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I have a 2 year old son and would really like to adopt a kitten or cat. I would like it to be indoor full time and I believe I can give it the time and energy it needs to be happy. however, would getting a kitten/cat and having a 2-year old be a bad idea? most people I know with cats and/or dogs had the pet before having had children, so they didn't have to bring a pet into the house after already having a child. Should I wait a while or do you think it is safe for both my son and the cat to be living together? thank you very much.<br><br>
-- Carolyn
 

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Yes, it's safe, as long as you can prevent him from chasing or hurting the cat. I'd look for a friendly cat at a kill shelter, a grown one is more likely to be able to withstand and tolerate a toddler (and defend itself and escape if necessary). Maine ***** are pretty sturdy, good-natured cats.
 

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Cats can be great pets for young children! You should get an adult cat that is rather large and sturdy, probably male. Go to the animal shelter and take your time handling lots of cats. You want one that is friendly and wants to be touched and picked up. Leave your son at home until you decide on one, as you will need your full attention to evaluate the cat's personality. Ask the shelter workers which cats act most like a dog. I've met several cats that acted like dogs and were delightful!
 

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Yeah, I don't think there's anything wrong with a toddler and a kitty. Especially if it's an adult cat vetted by the shelter workers. And, of course, be aware that you will be training the toddler on how to behave with a kitty as much or more as the reverse. You sound like a great pet owner to me.
 

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Thanks so much for the replies! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> One question -- I understand that adult cats are more able to defend themselves, however, wouldn't a kitten be better in some ways because we can train it from a young age to be kind to children? (I ask because in the past my dogs always detested youngins. They simiply weren't exposed to kids, so they didn't know how to act.) I am slightly worried an adult cat might have issues that I don't know about --- like being hurt by children in the past -- that might make it aggressive to my toddler. Can anyone help me with this b/c I am not sure if my logic is correct or not.
 

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kittens bite and scratch alot more than adult cats though. An adult cat will generally choose to leave the area and get out of the childs reach before resorting to scratching or biting, unlike a kitten. At least if it's able to get away.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Cardinal</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7923649"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thanks so much for the replies! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> One question -- I understand that adult cats are more able to defend themselves, however, wouldn't a kitten be better in some ways because we can train it from a young age to be kind to children? (I ask because in the past my dogs always detested youngins. They simiply weren't exposed to kids, so they didn't know how to act.) I am slightly worried an adult cat might have issues that I don't know about --- like being hurt by children in the past -- that might make it aggressive to my toddler. Can anyone help me with this b/c I am not sure if my logic is correct or not.</div>
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Actually, the nice thing about adult cats is their personalities are already established. You can choose an adult who loves kids and he or she won't change. With kittens (or puppies) there are *never* guarantees on what you'll end up with when they grow up--even with perfect training. If you take your toddler with you, you can pick a good cat by watching how he behaves. Ones who don't like kids (be it genetics or negative experience) will show it pretty quickly via their body language and facial expressions (HUGE eyes, backing away, flattened ears, etc). Likewise, friendly cats also show their colors quickly (purring, face marking, knitting).<br><br>
Another nice thing about adult cats is you have less to deal with when it comes to training. Most adult cats (who are 2+ years) are already litter-trained and low-key. That means fewer litter box accidents and less incidents of tearing up the house ("kitten crazies"). Kittens, however, have the crazies up to they hit two. While, it's cute to see an itty bitty 2-month kitty tear around, it's a big pain to deal with when he is more of an adult size at 6 months-1 year. An adolescent cat is more likely to bite or get too rough with your little one--even with training. It's just the way they are (bratty, like stereotypical human teenagers).
 

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We've had adult and kittens since dd was little.<br><br>
Kittens are more inclined to bite, scratch, and climb legs. They are also in more danger from a child who might view them as a toy. They can be injured or killed more easily than an adult cat by a young child's enthusiasm. My own dd put a kitten in a plastic storage box with some toys and closed the lid. Fortunately I found the kitten before she suffocated or starved. I don't think kittens are as trainable as adult cats. You have to train children to be nice to cats more than you have to train cats IMO. I would wait for a kitten until your dc is much older- 6 years at least.<br><br>
The adult cats we've had have adjusted well to being around dd. They leave the room rather than scratch or bite if dd is annoying them. They are big enough that they are not so delicate. You can see what the adult cat's personality is like. You might not be able to tell with a kitten. If you want a cat now you could find an easy going adult cat or an adult cat who has been around children.<br><br><a href="http://www.paws.org/cas/resources/fact_sheets_cats/catskids.php" target="_blank">http://www.paws.org/cas/resources/fa...s/catskids.php</a><br><a href="http://www.kittenrescue.org/second-hand.htm" target="_blank">http://www.kittenrescue.org/second-hand.htm</a>
 

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We got a 12w old kitten from a rescue when dd was 18m. We looked at probably 10 cats of all different ages and this little gal was the only one who didn't hide in fear from my very active kids. She jumped right in and played. She is a great cat and loves to tumble with the kids. We werent looking for any specific age, just one that seemed like it would do well in our very active house.
 

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Now I am much more inclined to get an adult cat, though I do think going and playing with the cats for a while, kittens and adults alike, is very crucial. I appreciate everyone's responses! Very helpful!
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Cardinal</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7923649"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thanks so much for the replies! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> One question -- I understand that adult cats are more able to defend themselves, however, wouldn't a kitten be better in some ways because we can train it from a young age to be kind to children?</div>
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While that's true for dogs, it isn't so for cats. My in-laws got two baby kittens last year. Thanks to rough handling by my toddler, they now hate him and run and hide whenever we go over there. Our two adult cats that we've had for years before we had the baby are just fine with DS's roughhousing / cat wrestling.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Cardinal</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7924360"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Now I am much more inclined to get an adult cat, though I do think going and playing with the cats for a while, kittens and adults alike, is very crucial. I appreciate everyone's responses! Very helpful!</div>
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If you are adopting from a shelter, try to look for cats that have had foster placements and not just been in a cage at the shelter, or cats that are owner-surrenders. They will have a lot more information about the cat's personality, likes/dislikes, etc. For example whether it has to be an only cat, or whether it doesn't like children, whether it loves to be around people, etc. It is much easier to choose with this extra information.<br><br>
Also trust your instincts. We ended up with our boy against all of our judgements - he was older than we wanted, bigger than we wanted, different sex than we wanted, different color than we wanted - but he just stole our hearts, and he has been a wonderful addition to our family. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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