A question for Mommies with Cats???

Morgan - posted on 10/26/2010 ( 68 moms have responded )

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Hey ladies,
I have a 9 month old daughter who is just starting to cruse the furniture and take a few steps, I also have a cat who is well not very nice, she great with my husband and I but when it comes to the baby she will claw her without even being touched my daughter only has to get close enough and she swats!! My daughter has not be hurt badly just a few small cuts on her hands, but I am so scared that the cat might get her in the face!!! will my cat get used to the baby? is there anything I can do? I try to tell them both NO! and I tell my daughter "Kitty Owie!!" but we also have a dog that shes all over so I dont think she understands why she can jump on the dog but not even get close to our cat. I am lost.
before you post, Giving our cat away is not an option!!
Thanks for any advice :)

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Firebird - posted on 10/26/2010

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Giving away my cat wasn't an option either. Neither was locking her up or de-clawing her. That's cruel and unnecessary. Even for an indoor cat like mine, claws are needed. It took until my daughter was about 3 before she and my cat learned to get along properly. You can buy these little rubber things to put over your cat's claws so they aren't sharp. They work and they are humane! Ask a vet or a groomer about them. Get a clean spray bottle (at the dollar store they're dirt cheap) fill it with water and spray the cat when she has a go at your daughter, that way your daughter won't think that hitting the animals is ok. And make sure the cat has somewhere to escape to where your daughter can't get to.

Kate CP - posted on 10/26/2010

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Sophia: So rather than attempting to fix a situation that is quite possibly VERY fixable we're just going to get rid of a cat who will probably be put down if surrendered to a local shelter? Once it's listed on an animal's history that they have any kind of human aggression they are immediately euthanized. Declawing a cat...I take it none of you have ever witnessed a declaw or the aftermath? I have-I used to be a vet tech. I used to have all my cats declawed in the front and after watching it I will never do it again.

Your 9 month old daughter SHOULD NOT be allowed to do ANYTHING to the animals EXCEPT pet them nicely and ONLY when you are right there holding her hand! To allow any other interaction is BEGGING for a serious injury to either the child, animal or both.

Jodi - posted on 10/28/2010

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Ladies,

Please keep the comments nice and just remember that tone is not readable on an internet forum, sometime *humour* may not be seen as funny. The OP has asked for advice on how to handle her situation, so let's be constructive.

Thank you
Jodi Adams
WtCoM Moderator

Kate CP - posted on 10/26/2010

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I am a certified pet training instructor with over 12 years professional experience. This is in response to ALL the replies thus far:
You know, animals can't talk. They can't say "You're scaring me. You're hurting me. I want my space." So they scratch and bite. This is why an adult should
A L W A Y S be present when a child and an animal are interacting. I have a four year old and when she got nipped at by a dog or scratched by a cat it was MY FAULT because I wasn't there with her. The kids don't know any better and the pets are only doing what they know how to do to keep themselves safe. They would do the same thing to a puppy or a kitten the only difference is the puppy and kitten have fur and don't get hurt as easily.

Any pet will take time when adjusting to a new family member be it a baby, a roommate, or a spouse. If one is having problems with the adjustment it is recommended you speak to your vet and find a good reference for a behaviorist or trainer (yes, there are cat trainers AND behaviorists) for more help and guidance. An animal IS a family member and one should at least TRY to make things work for all the creatures (human and animal alike) involved. If nothing is working then yes, re-home the animal with a no-kill adoption or rescue group.

Animals don't bite or scratch when a simple growl or hiss will do. If an animal resorts to physical interaction it's usually because the warning signs were missed or ignored. If a person has children AND pets it's their job to be there and ensure that the interaction goes smoothly. Don't turn your back for a second; don't leave the room for a moment; don't leave them alone.

Firebird - posted on 10/28/2010

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OK an indoor cat DOES need it's claws! Not for defense but for other things that are related to it's physical health. Why do cats scratch post and furniture and carpets? Exercise. Not because they think it's fun. It's instinct.That motion stretches the muscles in their shoulders and backs to help keep them in top physical shape! Not to mention that cats tend to jump and often need their claws to help them land on (or stop them from falling off of) their destination... like a shelf or the back of a couch. Besides, like someone else mentioned, if you de-claw your cat, it could very well start biting instead. I've been bitten by cats and quite frankly, if I had no other option, I would rather be scratched.

