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#1 of 19 Old 03-01-2010, 02:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm pregnant with my first and DH and I have 3 adult cats. I'm worried about the cats being around the new baby and not sure how to handle it. I've had cats all my life, but not a new baby!
Should I keep the cats away from the baby? Close door to baby's room so the cats don't try to jump in the crib? The girls are good cats but I don't know if I can trust them around the baby alone. Two of them I think may attempt to get friendly with the baby, but I just don't know if they will be freaked out or super curious.
Anyone have any advice? The girls have been our babies for years, and I don't want to completely shut them out, but I don't want to put the baby in danger of course.

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#2 of 19 Old 03-01-2010, 02:41 AM
 
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I also have a cat and worry about her and my new baby. I know she'll check out the crib and she will nap on the changing mat/table if I get one and she will claw on the foam floor mats. As long as she doesn't claw on baby then I won't be to mad for that.

I'm a little worried she may sleep to close to baby's face though. She sleeps really close to mine,but I love it and I let her do. Actually I'll snuggle up to her and bury my face into her and she loves it. I don't want her doing this with baby though until he or she is much older and can push her away. When baby sleeps the door will be shut and the cat will be kept out. I may also get a netting thing to go around the crib,someone may have one for me.

She doesn't normally play rough with me and tends to run off when she hears a loud noise.

My biggest fear at the moment is that baby will be allergic to my cat and I'll have no choice but to find her a new home.
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#3 of 19 Old 03-01-2010, 04:08 AM
 
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I have two adult cats and they were great with my baby. One is a big jerk, but he puts up with all kinds of annoyance from my son. In my experience cats won't sleep on your baby's head because your baby will start wiggling or crying. My sweet cat loves sleeping next to my head and started sleeping next to my son's head when he was about 6 months old. Don't worry about kitties and babies, they will get along just fine!

Jessica
Mommy to Oliver (06/06) and Pearl (09/10)
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#4 of 19 Old 03-01-2010, 08:52 AM
 
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I had two cats when my oldest two were born. I didn't do much to keep the cats away from the baby, but I never left the baby alone either. I would not have let the cats sleep in the same room as baby if we didn't cosleep. My bigger cat would often try to sleep ontop of the baby's chest, that's just where she liked to sleep (on my or dh's chest) and I know she wasn't trying to hurt the baby, but she weighed more than twice as much as a newborn so obviously that would not have been okay. My other cat just liked to snuggle up to the baby and that was fine with me since I was right there and she was a very small cat, only about 5 pounds. As the years went on, the small cat just loved the babies even as toddlers, but the other cat became resentful of them and started peeing on their things. I sent the bigger cat back home to live with my parents where she is much happier being the "baby" again. A few years ago an older neighbor of mine that I knew well fell in love with the smaller cat and when we moved she asked if we would leave her with her. So now we are cat-free, which is just fine with me at this point in my life. Before kids I never would have imagined giving my cats away, even in the circumstances that I did. I actually remember getting very angry with my neighbors for giving their cat away because the cat didn't like the new baby and was agressive towards it, I actually told my dh "but the cat was there first!" But things can change. I know a lot of people who have cats and babies and it can obviously be done, I would still have one of my cats if my neighbor hadn't wanted her so badly and she honestly loved the kids even as toddlers who chased her around and carried her around the house like a doll. But not all cats are compatable with children and that's something to keep in mind.
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#5 of 19 Old 03-01-2010, 09:57 AM
 
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I have two cats. One of them was absolutely terrified of the baby for about three months (and didn't approach her until about six months), the other one is not the brightest bulb on the tree and hasn't really noticed that we have a baby yet.

Before we had Em, the cats slept on the bed with us, and when Em got here she slept either in a bassinet beside the bed, or in the bed with me. So the rule was, if Em was sleeping and neither of us was in the room, the cats were out of the room, baby monitor on, and the door was closed. When we all went to bed, again, door closed and cats out. It pissed Gary off for a few weeks, but he got over it. By the time Em was about a month old, it was no longer a worry or issue, they were fine. I have little water squirt-gun (I need it for the not-bright one sometimes), and I brought that out for times that they started to jump into the bassinet. (Some may not agree with the squirt-gun method of cat training, but that's what works for us and it doesn't hurt em). So they only tried that once or twice.

But really after a while it's completely fine, and even a lot of fun because Em LOVES the cats, has always been obsessed with watching them and touching their fur, and now that she can crawl she has become the bane of their existence. Two of her currently four "words" are: "Cat" and "Hey Cat".

Kelly (28), in love with husband Jason (38) and our awesome babies:  Emma 4/09, and Ozzy 8/10

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#6 of 19 Old 03-01-2010, 10:41 AM
 
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three cats (over the years), four kids, and never once a scary cat situation.

With our first, we only had one cat. He took one sniff of the babies and wanted nothing to do with them (especially once he heard them cry). We coslept, so cribs weren't really an issue (though even at naptime, he didn't go near them).

Our other cats are also totally blah with babies. They'll sniff them when they come home, then go about their business and their normal cat lives.

