My cat keeps attacking my baby

(29 Posts)
wessexgirl Fri 09-Jun-06 14:04:23

Not sure what to do about this.

I have two 6 yr old cats - brother and sister. When dd1 was born in 2003 they did seem to resent the attention but became a bit withdrawn rather than jealous and by the time dd1 was a year old they had got over it. The female will simply run off and avoid any overenthusiastic attention, but the male would always quite happily absorb her strenuous expressions of affection. She is a gentle child anyway and learned fairly early on that he preferred stroking to pinching and pulling.

Dd2 is 10 m.o. and neither cat turned a hair when she was born, seeming quite resigned now to having lost our full attention. She is more exuberant than dd1 and will pat the male cat quite hard, or tweak his fur, but nothing on the scale of the cat torture I witness from some of my friends' little treasures. As ever, our male cat has been patient and would simply walk off when he'd had enough.

However, a week ago he turned on her and scratched her hand. As he was recovering from a nasty bite on his leg acquired in a fight, I put it down to soreness contributing to bad temper. But a week later - leg fully recovered - he did it again on the sole of her foot.

I've tried to keep her away from him as much as I can since, but with a recently potty-trained 2 y.o. and dd2 now being mobile, it's not always possible.

This morning, though, her cries interrupted me dusting a shelf and I turned round to see a huge bleeding scratch on her FACE. Closer inspection revealed six puncture marks, one of them less than a centimetre from her eye.

I am seriously worried now, I can't have this kind of thing happening. What can I do?

morningpaper Fri 09-Jun-06 14:06:58

If the scratching hasn't put the baby off, you will have to get rid of the cat I'm afraid

We went through this and got as far as arranging for the cat to go, but it became clear that the baby wouldn't go near the cat after a scratching incident, so we kept her (cat, and baby too)

Angeliz Fri 09-Jun-06 14:08:16

Very very sad but i think you need to think of letting the cats go
I have a huge dog and he is part of my family. I have had him longer than both my girls but their safety would have to come first i'm afarid. (Do know how upsetting that is as i feel sad even writing it) At least with the dog i would be able to keep him outside though.
Don't have any knowledge of cats! Hope someone can come up with something more constructive for you!

wessexgirl Fri 09-Jun-06 14:12:45

Thanks for your quick replies. I'd be gutted to lose him , especially as a friend of mine does vol. work for a rehoming centre and I've heard some tragic stories.

If it comes to the crunch though, dd2 comes first every time. Glad to hear your crisis was averted, though, moondog, maybe mine will be the same *crosses fingers*.

wessexgirl Fri 09-Jun-06 14:13:49

Sorry morningpaper NOT moondog, must have been thinking of angeliz's dog!

Normsnockers Fri 09-Jun-06 14:21:29

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WishICouldGiveUpWork Fri 09-Jun-06 14:27:34

DD is 14mts old and whilst my three cats are very tolerant of her,if she pushes it a bit too far then they will start with a "bop" and if that fails will put the claws out.

I am putting it down to life experience and DD will (and has actually) learned from it.

I know scratches aren't nice but in the great scheme of injuries they can do to themsleves they really aren't that bad.

Now if it were my dog biting that would be a VERY different story.

joelalie Fri 09-Jun-06 14:35:47

For some reason the cat never scratched DD and DS#1 but gave DS#2 a few scratches once he started to crawl and could get at her. His foot, leg, hand and face at various times. No real harm done and he has learnt to be very very gentle and cautious with the cat.

Getting rid of the cat seems a dramatic option. Perhaps your lo will have learned a lesson. I know it's heartbreaking when they get hurt when they are only trying to be friendly

greyriver Fri 09-Jun-06 15:18:07

cant you shut the cats out in the day? Thats what i do whenever my two scratched DD, they go throu stages when DD totally ignores them to when she wants to chase them ALL the time, i just put them outside, i think children and pets alike need to learn to tolerate each other, and like children i believe when you have a pet you cant just give em up imo, you need to find a way round it....unless in extreme cases of course

Twiglett Fri 09-Jun-06 15:20:23

don't understand why this is an issue .. get rid of the cats .. they're attacking your kids

<not a cat person .. which may be where my lack of understanding comes from>

PanicPants Fri 09-Jun-06 15:20:59

Personnally if it was ds, then the cats would have to go. I couldn't risk it.

madahooha Fri 09-Jun-06 15:47:03

Our problem is our dd (1 yo) keeps attacking our cats!

