Cat scratched my baby for the 3rd time in 3 months - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 37 Old 12-13-2003, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have a 4 year old cat (Greta) that my hubby adopted from the shetler a few years ago for my Valentines Day gift.

Today she scratched my little one for the 3rd time since October. Right across the eye (no eye ball injury - TG) but three claws across the forehead across to the bridge of her nose and just below. The past 2 times were also in the eye area. Today was the worst.

Each time in the past I have said that the cat can no longer be in the house and this time I MEAN it.

I don't know what to do. Today I didn't even know that the cat was inthe house when Harper got scratched - I just heard her cry out and I knew that it was Greta.

The cat (Greta) is an indoor/outdoor cat who uses the doggie door to come and go (along with our Pug).

What do you suggest?
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#2 of 37 Old 12-13-2003, 10:12 PM
 
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I would suggest clipping the cat's claws and filing them every week. Also look into Softpaws, which you glue on over the claws to stop them from clawing.
If she's already indoor/outdoor and using the cat door, I would lock the cat door EVERY time you are leaving the baby unattended. The cat cannot be trusted at this point, but you do have the ability to stop this behavior by not letting them be in the same room at the same time.
If your baby sleeps/naps in a crib, get a crib tent to keep the cat out.
Otherwise, lock the cat out if you aren't with your child. The pug and the cat will still go to the door and let you know when they need in and out, you'll just have to get up and supervise now.
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#3 of 37 Old 12-13-2003, 11:06 PM
 
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How old is your little one? If he is a toddler this phase does pass and you have to be diligent on making sure he does not grab her.

I agree with learning how to clip her claws.
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#4 of 37 Old 12-14-2003, 01:47 AM
 
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I know this may be real unpopular here, but growing up, our cat was declawed in the front paws (and she still left us plently of dead mice and birds-- usually left them in her water dish of all places, strange cat).
Anyway, it's a more permanent solution if you're worried you're not going to be able to keep an eye on the cat 24-7.
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#5 of 37 Old 12-14-2003, 05:11 AM
 
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Please don't declaw your cat...

try to find it another good home, but please don't declaw it


You could try training it not to go near the baby by giving it a quick spray of water every time it does (and you're around, but if you work on never leaving them alone together for now also, then it could work).
A spray bottle of water can squirt a pretty long range.
You dont have to squirt it in the face, most times just anywhere on the body will do.

Most cats hate hate hate water, and they're smart enough to learn pretty quickly, in this case, baby=water=BAAAAD!!!

That's now we got our cat to stay off the kitchen table when I was younger, and to stop scratching my mums recliner chair.
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#6 of 37 Old 12-14-2003, 06:40 AM
 
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We did the Softpaws, and as long as the cat lets you put them on, they're a good idea. The only thing is you have to check them every so often, as the claws grow under and through the Softpaw covers, and they have to be replaced every so often (you put them on and replace them yourself, once a vet shows you how).

Also you'll have to get between them. In other words, don't leave the baby unattended when the cat might be around, or restrict the cat's range in the house.

Honestly, you were lucky this time.

We got lucky, too, in that when my Irving scratched DS#1 on the bridge of his nose ... ie., right between the eyes ... he didn't get an eye. But you really can't trust a cat who's done this already once to not do it again. So you've got to place restrictions on either the child or the cat.
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#7 of 37 Old 12-14-2003, 12:56 PM
 
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My DD has been scratched more times than I can count.

Honestly, it's almost always DD's "fault". She provokes the cat. It's getting much better with time. DD is developing a healthy respect for her.

You don't need to declaw the cat, and you don't need to get rid of her. Just be vigilant and don't leave the child unattended. It really IS a phase, and won't last forever.

Well, that's my advice, FWIW.

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#8 of 37 Old 12-14-2003, 01:05 PM
 
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I agree don't get your cat declawed. Especially if she is an indoor out door cat.

Keep your child under close supervision.
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#9 of 37 Old 12-14-2003, 01:21 PM
 
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I got into trouble for suggesting this on a similar thread about a biting dog, but if it were me, I would get rid of the cat. Immediately.

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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#10 of 37 Old 12-14-2003, 02:04 PM
 
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oh wow....

Ok, I'll preface this by saying that our famiy is BIG TIME animal activists and we do tons of volunteer work in our local shelters and rescues........

I DO NOT AGREE AT ALL with getting rid of an animal. Animals are not disposable and people need to realize that it's VERY traumatic for them to be taken from their homes and families. The MORE often an animal has this done, the MORE bad behavior they develope and the MORE likely they are to be tossed out and either abandoned or put down.