One change we did make (when our kids were little) was locking our cats on the first floor at night. It wasn't for safety, but just so that they didn't demand an early breakfast, or "cuddle" (aka wake us up) in the middle of the night.

If you're worried about your baby and the cat in the crib, just have her sleep in a room with the door closed.

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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#7 of 19 Old 03-01-2010, 01:23 PM
 
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My cats have been great with my DD since the moment she was born. They wanted NOTHING to do with her as an infant. I did close the door if she was down for a nap when she was really little, just in case they decided to snuggle too close, but that was it.

I'll never forget that our wedding photographer noticed our cats and made a comment about how we'd have to get rid of them when we had kids, because that's what he will do- obviously the cat will suffocate the baby the first chance it gets. Huh???

DD1 7/13/05 DD2 9/20/10
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#8 of 19 Old 03-01-2010, 02:32 PM
 
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My cat sniffed ds1's head when we brought him home, and that was it. She quickly learned to avoid the kids b/c babies pull their hair, but she never tried to suffocate them. I think that's an old witch story. The real danger is if the kids don't listen and try to pull her hair and she will give them a warning scratch.

DS1 2004 ~ DS2 2005 ~ DD1 2008 ~ DS3 2010 ~ DD2 due Dec. 2014
On hospital bedrest for pPROM since 23 weeks
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#9 of 19 Old 03-01-2010, 04:27 PM
 
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We have one cat (and a dog) and my worst fear is that our cat will pee on the baby while he/she is sleeping. Our cat is my DH's cat that he had before we met (we've been together 7 years now) and this cat and I do NOT get along. I've tried everything to get her to like me, but she just hasn't come around. When my DH and I first were together, I used to wake up in the middle of the night and she'd be lying on his chest just STARING at me. Then in the last 3 years, she's climbed on top of me while I was sleeping and peed on me!!! I'm hoping she accepts the baby, but I'm afraid she will see it as something that is mine and not like the babe. She also does not get along with the dog (MY dog).

You gals sound like cat people, any ideas? I'm not a cat person and I don't know what else to do!!!

The cat currently sleeps in the room that will be the baby's room too.
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#10 of 19 Old 03-01-2010, 04:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Houla05 View Post
We have one cat (and a dog) and my worst fear is that our cat will pee on the baby while he/she is sleeping. Our cat is my DH's cat that he had before we met (we've been together 7 years now) and this cat and I do NOT get along. I've tried everything to get her to like me, but she just hasn't come around. When my DH and I first were together, I used to wake up in the middle of the night and she'd be lying on his chest just STARING at me. Then in the last 3 years, she's climbed on top of me while I was sleeping and peed on me!!! I'm hoping she accepts the baby, but I'm afraid she will see it as something that is mine and not like the babe. She also does not get along with the dog (MY dog).

You gals sound like cat people, any ideas? I'm not a cat person and I don't know what else to do!!!

The cat currently sleeps in the room that will be the baby's room too.
Step cats can be hard. My dh still doesn't like my cat, and she has never even messed with him. I don't know what to tell you, but I do know that peeing on something is just about the worst way a cat can flip you off. Maybe google cat whisperer or something? Or have dh carry the baby into the house and be the one to show the cat so that the baby is identified as dh's?

DS1 2004 ~ DS2 2005 ~ DD1 2008 ~ DS3 2010 ~ DD2 due Dec. 2014
On hospital bedrest for pPROM since 23 weeks
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#11 of 19 Old 03-01-2010, 04:32 PM
 
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Or have dh carry the baby into the house and be the one to show the cat so that the baby is identified as dh's?
May not work if you're nursing.

Every time I would nurse the baby when she was small, Gary would give me this evil look and go over to sit by my husband. Seriously. ROTFL.

Kelly (28), in love with husband Jason (38) and our awesome babies:  Emma 4/09, and Ozzy 8/10

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#12 of 19 Old 03-01-2010, 07:41 PM
 
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i have 2 cats (and my mom had 3 when my babies were babies, now 2)

my cats have been wonderful, the main change for them was that we had to stop co-sleeping with the cats.. we had to start putting them up for the night as soon as we brought baby home.. we have always had a basement or spare bedroom that was their room and they go in there for the night. - i only let the cats be around the baby if i am in the room, my cats are amazing with the kids and will put up with an amazing amount of abuse but i would still not trust them with a newborn who couldn't get away.. once baby is crawling/sitting up , then whatever..

my cats did want to get into the crib.. when baby was napping inthe crib i would close the bedroom door ... the other reason we have to lock them up at night is because they will climb in bed with my almost 4 year old and it always wakes her up (she is prone to night terrors too so youd on't want a cat partially waking her)

now, my mom had one cat, that we introduced my first child to at abou 5 weeks. and he FLIPPED out.. the cat, who use to be my cat so knew me, is an indoor only spoiled cat and was about 10 years old at the time, actually attacked me while i was holding my DD .. we think it was because she was making little coo-ing noises that sounded kind of like growling? but we're not sure.. if i hadn't been wearing jeans he would have really messed me up.. he bit and scratched .. he attacked/growled/hissed every time me or DD came to the house for about 10 months after that.. he never had an issue with my DS as a baby.. but he did NOT like DD.. also, he didn't attack me right away, it was about 10 mins after we'd first shown DD to him and we were just walking around the house chatting .. my mom's other 2 cats had no reaction to the kids, they didn't care either way.

