Sep

23

Myth: Cats smother babies. Fact: What? That’s ridiculous!

Really people, as a parent, all I can say is Neo was too freaked out by the crying and the poop and round the clock feedings to want to even get close to the baby!

picture_cats_kittens_stretching.jpgBut some people say, ….well, the cat gets jealous, so it wants to hurt the baby. My answer to that is, if you go changing their lifestyle, like suddenly locking them in the basement or the garage when the new baby arrives, cats are likely to have some behavior issues.

Just imagine how it is for them if you start doing things differently. One day, they get to run around the house anytime they want, sleep on the sofa anytime they want, get petted by you anytime they want. Then the next day, they are locked in the basement alone for hours on end, or forgotten outside all night.

Sudden changes to the cat’s lifestyle will cause behavior issues. If things are happening to the cat that never happened before, it’s going to be a little disturbing for the cat. And yes, the cat might think that the baby has something to with it. But cats have awareness about them; they know that this new baby is your “kitten” so they won’t hurt it because they love you. Cats are pretty resilient, they get used to the new baby pretty fast.

pictures_cat_bath_baby.jpgRemember that your cat is a part of the family too, and if you are sensitive to the needs of your family members, everyone will get along fine. So don’t make sudden changes to your cat’s lifestyle, and include your cat in the caring of your baby. So if you pet him at the same time every day – keep doing that. You can even pet your cat and speak softly to him while your baby is close by so your cat gets to understand that this new baby is nothing to fear.

Please don’t get rid of your cat or lock him up just because you have a baby. Your baby will learn from young how wonderful cats are!

I tried to cuddle Neo as much as possible and to give him extra play time because I could tell that he was nervous about the baby. Eventually, he became comfortable with her, after he got used to the noise, the smells and having to share my attention. Now he is very tolerant of her and even puts up with her trying to carry him. What was it like for you and your cat when you brought home the new baby?

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3 Comments

Dawn Styles said:

I'm pregnant and have been serching for reasons not to rehome my cat, the thought of getting rid of her actually makes me cry. I found the artical and it made me realize that just because every one was telling me to get rid of her didn't mean I had to.
I can have my baby and keep my cat.

Melanie said:

Hi Dawn,
Thank you so much for commenting. I had some people telling me to get rid of the cat and others telling me to lock him in the basement. That just didn't seem right to me or my husband. Part of the problem with being pregnant is that there are a lot of other people out there who've been pregnant and think they can tell you what to do. There are also a lot of myths about cats but you never hear the good stories like:

I've heard of cats sensing that there was something wrong with the baby and meowed to wake up the parents. The parents rushed to see what was the matter with the cat and found that the baby wasn't breathing - not because of the cat, there was no evidence that the cat had been in the crib, but because of some other cause. The cat actually saved the baby's life.

I've also experienced first hand a mothering instinct from a cat. One time, my daughter was really crying hard and I couldn't figure out what was wrong so she kept crying, I was getting frustrated and my cat came over to me and started to bite softly at my heels. She didn't hurt me, but I think she thought I was hurting the baby and was trying to tell me to stop. Those little nips on my heels helped me calm down and figure out what was wrong. It turned out the pajamas were scratching the baby.

Cats are extremely emotional and have the intelligence of a two year old or more, so getting rid of your cat or locking them up is very traumatic for them. But there are ways to learn to live with each other after the baby arrives, you can close the door to the baby's room at night or if you choose to Co-Sleep - why not sleep with the cat too!

Anque said:

Hey Dawn,

I'm glad you saw this article too. There are way to many superstitions built up around cats and this is one of the most horrible because it displaces perfectly wonderful members of the family.

Check out this article on Snopes dot com:

http://www.snopes.com/critters/wild/catsuck.asp

There's nothing wrong with having a kitty and a baby at the same time!

Jen

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