Normsnockers Fri 09-Jun-06 16:07:14

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HarpsichordCarrier Fri 09-Jun-06 16:10:07

I really think you need to think about rehoming the cat. I am sorry to have to say this but I don't think there is a realistic alternative. This isn't a one off incident and it sound like the reaction is escalating.
sorry

zippitippitoes Fri 09-Jun-06 16:13:09

I agree get rid of the cat/s

but the other reason for new aggression in a previously happy animal can be illness, lumps growths, tumours etc?

batters Fri 09-Jun-06 16:15:08

I'm a cat lover, but I honestly think you have only one choice here - get rid of the cats. Not what you want hear I know.

bresha Fri 09-Jun-06 16:17:30

i think the cats have to go,
im getting a new cat on Sunday, im worried now,

shimmy21 Fri 09-Jun-06 16:20:51

If you don't want to rehome your cat, don't. Instead put all your energies in to keeping cat and child apart. It's not easy but it is possible.

My friend recently moved in with her boyfriend (that sounds silly because she's 55). His repeated chest infections were eventually diagnosed as cat allergy and so her beloved cats looked like they were for the chop. Instead she managed to restrict the cats to only the conservatory and outside. They are strictly forbidden in the house.She misses the cat cuddles but the cats are completely fine with the arrangement. (I'm sure if they could speak they'd prefer this to rehoming)

Could you do something similar?

Cadmum Fri 09-Jun-06 16:21:45

Oh dear... This is bringing back memories.

Our cat was not especially fussed about ds1 bu scratched dd1 a few weeks after her birth. I thought that she may have reached for the cat so I let it slide the first time as well.

Two days later the cat lunged for the baby and she still has the scrape scar on her forehead (7 years later).

We found a new (childless) home for our cat. I hope that she was happier there.

catsmother Fri 09-Jun-06 16:25:22

I agree with WishICouldGiveUpWork and Normsknockers.

My toddler gets scratched every so often but ONLY when she has cornered one of the cats and/or pulled its tail, or thwacked it hard with a toy.

Even then, most of the time she gets away with it .... the cats hiss but usually try to get away from her, it's only when they feel trapped that they lash out. They certainly don't attack her in the meantime and 3 (out of 5, the other 2 hide more) are amazingly affectionate around DD, and she, despite the scatches, adores them.

Obviously it's not nice to have your child scratched or bitten, but I too see it as a learning experience. DD can recite what you should and shouldn't do to a cat (having had it drummed into her) but sometimes has trouble remembering, though she is gradually learning. In a way, I think it's useful for her to realise that animals are not compliant toys and can react ..... this is repeated ad infinitum by me, and reinforced by the cats' reactions. But I have noticed she is more cautious with dogs, horses etc she sees, probably 'cos they're bigger and I don't think this is any bad thing.

I don't want to sound flippant about this but I take the view that the cats' behaviour is reactive rather than proactive and that it's something which is likely to fizzle out soon anyway (think she hasn't been scratched for a couple of months now). I know that they can't seriously injure her ...... they lash out in order to make their escape and run off - they don't hang about in order to continue attacking, as dogs have been known to do (depending on their breed and/or training).

Obviously, at the end of the day, it's up to you if you can live with the situation or not. You know your cats and it doesn't sound as if they are mentally or physically ill in any way which has been known to cause cats to deliberately attack without being provoked. Therefore, the provocation (i.e. natural curiousity, not suggesting DD2 is old enough to be nasty deliberately) they get which in turn makes them scratch will almost certainly have a limited timescale to it. However, if you spend a lot of time fretting and worrying about the situation, then maybe they should be rehomed ? ..... I think, am pretty sure in fact, that the Wood Green animal shelter, for one, never puts down a healthy animal.

Normsnockers Fri 09-Jun-06 16:27:07

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Normsnockers Fri 09-Jun-06 16:30:56

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nannyme Fri 09-Jun-06 20:24:43

Never leave a baby and an animal unattended (out of your sight). Get your male neutered if he is not.

If all else fails, contact your local rescue - very few actually destroy animals.

YouDontKnowSquat Sat 18-Jun-16 23:49:22

When a pet attacks a child it's usually for a reason. The "cat" can have an illness or may not be feeling well. Or perhaps the "children" are mishandling the pet; Possibly hurting or injuring or just being to rough with it. Regardless of whether the pet put up with it on previous occasions doesn't matter. More often than not .. a parent may or may not know when their child is doing this to a pet. "IF" they are not aware of it .. they should make themselves .. AWARE!!! For the record .. I've seen many videos of people letting their little pint size versions of themselves do pretty horrible things to pets. They'll laugh about it in these videos, and film it . BUT ... Do diddly squat to stop their kid from doing it. Therefore causing enabling in their kid. Junior hears mom/dad enjoying themselves and giving them praise .. they keep doing it. When a parent does that ... guess what? A pet my strike back. You blame the animal? Maybe .. it's the pet. But .. I'd take a look at the parents. Those type of people don't deserve to have kids ... let alone pets!!!!! As for cats causing the extinction of animal species ... you again don't know squat. Humans have been causing more species to become extinct than any other animal.

PortiaCastis Sat 18-Jun-16 23:51:19

This thread is 10 years old

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