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What's the best cat to get with a baby

(17 Posts)
PipersOrange Sun 16-Aug-15 11:29:22

We are finally moving to a house with a garden at the end of August and are looking to get a cat. We have a 10mo ds and are unsure what age of cat to get; would it be better to rescue a kitten or an older cat. I'm worried an older one might not enjoy being chased round by an inquisitive baby if they came from a family without children before. Also I was told yesterday that we should get two as they can keep each other company? Is this true? I'm so excited I've wanted cats for years but we've never had outdoor space.

Wolfiefan Sun 16-Aug-15 11:31:47

I wouldn't want a kitten and such a young child.
Don't let your child chase any animal.

mumof2oneofeach Sun 16-Aug-15 11:31:52

Ask at the rescue centre, they suggest the right cat for your situation.

PipersOrange Sun 16-Aug-15 11:37:15

Oh okay. I didn't realise it was a bad idea; his grandma has a kitten and they apparently have a lot of fun together, my son is interested in the kitten and the kitten is interested in him and loves playing with the baby toys/climbing all over the buggy. Chasing was probably the wrong word - he crawls up to the kitten except the kitten never stays still. Does that make more sense? What age do you think we should wait till ds is then? I will of course ask the rescue I was just trying to get some advice here first

Wolfiefan Sun 16-Aug-15 11:38:51

I'm not saying you can't get a cat. It is just kittens are hard work and less predictable.
We got two cats under a year. Fun and playful but never clawed us. They came from a family home.
Whereabouts in the country are you?

LintRoller Sun 16-Aug-15 11:39:36

No cat will enjoy being chased around by an inquisitive baby.

Agree with going to a good rescue centre and getting advice from them. It's down to the personality of the individual cat rather than the breed IME. Would definitely avoid a kitten, they are much more easily injured.

You will need to be very firm with your 10 mo about not bothering the cat, being gentle, etc, and make sure you can commit to a high level of supervision.

We already had a (very gentle, tolerant) cat when DS was born (he is now 2.5). They are fine together but we put a lot of work into teaching him to Leave The Cat Alone grin

LintRoller Sun 16-Aug-15 11:49:12

Sorry cross-posted.

The people I know who have had problems with pets and children are the ones who think it's cute to let their child run after an animal and bother it incessantly, and then blames the pet when it scratches/bites then give it away All the people I know who have put effort into teaching their children proper behaviour around animals, have supervised well, and generally taken pet ownership seriously, have been fine. Always make sure the cat can retreat and feel safe, and have a safe place to eat/drink/sleep undisturbed.

So I think if you can commit to the above, even a 10 month old will probably be ok with a new pet. If it sounds like too much of an ask at the moment, then maybe wait until your child is older and can understand better.

We have one cat, he's fine alone, most people I know have just one and it's not a problem.

PipersOrange Sun 16-Aug-15 11:49:38

South Coast wolfie in Sussex. His grandma does a thing at the moment where she holds ds' hands whilst he strokes the kitten, holding on to him so he cannot grab or poke or make sudden movements, and the kitten just sitting on her lap so can leave when she doesn't want to be there any more. He isn't a very grabby baby anyway (we do try to make a big thing about being "gentle" when touching other babies/people which seems to be working most of the time but he's still very young and does get over excited obviously). I've only ever had dogs before so my knowledge of cats is pretty limited. If there's outdoor space does it matter about the size of the house?

Lj8893 Sun 16-Aug-15 11:52:45

Mdany rescue centres will not rehome an animal with children under 3 I believe. I looked into it a lot when looking for a cat.
In the end we got a kitten and I chose carefully to get one from somewhere that had young children living there.
Our dd (22 months) and our now 12 week old kitten get on brilliantly.

timtam23 Sun 16-Aug-15 15:43:17

I would say don't get a kitten with such a young child. One concern is the child being noisy/rough and scaring or seriously harming the kitten (you have to watch like a hawk & not leave child alone with kitten), the other is that young kittens have very sharp little teeth/claws and as they hurtle around doing kittenish things they can also be quite scary for a small child. My then-3 year old really did not like our kitten (who we took in off the street as a 7 wk old stray) as he went through a phase of jumping with his claws out. Had I had a choice in the matter we would not have had a kitten at all (they are very hard work compared to adult cats!). A lot of rescues will not rehome cats to houses where there are young children but if you check locally you may find the rescues have some cats who came from family homes with young children and are used to that sort of environment.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 16-Aug-15 20:45:20

I think rescues are against children and kittens because they've had kittens accidentally killed by them.