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Linda - posted on 06/17/2011

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Hi Morgan, I have been thinking about you and your cat and children. How has it all worked out? Our lives are still fairly peaceful with cat and children not very interested in each other (which is better for everyone).

Linda - posted on 06/17/2011

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Hi Morgan, I have been thinking about you and your cat and children. How has it all worked out? Our lives are still fairly peaceful with cat and children not very interested in each other (which is better for everyone).

Alfreda - posted on 10/31/2010

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it will take time, but the cat will get used to the baby and the baby will grow into a little kid and that will help too.

Terri - posted on 10/31/2010

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don't worry, she will learn to stay away from the cat eventually lol, most cats are like that, it will get used to her. but it may take sometime xx

Jessica - posted on 10/30/2010

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There are a lot of good suggestions posted that I agree with. I never had this problem maybe because the cat we had when my boys were little was older and didn't react to them doing anything except pulling it's hair and it was a good lesson for them to get nipped for doing it. When they were younger than a year I kept the cat separated except when I was there to hold him while they would pet him. Every cat has a master (the one he goes to the most) and that's the person who should hold the child so that the cat will go along with it better. Each time spend a little more time with petting teaching the child how to do it so kitty won't be upset...no pulling ears or tail, etc. Most cats will adapt but it can take a while so hang in there.

Laura - posted on 10/29/2010

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How about declawing the cat? We have three indoor cats and my grandson is living with us and we don't have to worry about the clawing.

Candi - posted on 10/29/2010

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One thing I didn't mention before, If your baby is cruising the furniture, do you think the little hands coming up on the cushion might be getting the cats attention and he is attacking whatever moves? My cat is the laziest thing ever, but if I wiggle my fingers on the couch or under a blanket, he pounces. He is declawed, so he doesn't hurt and as soon as he realizes its a human, he loses interest. Cats that are declawed are fine. They can still "Knead" or "make biscuits", however you want to put it. They still do that, but it leaves your furniture in good shape. My MIL thought she would be getting my cat in trouble by telling my husband the cat was sharpening his claws on the leather chair. She was very excited about that until my husband told her the cat had no claws. Then she tried to find something else to get the cat in trouble! I have seen declawed cats climb trees and kill rabbits and snakes. Declawing them will not kill them but may save your child from getting a scar

Jacqueline - posted on 10/29/2010

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Hi, Yes cats are more difficult than dogs to train,,,,,I had one and i couldn't trust her with babies and little tots,,,,you must just keep in separate rooms if you are not in the room,,,,,,,and please watch your dog too,,,don't let the baby hurt him,,,,as this is easy to say i know,,,but you need to protect him from baby too,,,good luck,,,i did try a tap on the nose to the cat if she spits at baby and she will just stay away after a few taps? Love Jackie from Cheshire x x

[deleted account]

Boy I've had my rounds with a cat in my time. Her name was Punk and she was a mix breed, half blue and cream persian and half wild bob cat. She was HUGE...about 25 lbs. with NO fat. She had a bob tail and a really SNOTTY personality. I tried the spray bottle trick...it never really worked for her. She would look at me like she was going to slap me and then continue RIGHT on about her business. One morning she jumped onto the bathroom counter and stuck her face in my coffee cup. I can't STAND that! So, I didn't have a water bottle handy...but I DID have a bottle of perfume in front of me. She got squirted with the perfume and took off like a bat outta hell! I wonder if a bottle of cheap perfume would work for your Miss Attitude?
Now Punk had another little habit...we used it like communication. When I would fuss at her for something, I would pick her up and hold her in front of me, Out of reach of my face. When she decided she had enough of me holding her up, she would lock eyes with me and then LICK HER LIPS. That was her sign language for "I've had enough, put me down." One day, mad enough...I licked MY lips at HER. She looked down, looked away..wouldn't make eye contact with me. But when I put her down, she got AWAY from the no-no and didn't bother it again. I think I found a way to use HER sign language to get through to her. Try holding her under her front arms, in front of you, out of reach of your face, and tell her. "leave my baby alone." and lick your lips. See if you get a reaction out of her.
I also believe that the way to a cat's heart is through her stomach. Try finding a yummy snack the cat loves and then teach your little girl the game of feeding the kitty the snacks? This might make the cat warm up some to the little one. Bonding is often triggered by feeding...you see where I am going, I am sure.
Because Punk was a Bob cat, She had incredibly long and sharp claws. When she 'kneeded' the bedding she would go through the quilts and catch our skin. I talked to a vet about declawing her. I had serious concerns for her self-protection...since she has such an anti-social personality. My vet PROMISED me removing a cat's FRONT claws only is NOT going to hinder them in a fight. If you watch a cat fight..they are holding ON with their front feet...kicking with their back feet. If they have their back claws..their punch is JUST as strong.
I ended up NOT getting Punk's claws cut, only because once I got to the vet's office he learned she was a Bob cat...and can not treat a wild animal.
I hope something I've said here can help...I have 17 years experience with an attitudinal cat who eventually learned to let others live in her house.
Forgive my advice for being unconventional...cats usually are.
GOOD LUCK!

