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Cats and Babies Living Under One Roof

 by jaime on 09 Aug 2014 |
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When it comes to cats and babies, there are lots of opinions. The fact is there are also many variables. For instance, it sometimes makes a difference which comes into the home first-the cat or the baby. The age of the cat may influence the relationship between the cat and baby and, of course, the overall temperament of the cat. Introducing any animal to a small child must be accompanied by adult supervision at all times. If you are contemplating life with a baby and a cat, the following information can help you navigate the ensuing relationship.
Understanding the risks
The most common fear associated with cats and babies is that the cat may smother the infant if allowed within the baby's crib. Fortunately, this is not something that occurs often, with barely any cases of this happening reported. However, the fact is, it's not sanitary for a cat to sleep with an infant and a cat that wants to cozy up to an infant could, in theory, snuggle up too closely to the baby's face. Still, it seems that cats don't pose any more risk to an infant than a dog or even another young sibling.
Reducing the risks
The main way to reduce any risk that a cat may harm an infant is to keep both under adult supervision and to prevent the cat from sleeping in the baby's room. Many parents, particularly when their infant is newly born, purchase crib nets for their baby's crib to prevent cats from hopping into it. For more lively cats, other measures may be useful. For instance, parents might want to remove the door to the baby's bedroom and replace it with a screen door. This allows parents to listen for the baby while still maintaining a barrier for the cat. In addition, parents can keep cats claws trimmed; although, it's rare for cats to scratch babies.
If your baby is approaching the crawling stage, be sure to keep the cat's food, water, and litter away from the baby's reach. Your cat may not appreciate your baby's fingers rummaging through its food and the litter tray is, of course, completely unsanitary and should be removed from the baby's reach.
Other risks
Parents have to be vigilant about their cats-especially outdoor cats. It's not sanitary for cats to bring home their prey from the outside and drop it where baby's crawl. On the other hand, indoor cats that are clean, flea-free, and de-wormed pose less health risks for small children. Also, parents need to choose cat care products that are safe for babies. By keeping your cat healthy and regularly checked out by a veterinarian, you can cut down on risks for both your cat and baby.
Cats and babies can co-exist quite happily and many babies are quite charmed by the antics of their feline friends. Also, children are also less likely to develop pet allergies when they live with pets during their first year of life. If you have any other concerns about cats and your baby, talk to your doctor and veterinarian.

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