worst mother of the year award goes to...............................ME!!!!

Morgan - posted on 10/28/2010 ( 48 moms have responded )

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This is more of just a vent because I find most of you have brains in your heads unlike some of these crazies on the home page......But I still expect some bad responses.
I have been having problems with my cat swatting at my baby, so I asked on the home page if anyone knew of anything I could do to train my kitty to stop this.
I did get some great advice, but more people seem to think I am putting my daughter in harms way and that I dont care about her, which of corse it bullshit, My daughter is my whole world, but I feel the cat deserves a chance to "learn" well anyway I really dont know what to do anymore should I just give the cat away? do you think iam crazy for trying?
why do people keep saying give my daughter away, like its funny?
Ugg I hate letting these people get to me, but I have tears welling up just writing this, I dont know what to do, I love my daughter sooo much and would never put her in danger, I just need help with my cat.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Jenny - posted on 10/28/2010

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My advice would be to keep a squirt bottle close by. When kitty gets rambuctious, fire off a water stream. Make sure kitty doesn't see the bottle. so eventually she just equates swatting baby with getting wet.

Tara - posted on 10/28/2010

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Our cats swat at our baby, actually they have swatted at the last 3 babies I've had. The baby learns not to get too close, the cat learns to leave the baby alone or get out of the way. I don't believe in having a cat declawed for any reason. I think it's inhumane. Nor do I think you should get rid of your kitty. A cat can learn. Don't allow the cat and the baby in the same space unsupervised, a pain the ass I know but it's only temporary and when you do have them in them in the same space, use a water gun and watch the cat for any signs of aggression or intolerance and than squirt him/her and make a "tsss" sound. Be consistent.
When my 4th child was learning to crawl our cats (same ones we have now) would hide behind the door frame/sofa/table etc. and than jump out and on top of the baby's back then off again all in one quick motion. It was funny and they never used their claws.
Last week Riley walked over to one of our cats one was asleep on a chair, he was being very gentle while touching her, she put her front leg up to swat him, at the same time he let out a loud "DADADADA" and scared the bejeebers out of the cat. It was pretty funny actually.
I don't know why everyone is getting their panties all in a twitch about this issue unless your cat is attacking your child without provocation I don't see what the big hoopla is about.
Train your kid, train your cat. People do it all the time.
:)Tara

Sharon - posted on 10/28/2010

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1. Do not declaw your cat. It is incredibly painful and CAN turn your cat psychotic.

2. You said the cat hit the baby but without claws. Cat seems to know what its doing.

I think you should go get the nail caps& a spray bottle but mostly let nature take its course here

Amanda - posted on 10/28/2010

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When a cat is a certain age - getting them declawed really isn't an option because it hurts them and can change their personality. When you declaw a cat you also take part of their bone out.



Our cat isn't declawed, but I trim his nails everyweek and also he wears nail caps. You fill the cap with glue (the same glue used for press on nails) and it slips on over their nails. They are 20 bucks for a package of 40 caps. They work really great and naturally shed off. It might be worth a shot.



Here is the website.



http://www.softpaws.com/

Rosie - posted on 10/28/2010

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people are fucked, if that's bad, i must be the worst mother ever, cause my cat does it, and i think it's NORMAL. my kids annoy it, so it wants to be left alone. it never just goes up to them and swats them for no reason. if they are in his space, he'll let it known he doesn't like it. i don't see anything wrong with it, it's an animal so therefore i won't be doing anything about it. other than the obvious, trying to keep my kids away from the cat, and learning how to pet it without pissing it off.
sorry if i'm no help, but it's my 2 cents. :)

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[deleted account]

Cats will learn there place with kids. I have always had cats, even some pretty mean ones. I would just clip their claws regularly and it was fine. My cats would always swat at my babies but they were trying to play with them more then them.

[deleted account]

Oh my. Well our cat actually does the same thing. Not very often she is usually great with my daughter, letting her pull her tail and fur and drag her through the house. But about 2 weeks ago my cat had her kittens and well she is SUPER defensive. So yes, my daughter got a bit of a scratch on her hand this morning. And I agree, the cat needs to learn that it can't lash out at everything. I would try trimming claws, de-sexing (if it isn't yet), and cats need a lot of attention believe it or not, so try and play a little more, maybe with your daughter as well so you can sort of get them used to each other?

