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cats and children

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hello

I was just wondering how does your cat react usually if a child is bugging it? Well i would NEVER leave a child unsupervised with a cat, my cousins child loves cats so hes allowed to pet mine

We had a bit of an incident though he pulled on my cats tail and my cat got mad and swat at him, I told my cousin I dont think the child should be around my cat anymore because he doesn't know how to act

ANyways my cousin found this extremly offensive & we got into a fight. My cousin doesnt seem to understand that my cat with all of its claws & teeth can seriously hurt her kid if it wanted to!

What would you do in this situation? Is it common for a cat to react to a child like that ? THe child is usually good but i mean he is just a child so he is going to try naughty things, I do not have any kids (THANK GOD)
post #2 of 12
how old is the kid? eventually you can reintroduce the child to the cat after explaining to him that the cat needs to be treated nicely, and that he shouldn't ever play rough. and that he can only pet him gently and talk to him. or her. the cat can hurt the child, and you don't want that, so don't be bothered by your cousin. she's being a pain and she should be the one to talk to the kid about how to treat animals. i think my cat would be very good around children, but i would hesitate to introduce him to young children b/c you just never know how the cat will behave, or what might tick him/her off. i was terrified of cats as a kid b/c one tried to bite me, but it was a nasty cat. good luck
post #3 of 12
I think you handle it depending on the situation. I have a cat that's pretty feisty and I put him in the laundry room or a bedroom if I have any true concerns about safety (in my cat's case, it's adults he has issues with). If it's someone new, I watch carefully and never leave them unsupervised until I'm comfortable. If it's kids that aren't used to be around cats, I supervise and give them tips on what not to do (ie don't pet his tummy) or walk over him. If it's kids that are used to being around our house, I usually give a quick check to make sure all it calm before leaving a guest alone with my kids and our cat.

If it's someone who's likely to be spending a good deal of time with us, I always feel it's worth a little time and effort to help them understand my cat and visa versa. If it's a one time visitor--such as a repairman--I don't mess with it.
post #4 of 12
My cat can be pretty nasty--the people I live w/ all think he has serious problems, but I kno he wasn't with his family for the right amount of time so I know that's why he is the way he is. Don't get me wrong he is also very sweet, when he wants to be. The only child my cat is around is my bfs nephew, who is 2. He loves Monster, he gets so excited when he sees him, and Monster is usually nice to him. There were a couple times the cat was in the babys umbrella stroller, and the baby was pushing him in it & the cat thought he was playing so the baby got scratched a couple times. A few times I saw the baby smacking the cat, & he always gets told he has to be nice so eventually he will learn (btw he is NEVER EVER alone around the cat)
post #5 of 12
I don't think it's necessary to say that the child can't be around the cat. I agree with the posters above that the solution is just to have a calm, one-on-one discussion with the child, explaining that he has to be gentle with the cat and which areas he should or shouldn't touch, and that if hurt, the kitty will be angry or scared and hurt him back. The child has probably already partly learned that lesson.

Kids have been pulling cats' tails since the two species started to live together, I imagine. And the cat usually gets his point across.
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by chausiefan View Post
Hello

I was just wondering how does your cat react usually if a child is bugging it? Well i would NEVER leave a child unsupervised with a cat, my cousins child loves cats so hes allowed to pet mine

We had a bit of an incident though he pulled on my cats tail and my cat got mad and swat at him, I told my cousin I dont think the child should be around my cat anymore because he doesn't know how to act

ANyways my cousin found this extremly offensive & we got into a fight. My cousin doesnt seem to understand that my cat with all of its claws & teeth can seriously hurt her kid if it wanted to!

What would you do in this situation? Is it common for a cat to react to a child like that ? THe child is usually good but i mean he is just a child so he is going to try naughty things, I do not have any kids (THANK GOD)

An infant was pulling Callie's hair and she put up with it.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by chausiefan View Post
What would you do in this situation?
I usually tell the child he got what he deserved! The parents get offended most of the time but hey, my cat, my house!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chauseifan
Is it common for a cat to react to a child like that?
A cat will react that way whether it's a child or an adult pulling its tail.
post #8 of 12
If your cat injures the child (bites) you will be liable. So I can understand you wanting to avoid serious injuries.

On the other hand, many of us grew up with cats and learned our lessons the hard way. If the cats didn't like it we got scratched, thus learning some respect.


This reminds me of a couple children that used to live nearby. One was 9 and had an orange kitten, and the other 4 with a black kitten. Both kittens where several months old and could have easily wandered off to play without the girls. Yet, both cats would follow them around devotedly. Even the little 4 year old's cat despite her sometimes handling him too roughly or carrying him wrong.
So it depends on the cat's tolerance and what they are used to as well.
post #9 of 12
My cat Molly (RIP) used to LOVE kids. We used to live across the road from a school, at a dead-end street where all the parents used to pick up their kids from. Molly would go outside at 3pm every day on the dot to get all the kids' attention... she was a manx so there was no tail to pull, but even if it looked like they were annoying her she just liked the attention

I think it's a little OTT to say that the kid can't play with the cat at all, but maybe you should talk to your cousin and just explain that the way you feel about your cat is how she feels about her kid - maybe she just doesn't get that!
post #10 of 12
I've had a few that were pretty tolerant with kids. But most sense if the child is one to avoid.

However, instead of telling your cousin that the child should NOT be around cats, you could have taken the opportunity to correct the child in HOW to pet cats properly and let them know that its wrong to pull tails/ears, etc. Show them the way they should pet the cat so its friendly toward them.
post #11 of 12
I can really see why you got on the defence, because bottom line is that's your child and you saw him get hurt

I never leave mine alone if my neighbours children are in, because although their gentle with them they sometimes scare them if they squeal laughing when they play with them with the Da Bird.

I remember they came into the conservatory last summer, and they kept calling their names but they wouldn't come out, so i had to explain that they were scared of their loud voices and and to just let them come to them.

My nieces baby is only 6 months old, but i'll be teaching her from a young age how she has to treat animals. She'll soon know quick if she gets on the wrong side of Rosie though
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by chausiefan View Post
Hello

I was just wondering how does your cat react usually if a child is bugging it? Well i would NEVER leave a child unsupervised with a cat, my cousins child loves cats so hes allowed to pet mine

We had a bit of an incident though he pulled on my cats tail and my cat got mad and swat at him, I told my cousin I dont think the child should be around my cat anymore because he doesn't know how to act

ANyways my cousin found this extremly offensive & we got into a fight. My cousin doesnt seem to understand that my cat with all of its claws & teeth can seriously hurt her kid if it wanted to!

What would you do in this situation? Is it common for a cat to react to a child like that ? THe child is usually good but i mean he is just a child so he is going to try naughty things, I do not have any kids (THANK GOD)
Ok here in my thoughts. It depends on how the child is raised. In my house the boys are taught young on how to treat animals. And generally speaking they do very well. But they also know if they do something to tick the cats off and they get swatted or bit they are in the wrong not the kids.

In your situation I would remove the cat into a different location while they are visiting.
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