This may get *me* in hot water, but I also don't think that a parent can afford to be that unaware of their animal and their child. IF your cat is indoor/outdoor, put a bell on the door, or stop using it and just let the animals in and out when they need to go.

All that said, softpaws are great......most vets carry them.

And........that said....I think that it's FAR better to declaw a cat rather than take it out of it's home. It's physically painful to declaw but the cat usually rebounds in a week or so....abandon your cat and it just instills negative hebavior in that animal. I mean, if it were ME I'd rather my my nails removed than be taken from my family.

If you really really really feel the need to get rid of the cat, please invest the time to find a good home for her rather than just putting her in a shelter.
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#11 of 37 Old 12-14-2003, 02:19 PM
 
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If the cat is regularly outdoors, you should not declaw them. That takes away their defenses and makes them very vulnerable.

You can block the dog door to keep the cat out. Give the cat a 'safe' place that the baby can't get to- a closed bedroom or a high shelf. I've never seen the claw covers, but this sounds like a good idea. Get a bell for the collar, so you know where the cat is. If the cat is inside, keep dd with you and away from the cat.

The spray bottle worked wonders with our dogs. It only took 3-4 times of spraying them to stop the undesired behavior.

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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#12 of 37 Old 12-14-2003, 02:32 PM
 
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I agree that it's traumatic for the cat to be removed from the home, but it's traumatic for the baby to keep getting clawed in the eye, and in my book the baby comes first, yk?

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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#13 of 37 Old 12-14-2003, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by sun-shine01

Each time in the past I have said that the cat can no longer be in the house and this time I MEAN it.


What do you suggest?

I suggest you mean it.
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#14 of 37 Old 12-14-2003, 03:03 PM
 
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We just got a new kitty, but our previous cat I trained by having a water squirter near by, with just a little white vinegar in it. He never clawed furniture, got up on furniture or any thing else in the 8 years we had him. It really works and Im already using it to train our new kitty.
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#15 of 37 Old 12-14-2003, 05:48 PM
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This is just a question to help find a solution....

What are the baby and the cat doing when the baby gets scratched?

Is the baby grabbing or being rough?

Or is the cat stalking the child and scratching out of the blue?

Most likely, the baby is bugging the cat.......


I'm not trying to sound unconcerned, but if the cat feels cornered then an animal will do what an animal is meant to do........

You really can't hold an animal accountable for being an animal.

Make sure the baby leaves the cat alone or just don't ever have them together.

This is a stage BTW.....

Hope I helped without offending....

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#16 of 37 Old 12-14-2003, 07:03 PM
 
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Try this product: www.softpaws.com Much more humane than getting declawed, and still allows the cat to swat, just can't scratch anyone. My cat would get chased into a corner and then scratched dd a few times in the face. I got this product and it worked great! Now that dd is older and those two have worked out their differences, I don't have to use them any more. I do, however, keep her nails trimmed.

Earlier this week my 3 year old was actually petting the cat-- and the cat let her!! Was purring and everything. I'm so glad I didn't get rid of her, I just let them work out their differences. My dd has learned that if she's nice to the cat, the cat will stay around to be pet. If she's mean, the cat runs away. Great way to learn to be gentle to animals!

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#17 of 37 Old 12-14-2003, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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More info -

The cat has always had a thing about being touched/petted. She is okay with being touched but ONLY on her head. All my older neices/nephews (5 and up) know this and they have never been scratched. Obviously my 11 month old is years away from understanding this. When the incident happend the cat was up on a chair and my little one reached to pet her - I am sure the cat was just being "catty" and was not being injured or hurt so the scratch wasn't defensive.

I don't plan on declawing or giving the cat away. I will try the water squirt thing. I have done that int he past when she used to get on the dining table. The cat claw cover things sound like they would help IF she never when outdoors but she loves being outside and needs her claws. If it comes to us having to give her up - I will def find her a good home - without little ones. I just don't want that to happen. She could always just be an outdoor cat and that would lessen the opportunity for scratching my kiddo.

I am just angry about the whole thing. I have always tried to keep the cat away from my baby but I was cooking and dd was playing in the kitchen when the cat must have come in and layed on a chair. I never knew she was in the house.

Thanks for all the advice.
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#18 of 37 Old 12-14-2003, 11:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Devrock
I agree that it's traumatic for the cat to be removed from the home, but it's traumatic for the baby to keep getting clawed in the eye, and in my book the baby comes first, yk?