Rebecca - posted on 10/28/2010

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For the record, my cat is declawed and still sticks up for himself very well in fights. He still has his back claws, which are actually the set of claws that cats use in fights to protect themselves. I don't think "declawing" means taking all of their claws everywhere.. just the front ones.

Rebecca - posted on 10/28/2010

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My cat had a huge problem with wanting to sleep in our baby's bed when we first brought her home. We bought this stuff called "No Stay!" by Pet Organics. Basically what it is is an oderless (to us) spray that cats are offended by. It's got garlic and clove oil that repels cats, because they don't like the smell of it. Maybe you could spray your baby's clothes with it, so when your baby gets close, your cat would just run away from her. If you do decide to, be sure to to not spray the clothes with your baby in them and wait until it's completely dried before putting the clothes on your baby, to prevent any sort of skin irritation should one occur. Good luck!

Jenn - posted on 10/28/2010

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According to my vet declawing a cat that is indoor only does not put the cat at a disadvantage in a fight as long as you only do the front claws. Cats fight with their back claws and use their front for warning purposes.

Jenn - posted on 10/28/2010

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I am sorry but I really can't believe your stance about not removing your cat from the home. I had a a cat that I LOVED but he was mean. He went after my 3 day old baby and that cat was gone. Having kids means sacrifices. I am think you should try a few things but if your cat can't get it soon you need to protect your kid.

Kate CP - posted on 10/28/2010

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I nearly died from a cat bite. I'd rather get scratched any day of the week over a bite. *shudder*

[deleted account]

dogs are different than cats, they are more part of the family.. they really want to make sure they're good with their owners so theyll put up with more.. cats can be very nasty.. we have two cats also.. we had to put them outside bc my son is somewhat allergic, but not horribly.. BUT they never bit or clawed my kids, if they see them outside theyre gentle, otherwise the cats will just run away, which works for all of us, now if either of our cats would have bit or clawed the boys they would be gone, not that we dont love them in a pet way, but our kids come first, and like i said our kids are gentle with them.. sooo.. that being said u will have to figure out what you will tolerate with the animal

Megan - posted on 10/28/2010

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I had a great deal of luck with the spray bottle. Both when the cat was showing signs he was about to swat and when my son was approaching too close. Being as he was non-verbal and didn't appear to understand NO till after he was two, a spray of water was enough to get his attention and let him know he needed to go a different direction as well as stopping the cat.

Bonnie - posted on 10/28/2010

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Morgan, I commented on your other thread, but I just had to come here and read these comments.
Barb, I am not that young and that comment seemed too serious to me. Did you really have to joke about her giving away her baby as a possibility? You didn't have LOL or HAHAHA nothing at all. What do you expect people to think? We are reading your words that's it.
I have had a dog and a cat growing up and never in my wildest dreams would I ever consider giving away my pet for that reason. They are part of the family. There are ways to work around it. It's not as if the cat is tearing apart the house.
The moral of the story is, cats like their own space. It will take time for it to get use to your baby being mobile. It will not be like this forever. The cat will give up at some point. You can keep the cat on a different level of the house. You can try the spray bottle. You can try the claw caps. There is nothing wrong with an indoor cat getting declawed, just make sure the cat doesn't get out. My parents cat was already declawed when they got her, but my husband had a cat when we were just dating and he got her front paws declawed. She was an indoor cat. I wouldn't send the cat out at this point if it is use to being indoors. Something has got to give at some point.

