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Should I rehome him?? Any advice welcome

12 replies

GotMyLittleLamb · 26/03/2012 11:24

We have a big tabby tomcat, and he has been with us for a year. He is very affectionate and a 'people cat' iykwim. He is absolutely huge, I have never seen a cat like him, not just fat but a really long massive, heavy cat.

When we first got him he liked being outside as much as inside and that suited us fine. About 4 months ago he was attacked by a neighbours cat and since then will barely go outside, we go out with him and he wont go further than 10 feet from our house or me and DH. I'm pretty sure he has a problem with his vision and often falls off things or misses the windowsill when he tries to jump up. He also has a tendency to 'flop' and show you his tummy without noticing what is behind him, this has led to many a glass being knocked over and him regularly 'flopping' off the sofa.

Since he stopped going outside he has started scratching everything in the house except his numerous scratching posts and boards, this is a right pain and we have tried everything to stop him doing it!!

So that's Barney, here is my problem - my daughter is currently in the neonatal unit, she was born 3 months early and will be coming home in the next month after a long time in intensive care and I am really worried about him with her, I have no experience of cats around babies and google has turned up lots of different answers, some cats love babies, some avoid them at all costs...I keep finding him in her Moses basket/cot, have turfed him out every time and keep the door into her room closed, but I can't see we will be able to do this when's she is home. I am worried he will 'flop' on her, I am worried he will jump in to the basket to be friendly and will accidentally scratch her or crush her. He will want to be in her room, he already scratches the door (hates closed doors).

I am seriously thinking about re homing him, I love him, he is part of the family, I dont really want to but I am struggling to see a choice. I feel like we have been through so much already for her, I can't bear for anything to happen to her. I am possibly being a bit PFB.

Any advice?

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Fluffycloudland77 · 26/03/2012 16:35

Well I've seen other posts on this subject before and people have said that cats tend to avoid babies, too unpredictable and grabby for their liking.

I would imagine he likes her moses basket as its a nice small size for snuggling up in. But it is made for one not two.

What you have to ask yourself is how many babies do you hear of being injured by a cat? apart from "friend of a friends mil's cousins". You hear of lots of dogs mauling children but no one seems to re-home the dog.

The cats I've owned have tolerated babies better than adults, I would be mauled for poking him in the eye but the baby was allowed to. I think they know it's a baby and doesnt know any better.

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Paiviaso · 26/03/2012 16:40

Having read your post, I would advise against rehoming, simply because I don't think he will have a good future. Think about what you are offering: A semi-blind cat with behavioral issues. You didn't mention how old he is, but if he is an older cat his chances will be even worse. You say he is a tomcat, does this mean he isn't neutered?

I have no experience with cats and babies, but why do you think he will hurt her? And if this was such a fear, we did you take this cat on only a year ago when you were planning to have children? Your feelings may be a bit PFB - I think you need to see how he acts when you bring your baby home.

I think you can make it work with this cat, you just need to have boundaries. If he scratches to be let in rooms, ignore him completely. If you don't want him around the baby, use dominant body language and a sharp "Hey!" to get him to back off, or find some way to put her down in which he can't get to her (netting over cot or such like?)

Do you have any toys he can play with by himself? Food mazes, hanging toys, etc to help keep his mind busy? Can you give him a bit of a play in the morning to tire him out?

Good luck, hopefully someone will have better advice than me :P

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AlfalfaMum · 26/03/2012 16:41

I had a cat when DD1 was born, and we had absolutely no problems. She too was a people cat, very affectionate and loved to sit on my knee. She was fine when the baby arrived, didn't get jealous at all and didn't smother the baby :)

I did take care to to shut the bedroom door and keep cat out of the bedroom, just incase she decided to have a snooze on DD1 (she never did). DD1 didn't stay tiny forever, so I only had to be vigilant short-term.

I would say wait and see, it will probably be fine and the cat and the baby might be great friends.

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Fluffycloudland77 · 26/03/2012 17:06

Lots of videos on youtube of people showing babies to cats for the first time and saying "heres your new sister!" (americans, you might guess) and various cats looking at them like "well thats nice for you, I'll be over there".

They seem curious and faintly repulsed at the same time.

