Parents with cats... How did you protect baby?

(48 Posts)
Guntie Thu 21-Mar-13 19:15:01

I have two cats and am 28 weeks pregnant.

Currently our cats sleep in our room, on our bed.

I wouldn't dream of doing something that's unsafe for baby, so I was looking for advice on how you managed your cats and a newborn.

Did you shut the cats out of your bedroom, if baby was sleeping in with you?

Did you use "cat nets" to prevent cats getting into baby's crib?

How is it humanly possible to keep cats away from baby and baby's things?

Case in point, I bought home our moses basket (haven't got the mattress yet) and one of the cats jumped in it and snuggled down immediately. I got him out and then turned the moses basket upside down. Came back 5 minutes later and he was asleep on the upturned moses basket looking pleased with himself..

I can't always have our room off limits for the cats as it is the only room with access to the garden where they go in and out of everyday..

Thoughts? Advice? Experiences?

Sparklingbrook Thu 21-Mar-13 19:19:41

Hi Guntie. We had a cat when DS1 arrived (14 years ago nearly). I can honestly say the cat showed zero interest in getting anywhere near the baby at all. Although DS1 was a very screechy baby.

Spero Thu 21-Mar-13 19:19:45

I had two cats and a newborn. I don't honestly remember what I did, never had any problems, they didn't go near the baby. She slept in her own room and I just shut the door when she was sleeping. They were very wary of her as she was noisy and unpredictable. Just don't shut them in a room together and you should be fine.

MortifiedAdams Thu 21-Mar-13 19:23:05

We put.our basket up for a good month before the due date and watched the cats like a hawk for a week til they learnt that they werent allowed in it.

By the time the baby was here they didnt even glance at it. And a noisy smelly baby is a great deterrant.

Also, baby tends not.to be left anywhere on their own for a good few month.

monsterchild Thu 21-Mar-13 19:23:46

I have Q&A month old and 3 cats. They mostly stay away from the baby. The worst problem is sleeping in his cot and trying to snuggle with me when I'm feeding him. They still sleep on the bed with us, ds sleeps in the bed too!

As above poster said don't leave them alone together.

monsterchild Thu 21-Mar-13 19:24:24

Sorry 3 month old, stupid phone!

Sparklingbrook Thu 21-Mar-13 19:24:53

The DC went on to have a lovely relationship with the cat until she passed away, and i think that was because she wasn't left out. She would still sit on my knee while I was feeding a baby, it was a bit of a squeeze. grin

Rororowmeboat Thu 21-Mar-13 19:25:49

We were exactly the same as you, our bedroom had the only access to the garden and our lovely cat slept on our bed everynight going in and out the cat flap in our bedroom.

When DS came along our cat stayed well out of the way of the baby - I think it was about 8 weeks before she came anywhere near DS (cats get spooked at all the crying).

I still wasn't comfortable though having cat and baby in the same room whilst sleeping though and keeping the cat out of the bedroom would have been impossible as she would have just cried outside the door and kept me more awake than DS (she is very vocal!).

In the end I slept on a camp bed in the nursery with baby in the Moses basket inside the cotbed for the first 8 weeks (we splashed out on a luxury one and it was pretty comfy). Then at about 9 weeks I moved back into the bedroom with DH and the cat. I know the guidance is baby is to share the same room as you for 6 months but in our case I knew I wouldn't get a wink of sleep worrying about my cat sleeping on DS head (although realistically I don't think it would have been a problem but I just couldn't relax about it).

Ps Catnets are shit!

My cat always sleeps on our bed and still did when DS was in a Moses basket in with us. We had the basket on a stand rather than on the floor though. Now he's in the cot in his own room we close his door at nigh no cat nets needed. Tbh she wasn't really interested in going near the noisy squirmy thing!
Now DS is a bit older its the cat that needs protecting from him!

bonzo77 Thu 21-Mar-13 19:27:39

I lock the cat in the kitchen over night, and close the baby's door if he's sleeping alone. The cat sleeps in the cot, car seat, bouncy chair, buggy, sleeping bag, baby gym, etc. but leaves as soon as the baby needs to go in. She has never got into the cot etc with the baby already in there. I take no precautions about hairs and have never used the net. I don't let the cat touch the bottles though I sometimes pour left over formula into her bowl.

SoHHKB Thu 21-Mar-13 19:28:30

Our cat has never been allowed in the bedrooms - we keep the doors shut. He is regularly told 'NO' when he goes to make himself comfortable on the playmat or jump up when baby is feeding and he seems to take some notice...

However, he is seriously missing our laps and miows all the bloody time quite a lot for our attention. He has also been spotted sleeping in the baby's car seat hmm

Luckily, he doesn't seem too fussed to be near the noisy squawking pink thing baby so hasn't yet curled up on him for a nap. I'm hoping that by the time cat feels braver, ds will be able to pull his tail wink

I did worry a bit at first about keeping them separate but tbh, even when they come face to face, neither shows much interest...

(not sure any of that is very helpful really...)

I have always been more concerned for the cat's safety than the baby's, particularly once they can crawl winkgrin

Dolallytats Thu 21-Mar-13 19:29:25

I bought a catnet for the cot when DS was born, but it was useless. The cats did jump in to his cot and were always chased out. We thought this had worked until one morning we woke to find one of them (who passed away last year) curled up asleep at the bottom of the cot.

