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"cats suck the breath out of a baby" - myth or fact???? 
4th-Jan-2010 03:44 pm [old wives' tales, pets]
Rant and serious question - please help me!!!!

OK, so I was talking to my mom and one of her friends about how I'm planning on separating the cats from baby while baby is asleep, and we got into a calm, but internally-heated discussion. I left the discussion on the verge of tears, and pissed off at the both of them. I have 2 cats currently, and am VERY opposed to getting rid of a pet unless it is because you are no longer physically or financially capable of taking care of it. (This probably stemmed from having to get rid of all of the pets i had in my childhood because my dad didn't LIKE them, and from the fact that i volunteered at an animal shelter for 4 years). Regardless, these are my values. I was told that my cats would try to kill my baby by smothering them, and that I hneeded to get rid of both of the cats immediately. I rebutted this by saying that I am insistent on constant supervision of all parties (cats and baby, both), and that as long as I keep the house fastidiously clean, there shouldn't be a problem. Then I was told by my mom's friend that, "Well, you can't put your baby second to the cats." I didn't say anything, but I was thinking, "Whoa, who the f*** said I was putting my cats before my baby??? Just because I don't think it's ok to get rid of pets just because I'm expecting a child, does that mean I'm a bad mother-to-be? I like to think I'm not going to be..." There are many people who have multiple children - it's not like just because the older child COULD injure the baby, or leave an unsanitary mess on the floor that the baby could crawl through, that the parents are going to "get rid of" their CHILD. (ok, maybe that's extreme, but still). I come from a place where I SAW with my own two eyes, dogs that were put up for adoption ONLY because their "parents" were having a baby.

So, here's my question:
Is there ANY WAY that you ladies think I could work out to allow my cats AND my baby to coexist in peace, or am I just fooling myself?

Yes, definiitely will be keeping the babies! (the first ones, I mean lol) Thank you all for your helpful advice - it alleviates many of my feelings of being a "bad mother" if I DID keep my kitties. Zappa & Bella have forever homes here!
4th-Jan-2010 08:46 pm (UTC)
There are lots of answers to this in this section: http://community.livejournal.com/pregnant/tag/pets

But in short, you can keep your cats.
4th-Jan-2010 08:50 pm (UTC)
sorry about that!!!!! I totally got preggo brain and forgot to look at the tags first!
(Deleted comment)
4th-Jan-2010 09:16 pm (UTC)
haha your username should be crazykittymo... oh, nm.

4th-Jan-2010 08:49 pm (UTC)
I grew up in a house with a cat. The cat was a little sad about not being my mother's baby anymore, but I was never harmed. My SIL had three cats in a small apartment with her twin girls. One of the cats--who was mean to begin with--eventually had to go, but really, I don't know what these people are thinking the cats will do.
4th-Jan-2010 08:49 pm (UTC)
your house, your values, your life. They need to butt out. And there is no truth in cats smothering babies aside from a freakish one in a million chance, SIDS is far more likely and even that isn't likely at all. Sure you wouldn't want to leave an infant alone in a room with a cat because frankly anything could happen, but that's not what you are talking about here and it does not make you a bad mother. It does make you a responsible pet owner. Yes you will need to clean a lot, yes if it were me the cats would be banned from the nursery, but I cannot see ANY reason why you can't have cats and newborn in the same house.
4th-Jan-2010 08:49 pm (UTC)
I have heard of this, but never actually known it to happen. All my friends with kids who have cats have never had a problem, and neither have I.

4th-Jan-2010 08:50 pm (UTC)
Wow. I understand. My parents had 3 cats when they had me, and 3 when they had my twin brothers 2 years later. No issue. They installed a screen door to the baby`s room so the cats couldn`t come in. My cousin also had a child with four cats at the time, one cat even slept with her in her crib (when she was older mind you! & I wouldn`t repeat that!!!) But yeah, I`d say it`s safe. It better be. Our boy will be around 2 massive dogs & 2 cats (& 4 bunnies though they`ll be in the basement!)
4th-Jan-2010 08:51 pm (UTC)
LOL and as an aside, when I announced I was pregnant, the first thing I got asked was when I was getting rid of my zoo. This was the face I pulled :O! I got it from EVERYONE of my family members who don't own animals. Grrrr.
4th-Jan-2010 08:51 pm (UTC)
Everyone freaked out that we were keeping our cats too, and we have a 6 month old now, and still own both of our cats. No problems, at all.

Tell them to butt out!
4th-Jan-2010 08:52 pm (UTC)
I would tell them more than "butt out" =) That shit would seriously piss me off!
4th-Jan-2010 08:51 pm (UTC)
I'm shocked at the level of ignorance you mom and her friend are showing here. Your cats will not smother your baby.
4th-Jan-2010 08:51 pm (UTC)
Keep your cats, your child will probably grow up to love them.
4th-Jan-2010 08:53 pm (UTC)
THIS! I wasn't allowed to have animals as a kid, because my dad wouldn't let me, and that is the ONLY thing I think I really hold against my dad.
4th-Jan-2010 08:52 pm (UTC)
Its absolutely impossible to keep your cats with a baby on the way.I have two cats, and they waited until my son was nice & plump before they devoured him one night.
4th-Jan-2010 08:56 pm (UTC)
Cats are so smart!
4th-Jan-2010 08:55 pm (UTC)
i have four kids and have always had cats when they were newborns. None of them have been eaten yet. Baby Nora is 2 weeks old (tomorrow) and I have 7 cats right now, who split their time between the house and outdoors, and they aren't too interested in her. They do love her bed, when it's empty, and one of them will sleep under her swing or come running if she cries. I have a pair of kittens who are smart enough to make sure they don't step on the baby when they come to see me. They will walk around/over her and get their lovins.
4th-Jan-2010 08:57 pm (UTC)
My cats are just now starting to take an interest in the baby at 6 months. But it's not a "curl up next to the pink squalling thing" kind of interest, is more like a "sniff occasionally if the pink squalling thing is around when I want to be petted" kind of interest. Definitely a step up from the "freak the fuck out and run from whatever room the pink squalling thing is in" reaction when we first brought him home...

