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Can cats and babies mix? Here are some ideas for maintaining friendly baby and pet relations during the crawling stage.
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Your little crawler has suddenly taken a new interest in the cat – but your independent kitty would rather be left alone, thank you. Here are some suggestions for keeping the peace before something scratchy goes down.

Always supervise. Make it clear that playing with the cat’s tail or other parts is a no-no, and never leave your cat and your baby together unsupervised.

Protect food and litter. Keep your baby away from your cat’s water and food, and put the litter box somewhere the cat can reach but the baby can’t.

Make an escape hatch. Make sure your cat has places where it can escape. Try installing a baby gate to close off a private area, like a basement room, so your cat can retreat.

Rearrange furniture. Give your cat her own chair pushed against a wall so she can retreat from the baby either by perching on its back or by hiding underneath it.

Monitor vermin. Don’t forget to have your cat checked for worms and to give her regular, nontoxic flea and tick treatments. Wipe down eating surfaces if your cat walks across them, and remember to keep the litter box covered when not in use to prevent transmission of parasites from cat to child.

Treat bites and scratches. Cat scratches can be especially prone to infection because of the way a cat’s germy claws can hook into skin. Wash any bites or scratches with salt water, and report any scratches to your pediatrician that show signs of infection or don’t heal in a few days.

Sandy and Marcie Jones are the authors of Great Expectations: Your All-in-One Resource for Pregnancy & Childbirth. Order your copy from Barnes & Noble.

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  • Rated 0 out of 5 by 5reviewers.
    Rated 0 out of 5 by When i set up the baby crib i did catch the cat in there twice before the baby came home.I got one of those bug sceens and used it for several weeks.I tried taking it off and watched for days to see if the cat would go in again,and she didn't.My baby is 8 months now and crawling and although i have more then one cat none have given me trouble or more worry.They mostly stay away or deal with the grabbing and sometimes loss of hair.I am still working on the soft petting and no grabbing (otherwise no playing with kitty)rule.All is supervised and when baby is not so gentle I have her squeaky kitty.She likes it when I tell her that kira kitty needs rest time ,but squeaky kitty will love for you to hug him. May 24, 2013
    Rated 0 out of 5 by When we had our daughter, I was really worried about our cat being around the baby. Everyone told me not to let the cat get in the crib or in the play pin, and so I didn't. Before the baby was born, our cat slept with us every night, but after she came along we had to close her our of the room since we had the crib in the same room as our one bedroom apartment at the time. Now that we have moved into a two bedroom home, our daughter is seven months old, and the cat gets along well with her. We always watch her to make sure that she doesn't scratch the baby or that the baby is grabbing on the kitty (since she has started to want to grab and pull on everything she can get a hold of). However, one day I did find the cat in the crib with the baby, sleeping peacefully next to her like she would do to us. We have started to allow this, but only during the day when we are up and watching them both. Our cat seems to bear the onslaught of grabbing our daughter does to her, and will usually just move away if she is getting annoyed, but I am anxious to see what will happen when our girl starts to crawl. This article helped me a lot, since I know that our kitty likes to play kind of rough at times, and knowing that continuing to watch how they interact with each other is a top priority insures that I will continue to do so. I plan to use a lot of this information, such as about food and the litter box and having places for the cat to retreat if she feels like it. Thank you so much for this great article! It was very helpful. February 2, 2013
    Rated 0 out of 5 by The only thing that my cat wants to do with children is run from them.I imagine when our baby is born that the cat may want to cuddle in the bassinett for warmth, but other than that I don't forsee an issue.My husbands dog though.. hmm. I won't trust her with baby alone. April 3, 2012
    Rated 0 out of 5 by I really don't think cats are such a big deal. When I found out I was having a baby the LAST thing I was going to do was get rid of my original baby (my kitty!). Of course there are little things that made it better. For one my cat is an INDOOR cat, as outdoor cats bring in a lot of dirt and bacteria and goodness knows what they've gotten into. Also my boyfriend always changed the litter box, if you're expecting STAY AWAY from the litter box. This is because SOME cats carry a bacteria that can make you and baby really sick (not ALL cats have it and you CAN get them tested but it costs quite a bit when really you should just avoid contact with stool all together). We also keep the cat food and litter box in our bathroom where baby now can't get into. One final thing to keep an eye on, is that babies get really warm when they are sleeping and it's the puurr-fect place for kitties to curl up. Despite how cute it is this is NOT okay. A cat will not know to stay away from the babe's face and could potentially really hurt him/her. So keep kitty AWAY from the bed from the start and keep an eye out when kitty checks the baby out. Give the cat time, they get used to the baby pretty quick when they start to notice that the baby is important to you. Mine often sleeps right in front of the crib to keep and eye on his baby and when he's in his little chair at the floor, the cat comes up while the baby is sleeping and checks on him even often giving him a little kiss!So if you have a cat, don't freak out, and don't give into the pressure some people give you about getting rid of your fuzzy friend. On the flip side remeber to keep your baby safe and keep on top of safety. November 5, 2011
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