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Cats and Babies...

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I been trying to do some research on behavior problems with cats and newborns but everything I find is stuff to old wives tales like "Cats steal babies breath" and so forth. Hopefully someone here can help me. Here is my problem:

My husband and I are spending time with my family for the holidays. Since we reside in Louisiana and my family resides in Jersey, we had to leave the cat with my mother in law who lives in Texas (about an hour and a half away from where we live in LA). My sister in law lives with her mom and she has a little girl thats almost 2 now. That is the first child my cat has ever been around in her life and while she's normally likes to play agressive, she was okay around her (just kept her distance most the time). She had no problems what so ever behavior wise around that kid whenever my husband and I had to leave the cat there. In fact, my husband was deployed overseas for 4 months and I came back to Jersey while he was gone. Since I couldn't afford to fly my cat here she stayed there and had no problems (the child was 1 at that time).

My sister in law just had a baby boy last month. This time around, my cat has been acting up (she is fixed by the way). We were here in Jersey maybe 2 or 3 days before he got a phone call from his mom and sister about the cat and that she was constantly peeing in the baby's crib and pooping on the baby toys. His mom said that she had moved her litter box from the bathroom to the kitchen and didn't show her when she did it. I figured that was the problem because, unless her box is moved and she doesn't know or if its extremely dirty, she NEVER pees outside the box. Apparently that wasn't the problem because we got a phone call the next day saying she was still doing the same thing.

Has anyone ever had or know of anyone that has had a problem with a cat using the bathroom on newborn's stuff? She never did it with the 1 year old and even though her crib was still set up (she wasn't using it though) the cat never jumped up in there and used the bathroom in it. I think she's acting this way because of the baby since she has never done anything like this before in the 3 years I've had her. My husband disagrees with me. Could she be stressed due to the sounds and smells of an infant and/or lack of attention? My husband and I give that cat more attention than anything, heck she gets more attention from us then what we give eachother, haha. She doesn't get nearly as much attention as she does at my mother in laws because of the kids (even though when she was there for 4 months with the one year old, she was getting the same amount of attention as she is now but never did what she's doing this time around).

Since my sister in law got married and her and her husband both live with my mother in law, they converted the dining room into the childrens bedroom so they could have their privacy. Since there is no door to the dining room, they set a curtain up in the doorway so I couldn't suggest keeping the door closed to keep the cat out and away from the crib. Since there is no room in any of the bedrooms and my husbands old room doesn't have a door, they can't move the crib into another room. I can't suggest watching her and spraying her with a bottle or anything because I know their not going to sit in the room and wait around for her to try something (that and she's sneaky, she knows when people are watching).

What can I do or tell them to do? Hy husbands tired of them calling and complaining and I'm tired of him freaking out on me over it because he has to hear it. Does anyone have any suggestions or should they just keep her in a room with her box, food and water and close the door till we come back? Thanks...
post #2 of 4
Well My interpretation on the matter is that.....

Your kit may be sick....drastic change in behavior in cats most of the time means illness.....

Cats are very good at hiding pain...its an instinctual thing...so they do other things to let us know they are not feeling well........and peeing and pooping inapproprietly is a big one......

You also say that your kit is smart..It is possible that she realizes that the family spends most of their time w/ the baby, and she might think that if she poos and pees near the baby someone might realize shes sick.....

I would suggest most definitly having your SIL take the kit to the vet.......ASAP!!!!

Good luck...and I hope everything works out
post #3 of 4
the cat may be acting out due to the stress of a new environment combined with living in a home with a bunch of new people, including 2 young children. children can be loud and stress some kitties out (one of my cats hides under the couch the entire time when my nieces come to visit). if at all possible, maybe keep the kitty in its own room with food, litter, some soft music. A feliway diffuser may also help calm the cat down.
post #4 of 4
I would say your cat is giving out clear messages that she wants to go home. Her home, where there is order and peace and quiet and familiar smells. I would suggest that you ask for this cat to be taken to the vet, because when cats are stressed, they will become ill and to me, this cat sounds stressed.
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