Post # 1
Here’s the situation:
1. We have two cats, both fixed males with claws intact, one is extremely calm and one has a “personality”
2. We have an 11 month old daughter and a second child due in December
3. The house we’re living in for the next 10 months is 1100 sq ft without a basement or separate “cat area.” They do however have a safe litterbox/food/cat bed area in our master bedroom that the kiddo can’t get to.
Our daughter has always loved our cats and they have always tolerated her extremely well. The chill cat still does. The other cat with the “personality” has recently become intolerant to her curiousity. It’s like he seeks her out (jumps into her blocked off play area, lays in front of her, etc) and then gets mad when she touches him.
Recently he scratched her for the first time– I contacted the doctor and followed the procedures to take care of the wound. Ever since then I’ve been completely paranoid about having him around her. At the same time, I can’t keep him away from her unless I literally sit next to her all day, which is impossible and unhealthy as any mom knows, or lock him in a bedroom, which really isn’t fair.
Has anyone had an issue with a cat and an infant? Can you think of any options?
The options I’ve been able to come up with aren’t very good (I’ll discuss with DH when he gets home tonight). They are: get rid of the cat (DH refuses), have a family member take the cat (no one is willing to unless we’ll let him be an outdoor cat and DH refuses), declaw the cat (arguably inhumane), soft claws (does that even work??). And I’m out of ideas. DH talked about putting him on some Prozac or anti-depression medication. We trim the nails frequently, have scratching posts and really completely spoil the two cats. We try to discipline our daughter with teaching gentle touches, but seriously she’s 11 months old and doesn’t know. Something has to be done because this will be an issue with the new baby too and its not fair to put my daughter in harms way.
ETA: her blocked off play area has the tallest gates we could find– 4ft– and the cats still easily jump over it. Also, this is DH’s cat, not that it should matter, but he’s extremely attached to it.
Post # 3
Post # 4
I’ve never heard of giving a cat anti-depressants. We did get Valium for our dog who was terrified of thunder storms and had panic attacks, but I’ve never heard of giving them prozac. Claw covers are squishy plastic tips that you glue on. They last about a week or two. All of our cats have hated them. It’s a huge fight to glue them on. And if they really hate them, they’ll just chew them off. If you can’t give the cat away or make them an outside cat then what about getting a cat cage? You could put the cat up whenever the baby is out of her room. As long as kitty still gets exercise time they should be okay in a cage. They may even feel safer and calm down.
Post # 5
If the choice is the cat or your baby’s safety, I think you know what the answer is…
Post # 6
we have to cats and im due in december. we are hoping to declaw them by then for this exact reason. i understand you guys find it inhumane.. but realistically there is nothing you can do to control that cat not scratching your child other then declawing, or getting rid of it. those are your only to options that are 100% for sure. this time may have been innocent, next time might not. and i love my cats. SO very much. my FI and I got them together and I would HATE to get rid of them. but we have already discussed this and my FI has NO tollerance for animals harming our child. and should it come down to it we would rehome them. your husband may have to get over it if he doesnt want the cat to be an outdoor. but you know the cats going to a good home… shouldnt that be better?
Post # 7
@newlynesting: Any of the options which physically keeps cat away: lock him away, outside cat, or give him away. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that your DH refuses some of these options. I can only think it’s because he’s at work in the day and doesn’t realise how much effort it is for you to watch the cat.
I agree that disciplining/training an 11 month old isn’t an option.
If DH doesn’t get onboard, I would put the cat outside (or in another room) during the day anyway, without telling DH. Baby’s safety comes ahead of DH’s attachment to the cat.
Post # 8
@NotTheDoctor: We have a self cleaning litterbox and our cats are indoor cats. DH is less than a year from being a veterinarian. Toxoplasmosis from a cat comes if that cat has been exposed to an infected animal that is really only found outdoors and then it is shed in their poop for 2 weeks following the exposure. The poop has to sit for at least 24 hours before it begins to have a possible infection. At least that’s what the teach the doctors. Our litter box cleans 7 minutes after each use. Also, you are significantly more likely to get toxoplasmosis from undercooked pork. Thank you for the article, but we did our research before committing to having a child.
