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Best time to get a kitten?

(16 Posts)
notlettingthefearshow Sun 17-Jul-11 22:54:12

I'm 17 weeks' pregnant and, having moved to a spacious house with garden, DH and I are dying to get a kitten (or a cat). Is it best to get the kitten now, before the baby is born, or wait til afterwards?

We love cats but have never had a kitten before, so we won't rush into anything until we know what we're getting into!

silverangel Mon 18-Jul-11 09:03:25

I don't have any cat experience but I got my puppy when I was eight weeks pregnant. Everyone thinks I'm mad but I wouldn't change it. The only thing about cats is that you have to be careful with their poo - toxoplasmosis is a risk to pg women...

LaWeasel Mon 18-Jul-11 09:24:43

I wouldn't get any pets while you're pregnant to be honest!

All the hormones and having a newborn in the house etc can really mess with some people's heads, particularly if you have a very demanding baby - a kitten you've loved and adored for 23 weeks might suddenly seem unmanagable and dangerous, and then kitty will end up in rescue for no really good reason.

I really wanted a cat too, we waited until DD was 18mths old and then got a similarly aged cat.

It was perfect for us as we could visit the cat a few times before deciding to be sure DD has no allergies and the cat settled in very easily and was confident enough to stay away from DD while they got to know each other.

theonlyhb2 Mon 18-Jul-11 09:36:14

never!

benne81 Mon 18-Jul-11 09:40:15

Hi I love cats, always had a cat in the house when I was young and we got a kitten 3 years ago now. I never realised how much work they are when they are kittens! Our cat still keeps us busy and we still get woken up every morning at around 5am - I think she thinks she is training me up for parenthood!

Basically I would say getting a kitten is much harder work than you imagine and I would probably not recommened getting one before you have your child as it will tire you out before the baby has even arrived and I'm sure once the baby arrives you will realise that you probably don't have enough time for one for a good year or so. There is also the theorectical toxoplasmosis risk.

Avoid for now - your going to have your hands full enough very shortly and use the rest of your pregnancy to relax (as much as possible) before the onslaught!!

Scaredycat3000 Mon 18-Jul-11 09:56:18

They recommend your children being 2 years or over for the well being of the animal. That sounds about right to me, DS is just over 2 now, our cat was 7 when he was born. She won't go near him, even though he is very good near her (for a 2 year old!). I really would leave it for now, just be patient and wait for your human arrival.
And on a sad note, this is very unlikely to happen to anyone else, you don't need the stress of horrible things happening. When my DS was 36 hours old the local squatters decided to use our cat as a chew toy for their fighting dog, the sort that are in the papers. We found her the next morning, after an expensive visit to the vets she had to go and stay with my parents to recover and until the squatters left. It was really traumatic for all of us, especially the cat. So leave it for now.

susiesheep2 Mon 18-Jul-11 10:08:32

I've heard that having a cat around whilst pregnant and with young babies can actually help prevent common allergies in children! Not sure how much truths in it, as I already have a cat when DD1 was born, and got DD1 a puppy whilst pregnant with DD2, but then we have 2 horses as well, so an extra pet really wasnt going to make or break anything. Turns out little puppy was a handful, but I was glad I did get her the puppy she had wanted so badly whilst pregnant, or she would still be waiting!

kiteflying Mon 18-Jul-11 10:21:50

Just a thought - if you adopt an older cat, the chances of their having already contracted and got over toxoplasmosis are high.
A kitten could catch it while you are pregnant and pass it on if you are cleaning their cat litter. But then rubber gloves are as good a protection as any. Greater risks are involved in handling raw steak while cooking apparently.
I had two cats in their early teens when my DD was a baby and I can reassure you that older cats are less likely to be skittish about the sudden bedlam of a newborn and are less likely to do stupid things like jump in the cot with them. My two cuddled up to baby when she was a lot older and sleeping on the bed, but they never posed a risk to her when tiny.
I am not recommending adopting a cat as old as mine were but just saying a grown up cat might handle the change easier than a really young cat.

Daisybell1 Mon 18-Jul-11 15:31:41

Kite my OH says the same thing. He's a sheep farmer and has always had to consider toxo because of the risk to his lambs (this was long before I was on the scene, let alone pregnant!). He has always adopted spayed farm cats but older ones as, he thinks, that over 3 years old, they no longer carry toxo.

I'm not saying that getting a cat over this age is risk free though. If I hadn't already had my own moggie I think I would be leaving it until after baby arrives/is settled before installing one. As the others have said, kittens are bonkers and need lots of time/scrambling up ladders to retrieve them from curtains grin

I'd go for an older cat every time for ease - they're a lot calmer, but my 12yo will still chase her tail when she thinks no-one is looking...

mummymccar Mon 18-Jul-11 16:07:26

I have three cats - two from kittens and I'd honestly avoid getting kittens when pregnant. They need a lot of love. They don't like being left alone, need training (litter, going outside, etc), the risk of toxo is higher, and they don't sleep through the night for the first few years. TBH I think that getting a cat when pregnant is a very bad idea regardless of the age. They'll need a lot of attention, and just as they start to feel part of the family, the family dynamics will change, making it very disorientating for them. Wait until the baby is a few months old. That way nothing will be changing and you can train the cat not to go into the baby's room from the start. Hope this is helpful!

NearlyHeadlessnickelbabe Mon 18-Jul-11 16:34:08

wait until after after the baby is born.

Especially if you're likely to have to change the litter - do not change litter when you're pg, because of risk of toxoplasmosis.

I think you might want to wait even after the baby's born anyway, because neither of you will have time to look after a new kitten (litter training too!)

I'd wait until baby is 6 months or so.
(i have 2 cats)

WaspsAnkles Mon 18-Jul-11 20:33:27

I know from a few people that their cats actually ran away and found a new home once baby arrived as they didn't like sharing the attention and suddently had to go down a step in the family hierarchy. I could imagine it being easier for a cat (and a kitten) to join the family after baby is born but I guess it would totally depend on the cat's character.

I'd love to get a cat but neighbours downstairs have got an alpha male cat who wouldn't really tolerate a buddy so we decided to better leave it sad

needsanswers Mon 18-Jul-11 23:07:18

i got a kitten when 3months preg with DS, didnt have the issues that alot of other women are talking about, i think its a great idea, the only downside was my cat got his nose out of joint when the baby was born and i couldn't spend as much time with him as before hand. do what you thinks right smile

Bella2011 Mon 18-Jul-11 23:14:10

We are TTC and have a 12 week old puppy. I figured by the time I get pregnant (which is taking longer than I anticipated!) and give birth, she will be house trained and settled. We got her at 8 weeks and she is house trained now almost. I think it's a great idea to bring children up around animals. As others have said, the only thing with cat poo is it can be dangerous if pregnant, unlike dog poo. Google it for info x

notlettingthefearshow Mon 18-Jul-11 23:33:23

Thanks so much for your replies. I am aware of the toxo risk and wouldn't touch the litter, but the care and attention kittens demand does seem to be a theme! It hadn't occurred to me how much time they would take it, and as I've never trained one before, who knows how successful that would be!

I definitely agree that pets and children are a great combination, but I think having waited 35 years, it wouldn't hurt me to wait a couple more.

Oeisha Mon 18-Jul-11 23:39:37

If you need any support with cats/kittens and introducing them to babies then there are loads of very helpful guys on this site www.catchat.org. Lots of people with experience. Claire Bessant's book 'the cat whisperer' is invaluable with learning about cat behaviour and she has info in there specifically about babies and cats...
Cats can learn to live with newborns/children. They just need to know you still love 'em basically.

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