Are Cats Dangerous Companions for Toddlers?
There is an old wives tale that goes something like this:
Never bring a baby home when a cat is afoot. Cats are jealous creatures and they will take revenge on the baby because of their new attention. When the child is asleep, the car will lean over the baby's mouth and steal their breath away while they dream.
Of course we all know that black cats aren't unlucky and there has been no reported accounts of cats "sucking the life" out of sleeping children. But, just because this old fable isn't true, it doesn't mean that there aren't precautions you need to make to keep your baby and your cat safe.
Cats and Babies Playing Together
Humans have had domesticated cats in their homes for thousands of years, and there are rarely any incidents reported from babies and cats playing together. However, if you choose to allow your newborn to play in the vicinity of your cat, you should never leave them unattended. You should also discourage any rough play.
Parents should also consider de-clawing or at the very least keeping their claws trimmed. Aside from scratches hurting your child, they can cause Cat Scratch Fever in a youngster, which is curable with antibiotics but is very irritable for toddlers.
Keeping Your Baby Safe
Although the risks for having a cat around a baby are minimal, there are precautions that should be made, especially around your child's crib and your cat's litter box.
Litter boxes can be home to many different diseases. Make sure your litter box is in a place where babies and toddlers have no chance of coming in contact with your cat's fecal droppings. Toxoplasmosis is most common disease that is spread with coming into contact with cat droppings. It is curable parasite, but can be very harmful to young children.
No Cats in The Cribs
Although the old wives tale about the cat sucking the breath out of a sleeping baby is made up, you should still never leave your cat in the crib with your baby. A cat can smother a sleeping child if they crawl on top of them. To prevent your cat from climbing into bed with your baby, consider placing a safety net over the top of the crib to keep it out.
You can also use a SSSCAT Spray in the bedroom to keep
your cat away from off-limits areas of the home, such as a baby's room.
SSSCAT Spray is a harmless, motion activated spray bottle that gives your animal a squirt of harmless, O-Zone friendly compressed gas to keep them away from certain cribs, rooms, furniture or dining room tables. AAA batteries power the bottles and the gas cans can be refilled until your baby is grown out of their crib.
Whichever method you use, it's important to let your cat know that the crib is an off-limits area for them and you should discourage the cat from using a baby's room as a hangout. As we mentioned, with the keen supervision and few small precautions, cats and babies can live under the same roof without worried parents.
By Sean Bowes