Well that is what I have done anyway. If that doesn't work, there is always making the cat an outdoor cat, asking your vet if there is any solutions (there may be medication?) or something like that. But if worst came to worst, I would consider giving the cat away. But ONLY if there is nothing else left to try. ^-^

[deleted account]

Our cat has started this a bit lately as Logan's 11 months old and likes to pull or tap everything. We've just been removing him from the situation and saying no. Then expressing to our cat that it is bad and we then ignore him for a bit lol!

I guess until our cat actually harmed Logan which we doubt he will we won't be getting rid of him. It's a phase babies/toddlers go through and they all grow out of it. Just ignore those people...they obviously have never experienced the love of a pet =]

Eliz - posted on 10/29/2010

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My mom's cat bit my son on the head once and I smacked the cat so hard on top of His head that he didn't even go anywhere near my son for a few months.

Jenni - posted on 10/29/2010

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Don't have anything to add on what to do to teach your kitty. Don't worry what people say about it. If you were getting rid of the cat because of it you'd get negative responses too. Posters would be telling you how dare you give away your cat. He's part of your family! Would you give away your daughter if she started hitting you?" So it's a lose-lose question. Not much you can do. Best bet is to ask those sort of questions on this forum. The women on this forum seem to be more mature.

Julie - posted on 10/29/2010

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Recognize that there is NEVER a time when everybody will be happy with any decision.

Recognize that if you posted on a pet-lover's page, you'd be told what a horrible pet owner you were for even considering re-homing your cat. After all, kitty came first and she is your responsibility, too.

Please do not beat yourself up so much, someone is always going to get mean. Take the advice that seems most reasonable to you in your situation and apply it. Try talking to your vet and get ideas from them, or even a referral to a veterinary behaviorist if they are not really knowledgeable about that.

If you were to introduce a new kitty to your house (pre-baby), there'd be a transition there, too.

I was looking to find you a handout applicable to your situation, but was unable. I am a vet and I use a few different sites when it comes to kitty behavior resources. Here is a link to a site that give great general information about cats:
http://www.ddfl.org/tips_cats.htm

I also really like this one:
http://indoorpet.osu.edu/cats/

If you live in the states, DFL has a behavior helpline that is free. The link is on the top website, and here are phone numbers:
You can also reach us by phone:
(303) 751-5772, Ext. 1359, Dog and Cat Behavior
1-877-738-0217 Non-Denver metro residents, toll-free

I hope this helps! I have a toddler and 2 kitties myself, so I know it isn't always a piece of cake.

Morgan - posted on 10/29/2010

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Hi ladies
My Kitty Karma is almost 4 years old :)
I spoke to our vet over the phone this morning, He wont declaw her he said they dont do it there, and thats ok because I think its cruel to, he said to try a spray bottle with a little bit of cittronilla (sp) in it, he also said from what I told him that because she not hissing, growling, or showing any signs shes upset that it could very well be that she thinks shes playing, he also said letting her go outside wont help, it will make her feel more independant which wont help her become used to my daughter.
so I am going to go the pet shop today for and get this citronillia stuff and try that in a spray bottle ( he said its made for a special dog collar) and I will try that, and maybe also the plastic bag thing and see where we are after the weekend, Thanks again for all the help :)

[deleted account]

Desiree....I've always had my cats spayed at a young age and it has never helped with clawing of furniture. It does calm them down a bit but with mine, they still claw my furniture and the couches. It's a never ending battle lol There are scent glands in the paws and along the backs of cats. When they claw or rub against your leg? Another way of marking their territory.

[deleted account]

I wish they had some kind of caps for teeth, though. That's the only problem I've ever had with my cats - Pepsi, the one I may be getting back, mostly. It's reminiscent of the nursing instinct with him, I think, because he only ever bit me, my husband, or my roommate from when I first got him, and I got him at about five weeks old (had him for over a year). He hasn't bitten anyone in my family and he only ever bit us when he was relaxed in our laps and we were petting him. It's like little love nibbles that get a little too rough, haha.

