Cats and babies in their cribs?

Morgan - posted on 10/05/2009 ( 32 moms have responded )

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I have a 7 week old son and my boyfriend and I just brought his cat home from his dad's where she has been staying the past year, she is about 6 years old. I heard the old wives' tale about cats smothering babies, I woke up to feed my son this morning and the cat was cuddling at his feet. I wonder if this tale is true or if anyone else's cat snuggles with them? Should i be panicking? I put the gate up on his crib but she still got it. Any ideas on how to prevent it?

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Elizabeth - posted on 10/07/2009

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My aunt's cat curled up on my cousin's face while he was in a car seat one time - he was pretty floppy when they found him (he made a full recovery though).

Before we had our little girl, I kept tinfoil in the bassinet. The idea being that if the cat jumps up into the bassinet, she'd get a fright from the noise, and would be less likely to try again in future (I've heard balloons also work).

We always keep the door to our baby's room shut, and we put a belled collar on our cat, so we can tell where she is in relation to where our baby is. Fortunately, our cat is completely uninterested in our baby, but we know that could change at any point.

Aniesha - posted on 10/10/2009

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I think it's not so much a worry of the cat doing any deliberate harm, but more loving too much! My sister's cat sleeps on her bed & loves to cuddle up near her face. She's 17, so no worries there, lol. But I won't let him anywhere near my bub, coz he can tend to be over affectionate, & I was always worried about him laying on his face. Also, I think it's great to bring up your child with an animal, I just don't trust animals alone with kids to be honest.

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Rachael - posted on 10/09/2009

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we recently got a kitten from my partner's mum and he loves to sleep in the cot, with or without the baby inside, he is very good with her and she enjoys having him in there - it's not so much that cats like to smother babies, it's more that they just like to lie with/on people and some don't realise that babies are different and should not be slept on.

Ali - posted on 10/08/2009

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Not to be rude but shouldn't you shut the door so the cat can't get in? We do that. It's important to keep the cat away from the baby when he's sleeping.

Arin - posted on 10/08/2009

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I don't know about smothering...but I had a friend that just had to take her 3 children (1 baby, 2 toddlers) to the doctor to get treated for worms. They had gotten them through their cats! I would think to be better safe than sorry...keep the baby away from the cat, even if your cat is healthy...you just never know. I would think it could be quite easy for a cat to accidentally smother your baby. It's just not worth the worry and risk!

Jessica - posted on 10/08/2009

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LOL. I really do think it depends on the cat. Ours haven't made it past briefly sniffing my 4 month old; as soon as he starts flapping his arms around they leave! He still sleeps in our room in the pnp, and we just don't let the cats in the room at night (shut the door). The main reason actually is because they chase each other around the house all night and are very very loud! When we move ds to his own room we'll just shut the door then too.

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I never gave it a thought when I had my son. My cat sniffed him when we came home and lost interest completely. Why don't you have a try? Put the baby down in his crib while you are supervising and check to see if the cat shows any signs of sleeping there at all. If not problem solved and if yes try the get off stuff they sell in stores. It is as far as I know safe and you just put it on the crib's legs and the cat wouldn't want to get close to it. When my son got a bit older my cat tried to sleep by his feet but the movements and the waking up at night bothered her too much and she moved to another place after 2 nights. She like her nights to be calm :) Good luck Osnat http://maaslife.blogspot.com/

Brittany - posted on 10/07/2009

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i personally have not had this experience but i do agree with ashley, but try your best to not have the cat in their with him because he is so young and if the cat comes to close to his face he cannot defend himself, and if you want the cat in there just makes sure you are watching because you never know, you dont want any accidents

Rachel - posted on 10/07/2009

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You could try keeping the cat in another room where you could put up two gates one on top of the other across the door way. specially while the baby is sleeping, I had the same problem when I had my first baby. I had a cat when we brought him home and it did try to smother him the vet said it was because of the formula/milk. He suggested that we do this. It worked. So give it a try.

Elizabeth - posted on 10/07/2009

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Heh, actually speaking of cat's liking milk, that reminds me of a letter someone sent in to a Treasures magazine here in NZ. The woman was asleep and woke up thinking she must have fallen asleep while feeding her baby. She opened her eyes, and her cat had wiggled into her bed and under her pjs and was lapping up her milk (she was leaking). Needless to say, she reckoned that she never went to sleep without a maternity bra and breast pads after that!

Ew! (But also rather funny).

Brittany - posted on 10/07/2009

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old wives tale is true. They like to snuggle, so they snuggle with a nice warm baby. They like milk, so they think oh look baby has milk on his lips im just going to lick this off and laydown (not a good scenario), also i've heard that cats can get jealous, and then try to kill the thing that they are jealous of. I have 2 cats right now, when my daughter was born i had four (omg i know thats waaaaaay to many i felt like i lived in a zoo!!) the cats are okay, just try to keep them out of the baby room (especially the crib!!), vaccum often (babies can develop allergies out of no where) and just be safe. I personally believe its good for children to grow up with animals because when they are older they need to know how to act, right? so just be careful with kitty, especially when baby is older and starts chasing and pulling at kitty (its cuter then hell, but sometimes kitties, especially cranky old farts can get reaaallly mean). I believe a moms first instict is to protect your child, you'll know if its a problem or not, or if it becomes a problem.

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Also cats do like breast milk..don't know about formula..but when I pump and have left over in the bottle guess who drinks it!

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Wouldn't you panic if he was snuggling on his chest??? I have had a cat or two in the house with every baby I have brought home and while I don't keep them apart when I am right there in the room I lock them up while babies are laying down to sleep for the first year or so..atleast until baby is considerably larger than kitty...I have thought in the past that maybe that's why the old wives tale about stealing babies breath..because babies are warm and smell like milk so kitties lay on top of them and smother them...maybe close babies door and use a baby monitor or something?

