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Cats and Babies

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure if this is in the right section or not. I apologise if it isn't.

I really don't think it's true (personally I think "cat haters" made it up) but I would like to know if anyone has experienced it or knows someone that has. I have 2 cats (had 3 until a couple of weeks ago, 1 died suddenly) and my baby is 6 months old. She was born 2 1/2 months premature and my Dr (who happens to hate cats and love dogs) says that I should get rid of them because they cause babies to get asthma and allergies especially since she was premature. Is this true?? There are no concerns with her lungs or beathing at this time (I got steroid shots when they knew she was coming early so that her lungs would develop) My husband WAS (used to be) allergic to cats but he's fine now. When we 1st started dating I had 1 cat and he had to take allergy pills everytime he came over because I told him I would dump him before I got rid of my cat!!! Eventually, the more he was around my cat he became less and less allergic, hence the addition of 2 more cats. That leads me to believe that my baby will probably not become allergic because the antibodies will already be in her. I would have passed it on to her genetically (I've been around cats all my life ... had cats since I was 3) and the cats were around while I was pregnant with her. As for asthma, my husband apparently had asthma when he was young but out grew it so my baby MAY have asthma genetically but does having a cat increase the chances of it?

I have also heard all the "old wives tales" regarding cats & babies; smothering, attacking etc. I know they are not. If anything my 1 cat is over protective -- no one can hold her without being inspected by my cat 1st and the other 1 could care less about her as long as his food and "head rubs" aren't affected. I'm only concerned about what my Dr said about asthma and allergies. It will KILL me if I have to get rid of them.
post #2 of 20
No it's not true

And also, cats do not "smother" or "suck the breath out (of)" babies.

Just teach your kitty tolerance around the baby.

Some cats like to curl up by your head and they night try doing that to the baby, because we lose a lot of heat from our heads, and cats like warm places. But just teach your kitty that laying in the crib with the baby is a no-no.

Don't yell at it, don't hit it, don't shake it, don't squirt it with water etc. Just be persistent and keep moving the cat from the crib and saying "NO!" sternly. In time your kitties will learn that the crib is off limits. You can also close the door while your baby is sleeping and use a baby monitor.

But you don't need to get rid of your cats unless your infant starts to show signs of bad allergies due to the cats.
post #3 of 20
Just to add on... and teach your baby tolerance of the cat as she grows up. I am sure you know this but some people just don't bother to teach their toddlers not to pull cats tails or ears or touch their paws and then the cat takes a swipe at the child and the family gets rid of the cat. Just think of things from the cats perspective too is all I am saying.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Not to worry about teaching my baby tolerance of the cats. I hate when people don't teach their children to respect animals. In fact I don't even let my friends children near my cats if they don't treat them properly. The children get "slapped hands"!!! Also I have no worries about the cats in the crib etc. They haven't even tried and the most Oni (cat) has done to Charlee (baby) is put his paw on her leg while we all "cuddled" on the couch. Zoya (cat) is older and like I said before could care less as long as his food and "head rubs" aren't affected. He looks at her, says "hello" then walks away. Sommer (cat) was our only concern only because she peed on "fluffy/soft" things but she passed away so ... It does make me feel better to know that my Dr is a lier!!! Is that a good thing or not???
post #5 of 20
That is so ridiculous
My niece came straight from the hospital when she was born and my cat Babygirl could not get enough of her. Babygirl would take naps in my niece's car seats, lay in the crib with her, always want to be right next to her, giving her headbutts. My nephew was 2 at the time and he was there around her all of the time, daily, too, but Babygirl really loved my niece. My niece is now 10 and my nephew is amost 13 and have ZERO health problems.
post #6 of 20
Originally Posted by Sommer View Post
It does make me feel better to know that my Dr is a lier!!! Is that a good thing or not???
not necessarily a liar, just misinformed & not a cat person.
my doctor actually has office cats!
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Liar or misinformed he shouldn't be telling people to get rid of their cats when they have babies. In fact when I found out I was pregnant he actually told me to kill them. Yes he used the words KILL. That's fine that he doesn't like cats but my family and I do so .... maybe I don't like his dog!!! I'm just glad I am an older mom (over 35) and knew enough to question it and not get rid of them. We had A LOT of health problems the 1st 2 months of Charlee's (baby) life and had he been her Dr instead of her being in the NICU 300 kms away, I probably would have gotten rid of them (NOT KILL -- found a good home). Thank goodness she was healthy by the time he told me about asthma and allergies.
post #8 of 20
Hi Sommer... my vet posted this info about Cats and babies...

just from my background in healthcare i do know that their is some semblance of truth in his statements about cats and allergies/asthma, however getting rid of your cats is not the only solution to the problem! congratulations on the baby!
post #9 of 20
First of all, your doctor sounds like a big jerk. I would change doctors. If you are concerned, consult with a pediatric allergist. And keep the kitties out of the baby's sleeping area and keep ahead of the cat dander with vaccuuming, dusting, etc.

