Post # 1
Oh geez, this has been a concern since day one. We have a gorgeious short hair tuxedo kitty (strictly indoor) who has had some behavioral issues since she was very young. Mind you she never distroys furniture or soils the carpet and is very regal and elegant in her demeanor but tends to “strike” at people, well actually…anyone who is not DH or myself. While she tolerates adults in the house such as my niece, mother in law, etc. she despises small children and gets growly and takes an aggressive stance whenever she sees them. She has been known to approach adults after they have been in our home for more than a few hours and strike at them with her front paw, and yes she has drawn blood.
It’s difficult because she is sweet and loving towards DH and I, yet everyone else describes her as “the devil”….we have discussed this with the vet who said we could put her on anxiety meds or even try a wall difusser that is calming to cats…we never did either because of the cost but would certainly consider it before baby comes. We’ve tried having strangers give her treats, we’ve tried wearing her out by playing with her before guests arrive but she just doens’t like anyone but us. =(
I did an experiment ast night and played a 10 minute youtube video of a baby crying and her reaction wasn’t encouraging! She freaked out bounced off the walls digged through the sheeets tring to figure out where the noise was coming from and growled furiously.
=(( I’m hope, hope, hoping we dont’ have to give her away, epeically since she won’t take to anyone else. =( Anyone have suggestions let me know.
Post # 3
@fresitachulita: Wow this sounds like me two and a half years ago! I also have a “psycho kitty” who doesnt like anyone, especially children. Before our daughter was born, and after we set up her room, we stopped letting the cat in there to teach her that she wasnt allowed in the baby’s room. Of course to the cat the room became a little more interesting since now she suddenly wanst allowed in but eventually she stopped going in there. After our daughter was born, when we brought her home we took a blanket amd let the cat smell it to learn the new smell of our new family member. After all that, we still kept the cat away from the baby, not total isolation but whenever the cat was around we were always right near our daughter and watched for any aggressive signs from the cat. If the cat got agressive we either shooed her away or sprayed her with the water bottle. Now Im not guaranteeing this will all work, but it was what worked for us. It also helped that “psycho kitty” was already declawed so we didnt have to worry so much about her patting/swatting at the baby. Hope this helps a little!
Post # 4
Thanks, I am hoping she will learn to get used to baby…I’d hate to declaw her and it’s a practice that its extremely frowned upon where I live now, I’d have a hard time finding someone to do it even if I wanted to, but I am willing to consider other alternatives like nail covers, although it sound so hard to do. I mean she wont’ even let me clip her nails..have to hold her down to get one paw done and I might get arund to the other one a week later. =(
Post # 5
@fresitachulita: You’re lucky you can even touch her! We cant even touch our cat unless she wants us to. I know what you mean about declawing her though, our cat was already declawed by the time I met my boyfriend so I had no choice in the matter. It’s a good thing she is though otherwise we would all be scratched like you wouldnt believe lol. It will take some time for the cat to get used to the baby, it took our cat almost a year to get used to my daughter. Good luck!
Post # 6
@fresitachulita: FH and I have two kitties and we’ve started using the nail covers (Soft Claws? Soft Paws? I can’t remember what they’re called). We LOVE them. Our cats weren’t super happy the first time we put them on, but they didn’t freak out either. Now, they’re completely used to them and it saves our furniture. Plus it’s so funny to see them with their colored nails (we bought the purple and green ones cuz they were on sale). Our guests always comment on it!
Wish I could help more with the behavioral problems! Sounds like meds would prob be the first place to start. Good luck!!
Post # 7
- Wedding: October 2014 - Disney
I like the first poster’s suggestion. Cats are relatively intelligent when it comes to your baby vs someone else’s baby. When I was pregnant I had a cat who would pounce the hell out of my exhusband while he was sleeping particularly jumping on his belly. He’d snuggle my belly and tred carefully on it. When the baby came he was very protective of the baby would watch her etc it was his baby too. So know the cat maybe different with your baby than other babies because its part of you not a foreigner, and it will see the pregnancy.
I am very anti declawing. They cut the first joint of the cat’s toes off. This can cause neuropathy, chronic pain, and other issues. This can also worsen and create behavoir problems. Cats without claws are more likely to bite, and they’re more likely to have litter box problems.