He's also drawn major blood on me once but that was entirely my fault, not his. I was being stupid, haha, angry because he crapped on the floor in front of the front door after I'd yelled at him to stop kicking litter everywhere...he likes to sit in clean litter and play. stupid cat...

[deleted account]

Reading your replies, Morgan, I think your cat is just being a cat. If she isn't letting her claws out or leaving marks on the baby, then she understands that the baby is defenseless. Because yes, cats are intelligent enough to understand the difference between children and adults, if dogs are.

It seems like your cat just doesn't like the baby coming up to her, but is okay with the baby in general. If this is so, just don't let your daughter around her until the cat gets more used to her. Cats react easily to new things, and since baby is pulling up and all that, it's a new thing to the cat and she's trying to deal. It may take her a while, but she'll eventually get over it, I think.

I say that because she isn't clawing the baby, just pawing at her.

Make sure you keep her claws clipped though, just in case. I don't agree with declawing, as that can cause much more harm than good (most of the time vets just cut off the entire ends of the toes, that last knuckles, which includes part of the pads, causing balance problems and sometimes it cuts through the tendons, leaving cats with splayed toes. it can also cause a cat to be more nervous because that's their defense mechanism, and with their claws gone they can often become psychologically unsound. because yes, animals have psychological problems. why do you think certain breeds of dogs force themselves to run in endless circles?)

It's relatively easy to clip your cat's claws. Just have your vet show you if you don't already know how.

As for the little claw covers, I've never had to try them because I've always kept my cats' claws clipped. But I don't see why that wouldn't be a good idea.

But unless your daughter was allergic, I see no reason to get rid of the cat. I got rid of my cats (I had two, both a year old, one went to my parents') because I had a feeling I had become allergic to them, but I probably just had some other allergy or a cold. My parents seem to be mistreating my cat anyway and my husband sees nothing wrong with having a cat with a baby so we're probably going to take him back. He's a sweetie who has the personality of a generic dog anyway and I don't think he'd harm a baby.

Just let the cat get used to the baby on her own. She will eventually, I think.

I reiterate, though: Please for your cat's sanity, don't declaw her. It's so hard to find a vet who knows how to declaw a cat without ruining its feet anyway! There are two procedures and the one I already described is the easiest and cheapest so they almost always do that. The other way is to surgically go inside the end of the toe and remove the last knuckle, but vets don't like to do that because they actually have to know what they're doing. :( so please don't declaw your kitty. It'd be so much better to just keep her claws clipped or put those claw guards on her.

Desiree - posted on 10/29/2010

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Sorry just one extra note neuter or spay your cats by the time they are 6 months and you won't have any trouble from kitty and they will stop all kinds of things including the exsesive scratching on your furniture and they nasty spraying. They seem to calm down.

Desiree - posted on 10/29/2010

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Don't get upset with people and thier stupid ideas. I own seven Cats, not a problem. Just punish them remove them from the area lock them in a sperate room take them outside. Cats have wonderful ability to learn also they don't like to be punished and can sulk for days when they have. tell them why you are punishing them as long as you do it immediatly, but just be prepared to deal with the sulking. The up side it will teach you patience for when your daughter decides she is old enough to sulk, You won't need to worry that you are doing something wrong the cat has already put you through your paces in that regard.



From the sounds of things Kitty is just trying to work out wha is this new creature here. It is perfectly normal especially if your cat was there before baby. She is swatting Baby which means she isn't using claws no reason for the declawing besides that is just plain cruel. It would be the same as removing a dogs teeth, Claws are there to protect them. If you are worried just remove Kitty from the room. beside how old is your cat anyway! Remember Babys arms and legs move so Kitty probably thinks she is playing too.

[deleted account]

Morgan, I doubt i can add anything extra everything the other ladies on here have said is what i would do.
Yes i would wrap my child in tin foil covered in citrus oil...LOL JK!
But i have one question how old is your cat?

Johnny - posted on 10/28/2010

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LOL about the cat's not minding the spray bottle. One of mine actually LIKED it. She'd lift up her face into the spray and lick her lips. The other one hated it. Luckily, the one who liked being sprayed hated being yelled at, so that solved that problem.