Candi - posted on 10/28/2010

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people are screaming not to declaw or use SoftPaws b/c it takes away their defense mechanism. If its an indoor cat, why does he need to defend himself? From what? A spider or a fly that comes in? My cat would rip the softpaws off so we got him declawed. He still managed to kill 2 hamsters and countless bugs, snakes, and lizards that came in the house. We used to live in TX, so we had a little of everything coming inside! The secret to Softpaws being effective, start them as soon as possible. And use them on all 4 feet! If you just put them on the front, he will learn to "rabbit kick" and still hurt someone. Don't get rid of your cat. Its hard to try to find a good family for pets these days. good luck

Laura - posted on 10/28/2010

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I'm surprised no one has suggested cutting the kitty's nails. I used ot have to do that with my cat, because she isn't a sharpener and her nails get long and stuck in the rugs.

My son has had some scratches from the kitty, on his hands, and his head, and has survived just fine. He learns that the kitty doesn't like being hit or tail pulled or whatever he was doing. He is 20 months. I know the cats still loves him because he gives her treats, shares his meals and she sleeps on his bed every night.

Kate CP - posted on 10/28/2010

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No, animals are not capable of human emotions. That doesn't mean they can't show feeling and emotion but to label them with human names is pointless. They don't feel anger, hatred, love, compassion, sorrow, jealousy, or any other emotion the way we do.

Amanda - posted on 10/28/2010

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Barb - Wow if you think that what you said was written with a sense of "humor"....then you have a horrible sense of humor. Your comments were extremely rude and not needed. Period.

Amanda - posted on 10/28/2010

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Claw covers are the answer. My cat has worn the Soft Paws for years with no problems. He can still knead and do his sharpening motion....and he doesn't wreck the furniture anymore either. Give them a try.

Suzanne - posted on 10/28/2010

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i beg to differ animals do have feelings and emotions and are capable of showing them but i do agree it could be in selfdefence or fear of the child, my case was discused with a vet and my mom was told the cat was probably jelous of the bond beteewn my mom and sister which is what caused the bad reaction.

[deleted account]

Yeah, I didn't see the humor in the "give your baby away" comment either and I am far from "young".

Kate CP - posted on 10/28/2010

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Wow. Y'all really don't know anything about animal behavior. Cats don't get jealous. That's a human emotion and animals are not capable of human emotion. They can become territorial and begin to show aggression in response to a perceived threat to their territory. Usually the precursor to this is marking as they are attempting to establish a boundary to their territory. Since there is no mention of this in the original post, I doubt that is the issue. This particular cat is being defensive because it sees the baby as a threat to it's safety. If it was being genuinely aggressive it would seek out and attack the baby rather than swat at it ONLY when the baby approaches it. This is a behavioral problem that is easily fixed with a little time, patience, and training. Barb: Your comments aren't funny-they're mean spirited and rude.

Suzanne - posted on 10/28/2010

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growing up we had a cat that did the same thing to my younger sister, in have no advice on how to handle it but i think it is in your intrest to hear about it .. nothing my parents did helped eventuly because my parents would keep the cat and my sister seperated the cat started jumping in the crib at night when everyone was asleep and attack her, and he would do the same to my mother because he must have seen her as the reason for my sister. they never did find out why he did it out how to stop him he just found a new home one day and his visits to out house just became far between untill it stoped all together one day. (we seen him off and on sitting in a window down the street almost smirking it seened so we know he was safe)
so please be carful cats are jelous creatures and if that is why it is scratching there may be no way to stop it.
good luck

Dawn - posted on 10/28/2010

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If giving the cat away is not an option then the cat has to be trained about what is acceptable behavior. I have twins and i have cats and dogs. my cats are either lovers or runners. The one that can get fisty was taught that if she came near the children she would get sprayed with water. After a weekend of monitoring them and spritzing the kitty when she got near the children she became a runner. If the kids would get near her she would run instead of fight.

