Is a Cat Safe With A Newborn / Infant?

There is a persisting myth that cats are not safe with newborns and should not be allowed to live in the same house.

This notion comes from an old wife’s tale which dates back several hundred years. According to the tale, cats are drawn to newborns by them smell of milk. A cat will try to get into an infant’s crib and suck out the child’s breath.

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There is no truth in the claim that cat’s suck out babies’ breath.

However, it is possible that a cat may accidentally suffocate a newborn by snuggling too closely, so it is best not to allow a cat near your sleeping infant unsupervised.

Despite this, many people have a cat and a young child living in their house at the same time without encountering any problems. It is quite safe to have a cat with a newborn if you follow these tips.

Prevent Accidents from Happening

One of the biggest concerns for new moms is that their kitty will bite or scratch their newborn. It is this fear that causes many people to rehome their pet before they bring a newborn into their home.

Obviously, no parent wants their baby to become a victim of their cat, so there are simple precautions that you can take so that your child and your kitty can live happily ever after together.

These include:

  • Making sure your child has a safe place to sleep or play during times when you are not there to supervise, such as a nursery with a closable door. This way, your curious cat will not be able to slip into the room unnoticed.

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  • Set up a scratching post for your cat in an area that is out of the way of your infant. This will give your kitty a harmless way to relieve stress and mark her territory. Make sure that when your child begins to crawl, the scratching post will be out of reach. It’s a good idea to set up a scratching post before you bring your new baby home. That way your pet will have plenty of time to get used to it without distractions.

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Will Allergies be a Problem?

Concerns about allergies in another one of the main reasons that parents rehome their cats after a child is born. However, research shows that having a pet at home during the first year of your child’s life can actually reduce the likelihood of your son or daughter developing pet allergies later in life.

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Introducing Your Cat to Your Newborn

Bear in mind that your cat was there first. If you want to make sure your cat is safe with your newborn and avoid any jealousy or conflict, it’s a good idea to introduce your cat to your baby gently and slowly.

A good way to do this is by allowing your feline friend time to get used to the smell of your infant. You can do this by petting your cat with your baby’s socks. One your pet gets used to this, you can allow her to sniff your baby, under close supervision of course.

Another way to get your kitty used to your new addition is to praise and pet your cat when she acts calmly and treats your child in a respectful way.

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Introducing Your Infant to Your Fur Baby

As your child gets older, he or she will gradually become more curious about your pet. This is the right time to teach your child to treat kitty with respect. Do not allow grabbing or tail pulling. During the teething stage when your child wants to put everything in his mouth, be sure to make sure that he doesn’t try to chomp on the cat.

Growing up with a pet in the house can be a learning and loving experience for your child. Before you consider rehoming your cat. Remember that cats are safe with newborns. Consider how your child can benefit from having a furry friend.

Take appropriate precautions for your cat and your infant. Teach them both how to respect each other’s space. They should continue to have a purrfect relationship together.  

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