BikeRunSki Thu 21-Mar-13 19:29:38

Our cat has pretty much ignored both DC as much as possible. Now that they are 18 months and 4, the cat needs protecting from them more than anything else.

BumpingFuglies Thu 21-Mar-13 19:29:51

My cats always kept away. They don't find a wriggling, noisy bundle all that interesting smile

To be honest I never worried about it all.

Sparklingbrook Thu 21-Mar-13 19:31:33

I think if I had MN when DS1 was born I would have thought about the cat thing more, grin

Glittertwins Thu 21-Mar-13 19:32:28

We shut off the bedroom that the childen were going to go in about 3 months before they were born to get them out of the habit and leaving fur in there.
We were advised not to bother with cat nets as they are fiddly. One of our cats never went near them and still rarely does 5 years on. The other one loves them and sits with them most of the time.
As above, we thought the cats got the worse deal, especially when DD used to shout cat at her very loudly and tried to crawl after her!

PurplePidjin Thu 21-Mar-13 19:37:18

My cat is very wary of my 4mo. She's ok if he's still - and will come up to sniff/scent mark his feet briefly - but doesn't go near his things. I keep a blanket over the car seat/buggy and have the ikea changing mat with washable covers. I like my sleep too much to let cats in bedrooms, tbh she knows well enough not to come in if he infrequently goes down in his crib in the day and i leave the door ajar smile

I think the bigger danger will be to the cat from a mobile baby. Obviously i will discourage ds from approaching dcat, but there will need to be a lit of supervision!

Make sure your cats' litter tray is far far far away from curious little hands wink

After trying to sit on ds, who was a few hours old, the cats scarpered. One will tolerate being in the same room as him and jumps at the chance to sleep in his cot when its empty. The other cat will NOT come in the house if ds is awake!

We keep bedrooms doors shut at night. I used to sleep with my cats too but locked them out once ds arrived. When ds moved in to his own room, I thought I would let them back in my room, but I can't tolerate the invasion of my space any more! My poor cats!

Naturally2806 Thu 21-Mar-13 20:05:38

Hello! We had a terrible experience with this. Despite extensive trips to the vet and a consultation with a cat behavioural specialist (please don't laugh- our cat was a much loved and pampered member of our family before DS1 came along!!) we sadly and rightly had to make the descion to rehome our cat via the rescue centre we for her from as a kitten as she unfortunately "went" for DS1 when I was breastfeeding him. Once strike was enough for us as the fear then set in and the safety of the baby was paramount. Still very sad about it now 2 years on but it was absolutely the right descion for us. Our vet recommended Felineaway vapour plug/spray as it apparently releases happy hormones to chill cats out!! Wasn't successful for us!! Hope this helps- I know families successfully integrate babies with pets but gutted it didn't work for us (sorry for the ramble....been quite therapeutic for me writing it down!! blush Good luck and hope you enjoy the rest of your pregnancy- it's so exciting buying all the baby bits!! grin

BettyandDon Thu 21-Mar-13 20:08:58

You have to not leave them alone together. My cat even jumped into the Moses basket when the baby was in it - it was on a stand in the living room 2m away from me. She did not land on the baby thankfully and never did it again as I went ballistic.

I don't know it depends on the cat. My current cat had a stint toilet ing in the wrong places since I had DD2. Total nightmare but that's another story.

Sorry not more positive.

I would advise Feliway spray for starters.

littleredmonkey Thu 21-Mar-13 20:19:47

I shut my cat out the bedroom 5 weeks before due date so he got use to not coming in. Was not happy at first but when we brought ds home he knew the bedroom was out of bounds. Kept the door shut all day also so no crafty sleeps on our bed. He did once jump in the Moses basket when dp was changing ds on night. Dp went nuts. Cat takes no notice of ds. He is back on our bed happy as ds is in his own room. My rule is he is an animal very much loved but still an animal so I dont trust him with ds on his own. You never know and as he gets older little hands will grab and little cats bite and have claws

MumofWombat Thu 21-Mar-13 21:50:27

Our cat did try to get into the bassinet and cot before DS came along, but she soon learnt not to. She was used to sleeping on our bed and we made the decision to shut her out at night (we discovered how lovely it was not to be woken up with a ginger furball sitting on your chest poking you in the face, meowing at you at 4am because she'd decided she was hungry - so she hasn't been allowed back in at night even though DS graduated to the nursery and then to his big boy bedroom!). Never used nets.
DS was obsessed with her for a while (his first word was her name) but now they tend to ignore each other - she has swiped at him a few times so they have learnt to keep a respectful distance.
We have child gates to keep her food (DS is very interested in this still!) and her escape route into the cat run (she's an indoor cat with a fenced in outdoor area - the whole length of the house so pretty large!).

2kidsintow Thu 21-Mar-13 21:57:36

Our cat showed no interest in either of my DDs when they were babies. He did occasionally nip into their cot for a sleep, but never when they were already in there. (He still likes to sleep on their beds when they aren't in them.)

I just put a spare cover on the cot and removed it at night time.

When they were toddling, he was quick to make himself scarce, and they were quick to be taught to respect him.

Now they have a lovely relationship. He will sleep on their laps and come for a stroke. They love it when he comes and sits on them.

We started shutting the cat out of our room when I was pregnant so he wasn't hit with another change once the baby arrived.

I never had to worry about the cat around the baby. He was appalled by the new creature he has brought home! He rarely shared air space for the first few years. He begrudgingly accepted ds for the last couple of years when we finally lost him at 16 when ds was 6.

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