And I just wanted to also speak out against declawing. It is quite cruel. I've never known a vet here who will actually perform the procedure unless the only other choice is killing the cat. Here is our Canadian veterinary associations statement on the matter (based on the American Veterinary Association statement):

http://canadianveterinarians.net/ShowTex...

And Wikipedia which explains that many regions of the world do not allow it because they believe it to be cruelty:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onychectomy

Sal - posted on 10/28/2010

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i don;t think cats belong in the house...mostly as they really give me hay fever, so lock it out...but i know how you feel, my old dog snapped at my daughter, i was going to get him put down,( and would of made someone else get theirs put down if it had snapped my little one) but he isn't a vicious dog, just has a sore spot, and he snapped when she touched it.... so i have a muzzel now , if it happens again he will have to go though....

Kimberly - posted on 10/28/2010

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I had a cat that would get into shit all day long and I would squirt the little bastard and he would stop what he was doing, look at me and lick himself crazily and go right back to tearing up. Crazy!

[deleted account]

I replied to your thread on the home page (I wasn't one of the crazies). I just had another thought. Growing up we had a cat who didn't mind being squirted with a water bottle so we used a plastic shopping bag. We would shake the bag if she was misbehaving, she didn't like the sound and would run off. Maybe you could give that a try as well.

Jodi - posted on 10/28/2010

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There you go Morgan, I just told the ones who weren't being constructive to pull their heads in ;P

Jodi - posted on 10/28/2010

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Our cat is polydactile...he has extra claws. One his right front paw he has 1 extra and on his left front...2 extra. His back paws are "normal". We have never and will never declaw him, it's cruel and mean to me. Someone else mentioned the caps and we use those, but only for his extra claws since for some reason, he can't retract them, they're always out. (But, they're buried between his toes so they're not just out to maul anyone!) Anyways, our cat has never used his claws on our daughter, he has gotten her with his extra claws before when they're playing...but that's not really his fault.
We used the spray bottle at first to teach him to not be aggressive and we also give time outs to our daughter when she's mean to him and teach her all the time to touch nice. (She's 20 months btw) With twins on the way, people keep telling me to get rid of our cat...but I'm not worried about him! I'm more worried about their big sister beating them up!!! lol

C. - posted on 10/28/2010

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That's true, Amanda.. That's why my brother never got his cat declawed b/c he knew he would hurt him. He got him neutered, and he saw that caused a lot of pain for the cat, so he didn't want to put him through that.



Aside from the pain, though, it takes away their defense mechanism if they ever get outside. It's harder for them to climb trees and attack a predator, so that's also something to think about if you're thinking about getting a cat declawed.



Never heard of claw caps.. I think I'm going to tell my brother about that. It sounds like a really good alternative. Thanks for sharing!

~Jennifer - posted on 10/28/2010

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We used to take quite a few anti-cat measures in our house too....
Then when we moved here, I tossed them all outside.
.....but I've had more than my share of "omg that's NOT a tootsie roll" on my floors too.
;)

[deleted account]

Jenn, since we moved, I can't count how many times he's done it. We have a water heater closet in the hall that is the ONLY place in the house that isn't carpeted so when we moved in I just automatically put the box there. Problem is (was) that the only way I can baby gate the hall at night to keep him out of the kitchen is to put it on the other side of that door, which makes it available to him, since I have to leave the door cracked so the cats can get in. Before we moved, he was confined to his room when he woke up because I had a door knob cover on the inside of his door. Can't do that here because his door won't close all the way (it's an old house) and also because he now sleeps with us. So half the time he wakes up and goes back and forth between our room and his room playing with his toys until I hear him. I solved the problem though, by getting a giant rubber door mat and putting it on the floor under the box in the hall bathroom (on the other side of the gate). It took me about 3 months to come up with that genius idea on my own lol And believe me, I felt like such an idiot once it occurred to me LOL! Before that, I was like "But I don't wanna put the box in the hall bathroom on the carpet!" Duhhh.....needless to say my vacuum cleaner got an almost daily workout for awhile AND Jacob was the most bathed baby in town lol

~Jennifer - posted on 10/28/2010

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Joy....I had to mark that as funny...
...".let's just say my son spent some mornings with his cars at the "beach". A beach in my hall on the shag carpet, complete with little "logs" for the cars to crash into."

I damn near peed myself.