To be honest, my cat Annie was here first.....I've never met a cat who would just walk on up and scratch a kid entirely unprovoked, ykwim? If the cat scratched, it was provoked, or maybe just playing. In any event, you have a cat...then you decided to have a kid...thats fine but it doesn't suddenly make the cat disposable and it doesn't mean you have no obligation to the cat. It would be far more traumatic for me to get taken from my family than to get hurt, so I just don't buy it. When you add new family members, you have to take into consideration all the others before you make that choice.....people thinking that animals can just be disposed of is why we have such a high rate of strays and shelters putting them down. My FAMILY comes first, and when I accepted these fur guys into my home, I accepted them as family. I can be a more diligent mama and keep a better eye on my cat and kid.....thats much more ideal than tossing out the cat IMO.
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#19 of 37 Old 12-14-2003, 11:45 PM
 
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In my opinion it doesn't matter who joined the family first. I believe a parent's first obligation is to the baby. The human baby. In my opinion the pet has to take a back seat to the baby.

I'm not debating whether it is more traumatic to be removed from a family or to be repeatedly clawed in the eye. I'm saying that in my opinion it is more important to keep the baby from being traumatized than it is to keep the pet from being traumatized.

It also doesn't matter to me whether the cat is being provoked or not. No, you can't blame a cat for its instincts, but you can't expect a baby to understand the proper treatment of cats or to protect itself from a cat's instincts. In my opinion it is the parent's responsibility to do whatever is necessary to protect the baby. I'm not saying the cat should be "punished" when it's just acting on instinct, I'm just saying you have to do whatever is necessary to protect the baby, even if it means removing the cat from the home. You can't blame the cat for being a cat, but you can't blame the baby for being a baby either. Any way, as I was saying, it doesn't matter to me if the cat is being provoked. It simply isn't acceptable to allow a baby to be clawed. I don't expect the cat to stop being a cat, but I do expect the parent to go to whatever lenghts are necessary to ensure that the baby will never be clawed. Not just to reduce the chances of it happening, but to ENSURE that it will NEVER happen. Even if it means the pet must be removed from the home. This is my opinion.

I think it's one thing to have a cat in the same home with full-grown adults who can defend themselves. I think it's another thing to have a cat in the same home with a defenseless baby. I think the cat knows that the baby is not much bigger than it is, and that the baby is defenseless, and the cat can take advantage of that.

I'd be pretty intimidated if I were living in a house with a cat that was almost as big as I was.

Any way, I believe the obligation to the baby supercedes the obligation to the pet. In my opinion, you shouldn't put the pet's needs on the same level as the baby's needs. I do not consider all family members equal. I'm not saying that the cat should end up on the street or in a shelter. Hopefully a good, child-free family can be found for it.

This thread is turning out to be just like the "biting dog" thread. People obviously have different priorities than I do.

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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#20 of 37 Old 12-15-2003, 12:06 AM
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Defenseless baby my eye!

You mean poor defenseless cat being harrassed and bothered by a kid! In the last post by the op, the cat was in the chair, high up and away from the baby. The baby crawled up to the chair. The cat probably has experience with the baby and knows the end result. So the cat acts first. I feel fairly confident that the cat did not start out,. 11 months ago, scratching the baby. I realize that I am reading a lot into this and may be completely off base. If I am, I apologize deeply..........

I agree Devrock - kids come first! I have pets and three kids who are 6 8 and 9. We all made it through babyhood and my kids NEVER abused my pets. I teach the kids the kids to be gentle and treat the animal as a soul who thinks and feels. I also teach them to watch for cues. If the kids are too young to understand, then you have to keep them apart.

Lord have mercy on the first pet who abuses my kid. But if my kid is being unfair or mean then the kid is wrong. And learns a lesson!

Just my humble opinion!

Not trying to offend, I get on a soapbox about pets



I'm stepping down now......

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#21 of 37 Old 12-15-2003, 01:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Devrock



This thread is turning out to be just like the "biting dog" thread. People obviously have different priorities than I do.

Well, I wasn't part of that thread and didn't read it so I dont' know what you are talking about and I'm not sure if you are trying to be insulting or not with that remark.....

