Post # 1
Tell me about your cats and their behavior pre-baby:
What did you do to prepare your cat(s) for your LO’s arrival?
Were you successful? Why or why not?
What adjustments did you have to make once you had both cats and baby? (if any)
What advice can you give me?
* I have 2 two-year-old tuxedo kitties. We readied the nursery so that the cats can go in there and explore.
Post # 3
Honestly, I didn’t do anything to prepare them for the baby’s arrival and I was terrified that my cats would flip the f out when we brought baby home and that they would hide all the time and get depressed and stop eating and we’d have to rehome them.
Yeah, no. They’re totally fine. I just make sure I give them attention so they know they’re still loved. My younger cat still wants to cuddle when I’m not holding the baby (and sometimes when I am), and my older cat still doesn’t give a crap. Same as always. 🙂
ETA: I don’t try to keep the cats away from baby, though they’re not allowed in the nursery. We let the cats sniff baby’s head to get used to her.
Post # 4
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
I do not have a cat, but my best friend had two when she was pregnant and since she was 2.5 weeks behind me, I practically feel like I went through this all with her. One cat she knew would not be a problem, but her other cat just doesn’t behave. He’s willfull. They tried to train him not to get on the counters and into the nursery with special cat repellent system that sprayed something… didn’t work. They ended up having to give him away. The good cat accepted the baby just fine and has been great.
It’s always a good idea to put a cat net over the crib if you worry about the cat getting in there with the baby and sleeping on baby’s face or scratching/biting baby.
Post # 5
Hm, I’m due in August and haven’t done a single thing. Our cat is so timid I don’t expect her to really care much. She may hide for awhile, but she’s adjusted to worst 😛
I’m going to keep an eye on this thread.
Post # 6
My sis and BIL have a sweet and needy cat who they rescued as a kitten (some idiot bought her as an Xmas gift for their daughter, than threw her outside in the FREEZING Canadian winter once they realized the kid was allergic.) After 3 days of hearing the cat cry, a neighbor took pity and found the cat and brought her to the SPCA.
So needless to say the cat was given a second chance at life and is very affectionate with my sis and BIL. They were worried when baby came along. For the first 3 weeks the cat stayed with my parents (she stays there whenever they go away and gets along with their cat.) They brought the baby over so she could see, but she ignored him.
Once she got home, the pattern of ignoring continued, although whenever my father or BIL was holding the baby, she would also jump on their laps (she likes men.) But then one day the CUTEST thing happened…she jumped up after my sister finished nursing the baby and put her arm around him and cuddled him (gently). I’m not kidding, it looks like the cat was spooning my nephew. And she did that numerous times, before he got too active…I guess she finally figured ‘if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em 😉
Post # 7
We have an incredibly needy 8 year old cat and were very nervous about bringing the baby home. He has never scratched or bitten anyone unless they were playing and he got too excited so we were less concerned there but we weren’t really sure how he would react.
We got the nursery ready ahead of time so he could get used to it. (IMO cats don’t react well to being shut out of places so might as well let him explore before baby)
we tried to keep him off the changing table using aluminum foil per some suggestions we recieved but that didn’t work.
While we were in the hospital my husband came home a few times and let the cat smell him. He also left one of the receiving blankets so the cat could get used to the smell. When we came home, my husband stayed in the car with the baby, while I went inside and spent a few minutes petting the cat and reassuring him. After that we brought in the baby. The cat circled her for a while and then went up and sniffed her a few times and walked away. That was it. Since then the cat is attentive, but generally keeps a distance.
He has not gotten back up on the changing table since then (I am assuming he doesn’t like things that are covered in baby smell).
the only issue we had was the co-sleeper. The cat liked to sleep in there when we had it set up But when the baby was elsewhere. Only once I found him curled at the baby’s feet and I dumped him out of there and he hasn’t gone back in it since.
I think that unless your cat is really ill tempered or was traumatized you should be ok as long as you introduce baby and baby smells slowly and make sure your cat still gets lots of attention. It. can be really easy to forget to feed a cat in the morning when you are working on no sleep ……
Post # 8
Every cat I’ve ever had has LOVED baby’s. 🙂 My cat Nala was nicknamed Mama cat both because she got inexplicably knocked up jsut before her appointment to get fixed *twice* and because anytime a friend with a baby visited, she just could not stay away. She loooooooooooved babies like nobody’s business. 🙂
I wouldnt worry too much about it.
