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Hi
We have a 13yo deaf male cat who bit my 17mo son on the arm today. It was NOT a warning bite, broke the skin in three places, and scared everyone. The baby went over to the couch to pet the cat, waking him and startling him, and then the cat bit.

Well, the cat has always been DH's, and therefore his responsiblity to decide when it's time for the cat to go to the great beyond. He's in denial about it, saying the cat was probably provoked into biting, the bite's not that bed, etc. He did say I could "make the cat disappear" but that I would have to do it, because I'm the one who wants him dead.

I do have to say, I'm not a fan of a biting cat, nor one who poops and pees all over the house, as this one does, but I don't think the decision of when the cat needs a new home or euthanization is mine to make.

I had a dog until April, when I had to have him put to sleep because he went blind and became aggressive to anyone who startled him. He never bit anyone, but he snapped and snarled, and that was enough for me to say he can't be around the kids anymore. I feel like I was an adult about the situation ... I loved that dog, I loved him so much, he was my first baby, but he was old, and sick, and unsafe. All I'm asking is for my husband to man up, make the proper choice for his family, and say goodbye to the cat, one way or another, but he's intractable.

Any advice? Should I try to find the cat a new home? Who wants a deaf, mean, poo and pee cat? Should I make the cat disappear? Please help.
 

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i'm assuming it's an indoor cat and has had a rabies vaccine? the one thing that i would be really concerned about is the bite itself. you said it broke the skin, but is it deep? cat bites are NASTY and often require antibiotics, unfortunately. i would make sure that the wounds are clean and kept open to drain. keep a close eye on those areas over the next few days and if any get very red or oozy or if he gets red streaks up his arm or a fever, i'd get him to a doc very quickly.
 

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Your cat sounds like my old cat. I knew she wouldn't be able to fit in in another home cause she used to pee everywhere and had a lot of behavioural problems. She bit dd once and that was that. I decided to put her down and even though I still miss her, for me it was the right decision. Good luck.
 

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this is a hard call. I would make sure that the cat isn't around your toddler at all (easier said than done). If it were mine and it happened again, then the cat would go to the great beyond.
 

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No, you cannot rehome her. If she has to go, she has to go to heaven. I personally don't have anything against biting cats--cats are not like dogs. There is nothing "wrong" with a cat who bites except that it's grumpy. A cat who is older and deaf and was woken from a sleep deserves to give whatever little creature is threatening it a lesson.

Now I certainly understand that you can't have your cat biting everyone, but in this case I'd handle it with management (separate the cat and the kid until the kid is old enough to know how to leave the cat alone) and not with euthanizing.

Our cat is a biter--she's a good cat, but she doesn't tolerate crap. She's gotten each kid once. We've had her since my oldest was a toddler, and around two years old with each baby I've said to the kid, as she's doing something I know the cat won't like, "Hey, don't put your finger in her ear [or whatever the kid is doing] or she'll bite you!" And then when the cat bites them and they come yelling, I say "Oh, and what did you do to her?" It's a harsh lesson but it sticks. Before the kids are two, we just separate them.
 

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I would get your DC to a doctor regardless of how the bite looks! Cat bites can be awful.

As far as the cat-- tough call. I'd be hard pressed not to find it a new home, though, after biting a child!
 

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How deep was this bite? Cat bites often can be very deep and are more prone to getting infected than others.

My son is not allowed even by our cat really (young toddler), my older kids are not allowed to pet the cat without continuous supervision. I have stressed to them NEVER to pick the cat up or do anything that might hurt the cat. The only times they are allowed to touch/play with kitty is when mommy or daddy is there.

Our boy kitty passed on earlier this year and he was also deaf. I didn't find that it affected the kids interaction that much with him though as I just didn't allow them to be around him when they were young. It's not that difficult really because you are constantly watching young toddlers anyhow
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That would be my suggestion...to keep them separated until he's older. I manage to keep my son away from our kitty, but I watch him like a hawk...if you can't trust that it will work in your home and don't feel safe then I would have the kitty euthanized. Normally though...cats will flee/go hide if they feel threatened (our kitty gets scared and go hides). It sounds like kitty was sleeping and was quickly and abruptly startled by your DS, and he didn't have the warning as he was asleep.
 