Yes, my human kids needs often come before my "fur" kids needs....but that doesn't mean they are out of the picture. To blanketly say that your first reaction is to get rid of the animal...well, that just saddens me. Granted, I work in shelters everyday....I've seen too many WONDERFUL animals put down because people say "Ooops...we're having a baby...better git rid of that pet!". It's NOT ok to keep perpetuating that notion, no matter what your priorities are. It's just not ok. If you have no consideration or respect for animals, thats fine, but it doesn't change the fact that often times these are thinking, feeling animals who grow ATTACHED to their families. What you've said perpetuates the mentality that pets are disposable and aren't really that important.

Yes, keep my baby safe would be my first priority. But having a top priority doesn't magically relieve you of your OTHER priorities and responsibilites. Number one, keep baby safe, number two keep the ANIMAL safe...and at the BOTTOM rung of keeping an animal safe is putting it in another home or shelter.

The reason so many shelters are so high kill...the reason there are so many strays and unwanted litters...is because people insist on maintaining the mentality that animals are disposable...that life changes like getting married or having kids make it ok to NOT be responsible anymore. Maybe it changes your priorities, and thats ok...but it doesn't magically remove them.......

Yes yes...I'll step down now.....
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#22 of 37 Old 12-15-2003, 02:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by anothermama
Well, I wasn't part of that thread and didn't read it so I dont' know what you are talking about and I'm not sure if you are trying to be insulting or not with that remark.....
Nope, I'm not. That thread just went about the way this one is going. Dog bit baby, and I thought it was a no-brainer that the dog should immediately be removed from the environment for the sake of the baby's safety, and everyone talked the mother into keeping the dog, and I was horrified, and everyone seemed to be placing too much emphasis on consideration for the dog the way I saw it and too little emphasis on consideration for the baby.

Quote:
Originally posted by anothermama
Yes, my human kids needs often come before my "fur" kids needs....but that doesn't mean they are out of the picture.
I didn't say that the pet's needs should be completely out of the picture. I just said that you should do whatever needs to be done to guarantee the child's safety, even if that means that you have to remove the pet from the home.


Quote:
Originally posted by anothermama
Granted, I work in shelters everyday....I've seen too many WONDERFUL animals put down because people say "Ooops...we're having a baby...better git rid of that pet!". It's NOT ok to keep perpetuating that notion, no matter what your priorities are. It's just not ok.
I'm not promoting putting animals in shelters and/or killing them. I think a nice, loving, child-free home should be found for the pet.

Quote:
Originally posted by anothermama
If you have no consideration or respect for animals, thats fine, but it doesn't change the fact that often times these are thinking, feeling animals who grow ATTACHED to their families.
I do have consideration and respect for animals. I have infinitely MORE consideration for my baby. I understand that pets are thinking, feeling animals who grow attached to their families. You are under a false impression if you think I simply have no regard for the animal at all and think nothing of getting rid of it. It is unfortunate if a pet has to be removed from its home. But I think that has to be done if it's the only way to protect the child. Once a pet attacks or threatens a child, that's it, as far as I'm concerned. (no matter what reason the animal had.) I could not allow an animal to pose a danger to my child no matter how much I loved the animal.


Quote:
Originally posted by anothermama
What you've said perpetuates the mentality that pets are disposable and aren't really that important.
I never characterized pets as disposable. I agree that their welfare is an important consideration. I feel that my baby's welfare is an infinitely MORE important consideration.

Quote:
Originally posted by anothermama
Yes, keep my baby safe would be my first priority. But having a top priority doesn't magically relieve you of your OTHER priorities and responsibilites.
I never said that you are magically relieved of other priorities and responsibilities. The pet's fate is still a consideration. The owner is still responsible for whatever decision is made regarding the pet.


Quote:
Originally posted by anothermama
Number one, keep baby safe, number two keep the ANIMAL safe...and at the BOTTOM rung of keeping an animal safe is putting it in another home or shelter.
If we agree that #1 is the prime consideration, then any solution that guarantees #2 but does not guarantee #1 is unacceptable. If there is a way to guarantee the child's safety without putting the pet in another home, I would be very interested in that solution. But if the only way to acheive #1 is to put the pet in another home, then that's what needs to happen, and if you agree with me that keeping the baby safe is #1, then you should agree with that.

Quote:
Originally posted by anothermama
The reason so many shelters are so high kill...the reason there are so many strays and unwanted litters...is because people insist on maintaining the mentality that animals are disposable
I do not maintain that mentality. I do not consider animals disposable. At all. You have translated my very high consideration for babies into a low consideration for animals.