Rachelle - posted on 10/28/2010

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First of all, some people dont understand but for most people who have animals, they are like our children. I think having the cat declawed is the best thing you can do first. Then there is basically no harm that can be done. Second the cat will get used to the baby, just takes time. Try making sure he knows he is wrong and have a stern voice, push it away from the baby or put it in room alone, almost like a time out. Sounds silly but it will learn like anyone would. But I really do think you should absolutely have the cat declawed.

[deleted account]

Carol....I have this vision now of her daughter wrapped in tin foil with orange halves dangling from her elbows ROFL That's AWESOME! I will be using that advice though, about keeping the cats off the damn table. I wish I had known that YEARS ago. Any wood oil with citrus?

[deleted account]

I saw that thread when you first posted it and didn't offer any advice because my cats haven't really ever swatted at my son. But I was sooo worried about it before he was born. I mean, since he's been born they have swatted at him but each time it was because he got a handful of fur or grabbed a tail or paw or ear. First time my husband saw a scratch on Jacob he says "That's IT! The cats are GONE!" I waited for him to calm down and explained that Jacob was learning his boundaries and the cats were staying. I honestly don't know what to tell you to do as far as getting your cat used to your daughter. I don't think you're crazy for trying, trying, trying, and trying again though. I love my kitties to pieces and would never want to give them up. And I'm thankful that they really never had a problem with Jacob. Now, in recent months (like the last 6 months) I will say that they have come awful close to being given away but only because when we moved, it took me awhile to figure out the best placement for the kitty shitty and the baby gates and....well....let's just say my son spent some mornings with his cars at the "beach". A beach in my hall on the shag carpet, complete with little "logs" for the cars to crash into. It wasn't pretty.



Hopefully your cat will come around. I'm surprised the cat doesn't just run when your daughter comes near, like most cats would. Either way, don't be upset because of some people on the Welcome page. That's why I pretty much don't post there. Well, I do post, I just don't start topics I want serious advice on. Too many idiots on the Welcome page for serious conversation :) Good luck girl, and let us know what happens :)

C. - posted on 10/28/2010

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Aww, Morgan! Don't let them get to you.

We lived with my mom off and on for a while (for about 5 months after I had my son and then when my son was just over one year old while my husband deployed and that lasted almost a year). Anyway, my brother lives with my mom and he has a cat that isn't declawed.

No, you're not crazy for trying. First, I would hold your daughter while the cat is near, that way if the cat swats, you can keep your daughter safe from the cat's claws (if it has any).

We did this from when my son was a newborn. The cat wouldn't go near him for the first couple of weeks, like he was scared of my son or something, but after he got interested in my son, my brother would hold the cat and I would hold my son and we'd let the cat sniff him and I would take my son's hand and gently pet the cat, etc. It worked. Even after we moved and then came back, my brother's cat remembered my son and he would come around to him. Unfortunately, my son was walking at this point, so the cat wasn't so thrilled.

Anyway, we just kept an eye on the two of them when they were in the same room. My brother's cat was a stray that was rescued by my sister (the cat's sister was rescued by my sister's friend..), Anyway, he was a wild cat, and he still can be at times, but as long as my son wouldn't go up to him real fast or anything, the cat usually just walked right past. Every once in a while he'd let my son pet him, but he usually kept to himself b/c my son was able to chase after him.

Wow, that was long.. But I would just keep an eye on both of them, maybe hold your daughter when the cat is around if it has claws, or at least keep her close enough that if the cat tried to do anything, you could stop it before it's too late.

ME - posted on 10/28/2010

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I have two cats...I had them before my two children and I still have them. Try a spray bottle...put some water in it, when the cat gets too close to the baby, spray her in the face...

You are not a bad mother...don't listen to that shit!



edited to say...now that I've read the other responses, I see that my suggestion is not very creative...I hear cats also hate double sided tape...not sure how the baby would feel about it either come to think of it...

Isobel - posted on 10/28/2010

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now that I've read the responses...water bottle's probably a better way to start...but I would declaw if it didn't work.

Isobel - posted on 10/28/2010

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you don't know better than to go to the welcome board for advice??? silly girl.

I would get my cat declawed.