Avvy - posted on 10/28/2010

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There is a solution here, you just have to find it.Respect for all animals is important.I think all children should be supervised around all animals regardless of how well they seem to tolerate rough play.Separating the cat from the child is the answer for now,and I don't see you having to get rid of anyone. Now take a deep breath and LAUGH! We're all her to help that's what moms do for each other.

[deleted account]

I meant to also say, you did post that giving the cat away was not an option...so the other option is...

Morgan - posted on 10/28/2010

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Barb, Come on really?
I am just looking for a solution, of corse my child is more important, but iam hoping that I can give my cat a fair chance to get used to a mobile baby.
If you had two children and one bit the other would you give away this biting child? or would you teach your child its not ok? I am just looking for tips to teach my cat its not ok. if this cant happen then the cat will go.
so grow up, keep your nasty comments to yourself and go back to your perfect life as a perfect parent.

[deleted account]

If giving the cat away is not an option then give the child away. What do you mean it's not an option? Who's more important, the cat or the child?

Katt - posted on 10/28/2010

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CATS DO TALK - you just have to know how to understand them!!! What was kitty doing right before swatting baby? Was her fur standing up, ears back and legs outstretched? With that type of posture, yes kitty is feeling aggressive, but if kitty was sitting with ears up, when it happened she's saying I'm alert and what the heck is this? From what you described, it just doesn't sound like aggression. An aggressive kitty would have had claws fully extended and yes baby would holler! There are a lot of sites online that will give you info on how to interpret kitty's tail and body posture to understand what motivates the swats. The solution may be as simple as putting both baby and kitty on you so you can supervise kitty's safe exploration of baby. If kitty is seeing baby as a possible 'toy' your squirt bottle is a lovely idea, 'tho I'd recommend you to isolate kitty from baby when you're not there, squirt bottle in hand, to supervise their interaction.

In my opinion, claw covers are not an answer.. A) They blunt the claws, leaving kitty as defenseless in front as if he were declawed. B) Even declawed kittys have the urge to scratch to sharpen their claws and claw covers use the equivalent of super glue to attach them. Talk about the pain of declawing by a vet who uses anesthetics, what about the pain of a claw being jerked out because the cover catches on something while kitty is trying to 'sharpen' his claws?

I have dealt with this same thing before. My kitty had never been around a baby until my daughter and her family, including my baby grandson, moved in with me. My kitty was both curious and wary of the baby at first and yes, he swatted at the baby, but he got a little tap on the bridge of his nose and told NO. It didn't take long and kitty's behavior changed and he became... almost a GUARD of my grandson, shadowing him, watching him, sleeping with him. I think what brought my kitty to that point, was consistency in rejecting the misbehavior, as well as putting the 2 of them with me on the sofa, to lavish equal attention on both. Hope this helps.

Meg - posted on 10/27/2010

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It could be that the cat is jealous or thought he was the only "baby" until your child came along. The cat really will not change. If need be get a hold of the a humane society that will take the cat and place it up for adoption in a home that is right for the cat. Your child's safety is important.

Missie - posted on 10/27/2010

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I can really understand your situation. I have always had cats and i have 6 children. I have my cats de-clawed so even if the baby angers him he can't hurt him. I had a kitten we took in when my toddler was an infant, He took some training before he wasn't trying to claw at him. I used a spray bottle filled with water, since most cats are not fond of water, he learned to either allow the baby room to pass and not swipe at him or to get up and leave the room. I had two other cats at the time who would allow the baby to crawl around them, lay on them, well do just about anything to them.. The cat will learn and so will your daughter, just remember any real scratches or bites may need more than home treatment. I strongly recommend the water and spray bottle, since you love your cat.