Quote:
Originally posted by anothermama
...that life changes like getting married or having kids make it ok to NOT be responsible anymore.
I never said that the responsibility for the pet vanishes. Only that the responsibility for the child comes first. Having children only increases responsibilities. It does not remove any.


Quote:
Originally posted by anothermama
Maybe it changes your priorities, and thats ok...but it doesn't magically remove them.......
I never said that it magically removes them. I'm glad you agree that it's appropriate for priorities to shift when a baby comes into the picture.

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#23 of 37 Old 12-15-2003, 09:18 AM
 
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IMO taking responsibility for the pet does not mean you will not get rid of them.

I had a dog for 4 years before we had a baby. For the 1st year, all was fine. Then dd developed a phobia of the dog. This, I think, is b/c the dog was a very large one, he was very energetic and she was just intimidated by him. She would scream and cry in panic whenever she saw him. So we tried many many different things to try to get her to not fear him so much, but after 2 years of trying we had to give up.

At that point, the dog was spending most of the time outdoors or shut away in a room by himself. I did not think that was any kind of life for a dog to lead and I was unwilling to have my daughter live in fear. My children come first, period.

So I felt my responsibility toward the dog included finding him a home with older kids who would enjoy him and where he would be part of the family instead of an outsider. I had to be honest with myself and admit that I wasn't going to have the time or energy to deal with this problem (I had 2 kids by that point) and I didn't feel it was fair to make him wait on the sidelines until the kids were older and got along with him better.

I just tell this story to say that people who give up their animals are not necessarily doing it b/c they think the animal is disposable. Often, they are trying to act in the best interest of the animal by admitting they have failed as pet owners for whatever reason and they want to give the animal a better life. To me that's more responsible than people who tie up dogs in their backyards night and day and the like.
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#24 of 37 Old 12-15-2003, 01:42 PM
 
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To Dev:

Bottom line, while other posters were trying to find alternate solutions for the animal AND child, you immediately said "get rid of the cat". This, to me, said that this is the first course of action you'd take. It shouldn't be. That's all my point is.


To Ellie:



You have a wonderful point (and hit must have been a tough situation to be in!). *Sometimes* when a family tries EVERYTHING and they honestly look at whats best for the animal, sometimes rehoming IS a better option....my only point is what I said above to Dev....I think it's really dangerous to use "get rid of it" as a FIRST line of defense when talking about animals and life changes in your family.
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#25 of 37 Old 12-15-2003, 02:03 PM
 
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Originally posted by anothermama
while other posters were trying to find alternate solutions for the animal AND child, you immediately said "get rid of the cat". This, to me, said that this is the first course of action you'd take. It shouldn't be.
Removing the animal from the environment is still the only course of action I can think of that guarantees the child's safety. I would not be willing to "compromise," for the cat's sake, in a way that would mean taking any kind of chances where my child is concerned.

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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#26 of 37 Old 12-15-2003, 02:34 PM
 
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Hrm...so you are saying that you don't see other options that keep your child safe OR you're saying that the tried and true options that others have tried are a hoax??

Well....ok. While I don't agree with seeing things in such extremes, I understand that others do.

The fact is, well, you're wrong. There ARE other alternatives that keep your child just as safe.....re-read the thread...most of them are there. And it creates a better world than having the "get rid of it" menality. Thats all.
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#27 of 37 Old 12-15-2003, 02:59 PM
 
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Hrm...so you are saying that you don't see other options that keep your child safe OR you're saying that the tried and true options that others have tried are a hoax??
The other options seemed to me to be compromises that would reduce but not eliminate the chances of the baby being at risk. The option of having the cat declawed seemed inhumane to me. I think it would be more humane to find the cat another home.

My simple feeling is that finding another home for the cat is the best solution for the child. I would do what is best for my child. Once you get down to two options that equally guarantee the child's wellbeing, such as putting the cat in a shelter or puting the cat in a loving home, THEN you can make the decision based on what's better for the cat's wellbeing.

I have read this entire thread and have not yet seen a solution that would guarantee the child's well being as well as removing the animal from the environment would. Feel free to debate that point. I am open to alternative suggestions.

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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#28 of 37 Old 12-15-2003, 04:43 PM
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Sorry about the triple post!

Nevermind!

Trying to do the right thing with three kids and a hubby. 
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#29 of 37 Old 12-15-2003, 04:43 PM
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Oops

Trying to do the right thing with three kids and a hubby. 
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#30 of 37 Old 12-15-2003, 04:43 PM
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Oops!

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