We watch the cats and the baby to make sure they are interacting "appropriately", but we haven't had any problems.
(Deleted comment)
4th-Jan-2010 09:20 pm (UTC)
OMG me too. *punch*cry* for real.
4th-Jan-2010 08:58 pm (UTC)
uh, i plan to do it!

i babysit/sat my nephew on a very regular basis starting when he was 5 mos old. when he was 4 months old, the hubs and i got a kitten.

they still get along great, my nephew is 19 mos old, my cat is a year old.


my nephew can sit and hug the cat, pull on his tail, "pet" him, love on him, and my cat wont move or do a single thing... when my nephew goes away, i praise my cat and he gets his nerves out later when 'daddy' gets home, lol.

honestly, dont get rid of your cats. people have told me a million times that cats will try to kill the baby and all these horror stories, IMO the only way that's gonna happen is if you're an idiot and dont watch your kid/cat. duh.

dont stress. you're fine.
4th-Jan-2010 09:00 pm (UTC)
Holy crap that top picture is insanely cute.
4th-Jan-2010 08:58 pm (UTC)
*rolls eyes*

Keep your cat. I'm sure you're safe.

I learned a lesson over Christmas when dealing with my mom (who thinks the world would be a better place if all babies were born via C-section -- lets not get started on that though) to start saying, "This is not up for discussion." and leaving things there. Next time kitty comes up say, "This is not up for discussion." If they persist, just keep repeating yourself.
4th-Jan-2010 09:01 pm (UTC)
4th-Jan-2010 09:02 pm (UTC)
I have 3 cats. One of them thinks my baby's Boppy pillow, pack n play, and bouncer seat are his personal cat beds lol. But you know what? He's no where to be found when she's in them! Not one of them have ever done anything to hurt either of my kids, and both of them are perfectly healthy in spite of me being a less than stellar housekeeper XD
4th-Jan-2010 09:04 pm (UTC)
oh yeah, i saw this yesterday, and this post made me think of it:

4th-Jan-2010 09:15 pm (UTC)
I seriously lolled.
4th-Jan-2010 09:04 pm (UTC)
I have 3 kittens. They don't even bother with the baby. I let the baby sleep on the couch while I shower, and he's fine. They don't go near him other than to sniff him and walk away. My bf's mom tells me I have to get rid of them every time she comes here and it pisses me off. Honestly, I think you'll be fine. If you think the cats will bother the baby, just supervise them closely when they're in the same room until you're comfortable.
4th-Jan-2010 09:11 pm (UTC)
It's pretty simple, all you have to do is close the door to the baby's room if you leave the baby alone in it (and at night, etc). Cats don't smother babies. The only thing I've seen is cats cuddling with babies for the body heat on occasion, but I think most leave the kid alone until he or she is mobile. As long as you keep things clean and supervised, there is nothing to worry about. It's like all the panicky people worried about pregnant women having cats because of toxoplasmosis when the risk properly managed is less than 1% (and that's assuming you're not already immune, your cats go outside and got infected, etc).
5th-Jan-2010 10:09 am (UTC)
I think the "smothering" myth probably came from an instance where a cat probably was cuddling a bub and cut off his or her breathing (I've had cats who like to face sleep) ... but that's rare, and just an unfortunate accident.

4th-Jan-2010 09:12 pm (UTC)
I have never had a cat, but lots of people do it...so I don't see why you can't.
4th-Jan-2010 09:15 pm (UTC)
I'd be careful with any free roaming animal and baby but I don't think having a baby would warrant getting rid of the animal just because. We have 2 cats and 2 birds and while our girl cat doesn't care for babies (hissed at a friend's baby) she would have to do something awful to make me get rid of her. I am not going to worry about it, just be alert and make sure the animals are getting attention too.
4th-Jan-2010 09:16 pm (UTC)
4th-Jan-2010 09:58 pm (UTC)
awwww mew
4th-Jan-2010 09:22 pm (UTC)

This cat was not around when my daughter (sleeping) was born, but there were 4 cats in the house when she was born, and none of them killed her!

She now has lots of love and gentleness for them, but also knows how to handle them for the most part.

(edited for big pic ->smaller pic)

Edited at 2010-01-04 09:24 pm (UTC)
4th-Jan-2010 09:22 pm (UTC)
I would really like to see some news reports of cats sucking the breath out of babies mouths and killing them. You would think these stories would be as unfortunately popular as pit bull mauling stories.
4th-Jan-2010 09:39 pm (UTC)
Or tiger mauling or chimp face eating, or ferret toe eating stories... Seriously the wrong animal of any type can injure a child, but those animals are not the norm, and they are the ones you should be sensible enough to realize aren't good around kids or people in general, BEFORE you introduce them.
4th-Jan-2010 09:28 pm (UTC)
I don't think you're fooling yourself. I'm pregnant with our first, and plan on keeping all three of our cats when the baby is born. Like you, I am opposed to getting rid of them, and I plan to keep baby and cats seperated at first, and later I'll be supervising closely. I certainly don't feel like I'm putting my baby second, if anything I worry that my cats might feel a little neglected at first.

So I think it'll work out fine for my little family (cats included), and I'm sure it'll be okay for yours too.
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