Candi - posted on 10/27/2010

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spray bottles don't make sense to me. I have hardwood floors (real hardwood) and any drop of liquid leaves a mark, plus why wet the furniture? My husband throws things at the cat when he is harassing the dog. Its usually a bottle cap or a little toy the kids left nearby. As cats get older, they learn who is in charge. My old cat used to let my daughter strap him in a stroller and push him all over the house, he would lay in her carriage and ride all over the house. SHe could do whatever she wanted. Before I got SoftPaws put on him, he did scratch her once and she bled...I blamed her b/c she tried to bathe him......in the toilet!!! But hey, she was only 3. She never tried to do it again! lol

JANE - posted on 10/27/2010

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when my baby was on the floor, the cat thought she was a toy and playfully batted at her. eventually i had to have the cat de-clawed, but j ust the front paws. we lived in the city at the time and i didn't have to worry about the cat being outside.

Firebird - posted on 10/27/2010

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Sorry, it took a bit for me to respond, I had to go to work =) Yea, spray only when kitty swats, or looks like she's going to swat, though if you see the warning signs it would be best just to pick up your daughter and move her. Something I noticed with my cat, is that when she used to scratch my daughter, she knew it was bad. My cat knew she shouldn't have done it, so I'm guessing that I just wasn't on the ball enough, and my poor kitty didn't know what else to do.
I'm really glad that you're not just giving your cat away over this, it is our job as pet owners to do everything we can to make new situations like this work. Your cat will get used to this! And then she's going to have to get used to baby walking! lol It will take some time, but it's worth it. My daughter is now almost 6 and she loves both of our pets to pieces. My cat jumps up on her bed almost every night, to hear the bed time story. I couldn't imagine not having my family as complete as it is right now!

Julie - posted on 10/27/2010

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My kitties are a little more tolerant, but nowhere near as much as the dogs. I get so mad at them when they hiss or growl then only go 3 feet away. HELLO!! You can run or jump onto something high! Ugh. Anyhow, I make sure there are several kitty refuges (jump over or climb under a gate, go through kitty door into basement). I tell my son (now 2.5 years) to leave kitty alone, or be gentle, if she is ok with him. I PSST at my cats the moment they put their ears back or make a negative sound and that usually gets them to go.

Cat bits and scratches can get infected quickly, so you don't really want to mess around too much with safety. So, I would say to make sure kitty has places to escape to and that the child also gets told not to disturb kitty.

I'm not sure about using a squirt gun if your daughter is right in kitty's face -- that can unintentionally lead to redirected aggression. Basically, kitty could go ballistic on whatever the closest target is (child) because she was startled. You've got to be careful ... if you know your kitty always darts with that, maybe it would be ok to try.

Good luck! Kids and pets are a challenging combination sometimes.

Kirsty - posted on 10/27/2010

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I think the idea of the spray bottle is a good one. You would only need to do it when the cat swats or looks like its about to. You can tell by a cats eyes what mood they are in, if the pupils are large they are in an attack or grumpy mood. My daughter, who is now 8 has learned to stay away from our cat while his eyes are big. I know your daughter is too young but you may be able to learn its moods. Spray it any time it looks like its about to swat, its not cruel and the noise of the spray is enough to turn it away. good luck with getting the harmony in the house, it will take a while but Im sure it will work.

Candi - posted on 10/26/2010

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I love cats! THe cat I have now was a mother's day gift from 5 yrs ago. I was pregnant with my 3rd child when we adopted him from the pound. I tried to use SoftPaws on him. THey are the little vinyl caps that just glue on to their claws. THey come in all sorts of great colors. THey worked fine for my other cat!Well, this hardheaded cat would sit in the corner and chew them off! I had to have him declawed. The vet would have done all 4 feet since I had a newborn, but I said she won't be a baby forever, so just the front feet will work. He is strictly indoors, never goes outside, and he survived the declawing! Now my daughter is 5 and they share a bed!He refuses to go to bed without her and he lays on her belly at night to keep her warm. As far as the cat swatting at people, my cats did that when they were playing. THe best cat I ever had would see my daughter coming in the room and he would jump to the back of the couch and swat her hair everytime she walked by! It never got old. SHe got a kick out of it! My cat now will hide behind a door or a wall and we know our dog is coming. He will sit and wait and as soon as the dog walks in, the cat jumps up and swats him! Our dog is a chihuahua thats blind in one eye and I think my cat just does it b/c its funny! Don't punish the cat. He will learn his boundaries soon enough. Just go to www.softpaws.com and order some nail caps

[deleted account]

I am sorry, but as a mom with 4 grown kids, if I had a cat that swatted my little ones just once the cat would be gone so quick it would make your head spin. That may sound cruel, but kids come first, well before pets!!

