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Cats & newborn. Pls help!

  1. MenagerieMama

    pear / 1547 posts

    @Autumnmama79: Okay so I didn't read all the above posts, but we have 2 indoor cats (and 2 dogs) and LO is now 12 mo. I'm a dog person, DH is a cat person, if it were up to me we would have probably punted the cats to my ILs a while ago but I'm also a big animal sucker and DH would have cried. We are very much a forever pet family unless there is an extreme safety issue. Our cats have some high needs: can't be on carpet (so can't go upstairs) because one cat will pee on carpet so we have creative gates and keep doors closed, dog toys/bed can't be left unattended because said cat will pee on them so we put them up when we leave the room, one cat is on a diet so they are fed in separate ways. They both go on the furniture, they do avoid the table/counter when we're home to pretend they never do but we know they do when we are gone. They shed like crazy.

    That being said, of our 4 animals, the one that LO loves the most and the one who loves LO the most (will wake up out of a dead sleep when he hears her go in her play area and run there to get petted) is the cat who has the peeing issue. Who knew. I called him devil cat for years and he's redeeming himself.

    Things that help:
    - litter box in room only cats can access (where our water heater is with cat door), lots of tracking mats
    - Roomba (seriously, we talked about this for years but were put off on the price, and it's been worth it's weight in gold the first month alone) we run every night
    - brushing the cats (okay so we don't do this but we should)
    - big cat tree in the living room that gives them their own zone
    - multiple litter boxes cleaned daily +/- air purifier in the area

    But overall we just coexist. The cats aren't allowed in the nursery. They leave the stroller alone. LO does consume a decent amount of cat/dog fur probably but she doesn't care and there are actually some studies showing a healthier immune system for LOs exposed to pets in the home as infants.

    If DH suggested we get rid of the dogs because they annoyed him, I would kindly suggest he leave if he was annoyed! So likewise for the cats (though to be fair during the worst of evil cat's issues he did go to the ILs for a few months so we didn't end up divorced and repaired our apartment).

    So tl;dr - the issues you mention are completely manageable, and I feel like worth working through. Pets should be forever. And your DH clearly is attached. Kids and pets can coexist well even if it means more work.

    ETA: Also since DH is the cat person, he has to clean the cat litter. We considered an electronic litter box but I think our evil (and flighty anxious) cat would be scared of it.

  2. Umbreon

    clementine / 854 posts

    I think having the cats around for your child's first year is actually beneficial. From what I've read, it can reduce the likelihood your child will develop allergies.

    The litterbox shouldn't smell if it's cleaned on a regular basis. Maybe you need to switch to a better cat litter? I have two litterboxes in the house and I can only smell it if I stick my nose in the box. After a cat uses it, sometimes the smell will linger a bit, but really that's no different than when one of us uses the washroom.

  3. Autumnmama79

    pear / 1703 posts

    Sad update:

    After me coming to terms with the cats staying and DH working really hard to ensure there was no smell or mess, we sadly lost both cats in the past few days. On new years day, one cat got out the window and began walking the ledge and then he fell. We live on the 14th floor and there was no way he could've survived. The other cat battled liver failure for the past few weeks and had a feeding tube for the last 2 days. She died in DH's arms last night.

    DD had a hard time with the first death and I haven't even told her about the second last night.... (this morning I just said that DH took her to the vet) How do you tell a 6 year old that BOTH their pets are now dead?

    I just ordered DH and DD mugs from shutterfly with the cats pictures on them. What else can I do do signify the loss? DH is beside himself with sadness

  4. ldh112

    kiwi / 556 posts

    @Autumnmama79: I'm so sorry. Losing pets is so tough. There isn't much else I can say. I think what you're doing is very sweet. Maybe some type of memorial service? I know you're in an apartment but maybe you go to a park or something and bury some type of memento of the cats? Hugs to your family!

  5. Astro Bee

    pear / 1503 posts

    @AutumnMama79: So sorry to hear of your family's loss of both your pets. That's really rough. We have experienced both long, lingering illnesses, as well as accidents, with ours. Hugs to you all.

    One thing that we have done in the past is have a plaster cast made of the pawprint. It's something that our vet offered. They also snipped off a piece of their fur, and sent it to a company to have the cast plaque painted with their fur colours. It's a little pricey, and it's probably not possible in your case. An alternative would be a shadow box with a picture and a few items of theirs. Maybe with a picture of your husband or daughter with the cats?

    Lastly, there are a lot of sellers on Etsy that make little memorial stones (or wood carvings) for pets. Name, dates, little phrase, that sort of thing. I don't know if there is a "final resting place" for them or not, but the memorial stone could be placed in your apartment somewhere. They're usually pretty small. We have one in our garden.

  6. Autumnmama79

    pear / 1703 posts

    @ldh112: Thats a great idea to bury something of the cats, we have a huge park nearby. Maybe their favourite toys or something. Thank you for the suggestion.

    @Astro Bee: Thanks mama. We are having the paw plasters made through the vet so those will be nice mementos. Maybe if we put them in a shadow box along with a pic. So creative the company that paints the plaques the same colour as the fur! Will/do you have more pets now that you have a little one?

  7. Astro Bee

    pear / 1503 posts

    @AutumnMama79: We have two cats that DH and I got shortly after we were married. The cats that have passed the over the past few years were our childhood cats, they lived to be 17, 18, 20 (x2) and 21 yrs old. I've attached a picture of the memento that we got through our vet so you can see what the final product looks like. I wasn't sure if it would be too late for your cats, since they'd already passed. I'm really glad your vet suggested it.

    We haven't had any problems with our cats since having our baby. He's 9 months now, and one of them lets him crawl on her. She's never hissed at him even, never mind clawed at him. If he pulls too hard on her fur, she just runs away. The other just stays out of his way, but if he cries comes over to check on him. They don't jump in his crib at all, but did explore it a few times before he was born, though I did try to discourage it. They follow us into his nursery and keep me company when feeding him. I haven't noticed any jealousy at all, although we have been careful to pay lots of attention to them still. I am looking forward to having my son grow up with pets (as I did), as I think they are great for kids to learn gentleness and compassion.

    If you do decide down the road to get another cat, assuming your DH agrees to handle the litter properly, they can be trained to stay off furniture. We allow ours on beds and the couch, but they stay off everything else. A spray bottle of water works wonders.

  8. snowjewelz

    wonderful kiwi / 23653 posts

    @Autumnmama79: I was reading through this thread and not expecting to read this update at the end! I'm so sorry This was def not a good solution to your problem!


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