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Babies Encyclopedia: Is it safe to have cats and/or other pets in the same home as an infant?

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CafeMom Team

Asked by CafeMom Team at 5:39 PM on Sep. 7, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 11 (576 Credits)
Answers (37)
  • I think it depends on the animal. If you know the animal is viscous before hand..then no it's not safe. The safety of your child should always come first. If the animal is calm and collected and gets a long well with children..then I see no problem with it. Just never by themselves together! There should always be supervision!
    SparklingHope

    Answer by SparklingHope at 5:42 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • It probably depends more on the temperament of the animals in question, but the only problems we've had with our two cats is the random fur everywhere (and it's not like that wasn't there before the baby came around).
    coder_chick

    Answer by coder_chick at 5:43 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • I think children benefit greatly from having animals in the house, on several levels.
    1) They learn how to interact with animals from a very early age
    2) By being exposed to animals, they are less likely to develop allergies
    3) They learn responsibility in caring for animals
    4) COMPANIONSHIP! Dogs make excellent playmates for kids!

    Of course, I agree with the previous poster, you have to make sure the animals are safe to have around children. Also, never ever EVER leave a child alone with pets, especially dogs. No matter how trustworthy and calm your dog is, they are still animals.

    My experience? I have a toddler in a house with 2 large dogs, and 7 cats. Everybody gets along great, and even the cats have resigned themselves to being dragged around, or having their tails yanked. The only negative is that he now wants to play with EVERY dog he sees, and I need to teach him not to assume every dog is as nice as his!
    Anouck

    Answer by Anouck at 5:46 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • I agree that it depends on the animal. We had a dog, which we had raised from a pup. He was about 6 or 7 when I had my baby. As much as we thought we knew this dog, he became very jealous of the new baby. He even started going to the bathroom in the baby's bedroom. I just didn't trust the way he acted. I would say you'd have to keep a good eye on the animal and the child, but really I just wouldn't do it.
    m-avi

    Answer by m-avi at 5:49 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • I think it completely depends on the pet. First, they need to have all of their shots, and they need to be healthy, Second, you need to see how they interact around children and make sure they aren't aggressive. I have a dog and she is GREAT with my son. She's protective of him, and is so gentle. I also want to add, I've heard a lot of people warn against little dogs with babies. I have a Shih Tzu, and they're best buddies. :)
    LovingSAHMommy

    Answer by LovingSAHMommy at 5:50 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • Cats are curious creatures and will want to investigate the baby and all of its soft blankets and spilled-milk smells. We have two cats at home, and we found baby gates that they can't squeeze through to keep them out of the nursery. Besides potential allergies, we don't want their hair all over my DH's things.

    You have to be careful with dogs. Many are kind and gentle, but if you have one who shows any aggressive behavior, it should not be allowed near the infant, especially if you have more than one dog (pack instincts can be dangerous).

    Another pet to really watch out for is a large snake, especially something like a python.
    anng.atlanta

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 5:51 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • I agree that it depends on the temperment of the animal. I have had cats since before my daughter was born. My parents always had animals from the time I was born. Growing up we usually had a couple cats and dogs at a time and never had any problems.
    amymartinez0214

    Answer by amymartinez0214 at 6:16 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • i ad askes my sons doctor about that because we had 2 dogs and she told us it as fine just to make sure they were not like all around the babies to make sure they were at a safe distance ad to make sure i didnt leave them alone withough ny supervion. unless the bab has some allergy or something wrong with his health.
    Alejandra10

    Answer by Alejandra10 at 6:24 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • I think it can be safe. It also could go very wrong without the proper supervision and care of the pet.
    Mommy_of_two

    Answer by Mommy_of_two at 7:20 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • kIds love little fury creatures. Inroducing animals to kids at a very early age is best. This is theraputic and it diminishes the fear of animals. Exposure to family pets may help their immune system as well.Animals sense change early on from the wound. Allow the family pet to sniff your belly and laynear you as you grow.This is a great way to prepare the animal for the new addition to the family.
    Godswk

    Answer by Godswk at 7:25 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

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