Linda - posted on 10/26/2010

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Hi Morgan, I can relate to you very much. I had an inside cat for 7 years and then along came my kids. Two things happened - I had to referee the cat and babies - if they were in the same room I watched them both very closely and said ' gentle with the cat' every time the baby went near my cat and if things looked like they were going downhill (ie cat tail wagging alot, cat stance looked like he was going to jump) I just picked up the cat and gently placed him in another room to calm down. i will admit my first son manage to get a random scratch on him now and then (and yes, sometimes on his head) but he is fine and he is not 'afraid' of the cat. he just knows to be careful.

the second (and my most nervous thing) was I could see the cat needed to get away from the babies so I let him outside. at first I was going outside to check where he was in the garden and I nearly had a heart attack when he left the yard but that was five years ago now and he is still fine and is now an outside cat (and we live near a busy road)

my children are now 4 and 6 and don't even look twice at the cat when playing in the backyard (this didnt happen till around 3 years old) and the cat just sits there and doesnt worry about the kids now -

giving away my beloved cat was not an option for me either.

please hang in there - it will work out for the best - it just takes time and patience and things get better as the kids get older too :)

Morgan - posted on 10/26/2010

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Ok so yeah this is great!!!
I just wanted some help, I would never put my cat before my beautiful daughter, But I promise you that I will do everything I can as a pet owner to stop anything from happening, my daugher has only been scratched twice and not even bad enough for her to cry, I am not going to declaw her and I am not going to give her away I am going to try spraying her with water and see how that goes, it that wont help then she will just not be in the same room as the baby, she gets tons of affection as I am a stay at home mom, so even being out of the room most of the day I assume she gets more attention then most cats, I do not think my cat is unhappy. I will also work on holding the kitty so my daughter can touch her, gentle is a word she knows very well she is very gentle with our dog who is about 100 pounds I was only using "Jump" as a figure of speech, the cat swats at the baby before she even touches the cat thats why I wasent sure what to do. Like I said I was only looking for a little help!

Sophia - posted on 10/26/2010

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Kate: I agree 100% with you. My point also is that if kitty and baby can't learn to get along then it's probably best for all to find kitty a good home. I would never advocate dropping the cat off at a shelter, especially a 4-year-old cat. And de-clawing? I NEVER mentioned that and wouldn't because I also think it's a cruel practice. If it were ME and the situation didn't get better within a few months I would have to let the cat go for the baby's safety and the cat's happiness.

Tamogene - posted on 10/26/2010

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She is just jealous of the new baby. You need to pet her while holding the baby, let her know you still love her. Give her treats. Most important be careful of the litter box, when the cat steps in the litter box then trots on the floor or jumps on the couch they have what they call oo-oocyts, which causes toxoplasmosis. you might want to look it up. Be careful the cat doesn't try to smother the baby too. Good luck and God bless you and your family.

Sophia - posted on 10/26/2010

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Catty! LOL! Let me try to redeem myself...Cats as we all know are very independant and have personality all their own. Nine-month-olds are trying to be independant and have little personalities all their own. Soo...teach baby nice petting. Soft, gentle strokes. If she hits or pulls the cat, she gets told noo. Show her how the cats feelings get hurt when she grabs for it. Don't allow baby to climb on the dog at all, even if puppy doesn't mind. Hold kitty close on your lap and let baby pet kitty gently. Teach kitty that baby is trying to love her, not manhandle her. If kitty gets testy with baby take kitty away. When kitty swipes at baby give her a tap on the nose with a no. They both just have to learn some manners where the other is concerned. I'm sure it will happen. If kitty does scratch baby make sure to wash her scratches with warm, soapy water right away.
Was I catty, yes. Please give me a second to explain...I don't believe that an animal should ever be put before a child. I have witnessed people with beloved pets make excuses for a pets bad behavior towards a child. My family loves our animals but if one of them acted badly towards one of our children, the animal would HAVE to go. My pets are not one of my babies but a nice addition to our family. I'm sure you are a responsilbe parent and pet owner.

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