- Staci, Mommy to Mollie (3/06), Jamie (5/08), Annie (9/10) and Bently (2/13) chicken3.gif
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#13 of 19 Old 03-01-2010, 10:08 PM
 
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We have a cat and he did great with DD. We also have dogs, so they were more of a concern than the cat. He did climb into the co-sleeper once and took a nap with DD, but it was once she was a bit bigger.

I have to say that DD LOVES the cat. I would say she loves him more than the dogs. It is great to see. He is soooo gentle with her and really is very patient. I think it all depends on temperament.

SAHM to Chloe«- 6/2008 (10 lbs, 5 oz), Hannah- 9/2010 (9 lbs, 12 oz), Liam- 2/2013 (9 lbs, 6 oz)

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#14 of 19 Old 03-01-2010, 10:21 PM
 
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No issues when our son was a newborn. My oldest cat was actually very caring toward him. If he was sleeping in his cradle or if I put him in his crib (really, her bed since we co-slept), she wold come get me if he awoke.
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#15 of 19 Old 03-01-2010, 10:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the advice. It's reassuring to know that many of you have had positive experiences and cats are pretty much a non issue with a new baby. We have done the squirt bottle before and it worked. Now the girls know what is off limits--the kitchen counters and the hedgehog cages-one likes to nibble the hedgehogs food. DH also uses the canned air on the cats if they're misbehaving.

I'm really nervous about the cats--my fat calico Abby in particular, getting cozy in the baby's crib. DH lets her sleep on his chest and they all sleep in bed with us. DH is very against co sleeping but since I've got the boobs, it's going to happen sooner or later.

I think it would be easier to just keep the baby's room door closed and try to teach them that the room is off limits. I think there is even a spray out there that is a scent that deters cats. I think it's going to be hard to break them of things they've been used to all their lives such as sleeping on us, under the covers with us, on the couch, on the bed. Like I mentioned, nothing is really off limits to them now--we're very permissive kitty parents!

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#16 of 19 Old 03-01-2010, 11:35 PM
 
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I think it's going to be hard to break them of things they've been used to all their lives such as sleeping on us, under the covers with us, on the couch, on the bed. Like I mentioned, nothing is really off limits to them now--we're very permissive kitty parents!
My male cat is just a happy doofus no matter what, but my female kitty is soooo attached to me it's ridiculous. She's like a human baby, and I am against anthropomorphosizing pets, but she REALLY is. The things she does are against natural cat behavior. She follows me absolutely everywhere I go and cuddles and licks and "talks" to me constantly. Well, she just had to get used to it that for about the first year of DD's life, there was no kitty cat cosleeping. Eventually, when I gradually trusted them more and more, they were allowed back in the bed, and now that DD's 4, it's perfectly common to see all three humans and two cats on the bed. But it was a gradual thing to let them back in.

DD1 7/13/05 DD2 9/20/10
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#17 of 19 Old 03-02-2010, 12:58 PM
 
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We had two cats when DS was born. When he was a (collicky) baby, they were distressed when he was distressed, and content when he was content. They were very sweet and tolerant overall, and there was never a problem.

In general, your cats should never be left unattended with your baby, of course. So, for naps, you can close the door. However, I found that the cats wanted to be with ME anytime baby wasn't around! It was never an issue.

That said, the only problem for us was nighttime. We co-sleep, and the cats were used to sleeping with us. At first, we put them in the other room. Eventually, we relaxed, though, and it was never a problem. They pretty much kept their distance at night.

I'd say, don't worry, it will all work out. Just be prepared to put them in a room from time to time with the door closed if necessary, but it probably won't be. I know of only one case where a cat actually turned on a baby -- tried to bite the baby one day and ended up biting the mommy who got there first, thank goodness. She was heartbroken to have to find a new home for the cat, and just kept the kitty in a separate room for months. Eventually, they had to leave the country, so she finally found a new, loving home for the kitty. This is the worst case scenario, and even then, it can be dealt with without getting rid of the kitty!!!

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#18 of 19 Old 03-02-2010, 01:00 PM
 
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Oh, one more thing, our cat always likes to walk all over us -- thinks there's no problem with it! Especially on the bed. Anyway, he's learned not to walk on baby because I have always pushed him away when he is even thinking about doing it. They learn!!! Good luck!

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#19 of 19 Old 03-02-2010, 04:25 PM
 
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Maybe google cat whisperer or something? Or have dh carry the baby into the house and be the one to show the cat so that the baby is identified as dh's?
I've seriously considered going to a "pet psychic!!!" I've put up with a lot from my DH's cat, but I told him if she pees on the baby, she is OUT!! I think I may have DH hold the baby and show the cat that it's his, this may work...it may not work...but I'm willing to try anything! If the dog is around, the cat will stay away from the baby, so during the day I don't worry too much. Funny, people keep asking us how the DOG is gonna handle the baby and are concerned about it (he's 90 lbs), but I got him under control! It's the 10 lb cat I'm worried about! LOL.
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