There was a study done not all that long ago that children who grow up in heavily antiseptic environments don't develop antibodies to bugs etc as well as other kids and get sick more often.
post #10 of 20
Addiebee that is what my pediatrician told me. My daughter had all sorts of colds and bugs as a baby. Now she could not catch a cold if she tried.
post #11 of 20
My granddaughter was introduced to the cats the day she came home from the hospital. They were allowed to look at her and sniff her. One just looked at her and went about her business, the other became her protector, and slept under her crib. If the baby cried and kitty did not think her parents were responding fast enough, her would nip toes until they got to her. He still loves her, and has no issues with her own kitty she has now at 3 years old. They seem to think they are her nannies. No cat she has ever been around has caused her any problems, behavioral, respiratory, nothing. IMHO, they should be fine, especially since you have the good sense to teach her respect for animals.
post #12 of 20
Wow. I would find a new doctor if my doctor told me that. Seriously. The latest medical research actually shows that children raised in homes with 2 or more animals are LESS likely to develop allergies (and maybe asthma, as well - I can't remember). I see no reason for you to get rid of your cats.
post #13 of 20
I cannot believe a doctor could be so ignorant! OK - now that I got that off my chest . . .

I had a very spoiled Siamese cat for 10 years before I had our daughter. My family told me I would have to get rid of her because she would be jealous of the baby. For me that was not an option. Whenever I breast fed, I had the baby in my arms and the cat on my lap. My Siamese was more gentle to our daughter than anyone else except me. Our daughter's first word was "Seesuz" - the cat's name was Susie. I also think children that are not kept in a bubble develop better immune systems and don't end up with the allergies a lot of children seem to be getting these days.

There was just a whole show on CBC recently that talked about this issue. They were saying that tests and trials have proven children raised on farms had fewer to no allergies compared to city kids. They talked about the immune system not being strong enough when not exposed to different things.

My husband just laughed and said, "that's what you've been saying for years".

Keep your beautiful cats, teach your child respect for your cats and vice-versa and get yourself a decent doctor.
post #14 of 20

I know family with no pets at all, parents had pets, baby has a problem since it was born. I know families - kids and cats and dogs and rabbits and go on...Nothing. So, I guess, it's up to each individual case, but in the most cases : pets are not the problem, it's something... genetic maybe.
The same thing about the litter box and pregnant women - like, they should not clean it.
The city kids - they have allergies because of the bad air, dust,food, but cats got it all. The same baby will be OK probably on the coutry side with the same cats in the house.
post #15 of 20
Well if all that was true, none of us would be here or have had kids growing up with cats. They are nothing more then old wives tales. If one parent is allergic its a 50/50 chance on the baby being allergic.

Keep your baby AND keep the cats
post #16 of 20
My grandfather told my Mom the same thing about having cats around babies. She ignored him and I have lived with cats for most of my life.

Just remember to keep giving them the attention they had before. I am annoyed by those who forget they have pets after they have their first baby.
post #17 of 20
Both my children have been brought up with cats only. My son is allergic to dogs, but not cats. I'm sure that if he hadn't been around cats as a baby he would be allergic to them also. So, I think raising children with pets lessens the chance of allergies( in my experience anyway).
post #18 of 20
I always peoples misconceptions about animals and children to be so strange. My sister-in-law and her husband are not animal lovers, and they are such royal pains. They haven't taught their son about how to treat animals, so when they came to visit, I put all their stuff in our bedroom and closed the door so they wouldn't be tortured. Ugh. Drives me crazy.

Anyway, I was raised with animals. My parents had four small dogs when I was born, and it was very important to them that they liked me (I think my dad would have got rid of ME if they didn't!). My grandparents had cats and dogs, as did all my aunts and uncles. Kids are happily raised with animals - it is a good thing - both health-wise and personally - for children. Your doctor is overstepping the mark here - I agree that if you are concerned, contact a pediatric allergist or change doctors!

My husband and I are thinking about starting a family in the near future - and our doctor is a huge animal lover, which makes me happy as I know she will understand our need to balance!
post #19 of 20
When I came home from the hospital as a baby, I got introduced to my parent's 2 kitties. I've lived with cats all but 3 years of my life. I don't have any breathing problems now, but when I was about 5 I did have an asthma attack we believe was caused by smog.

That being said, I am a nicu nurse. First off, congrats on homecoming!! YAY! We say at work it would great if we could make a surrogate womb for these babies but that hasn't happened yet. Preemies first few months of life in the nicu are rough...tubes everywhere, poked and prodded, learning to eat, learning to breathe on their own, fighting off infections. They are not the same as a newborn baby when they come home. You didn't say if your daughter was on the ventilator or if she received RSV vaccine? Probably neither if there's no lung concerns, but those infants in particular are more suceptible to lung issues in general. You SHOULD be fine, but you should also be a little more cautious.
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
HI Auchick ... Charlee (baby) was never on a ventilator I think because I was given steroid shots as soon as we knew she was coming early so it helped with her lung development (we had about a weeks notice thanks to the fetalfibronectin ... not sure how to spell that ... swab). She was given the RSV vaccine, in fact she just had her last one, more as a precausion due to the winters we have here.

Thanks to everyone, I do feel better ... not too happy with my Dr but.... I was pretty sure he was wrong but when it comes to your children you listen to the Dr so that's why I posted the question. I have heard of the studies about farm children vs city children and allergies and having grown up in a farming community and then moving to a city I saw 1st hand the difference in the number of people with allergies and asthma in the city and the children I grew up with. My cats and my daughter get along well together ... of course she's not at the age of chasing them, holding them too tightly etc yet. I have no concerns about them hurting her or anything and I will be teaching her how to treat & respect them. One good scratch from one of them if/when they get fed up will let her know!!!! (I'm not being cruel to her .... that's the way I learned as a child even though my parents told and told me and it worked)
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