Post # 9
I had 3 cats when my daughter was born. No problems what-so-ever. Oh they sniffed her when she got home but after she started wailing, they avoided her like the plague!
Post # 10
One of the most repeated stories of my childhood was of my cat Sam. My mom was TERRIFIED of having a baby and a cat at the same time. Sam was a 15lb beast, and was pretty mellow towards just about everything. She never noticed any interaction between us, until I was about 4 months old and she found cat hair in my crib. She flipped out, and made sure Sam was locked out of the room when she put me to bed that night. She wasn’t aware of it, but Sam had been laying at my feet and purring to get me to sleep as soon as she left the room. This was why I went down so quickly and peacefully. That night, I screamed at the top of my lungs after about 5 minutes. Sam went nuts and was charging the bedroom door, yowling at full volume because I was distressed! After about 15 minutes of both cat and baby screaming, my dad spouted some obscenities, grabbed the cat, opened the door and flung him into the crib. Sam checked me out, made sure I was ok and promply curled up at my feed and started purring. Within a minute, the crying stopped and I was on my way to being fast asleep.
That cat kept watch over me every night for the next 18 years. I’m 31 years old and I still tear up thinking about him.
Post # 11
We didn’t do too terribly much to prepare the cats for the new baby. We did allow them to explore the nursery prior to the baby being born. We also let them smell one of the swaddling blankets we used for the baby in the hospital so they could get used to her scent. Other than that, we just check to make sure that the cats are not in the nursery when we put the baby to bed and shut the door so they cannot get into her room at night. During the day, the cats just ignore the baby or from time to time, will come up to sniff her and walk away. On rare occasions, one cat or the other will sit in my lap while I’m holding the baby. So, yeah. So far so good in my house!
Post # 12
We aren’t KU yet, but we have 2 cats and I am really worried about this. I don’t think either of them would intentionally hurt the baby, but they are big and cuddly and I worry about them literally smothering the baby with love. I plan to get them soft caps since they both tend to kneed, but I am especially worried about them sleeping on the baby And me somehow not realizing it. One of them likes to sleep on chests and the other on faces, so this is a pretty big concern. I am hoping that a net will do the trick.
Post # 13
@MariContrary: This is the cutest story I have ever read! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Post # 14
We have a cat, she was fine with bringing home our son. She never bothered him. Now that he is 20 months old and lol if he can catch her or sneak up on her he likes to “squish her”. Basically he lays on top of the cat. She just takes it and give me this look like get this kid off of me. He is just giving her love and then lets her go after a bit.
Post # 15
I’ll put my two cents in hear – with the caveat that I’m not pregnant (but have cats) and have taken mental notes on what friends with babies and cats have done.
I agree with what other Bees have said about letting kitty explore the nursery before baby arrives, slowing introducing new baby smells to kitty’s environment, and generally continuing to show the FurBaby lots of attention even after the HumanBaby’s arrival. 🙂
A note on kitty litter: I’m sure every pregnant Bee already knows this, but I’ll repeat it anyway. A pregnant woman should avoid contact with soiled cat litter if possible. Info from the CDC – http://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/pregnant.htm
How to keep kitty out of the nursery: Some parents are fine with kitty roaming the nursery while baby is sleeping and some are not. To each their own. If you want to keep kitty out but have the door open, a great solution is a retractable screen door. They allow air and noise to flow, but keep kitty out. An example – http://www.rona.ca/en/screen—revelation-retractable-screen
How to train kitty to keep away from areas: A great tool for training cats to stay out/off/away from anything is the Sssscat! It’s available at most pet stores and works wonders (I’ve used it for training myself). It’s an air canister attached to a motion sensor. Direct the sensor at the area you want kitty to stear clear of (like a doorway to a room, or the couch, counters…). When kitty walks in the zone, the motion sensor activates and a blast of air is set off. It startles kitty away, but is completely harmless. No chemicals. Just air. Safe for baby and other pets.
Hope with offers some solutions to others!
Post # 16
@MariContrary: that is such a cute story! it made me a little teary.