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I agree with what Joanna and PhatChristy have said.
First off, if the cat leaves your house, it's your responsibility to humanely put her down (not your as in YOU but your as in your family)
Second, with a cat, I'd just work on segregating, an old deaf cat isnt going to be all that upset about being confined to a room for portions of the day where the toddler is mobile. This may also help with your litter box issues actually.
To be honest...you'd have my blessings for putting down a dirty cat long before a cat that bit a toddler when it was startled.
Another option, have you ever tried putting the cat on Elavil or Clonicalm for the peeing and pooping in the house?? Both of those meds would also help him not be so reactive to the toddler. My old roommate had this cat....Gabby. Gabby was, oh I don't know, about 80. She was bitchy, she was loud and she never seemed to hit the litter box. I convinced him to put her on meds and honestly she was a whole new cat for 2 yrs until she went out one morning and didn't come back, we found her dead under the boat a couple days later. When I say this cat was bitchy...she was an outdoor/indoor farm cat that lived through a HUGE coyote overpopulation where they were actually killing medium sized dogs. We used to joke that while all the other cats in the area where being eaten, we would come home to a lawn full of Gabby killed coyotes.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by shannon0218 View Post
Another option, have you ever tried putting the cat on Elavil or Clonicalm for the peeing and pooping in the house?? Both of those meds would also help him not be so reactive to the toddler.

i reluctantly put my cat dylan on elavil a few years back for peeing on my ex-boyfriend's couch repeatedly and also for general orneriness. all ill behaviours ceased
coincidentally, that old bf moved out shortly after i started the elavil....so who really knows
honestly though, the cat seems much more "at peace" on the meds.
 

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a 13 yo cat has many years left. Sometimes babies and cats do not mix. Teach the child to NOT EVER touch the cat. Problem solved, with your supervision and conviction.

We had an older rabbit when ds was a newborn/baby. He crawled at her one day and she clawed his face. From that moment on... it was NO BUNNY for him.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by k9rider View Post
i'm assuming it's an indoor cat and has had a rabies vaccine? the one thing that i would be really concerned about is the bite itself. you said it broke the skin, but is it deep? cat bites are NASTY and often require antibiotics, unfortunately. i would make sure that the wounds are clean and kept open to drain. keep a close eye on those areas over the next few days and if any get very red or oozy or if he gets red streaks up his arm or a fever, i'd get him to a doc very quickly.
Not always. I have been bitten many many many times and never have taken antibiox for it. Keep it cleaned, but I wouldn't freak out about it.

And thekimballs, I agree. Everyone actually had very good suggestions here. Because cats are animals. They will bite. Seperate the cat and keep them away from each other, if possible. That should eliminate most of the issues.

And you may be irritated about your dh, but everyone deals with loss in different ways. He sees it as a loss of a dear friend. If one of my animals needed to be put down, I would be absolutely devastated. I would probably revert to denial and anger and not be able to do it for a long time. Your dh does not want the cat dead. Just because you feel like an adult for dealing with your dog in what you consider the "adult and right" way, does not mean that everyone should or that your dh is wrong. He is still "being a man".
 

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I don't think Kristen said they always get infected, but she is correct, they OFTEN do and cat bites ARE horrendous. In my career I've received plenty of bites including having 3 fingers completely degloved--however, to this day its a cat bite that will cause me the most concern. I've been hospitalized on IV antibiotics for MANY cat bites and it was danger of cat bites that made me leave my job as a tech.
Kristen's advice was actually BANG ON, redness, oozing or streaks, to the doctor immediately cause a cat bite can go from no big deal to extremely dangerous in a matter of hours.
Just because you didn't require antibiotics doesn't mean this mom shouldn't be vigilant looking for bad signs. Especially when the cat that did the biting was an older animal.
 

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I would not kill either of my cats for this type of situation. the cat was sleeping, was startled, is older and deaf, was defending itself. if it had viciously attacked out of nowhere, I'd probably keep it as an outdoor cat instead, to at least give it a chance of living. I think killing this cat would be an overreaction. For some reason, we've been conditioned in our society to view an animal that bites even once as vicious and out of control and not worthy of living. Yes, some animals are truly psychotic, but not this one. I would just be much, much more cautious about letting the baby near the cat from now on. My female kitty has nipped my dd's hand and she hasn't pet her since.
 

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Quote:
The baby went over to the couch to pet the cat, waking him and startling him, and then the cat bit.
IMO the cat was really justified in bitting, why, because they are small and vulnerable. There is no way of telling if the cat was dreaming of being chased or what. Being woken from a sound sleep for a cat is terrifying usually even for a house cat that doesn't have to deal with life and death on a daily basis. There are very few cats in my experience that wont slap or bite at you when they get woken up like that.

I know it is bad for a baby to get bitten
both of my kids have been bitten a few times each, with full puncture wounds. For messing with the cat when she was resting or wanting to be left alone. My cat also has horrible litter box issues that I have posted about here not long ago. But I will not have her put down.

Both my kids have learned not to touch the cat if she is laying down that is almost a 100% guarantee of getting bitten. The kids will learn to not mess with the cat.

The answer for us is making sure that the kids don't bother the cat and they are not left alone together.

None of us have ever had issues with the bite becoming infected (she has bitten me as well) but it is something you have to watch really close because the bite can become infected fast.
 

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Can I just comment that you guys are AWESOME?? SO many people I talk to would have told her to put the cat down, I'm one of the few people I know who'd have said "Well, what's kitty to do when he's startled awake by a toddler??".

Animals can't say "Get off me". They warn and sometimes they bite.

I'd separate them too, and hopefully you can teach your toddler not to monkey with kitty. Easier said than done though, I know.
 
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