul!  No more human babies for me!


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#9 of 14 Old 02-02-2011, 09:35 AM
 
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It sounds like giving your kitty to a loving home would be the best thing for her. Keeping her in a home with no affection to make yourself feel like you're doing the "right" thing is probably the worse option for the cat. I know it must be really hard for you to come to this realization, and although I'm in favor of people keeping animals for their whole lives in general, I do applaud you for recognizing your limitations and wanting to do what's best for the animal. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
To be honest, I thought cats only lived 1-3 years max (we had indoor/outdoor cats growing up & none of them lived very long obviously). 


I'm not sure if you intend to get more pets in the future, but if you do I'd definitely recommend doing some research about the animal first so you know what you're getting into. I had indoor/outdoor cats as a kid too and they all lived for 10+ years, as cats should. 


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#10 of 14 Old 02-02-2011, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
To be honest, I thought cats only lived 1-3 years max (we had indoor/outdoor cats growing up & none of them lived very long obviously). 


I'm not sure if you intend to get more pets in the future, but if you do I'd definitely recommend doing some research about the animal first so you know what you're getting into. I had indoor/outdoor cats as a kid too and they all lived for 10+ years, as cats should. 

 

When I was growing up, we lived on a very VERY busy street. I saw my favorite cat get hit by a bus & die when I was in 5th grade & I've never forgotten it. I was in college when I got this cat I have now, and didn't research it at all... though now I know that cats can have very long lives!! Anyway, I do not plan to get another pet ever again, I can't do that to the pet or myself, apparently DH & I are just not cut out to be pet-owners. Honestly, that's part of why this decision is so hard for me -- because this is our last chance to have a pet. I don't know what I'll tell DS when he asks for a pet one day. :(

 

Thank you everyone for the thoughts. I think I may meet with the potential new owner this weekend... and if I get a good vibe, I guess that's what I need to know that it's the right decision. Obviously if I get a bad vibe he is not taking the cat -- but I also think it might be harder for me to keep offering her to people if this option falls through. *sigh* I keep thinking if I try harder, I can make things "right"...

 

This has been a rough day. DH is laid off & just got turned down by another potential job, I just got a BFN (been TTC for over a year greensad.gif), today was supposed to be DS's birthday party but we had to cancel because of the snow/ice storm & now we are stuck inside all day, and DH stepped on a nail while cleaning up the basement this morning. That's all just making me even more emotional about the cat. :(
 


Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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#11 of 14 Old 02-06-2011, 01:15 PM
 
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Update?

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#12 of 14 Old 02-06-2011, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So we are keeping the cat.

DH thought he was OK with rehoming her, but once we had someone really interested in her, he realized he didn't want to give her up.

I realized that my desire to rehome her was largely selfish. It was nothing like with the dog, where I needed to keep my DS physically safe from him -- the cat was doing nothing wrong and I was just not putting enough effort into making this 'relationship' work. My life would likely be easier & more peaceful without her, but that was not a lesson I wanted to teach my DS -- that when things get hard in a relationship, you give up... I'm sure there is some kind of hormonal issue going on & I'm supposed to get my hormone levels tested next month anyway for other reasons...

Not sure what I'll do about my allergies, I guess look into homeopathic remedies.


Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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#13 of 14 Old 02-09-2011, 08:33 AM
 
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I had to sign up just so I could reply to your post! I have an awesome daughter that is also two years old and ever since I became pregnant with her, I have gone through major changes with our cat. While pregnant, I hated him. Yes, strong word but my emotions simply could not handle him during pregnancy. I was horribly sick the first 5 1/2 months of pregnancy and everything and anything made me sick. I couldn't stand the hair, the smell of the litter box, the hairballs, etc. I wanted to give our cat away but my husband refused. Once I had our daughter, I was a nervous wreck constantly about him jumping in her crib at night ( which he did) and laying on top of her (which he did). Again, my husband just told me to relax. To this day, I do not like our cat. Yes, he's cute and sweet and even good with our daughter but never having an indoor animal before, I just can't deal with the gross stuff( like never-ending flea problem, hairballs, throw up on the floor because he ate too fast, tapeworm, and cleaning the litter box, etc. You can tell that I am having issues! I asked for advice while I was pregnant on a forum on how to get over my feelings and got some really harsh and mean answers. Well, here's the truth: some of us are NOT animal lovers....i used to be until I had my own child. So before you let anybody make you feel bad about not liking your cat anymore, remind yourself that they are probably not going through what you are. Some haven't even had kids so they have no idea. Yes, we should love all living creatures but that doesn't mean we have to live with them in our house. What blows my mind is that people actually love animals more than human beings...what the heck??? Becoming a mother is the most important job for you, and if your aversion to your cat is not allowing you to be your best, then give the cat away to a good home. It would probably be better for all. I am still trying to change my feelings toward our cat and at times, I find that loving feeling come back....but that's rare and doesn't last long. Now that being said...is that really fair to my cat? Wouldn't it make more sense to find a home for him where he can get all the attention he needs? Hey, some people love animals, some people don't. For me it's like those people that say they love kids but they love OTHER peoples kids! They can love on them and then send them home when they get tired of them! There's nothing wrong with that! I'm the same way; I think animals are great but it's just not for me! So what!!! I hope things get better for you, I see that you are keeping the cat....good luck and I truly wish the best for you!! Focus on the things you LIKE and LOVE about the cat, maybe that will help! smile.gif
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#14 of 14 Old 02-10-2011, 07:14 PM
 
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when i had my dd1, i was nursing her one day and the dog licked me... omg, couple that with her hairy toes, and i about damn-near threw up!!! so i had my dh take her to to a groomers, and get her shaved, which helped my aversion to her hair everywhere. i agree with whoever said that everything the dog did was annoying (the jingle of her collar, etc.). that being said... as the years passed (dd is now 8yo), i've come to love her all over again. i sit and pet her alot now, she was my first baby, and i love her very much.

 

i'm sure that one day when your hormones calm down, you will fall in love with her again! i wouldn't be too hard on yourself. just go with the flow, appreciate the wonderful pet she is for your child, and once in a while give her a little love. it'll all work out! (sorry for the allergy thing though! maybe your body is trying to tell you something!)


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