Parents with cats... How did you protect baby?(48 Posts)
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?
This thread should be "How do you protect the cats"
We had cats before we had children, I've never really worried about them. When DS3 was born we had 4 cats and none of them really went near him when he was tiny. They were a bit spooked by the mini human and avoided him pretty much. As he got a bit bigger they started to interact a little and now he is six they all really like him as he is very good with the animals. Our youngest cat spends his day sleeping in DS3's bed while DS isn't in it.
Same as Bluestocking, my cat was utterly horrified by the mewling, tiny human....she hotfooted it out of the room as fast as possible.
Never had a problem with her at all, no cat nets needed.
Obviously all cats are different so it's worth taking the precautions, we had a cat net etc but never needed it.
When we brought one-day-old DS back from hospital, our sagacious old cat took one look at him in his car seat, shot me a look of utter contempt and stalked out of the room. He never showed the slightest interest in DS, never tried to sleep in his Moses basket or the cot, and gave up sleeping on our bed until DS was in his own room. I honestly wouldn't worry about it.
Bought a cat net but never used it. Cats (who were used to sleeping in bed with us) were shut out of the bedroom for the first few months, while ds was sleeping in the same room as us.
Once ds was moved into his own room, the door was kept shut
so we couldn't hear him crying but in general the cats never showed any interest in going near him. On the contrary, they were rather wary of him.
During the day, I often let him have his nap in/under his baby gym (well swaddled) in the living room and again, the cats never went near him.
Having said that, one of our current cats I'd have been more wary about, as he's the first cat of ours that does sometimes try to sleep on your head. Ds is 12 now (and said cat is now 7 years old) so by that time it was never an issue.
O almost forgot; I love my cats, but you may find you feel different about them after birth. Having not been a home all day with them for any length of time I found them, on occasion, to be more attention seeking and outright pains than DD! I still love them, although in retrospect I would not have so many!!
I have 6 cats and a 6 month old DD so speak with good experience.
We put balloons in the crib and did shut them out of our bedroom at night for a while before she was born. I looked into nets but didn't find one with good reviews. To be honest once they figured she was not a food source they were not interested in her.
Between the balloons and some very stern words if they looked so much as interested in the crib they worked out they were not allowed in it and we started leaving our bedroom door open quite quickly after birth.
They have never been allowed in the nursery anyway but we did have one accident when one of them followed me in for a night feed and accidentally got shut in. DD was in her carry-cot in the cot so said cat decided he would kip in the cot. He shot out like blue lightening had struck when i opened the door! (there may have been some rather high pitched choice words involved). Now they stand guard outside even when the door is open.
They have on occasion got into the empty pram or on the highchair but they were left in the kitchen so I guess that was fair game. O and babymats left unrolled on the floor = comfy cat bed. Now they are strewn with toys not so much.
Now DD is more interested in them the ones which sleep with us even tolerate being petted by her which is sweet; of course I think they are trying to butter her up as, having started weaning, she is now a provider of extra nosh!
We have 2 cats who were always our babies before DS came along. They were always allowed in our room, slept on our bed and generally used the bedroom as their safe haven. We tried to think of all sorts of ways to try to cause as little disruption to the cats as possible as the arrival of a baby was going to be a shock in itself. Shutting them out of the bedroom was not really an option. We took some extreme measures but it worked....
DH and I moved into the nursery with DS for a good couple of months allowing the cats to have the main bedroom to themselves. I know some may think that's mad but it really worked. We could keep the cats out and DS safe whilst everyone settled in and got used to the new arrival. One cat kept her distance anyway but the other wanted to be around DS all the time. It turned out that she ended up moving into the nursery with us all and showed no threat to DS or real interest in getting into his Moses basket. Once we realised this we all moved back into our bedroom again.
The cats have been amazing with him ever since. They never minded him being around, didn't get jealous and fuss around him when he gets really upset. It's very sweet!
We were duped into thinking a cat net was necessary but it truly was a waste of money and a liability. We've always had cats with the DCs and I can never remember an issue of feeling either of the DCs (as babies) was endangered by the presence of cats. Cats are generally put off by loud noises so do tend to stay away from babies. Our current cat, loves to cuddle up to DD (now 7) and will sleep 'spoonies' with her. Cats do like human warmth though so I guess there is always a risk.
