Photo Credit: corsi photo via Compfight cc
Got a baby on the way but also own a precious cat? We recently heard of a couple who are eagerly awaiting their first child and their friends warning them to get rid of their cat. These so called friends were strong believers that the cat would become extremely jealous of the new arrival and smother him/her in their sleep.  We can honestly say that these beliefs are mostly fabrications and usually stem from the old world belief that cats harbour evil spirits. We have found that most cats are simply curious when it comes to babies. Furthermore, since cats are always after a warm spot or person to snuggle up to, then your baby is a perfect option. 
Although cats are not necessarily a risk to small children, it would not hurt to take a few precautions to ensure their coexistence is a peaceful one: 

  •  When you have brought your new bundle of joy home for the first time, allow your cat to interact with him/her. This would put aside any anxiety your cat may have with the additional house guest. 
  •  Reinforce any positive interaction your cat has with your baby by feeding your cat treats. 
  •  Place a net over the crib to prevent your cat from jumping into it. 
  •  Install a screen door to the baby’s room. This enables your cat to get used to your baby’s presence and smell within the home. 
  •  Place food bowls and litter trays in a designated area that is out of reach for your baby. This is extremely important when your baby starts to crawl. 
  •  Ensure your cat is deflead and dewormed. Fleas are not lethal to babies but they can definitely cause some irritating rashes!  Additionally, check with your vet if any medication you are administering to your pet is harmful to babies. 
  •  If you are worried about your cat scratching your baby you can trim their claws yourself or have your vet perform the procedure. 
  •  Always supervise when your cat and baby interact. It is never recommended to leave your cat and baby alone, especially if your baby is sleeping as there is risk of unintentional suffocation. This is due to cats sometimes resting too close to a baby’s mouth and nose which makes them unable to breath properly.  

All in all, we have consistently found that cats are are very good with babies. Rarely have we heard of cats deliberately attacking children, unless the child is consistently pulling their tail. We have heard of reports stating that bringing up children in the company of pets lowers their incidence of allergies. If that doesn’t convince you… cats can be a very helpful commodity with taking care of a crying baby. 
Who needs a nanny?