While grownup cats can be pretty low maintenance, kittens are pretty high maintenance – they have a lot of energy and need a lot of play time!
THIS! OP, I don’t think now is a good time for you to get a kitten. They are a lot of work. They have a lot of energy, and they have a tendency to use their claws for everything until they learn otherwise. For example, they aren’t very good at jumping at first, so they climb up your leg instead. Often kittens will play with their claws out as well. Like the above poster mentioned, they have a lot of energy and need a lot of play time…time you may not have to devote to them once your baby arrives. And if they have energy that isn’t being burned off constructively, it will be burned off DESTRUCTIVELY. Having a kitten home alone all day is a recipe for having your couch and your drapes destroyed.
@vorpalette: You can’t train a cat. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way.
Our family cat (who still lives with my parents) knows how to sit, lay down, beg, and meow on command. DH and I are teaching our current cat how to sit for her food bowl. I will admit it’s slow going, because she’s not the brightest bulb, (despite us stepping on her several times -accidentally of course!- she still insists on getting underfoot), but she does do it, just not instantly like the dog does. Cats CAN be trained, it’s just harder because many/most of them don’t have that inherent desire to please their person that the majority of dogs have. Many cats respond amazingly well to target and/or clicker training.
You probably will not be able to teach them to stay out of the nursery, however, especially because cats can easily scale or jump over barries like baby gates, (which work well in teaching a dog which room(s) are off limits. Unless you’re planning on keeping the door closed at all times, I don’t see this happening. Another reason that now is probably not a good time to add a furry family member. You will have a baby making noises, which will pique a cat’s curiousity. You will have interesting sights, sounds, and smells coming from the room. You will likely be spending a fair amount of time in the room yourself, which is another draw. Plus, a cat’s concept of territories and boundries and space sharing seems to be different than that of dogs.
Wait until your baby is a bit older, then look for an adult cat that is known to be good with kids. A kitten can come later, when you have the time and energy to devote to it, and your child can safely handle a kitten without causing it accidental harm.
Lastly, PLEASE make sure Mama Cat is spayed and Brother Cat is neutered. First, it’s not good for them to be continually reproducing, for the sake of Mama’s health as well as for the sake of the overpopulation problem. Also, the fact that Brother Cat is still hanging around means their is a good possibility he will be the father of all/some of Mama Cat’s future litters, if he isn’t already, (plus, he will be making babies with any other female he can find to breed with). Many places have programs that will spay strays for little or no cost. Better yet, have Mama Cat and Brother Cat brought to a shelter where they can be fixed, vaccinated, and can find loving homes of their own, if your Mother-In-Law isn’t willing to make them pets of her own.