Post # 8
@dewingedpixie: Our cat also laid on my belly when I was pregnant, before that she would never let me touch her and would always attack me..until I got pregnant. And yes declawing a cat will make them bite more. With our cat you wouldnt want her to get ahold of you because she wont let go, just keeps biting harder. Thankfully though she doesnt do that to the kids.
Post # 9
Please don’t declaw the cat. It will only make things worse in the long run.
Try soft paws, like PP suggested, and see if it makes a difference.
Post # 10
Are you currently expecting, or are you just planning to add to your family? The more time you have to work with her before a baby is added to the mix, the better.
Start watching “My Cat From Hell” episodes…I know the cat behaviorist on the show, Jackson Galaxy, (you can also check out his website at JacksonGalaxy.com) recently worked with a family with an aggressive cat who was expecting a baby. I believe there was also an older episode where he worked with a family who already had a new baby the cat was acting aggressively towards. There was also a recent episode with a cat who hated having her nails trimmed.
I think with a little work, you can help your girl blossom into a not-so-nasty-cat. I understand baby’s saftey comes first, but rehoming a cat with aggression problems isn’t likely to end well for the cat, so hopefully it doesn’t come to that.
Post # 11
For what it’s worth, I think that your cat likes you and your DH because you are the people who she shares a home with. You are the ones who are around her day in and day out. She accepts you as family. Anyone new who comes into your home is viewed as an “other” by the cat. I think with a cat like yours, having guests give treats and such is pointless, because she will only accept her family and no one else. Your baby won’t be visiting occasionally and leaving for days or weeks on end. It’ll be a constant presence in your home. It will be family. I think it might take awhile, but the cat will learn to accept that. Definitely still do all of the other awesome ideas that other bees have posted, but do keep in mind that your baby is different from a visitor, and the cat will realize this when the baby stays and doesn’t leave.
Also, ever watched My Cat From Hell? Look it up on online. The dude’s name is Jackson Galaxy and he is a magic cat man of amazing. Helped me so much when I first brought my kitty home.
Post # 12
Your cat might have had a bad experience in the past with a toddler or young person. My older cat is scared of toddlers though he doesn’t get aggressive because they’re big, loud, run towards him, and aren’t very gentle if they get close. I like what the first poster said about introducing the baby like you would introduce another cat into the house: separate rooms, let her get used to baby smell, and then supervised contact
Post # 13
thanks guys, yes I have seen many episodes of cat from hell, I haven’t seen anything that has worked for our cat, it’s difficult. I should mention that mother in law lives with us, always has, but our kitty still just barley tolerates her and even swats at her if she goes into our room.
I am hoping because the baby is part of us it will be different, and yes I am expecting, 8 weeks on wednesday? =)
Post # 14
Feliway spray and plug ins work really well! you can go on amazon and get good pricing and there are also cheaper versions but i swear by Ceva’s feliway brand.
I also use rescue remedy for cats (same as human form but w/ no alcohol) you can drop it on their food or put right in mouth or rub on ear.
declawing a cat is like cutting off the tips of a finger it has been known to lead to litterbox issues and deformaties with age. its awful! i agree w/ the soft paws if you cannot cut her nails also is she spayed? we have had some rescue kitties w/ attitude problems that when checked by a vet had some remaining female organ tissue and it lead to crazy behavior.
lastly a vet can prescribe prozac it has worked wonders in some of our psycho “unadoptable” kitties
Post # 16
Pleeeease do not declaw your kitty! It will only make matters worse.
I know you said youve seen him, but there is this article http://www.littlebigcat.com/behavior/your-cat-and-your-new-baby/ by Jackson Galaxy and this, which I think is what a PP was referring to. http://jacksongalaxy.com/2013/06/05/in-depth-mojo-lucy-chubs-cats-who-attack/ he got the cat used to the new baby smell by having a baby doll dressed in clothes that had actually been worn by the baby.
http://jacksongalaxy.com/2013/07/05/in-depth-mojo-max-capri-the-hand-off-technique/ this also sounds like a great idea to help your cat get used to others.
I hope everything works out for you and your cat. I know that growing up with cats definitely made me a gentler, more empathetic person. And congratulations!