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Cats Adjusting to a New Family Member?

1788 Views 11 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  asrowley
I know some cats deal well with children, some do not. But here's the real question. How would you introduce a baby into the mix of a cat's life.

It's an odd question, but seeing as Aunt Flo never came to visit this month, and I'm buying a test soon to see if maybe she's not going to come to visit for the next 9 months, if you catch my drift, I begin to wonder how I will introduce the fact to my cat.

In all my 20 years with cats, this has never been an issue because I am the youngest child, so introductions were not in order of this kind. What are your hints?

And if it turns out she is not coming, I'm sure I'll update you on that, but this can also be for future reference for me just in case.

Also, I heard that litterboxes are not allowed around women who are expecting. Is that actually true? Or is it something my grandma says? :2kitties
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Also, I heard that litterboxes are not allowed around women who are expecting. Is that actually true? Or is it something my grandma says?
I have no experience with introducing babies to cats and vice versa, since by the time Midnight joined the family, my kids were between the ages of 5 and 15. Instead, I'll address the sentence/question above.

Pregnant women are generally asked to not clean the litterboxes due to something called toxoplasmosis. However, if a pregnant women wears gloves, washes her hands thoroughly, and maybe use a bit of hand sanitizer, the risk of getting it is pretty low. Most doctors still recommend that pregnant women not clean the litterbox just to be safe.
Well thanks for that info at least. :D I usually clean it and wash my hands and sanitize them anyways because... ew.

But it would make for a good reason to make the man do it ;)
From what I read, toxoplasmosis is not that common in indoor cats, unless they are allowed to roam and hunt outdoors.

As far as introducing babies to cats ~ well, it's a long process! I must admit I did not do a good job of it years ago with our last kitty, which still pains me to think about :(. I was clueless about territory, and safe spots for kitty, and making sure our kitty knew she was still loved and special even though we 'had a new kitten' so-to-speak :). Actually it is quite like introducing a new cat. As long as you make slow changes to your home and habits, it should work out fine. I bet if you search on the forum you will find more, I remember a couple of threads on this issue in the past...

Oh, and congratulations, if you're right....!

There are some old tales about cats sleeping on a baby's face and suffocating them. True or false, it's probably not a good idea to allow the cat to be alone with a baby. I think, when the baby starts to walk, it may also depend on how old the cat is. Younger cats can be overenthusiastic about playing with a toddler.

Care is needed when handling raw meat, which can be infected, although at one time when I was quite young my father used to feed me little slivers of raw beef (way, way back), which may well be where I got my toxoplasma friends that make me love cats.
With my cats we didn't try to do anything special to introduce them to the baby. We just went about our lives once we brought him home from the hospital and once the cats were ready to meet him they would come up every once and a while to sniff him. We didn't force it onto them or anything. Another thing though, definitely do NOT leave your baby with any pet. Cats will snuggle up to your baby and they don't know that laying on top of them is a bad thing. Both of our cats have tried to walk on top of our son when we were holding him so they don't know the difference when your baby is super young and can't react yet.

As for the toxoplasmosis thing, I read in a recent book (recently published) that if you've had cats for a long time then you most likely are already infected/carrying toxoplasmosis from your cats and have developed an immunity to it. So if you get pregnant it shouldn't be a problem but unless you get tested to see if you indeed are immune then I would take the regular precautions. (like getting the hubby to clean the litterbox for 9 months like I did ;) )
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my cats are older then my kids lol. Most I did was set up the crib and other necessary baby furniture a month before hand and let the cats explore it. Then let them sniff the kids when they came home. The cats always slept with me so no issues with them in the cribs, and when the kids started crawling, the cats stayed out of arms reach of them.

As to the litter boxes. I had my OH clean them. It takes several days for it to be infectious and it doesn't stay that way long. not to mention IF the cat happened to pick it up, they only shed it for a short time. But if your worried you can talk to your Prenatal doc about it. Of course that is if you turn out to be pregnant.

here is more info on it.

Toxoplasmosis in Cats

good luck and congrats! oh yes. and if people tell you to get rid of your cats. please don't listen. everyone lectured me on how cats were bad to have around babies and mine are still alive.
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good luck and congrats! oh yes. and if people tell you to get rid of your cats. please don't listen. everyone lectured me on how cats were bad to have around babies and mine are still alive.
Geez, tell me about it. I'm only 19. I have no plans to have children in the near future, no SO to have children with, and I'm still looking for a stable career - and I've STILL been informed multiple times by different people that I'll have to get rid of my cats 'when I get pregnant'. Makes me furious! My cats aren't going anywhere.

By the way, if your suspicions are right - congratulations :smile:
I was going to go to the store today to get a test but then I slept through all the day and I don't go out at night in this city :p

I kinda hope my suspicions are right then not really because well, babies are a big step, but like I said to my friends years ago, Birth Control is only so effective, and being off the pill and using other means makes it even less effective! >_<

Thanks for your guy's help. Keep them coming.

I know when I was a newborn we had a cat names Edsil. Eddy used to sleep by my crib and adopted me as his baby. I give cats the credit in knowing babies are at least a little fragile, but sleeping in their crib would be a no-no to me (Though my parents did it and I turned out fine) When I say I have 20 years of cat experience I mean it.

Thanks for the info on that disease as well. >_< I may use it as an excuse to get him to clean the litter :p muhahhahahaha.
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Well those of you who are wondering, I haven't tested yet, but I've been having weird aversions to food I like. Could be pregnancy, or could be a change in palate LOL we shall see
I would have been at the drugstore @ a week late..much less a month.
I've had false alarms before. You know how it is, stress and then plop two weeks late then Aunt Flo comes by the house and says Oh HI! Thought I wasn't coming? Just got caught up in traffic and had a week long layover in the LAX airport.
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