Kittens can be hard work anyway.

PipersOrange Sun 16-Aug-15 22:14:51

Ah okay. Maybe this idea will have to be put on hold for a while sad my parents got a puppy when my sister was a couple of months old and they were so close growing up, but I'm now allergic to dogs! Thought a cat was a good alternative. I'll have a chat with the rescues, Thanks!

NatalieQ Sun 16-Aug-15 22:43:40

We are re-homing our cat and looking for the perfect family to care for her. We have a 4 y.o. and 7 mth old and she enjoys their company. It's too bad that you're so far away (we're in cambridge) otherwise we could have met and chatted about it.

maybebabybee Sun 16-Aug-15 23:07:12

My two birmans are fine with baby DN, just to give a different perspective - they love to cuddle him. Our first DC is due in March so hopefully they will be OK then too.

I think it's good for children to be around animals, personally. As long as you teach them to be gentle and respectful.

My family had cats (and dogs) the whole time we were growing up, including scratchy kittens at times.

shaska Tue 18-Aug-15 10:23:14

I almost differ here - at 10mo it would, I think, almost be a case of the kitten being more onto it in terms of being able to escape than your son in terms of being able to capture/hurt it. Then again, maybe an older cat is always better, and if you get a calm one then it could work well - I agree that what a 10mo is capable of in terms of pursuit can't really be called 'chasing'!

Personally, if I were going to get a cat with a young child, I would do it at your sons age or even a bit younger - at that age they're not as mobile, not as strong and not quite as into everything as say an 18 month old. Between around 18 months and 3 or 4 years, or even a bit older, I would think long and hard about it, I've seen it go very, very wrong and be pretty stressful for everyone involved.

JaniceJoplin Tue 18-Aug-15 10:38:39

We've had 2 kittens. The first was a kitten when my eldest daughter was born and they got on ok, although I had to watch them carefully to make sure. This cat had a very very friendly personality and was born into a house with a tiny baby so was used to cries etc. The cat unfortunately was hit by a car when she was 2. She was a moggie.

We then got another kitten whilst I was pregnant with DC2. This cat was an absolute nightmare and would attack my toddler unprovoked. I had to ensure they were never in the same room together and supervised 1000%. It was a complete nightmare and obviously very stressful for the cat as he started to wee/poo in the house. He died suddenly age 1 from a genetic heart condition which we didn't know about. If he had not passed away we would not have been able to keep him.

I think if you get a kitten you are taking a chance basically as you will not know the personality. Your best bet is a shelter. However a lot of the cats there end up there as they can not get along with children safely. I think age 8 is more likely as an age where they will recommend with children.

Its important to remember that cats need space away from children even if they like them, they need to have their own hideaways where they will not be bothered.

I really wish there was a way of knowing if a cat would be good with children as I would like another, but there is no way I would risk it again.

googoodolly Tue 18-Aug-15 13:12:35

A lot of rescues won't re-home to a family with a baby or toddler, simply because lots of rescue cats need a quiet environment, not one with children screaming and wanting to play.

However I don't think that getting a kitten is a bad idea. You just have to be prepared to be keep a very close eye on them together and make sure the kitten has a space to escape - a high up shelf or even a separate room where she can sleep/hide when she doesn't want to play anymore. Cats will scratch when provoked and you won't always have time to react, but if you bring your son up with a kitten from a young age, he should be able to learn how to behave with them properly.

I don't think breed really matters as all animals have different temperaments. We have two part-bengals from the same litter and they're both totally different cats. One hates cuddles, loves being on her own etc. The other will sit on you for hours, loves being played with and attacks everything going!

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