September - posted on 10/28/2010

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Maybe you could get a spray bottle and fill it with water and every time the cat swats you can spray the cat with water? My mom did that to our cat growing up when the cat would try to get onto the counter tops. Just a thought....good luck! I'm sure you're not a bad Mom! Don't be so hard on yourself! :)

Kate CP - posted on 10/28/2010

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First of all, your daughter is only 9 months old. Things are just going to happen. Second of all, do what YOU feel is right. Personally, I think it's too soon to toss out the cat. Try a few of the suggestions you've seen and talk to a vet and see if there's a behaviorist you can talk to.

Rosie - posted on 10/28/2010

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hey now carol, it took me MONTHS to figure out there were other communities!! LMAO!!

[deleted account]

I'm not a cat person, so I can't really give you much good advice on what to do, but ignore those people on the main page. The ones who make comments like that are not interested in giving you advice, they just want to start drama.

Have you tried keeping your daughter in a differnet room from the cat? It's not a long trm solution, but it might help in the short term until you can find a good method to train it.

Johnny - posted on 10/28/2010

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Put a drop or 2 of orange or lemon essence in the spray bottle water. Most cats hate citrus passionately and will do anything to avoid it. I finally kept my cats off my kitchen counter by cleaning it all the time with orange oil. Nothing else I tried, including the squirt bottle, had worked. But now, I never find them on the counter.



Tin foil is a huge cat hate too, but I really can't think of a practical way you could apply it in this situation. I hope you can sort it out, it's very hard to feel forced to choose between a pet and your family.



Those idiots on the home page are just there because half of them can't even figure out how to get into other communities. It's like the special room on COM.

[deleted account]

Aww i feel you..some ladies on here are very hormonal lol..look for now you have to keep kitty away from your baby it can be so easy for the cat to seriously hurt the baby while your trying to deal and give the cat a chance.So you do have to make the choice and it could come down to just making sure the cat is never around the baby or give the cat to a good home.Your not stupid and shame on anyone for thinking you are or making you think your the silly one.I hope you sort things out but you know yourself if the cat is at the baby, you have no other choice.

Caitlin - posted on 10/28/2010

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Cats can't say "stop", that is there way of doing it. I tried everything to solve our problems with my dog and my daughter, but we coudln't solve the issue, because it had to do with severe allergies and the dog food mostly. In the end, I had no choice but to give away our dog, because he was miserable never being able to take part in family activities..

As long as they are supervised together, I agree with the squirt bottle idea. The cat should get used to your baby, it's probably shocking to the cat that your baby is starting to move around.

Bonnie - posted on 10/28/2010

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I agree with Jenny on the squirt bottle idea. Supposedly it works. In my opinion it is normal. The cat is just protecting it's surroundings that's all. I haven't been there in a while, but when I go to my parents house, their cat doesn't really want to have anything to do with me or my boys. She doesn't like the boys even if they aren't that close to her and she swats. Me she doesn't like because I brought them there.
Don't listen to the people who have nothing nice to say. For them to joke around like that on something that is quite obvious you wouldn't do in the first place is ridiculous.

Jenn - posted on 10/28/2010

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Some people are just mean - ignore them. If it were me I'd maybe try those claw cover things you can get or *gasp* have the cat declawed.

Morgan - posted on 10/28/2010

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Kimberly,

Thank you

Yes she has claws

she swats at the baby even when the baby is out of her reach, when baby climbs up on the couch even if her hands are a foot away the cat swats, no hissing growling no ears back no wide eyes nothing just right to the swat, They are never alone together even for a second, the last time it happened I dont even think she took her claws out.

Its funny because its only when the baby comes up to the cat that she swats, the cat will go up to the baby no problem, so I dont know what to think?

My daughter has only been pulling up about a month, maybe they just need more time.

the baby has never really touched the cat she hasent been rough or pulled on her or anything.

Kimberly - posted on 10/28/2010

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Does kitty have claws?
Maybe you can contain her one room of the house for a while. I have a cat too and she comes around the baby only when we can monitor her. She did bite some toes once but hasn't done it again. Make sure baby isn't pulling her tail or stroking her roughly. I think in time they will be fine. Most likely just need some time to adjust.
Don't cry. I'm sure it will work out.

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