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Bitey Siberian and new baby

(77 Posts)
KO2018 Sun 01-Nov-20 21:51:56

Hi Mumsnet

I’m 20 weeks pregnant and the owner of a 2.5 yo Siberian forest cat. He’s a beloved pet, particularly for my husband who won’t hear a bad word against him. However, he has always had a problem where he will grab and bite onto arms for no reason.

Nothing we have done seems to provoke or stop it happening. I’m certain it’s a dominant thing not playful, as he’s quite aggressive to other cats in the neighbourhood and always coming home with injuries. He’s come back with three puncture wounds from separate fights just this week, and that’s only from the daytime as he’s locked in at night.

The trick is to completely freeze when he does it which stops him from biting down hard, and often turns into licking. You then have to very carefully and slowly remove your arm from his death grip... It doesn’t happen that often because we’ve learnt not to ever wave your hands in front of his face.

My very real concern is how this is going to work when baby arrives. We are not planning on leaving them alone in a room together, but keeping cat and baby apart for potentially all their childhood seems like a stressful situation for all involved.

I’ve been trying to put the idea in hubby’s head that we may need to rehome him when baby arrives. We want to give him a chance first to see whether they get on okay. But at what cost?

Has anyone had experience with this? The whole situation makes me want to cry sad

OP’s posts: |
BigBigPumpkin Sun 01-Nov-20 21:54:30

I wouldn't be risking it, personally. Either re-home or lock the cat in a room away from the baby at all times until the kid of big enough to hold its own.

Didiusfalco Sun 01-Nov-20 21:56:59

I wouldn’t risk it either. I think it would be a big stress trying to keep the cat out at all times.

lavenderlove Sun 01-Nov-20 22:00:46

Is the cat neutered? That might stop the aggressive behaviour if he's not already been done

KO2018 Sun 01-Nov-20 22:02:34

Yes he is neutered.

Still sprays in the garden and, literally only once or twice ever, in the house

OP’s posts: |
myrtleWilson Sun 01-Nov-20 22:03:00

Gosh, that sounds awful - we've had 3 Siberians (one died during lockdown) but have never experienced anything like that with any of them...all of ours are ridiculously soppy really... have you explored a behaviourist?

KarmaNoMore Sun 01-Nov-20 22:04:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Peasbewithyou Sun 01-Nov-20 22:08:07

Sadly I think you know that you have to rehome the cat. It wouldn’t be fair to you to have to keep guarding and monitoring that situation and when the baby is a toddler it’s going to get a lot worse. And it isn’t fair on the cat to have them confined to a room or whatever. sad

eddiemairswife Sun 01-Nov-20 22:13:21

Don't get rid of him; just ensure there is a closed door between him and the baby at all times,

KO2018 Sun 01-Nov-20 22:16:52

Hi @myrtleWilson no we haven’t but I think I will get in touch with one and see what they advise

OP’s posts: |
Toddlerteaplease Sun 01-Nov-20 22:24:52

Are you sure you aren't missing his cues, when he's had enough. Cats tend to keep a wide birth from
Babies. I would not rehome him

KO2018 Sun 01-Nov-20 22:29:46

@Toddlerteaplease we can read the signs which is why it happens rarely but how is a baby/toddler to know? That is the problem I worry about...

OP’s posts: |
Toddlerteaplease Sun 01-Nov-20 22:43:47

You take a pet on for life. You don't just get rid of it when it doesn't suit you any more.

Smellbellina Sun 01-Nov-20 22:48:31

My cat does this, he’s little thought is a Siberian big? Anyway, never been an issue with the DC when they were babies and only now if they get lulled into a false sense of security whilst petting him, once is enough to learn. DC love him from a distance... not sure about his feelings

Smellbellina Sun 01-Nov-20 22:50:53

You take a pet on for life. You don't just get rid of it when it doesn't suit you any more.

Don’t be silly

KO2018 Sun 01-Nov-20 22:51:40

@Smellbellina Siberians are very large and strong, another difficulty.

Good to know yours left babies alone though.

OP’s posts: |
myhobbyisouting Mon 02-Nov-20 00:38:08

No way would I have an aggressive animal that is happy to attack something 15 times it's size to try and dominate in the same house as a newborn that will be smaller than it.

Ylvamoon Mon 02-Nov-20 00:52:24

Sorry, I don't know anything about cats, but I was in a similar situation with a dog (except he just didn't like children!)

Please re home. I know it's hard but you won't do your cat or yourself any favours. Living with the stress / fear of something that might happen, because of the luck of trust is horrendous! Trying to keep them apart will have you on edge, especially once DC can open doors.
I'm sure cats like dogs have individual personalities. Some are just not suitable for family life.

YoungDino Mon 02-Nov-20 00:57:18

I would not ridk it. If your DP prioritises a cat over his own child then they can move out together.

BeanieB2020 Mon 02-Nov-20 01:01:58

Keep kitty away from the baby until the child is old enough to interact. There's no need to rehome the cat. Mine bites like that sometimes too and it's not like actual biting but gripping with teeth. It's not fair on the cat to evict him just because you had a baby. You can keep the baby away from the cat and teach your child not to mess with the cat when he's old enough to be around the cat.

Iminaglasscaseofemotion Mon 02-Nov-20 01:02:07


You take a pet on for life. You don't just get rid of it when it doesn't suit you any more.

When it becomes a risk to your child you do.

I can't believe people would tell you not to rehome and aggressive animal and keep it around a child. So irresponsible. If it was a dog, no one would be telling you to keep it. Its a danger to your child. Thats the only thing that matters here.

KO2018 Mon 02-Nov-20 07:01:36

This has certainly divided the room!

OP’s posts: |
TroubleInSnowland Mon 02-Nov-20 07:13:09

I rescued a cat who was affectionately named psycho cat by a friend/ cat sitter. When ds was born we kept the cat away from him ie never left alone together. As do got older he did go near the cat but was never harmed in any way. The worst trouble we had was the cat started leaving dead mice outside ds’s bedroom door.
We ended up rehoming the cat with a friend when ds was 4 because we were moving overseas for a year.
I would give it a go but be prepared to rehome if there are any problems.

LookatMeLookatMeLookatMuiii Mon 02-Nov-20 07:15:36

Not ideal but probably a spray water bottle or a loud chain / plastic bottle of stones to throw on the floor as distraction to re- direct the cat?

Start doing it now and see what happens as understandable it's a worry of how the cat might react to a small child....

Maybe get the cat comfortable to being in a closed off room- a utility or something so that you can pop him in there if you're busy and can't supervise properly?

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 02-Nov-20 07:21:57

I’d get a behaviourist in, it’s highly unusual behaviour from a cat so something is wrong.

Who’s going to want to rehome a cat who bites and is a walking vets bill anyway?.

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