I don't remember any problems protecting baby from cats, long time ago but I think they stayed well away.
I do remember a rather stressful time later on protecting the 3 cats from a determined toddler . . . I am still many years later amazed that none of them ever scratched her, the second I turned my back she'd head for them.
DD learnt to crawl following DDog around the room (he would sigh, get up and move to the other end of our long sitting room and lay down for another 10 minutes as she worked her way back along).
We had two cats when I had dd. We stopped them sleeping on the bed with us
Cats won't go on tin foil so we put some e.g. in her cot when she wasn't there or anywhere we wanted them not to sleep.
The cat, who is white, and spends 7 hrs a day keeping his coat pristine, took one look at the baby, shot under the bed and has barely re-emerged 2 years and another baby later
I'm not sure what happened to him in his previous life (we got him pre-loved) but I think it might have involved toddlers, jam and his fur.
I do have a nice photo of my son aged about 20 months in his cot with the cat cuddled up right next to him, both fast asleep. Probably v naughty but by that age I wasn't bothered.
Haha, DoTheStrand, I thought the same thing when I read your post. My cats can scale a 6 foot fence with ease, so unless yours are unusually sloth-like, a 3 foot gate should pose no problem
PurplePidjin funnily enough as soon as I had posted I thought I bet wiser cat owners than me will gently suggest that when I'm not looking my cats are merrily pole vaulting the baby gate back and forth until I turn around to check and they hurriedly resume their usual slothful demeanour...
We've got a lovely photo of our cat meeting ds for the first time when he came home from hospital. She's looking at him in his crib. That was about the last time she paid any attention to him tbh.
I think most cats aren't too keen on the noise and random movements. An empty pram or crib is another thing, but even then chasing her out a few times put her off.
The cat used to sleep on our bed and for the first couple of months we shut her out, but tbh, she didn't come in when ds was there even when the door was left open.
I didn't bother with cat nets. Just keep an eye on them - the trouble can start when the baby is big enough to bother the cat, then the same advice goes!
I never worried about it. Cats suffocating babies is an old wives' tale. DS did get scratched a few times as a toddler though, but that's more about supervision.
Why do you think you need to keep the cat away from the baby's things? I haven't heard that one before.
I did nothing made sure my 2 at the time, I think the crying and grabbing and not letting spooked them enough, my older female cat did sleep in the rack at the bottom of the pram and would attack the legs of visitors she thought got too close
DoTheStrand, we have a gate on the living room from when we had a house bunny. Cat clears it with ease...
Cats won't hurt your babies. In the nicest possible way, get a grip.
We have two cats. They used to sleep on our bed but I stopped that when I was about 20 weeks pregnant with DS1 (I did it then to get them used to it before the baby came). They still - nearly 4 years on - sit whining outside the door but they don't try to come in. We never left him or DS2 alone with the cats when asleep - DS2 now sleeps in a cot in DS1's room which has a baby gate on it and I always make sure the gate is shut at night so the cats can't get in. I have found one asleep in the cot and one asleep in the Moses basket before now, luckily without the baby! One of my cats is huge and fluffy and it does worry me what would happen if she tried to snuggle up to DS2 when he was asleep.
Both boys adore the cats now, there is a point at about 9 months when the baby will suddenly be absolutely fascinated by them. The cats are not quite so enamoured about the DSs! They spend much more time outside now to the extent that some post-baby close friends are surprised to find out we have two cats.
Don't waste your money on a cat net. My parents bought me two of them.
Our cat hated the baby noises and kept well away, then when they were toddlers and could pull her fur and her tail, she kept well away from the DC.
My DH and I are the food providers, the cat is selfish enough to know that unless the DC drop food on the floor for her, they are only there to inconvenience her
My group of friends has one cat net. Each time one of us has a (first) baby, the cat net is given to that person so that they can tell their mother/MIL "yes, we have a cat net". The cat net has never come out of its packaging...
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.
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.
Join the discussion
Please login first.