Daniellé - posted on 10/07/2009

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Cats like warmth so they could go and sleep on your baby or in the cot - your baby is not as strong so he would not be able to get the cat off. We have 4 cats - I don't let them sleep with my son - they are not allowed in the rooms because I know our one cat loves to sleep on you

Christine - posted on 10/07/2009

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i had a cat who would sleep on my face and i would wake up because i couldnt breathe and had hair in my mouth but she had been hit by a car and suffered brain damage because of it. my current cats stay away from the crib. the old wives tale is that the cat will steal the baby's breath away after smelling the milk from his mouth. cats dont like formula or breast milk. cats do walk in their own feces and lick themselves and eat rodents (mine do), so that is a reason to keep your baby away. cats feces can carry toxoplasmosis which is why you arent supposed to change kitty litter boxes when you are pregnant. i wouldnt want my cats to carry this into my baby. we trained them to stay out of the baby's room with a spray bottle and now just sit the bottle inside the door.

Penny - posted on 10/06/2009

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yep it can b true i grew up with cats

we had a cat inside 6 months ago and one night my daughter fell asleep with me and i woke to find the cat over her face it scared me completely and she is 3 yrs old

Morgan - posted on 10/06/2009

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Thanks everyone for the ideas. i really like the idea of replacing the door with a screen, however we live in an apartment and can't do that. =\ But we did get a cover for his crib, tonight will be the first night we use it, I hope it works. I have not seen the cat in their since that night thankfully, but i am not taking any chances. I love my kitty, but my baby boy comes first =]

Jennifer - posted on 10/06/2009

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I have a baby gate outside the babies bedroom and keep the door ajar so that he cant jump it. we have three cats and do not let them near my 5 week old not only because of the smothering but also because of the fact that they walk in the kitty litter box. I would definitely recommend keeping the cat away from the baby...

Lauren - posted on 10/06/2009

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My pediatrician told me that there has never been a recorded incidence in which a baby died due to a cat cuddling or sleeping with them.

Danielle - posted on 10/06/2009

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We have 2 long haired cats that shed fur like crazy, so for the sake of cleanliness alone we keep the cats out of our 6 month old's room. Before my daughter was born each of the cats got in her room when I accidentally didn't close the door all the way... Both made it into her crib... one just slept and got fur everywhere but the other decided it was a litter box. Luckily I had a waterproof matress pad on it already and just had to wash and sanitize everything. Anyway, all cats our different, and I don't think ours would hurt our baby but you never know. Even though cats are one of the cleaner animals, they still carry germs and shed fur and I don't want that around my family's sleeping areas. I keep all bedroom doors closed and use a video baby monitor so that I can see/hear my little girl when she's sleeping.

Pia - posted on 10/06/2009

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Quoting Samantha:

Whether the old wive's tale is true or not, having a cat anywhere near the baby is disgusting.



?? Just curious to know why you think this??



I also don't think having a cat around your child is a good idea. Even if the old wive's tale is false and the cat does not smother your child, many cats aren't friendly with babies (especially when your baby gets a bit older and starts to follow it around), so it is a good idea to keep the cat away from your baby at least until the child is able to understand how to be gentle and not scare the cat.



My friend has a screen door on her daughters room as well, and keeps the cat outside when her daughter is awake.

Vicki - posted on 10/06/2009

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This all makes me LOL.

Really it depends on the cat. Most probably would not smother a baby. Mine certainly does not. He sometimes likes to sleep at my boy's feet, and if the bed is unoccupied he'll sprawl out all over as cats are want to do... He has never gone near the baby's face. My cat is friendly, but he isn't exactly a lap-cat. He doesn't snuggle. Even on my bed, he sleeps at the foot. I'd guess that if you have ever awoken with the cat on YOUR face, it's possible that could happen to baby... O_o

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I thought I heard they will get around their mouths because they smell the milk. I would definitely keep the cat away at night by closing the door or putting the cat somewhere while you're sleeping. Just to be safe. Even if the wive's tale isn't true the cat could still scratch your baby.

Sherry - posted on 10/05/2009

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It's true that cats love the warmth that babies give off. Keep the cat out of the bed and preferably out of the room altogther. My cats don't go near the baby, but we got a net that fits over the crib when she was born just in case. Jolly Jumper made it I think, it's basically a mosquito net. Now that she is in her own room, we keep her door shut.

Lynlee - posted on 10/05/2009

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Well it's not an old wive's tale; cat's love warm places and often that is the baby's face, so they can smother a baby without meaning to. You need to keep the cat out of the baby's room when he is asleep.

[deleted account]

I have a cat but she has no interest in being anywhere near my son. I have heard of people putting some type of netting over the top of the crib to keep the cat out of it. Personally, I would not be comfortable with any cat being in a crib with baby. Just not safe.

[deleted account]

I have a cat but she has no interest in being anywhere near my son. I have heard of people putting some type of netting over the top of the crib to keep the cat out of it. Personally, I would not be comfortable with any cat being in a crib with baby. Just not safe.

[deleted account]

I have a cat but she has no interest in being anywhere near my son. I have heard of people putting some type of netting over the top of the crib to keep the cat out of it. Personally, I would not be comfortable with any cat being in a crib with baby. Just not safe.

Donna - posted on 10/05/2009

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We have two cats and as soon as we bought our son home we made the cats sleep in the laundry of a nighttime. My hubby did catch one of the cats in the cot which was a bit scary !!!

Ashley - posted on 10/05/2009

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Well, one of my cats is huge and cuddles on your chest, so we replaced my son's door with a screen door. That way we can hear him and the cats stay out. :)

Not sure about the old wives tale, but depending on how your cat cuddles, I would try to keep her out.

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