@michiru4ever: I thought about just leaving them in our room and closing the door since it’d be larger than the crate. It just seems like a crappy life. Daughter is here all day and naps about 4 hours a day. So from 7AM to 8PM they’d be locked up all day except 4 hours. The Prozac is something they taught DH in school/he’s seen in practice– supposed to help with the agression or something. Cat’s are horrible at taking pills though. Thanks for the idea with the crate.
@BrandNewBride: You’re exactly right, I do know what my answer is. I was just coming here to see if there were any other ideas before I had the big conversation with DH tonight 🙂
@gpsp2B: Part of DH’s argument against that declaw thing is that it could permanently effect our cat’s ability to walk since they’re older. I can’t remember the medical explanation, but something about being less likely to be able to recover and pain tolerance/some kind of damage. Ugh, sorry I don’t have his real answer for you. Also, what do you guys plan to do about biting? That’s an even bigger fear of mine now! The personality cat has playfully bit us before but that scares me if he starts doing it to her. I have no problems with declaw–that’s what I’d prefer to try, DH is the hesitant one.
Post # 9
Yes, soft claws or kitty caps absolutely work. I’ve used them with both of my cats with lots of success.
As for toxoplsamosis, just don’t handle the cats’ litter and have your DH wash his hands immediately after scooping. Animals are not disposable, so I disagree with advising to get rid of cats because of a pregnancy. There are more responsible options.
ETA: just saw your update, it’s great to see that you and your DH are so informed and prepared.
Post # 10
@paula1248: I completely agree, it’s way too much stress to try to watch her and it isn’t letting her be independent. Also, it’s definitely not a problem that’s going to go away. I’m going to give him any options that I come up with tonight and tell him we have to take action starting tomorrow. Thanks for the response!
Post # 11
@newlynesting: Woah, sorry for trying to be helpful.
Post # 12
@Taeyers: I’ll go get some soft claws tonight and hope that they work on our cats. It would be amazing if that solved this problem. Thanks for the info and I hope it works on ours like it did on yours! Also, as per toxoplasmosis, this is what I responded to a PP: “We have a self cleaning litterbox and our cats are indoor cats. DH is less than a year from being a veterinarian. Toxoplasmosis from a cat comes if that cat has been exposed to an infected animal that is really only found outdoors and then it is shed in their poop for 2 weeks following the exposure. The poop has to sit for at least 24 hours before it begins to have a possible infection. At least that’s what the teach the doctors. Our litter box cleans 7 minutes after each use. Also, you are significantly more likely to get toxoplasmosis from undercooked pork. Thank you for the article, but we did our research before committing to having a child.” It drives me CRAZY when people get rid of their animals because they’re worried about toxoplasmosis!
Post # 13
Well cats sleep like 16 hours a day so I think they’d be fine confined to a bedroom as long as they have food, water, and a litter box.
Post # 14
@NotTheDoctor: I wasn’t being rude, just trying to let you know that there is a lot of misinformation out there. I’d never purposely expose my children to something that could put them at risk, which is why I’m being so proactive about this cat scratch issue.
Post # 15
@NotTheDoctor: if you don’t change the litter its fine. my doctor and pretty much every doctor will tell you that. and of course clean your hands before you eat. toxoplasm comes from dead animals and raw meat.. you have a higher chance of catching it handling dead meat. i have two cats and my FI changes the litter. they do not go outside EVER we have an appartment they are strictly inside were on the second floor, so the chance of them even coming in contact with dead things to eat is SO rare. not all cat feces has the toxins. and it also is in dog fecal for that matter.
babycenter is not an educational site by professional
how cats get infected… it specifically says in here as a pregnant mother you can even still handle the litter box by using gloves and changing it twice a day as well as other steps to take to eliminate the possibility of toxoplasms.
ugh uneducated remarks like that just boil my blood.
Post # 16
in your situation I would definitely try declawing the cat if FI isn’t willing to give him up. Yes some think it’s inhumane…I’m undecided because would you rather declaw a cat and have it go to a good home (or in your case STAY in its home) or not declaw it and have it given up, given to a shelter, or put down? We wouldn’t get a cat if it wasn’t declawed. I’d personally rather rescue one or two someday than not ever have any due to being inhumane.
It’s better than giving him up right?