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GotMyLittleLamb · 26/03/2012 17:56

Hi, sorry I disappeared, to reply he is 4 years old, he is neutered but was done just before we got him so it was probably a bit later than it could have been. We weren't, ahem, planning a baby when we got him and when i got pregnant we imagined he would spend a lot of time out of the house, which is no longer an option.

fluffy you are right, I'm not sure I have ever heard of a cat harming a baby and hopefully your right about the baby getting away with more than I am
allowed to. It's just he is big and a bit daft and shortsighted, I am worried he is going to be playing and is accidentally going to hurt her.

Thanks paiviaso, I think your probably right and I am being a bit PFB, he won't play with toys for very long, he tends to lose interest quickly if you are not playing too. The scratching is very difficult to ignore as he is making a right mess of the doors and any walls with textured wallpaper (we currently have a lot of tinfoil on the doors and walls as he doesn't like that, we thought it may encourage him to scratch appropriate places).

I think general consensus is right, I am best to wait and see. Thank you.

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pookiecat · 26/03/2012 18:33

Please dont rehome him , we had 2 cats when dd was born and 3 cats now she is 3 . You just need to be sensible, most cats are not keen on crying babies and just run off.

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kidcat · 26/03/2012 19:50

Hi, am new here but just wanted to say we have had four kids and always had cats - I found that whilst the cats would attempt to sleep in the basket when it was empty, the minute the new arrival took up residence the cat stayed well clear. Cats dont like lots of noise or smells - babies are very noisy and smelly too!

You can buy nets for over cribs, prams and baskets and we did for our first but never really had any use for them.

Good luck :)

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MrsMagnolia · 26/03/2012 21:20

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ToothlesstheDragon · 28/03/2012 11:54

if your worried about the carry cot put some scrunched up tinfoil in there or some blown up balloons. he'll soon learn not to go anywhere near it, and yes, take him to the vets, just to rule anything out.

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GotMyLittleLamb · 29/03/2012 08:25

Thanks toothless will do :)

I'm a bit confused about why people are suggesting the vets? I will gladly take him but I'm not sure why he would need to go?

He's not miserable or withdrawn or anything, we took him to the vets after he was attacked but there is no lasting physical damage. I was under the impression that the 'flopping' was to show affection by showing us his tummy and the 'missing stuff' was just because he is shortsighted. I'm not sure why he scratches, but I figured it was because he wasn't going outside so needed to scratch his claws. I will happily take him to the vets if there is anything he needs??

He is 4 years old, he is neutered and he came from the cats protection league.

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moggle · 30/03/2012 17:05

I think you've had some good advice here so just wanted to add one more angle (though I admit I am a little biased being a cat lover with no kids, although TTC).
your cat is 4 now so likely he could be in your family for another 10 years, maybe even more. Even with a tiny premature baby, (and I realise I dont know any details about your daughter so generalising a bit) from the time she comes home to the time she is not really particularly fragile anymore will only be maybe 6-9 months (perhaps less). And by fragile I mean able to be hurt by a cat, although realistically I agree with others who say it's unlikely he'll even be interested in her. Once she's a bit bigger and stronger there'll be no worries... my niece is 3m old now and I reckon she has enough strength and movement to get herself away if one of our cats was to sit on her, even if just by screaming loudly!
So anyway... what I'm trying to say is that this period where she's (theoretically) at risk, is very short compared to how long your cat could be around, and her small-baby stage will fly by. So you may well end up regretting having got rid of him, especially as pets can be so beneficial to kids. Plus, if you love cats then sometime in the future you'll probably want to get another, and would be a little sad to have got rid of a cat that you loved, but to get a new one when your girl is a bit older.
The worries will seem a long way away when your daughter is a toddler, chasing after the cat and curled up asleep on the sofa with him for naps...
Anyway it sounds like you have decided to wait and see what happens, anyway, which is great. Good luck with bringing your daughter home!

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FSB · 01/04/2012 21:19

This was a worry of mine as well when DD was born, but more because our feline-child-substitute was so close to me, he used to go for DH if he got in the way of a cuddle!!Blush
We got a baby hammock with a mozzy net... There was no way he was getting in there, and it gave me piece of mind that he wouldn't try and finish her off in the middle of the night!!
In the end he wasn't the slightest bit bothered by the baby and even figured out a way to sit on my lap even though I was in the middle of breast feeding!
Don't get rid of the cat, your post-partum hormones combined with the guilt would probly finish u off!!! Grin

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