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Help re cat scratch

(10 Posts)
datingthedevil Thu 18-Oct-12 09:22:34

Hi all,

Please can you help me resolve an argument? its about a past incident the ex keeps bringing up and using it as an example of me being an unfit mother.

I have a cat. She's a nervous little thing around people she doesn't know. She hides and refuses to come out. She doesn't like being stroked unless its by me or my (then) bf. she's even worse around children. She sees them and bolts behind the sofa.

Anyway, the ex's children came over for a weeks holiday (when we were together). The boy aged 7 knows not to bother her as she isn't interested in affection. The 3 year old though doesn't pay attention / understand when I tell her to leave the cat alone as she's scared. I try and tell her daily to stay away from the cat, that shes scared etc and might bite and i try to reinforce this often.

So, one day the 3 year old sees the cat is out from behind the sofa and the child goes over to see the cat who by this point is trapped into a corner. I tell the child nicely to stay away from the cat, that she doesn't like being stroked and she's scared. The child ignores me and keeps trying to strike the kitty. I tell her repeatedly to come away. Then I hear the cat hiss. (I've told the child before that a cat hissing means go away, that its a bit like a lion roaring) so I stand up to intervene (I'm pregnant and was tired so was sitting down). By the time I've taken the four steps over the room to move the cat the child has been scratched.

Now, the ex says the cat is bad and I'm a bad parent for having a dangerous cat and not sorting out the situation sooner. My opinion is that I told the child over and over again to stay away, she isn't stupid and being three understands a lot. I say she should have done as she was told after so many warnings and now the cat has scratched her she will have learnt a lesson and won't do it again. Am I really a bad '

Thank you for your advice. I promise
I'm not a bad person.

IHeartKingThistle Thu 18-Oct-12 09:26:59

Both my DC have been scratched badly by our cat. Once each.

I did feel bad at the time. I still feel awful when I think about it. But they did learn from it. And it doesn't make me a bad parent.

You did tell this child repeatedly to come away. Not your fault IMO.

bamboobutton Thu 18-Oct-12 09:31:27

You are not a bad parent, my 2yo know not to go near the cat when i say.

Both my dc have been scratched and learnt a valuable lesson about teasing the cat.

Tell your ex to go swivel. What does he expect you to do with the cat?? Drown it in the bathhmm?

Hope the 3yo wasn't too badly scratched.

mycatlikestwiglets Thu 18-Oct-12 09:52:12

Your ex is being ridiculous. Your cat's reaction was perfectly normal, it isn't some kind of devil-cat. Of course it will scratch if it feels backed into a corner and isn't comfortable with the situation. My cat is exactly the same - he makes himself scarce as soon as he sees DS because he doesn't like the unpredictability or high pitched over-excited squealing (DS is 22mo and obsessed by the cat - he just doesn't get that the cat doesn't feel the same way). Frankly if my cat scratched DS I would see it as a lesson to DS to leave the cat alone (obviously it would be different if the cat was unprovoked). Children need to learnt that animals are not toys.

CatsRule Thu 18-Oct-12 10:28:43

She will be fine...he is overreacting!

I turned my back for 3 seconds and my baby bit the cats tail...the cat who is normally vert tolerant and placid swipped him and gave him a small scratch...he was fine...unfortunately it didn't deter him as he just loves the cat!

Children will get lots of scratches, bumps and bruises...will he get upset and unreasonable about every one!?!

datingthedevil Thu 18-Oct-12 12:30:04

Thank you all. I appreciate you sharing your experiences!! I just wanted to check with other mums and cat owners that I wasn't in the wrong for saying she's learnt not to do it again! She wasn't badly scratched at all luckily. X.

SecrectFarleysNibbler Thu 18-Oct-12 19:35:45

The best learning is through experience - it's a scratch - they will live. Not a big deal - this what life is all about

Fluffanstuff Sat 20-Oct-12 13:48:33

Hello ,

I'm not a parent but an early years practitioner. Your ex is really being ridiculous , by the age of 3 a child should be able to understand a simple instruction such as stay away from the cat lol. Although its not very nice they need to understand that choices have consequences , they made the choice not to listen therefore the consequence was they got scratched.

Children also need to learn from an early age to have respect for other living creatures ( this sort of thing is included in the early years framework!) So no your not a bad mum , its a learning curve for the child (hopefully she won't do it again) .

Just dont let your ex scare her away from the cat , if she is likely to see it again , instead perhaps encourage him to back you up with the whole leave the cat alone approach. The cat isn't going away its a member of the family. If the child persists with pestering the animal perhaps go along the approach of ' If you wanted someone to leave you alone and they didnt listen would that make you happy or sad ? theory she should say sad. Then you can go along the lines of when the cat hissess that means she wants to be left alone , if you dont , you will make her sad.

datingthedevil Tue 23-Oct-12 01:01:15

Hi all, thank you for reassuring me that I'm
not about to be carted off by social services. smile

lljkk Tue 23-Oct-12 03:56:15

It's hard for cats not to scratch. They only have to extend their paws to swipe something away & their claws come out reflexively.
Mine scratched my nose when he jumped on the bed & didn't see my face in the way.

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