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Need Advice - Cats & Baby Co-exist

  1. #1
    OX Jess is offline Registered User
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    Need Advice - Cats & Baby Co-exist

    I have two cats at home. My baby is nearly 4 months old and I start to worry about 'hygiene' when my baby starts to crawl. With cats at home, it is inevitable to have cat fur & sand on the floor, no matter how many times you vaccum a day. My worry is: when my baby crawls, his hands will touch the floor and very likely he will put his hands into his mouth ~~~

    Thought about locking the cats in their room (I have a room only for them) but it sounds inhumane to lock them there whole day. Any advice from other cat owners who have cats / dogs at home with a newborn? Thanks.

  2. #2
    starbucks2 is offline Registered User
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    Hi

    We have two cats and a (now) 18 month old. Never locked the cats away when he was smaller, when crawling and don't lock them away now. The cats keep their distance from him (he loves to boisterously cuddle them!) and we make sure that we keep the loose fur on the ground to a minimum (hard with long haired cats!). Everything I read says that this generation have weaker immune systems because they are not exposed to eating dirt/sand/grass etc because parents are overprotective. While I would not want my son eating cat fur, I have no problem with him and the cats co-existing in the same space provided the cats are clean and healthy. If your baby is not asthmatic and your cats are clean and healthy, he should be fine.

    Don't forget your first "babies" that you had before your real baby arrived!

    SB2

  3. #3
    shoni is offline Registered User
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    I have a cat and a dog, both with long fur. The fur does occasionally get on them, you just wipe it off their hands if you see any.
    Having cats and dogs is actually supposed to help strengthen their immune systems not the other way around.
    The cat litter doesnt spread as I put a rug next to the tray and the grains fall off on that when she walks away.
    I think it is good emotionally and physically to grow up with pets.
    I dont think there is much of a hygene problem at all (as long as you are a clean and tidy household, in my previous life I did see hygiene issues with pets and babies but that was usually coupled with lots of other issues).

  4. #4
    AndreaY is offline Registered User
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    We had 3 cats at home and our elder daughter had no problems with them, no alergies or hygiene problems. We were left with 1 when her younger sister was born and her sis was ok in the beginning, but then got eczema after 6 months or so and which got progressively worse. I initially thought it was allergy to food she was eating, cos of the timing. But when she was 1 yr old I took her to see allergy specialist and found out she was actually allergic to cats. What I am trying to say is if your baby is not allergic to cats and you keep a clean house, she will have no problems at all, but if like my youngest, save giving your cat away, no amount of cleaning will stop the allergy.

    Also my daughter's allergy was only in form of eczema, no wheezing or runny nose, and did not appear until months later, so I did not even think it was the cat. It is something to look out for if you have a cat and a baby at home.

  5. #5
    ssheng is offline Registered User
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    I have a cat at home too, and am expecting my first child soon. I actually wasn't even thinking about this as a problem; I was more concerned that our cat might 'play-fight' with the baby, as he likes to do when my husband pets him (our cat doesn't really do this to me, as I know what type of petting he prefers, but our baby/toddler wouldn't!) But after thinking about your question, regarding the sand litter bit, you might also try switching to a non-sand litter. We use a Japanese kind (I cannot even read the label, otherwise I would let you know what brand) that we get in those super pet stores in Mong Kok. It absorbs the urine and is very light. It looks a bit like white styrofoam bits, and because of its size (each piece is as big as maybe a small peanut) would be easy to spot and brush away from your child when he/she is crawling around. It also doesn't seem to get tracked out of the box much. Hope that helps!

  6. #6
    OX Jess is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for all the advice, which put me more at ease now. I guess what I'll do is to keep the place as cleanest as I can, i.e vaccum the litter and fur before letting my baby on the floor. I have also sepcially made a threshold at my cat room door in order to keep the litter away from the living room.

    The fact is: I, as a cat owner, am not too worried about the problem as I know many cat owner friends who have babies & cats/dogs in the same room and live healthily and happily for years troublefree... But my mother-in-law keeps asking me (since I was pregrent) to send the cats away lest my baby gets infected/allergic. (no need to ask me to try to explain to her, as she strongly believes that cats/dogs are bad for kids' health!) Of course I would not even consider the idea of sending the cats away; but I need to be extra cautious not to let my mother-in-law take something, namely baby gets infected / allergic by the cats, to blame me for later....

    Well, thanks again for the advice.

  7. #7
    0ze_Kid's Avatar
    0ze_Kid is offline Registered User
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    I have to say that during pregnancy everyone kept saying "when will you get rid of the cat?" as babies and cats do not mix.

    Rubbish I say! Our cat was 4 when baby came home and she was perfectly fine and never tried to sleep in the baby crib or cot, sleep on her head or actually go near her! Now the cat is 9 (next week!) and still no problems.

    I kept the kitty liter away and put a safety gate over the door to where it was and found that cats are very clean animals in general.

  8. #8
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    we can have up to 20 dogs at our house at any one time. we've NEVER had a problem with either hygeine or allergies. (ps. the dogs are NOT all ours.)
    Last edited by carang; 09-20-2009 at 10:38 AM.

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