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Lucky or others, can you please help??

December 3rd, 2004, 11:05 AM
Okay, I have a friend that is 1 day from her due date.. they have a golden retriever and a DLH male. I love these animals as if they were my own... The male cat is forever trying to climb into the bassinet, getting into the baby's stuff... she terrified that this cuddly loving cat will unintentionally smother the baby if he gets into the bassinet.
The dog is very affectionate and clumsy.. he trips her going up the stairs and is always in need of attention. He was rescued from a pet store when they had him crated in a box for a dog half his size... :(

She wants to rehome these animals. I don't think she's giving them the benefit of the doubt. What can I do to help her be more confident with the animals around the baby? What can I do to help keep the cat from climbing into the bassinet? I will go as far as keeping these animals myself, but I want her to give them a chance and love them even though there is a child coming into the house....

Please help...any suggestion will do...I am most concerned about the cat...what's the best way to prevent him from going into the bassinet?

Lucky Rescue
December 3rd, 2004, 11:34 AM
Cats climb into cribs and smother babies only in legend. They don't suck a baby's breath out either. The cat is going into the bassinet because it's empty and is a cozy place to take a nap. When a crying, wiggling baby is in there, I doubt he would approach.

My brother and his wife had 6 cats when they had a baby and they didn't "get rid" of any of them.

My brother put a screen door on the baby's room so they could see and hear her, but no cats could go in. Simple. They also got a dog and kept it. My niece survived and is now 21.;)

As for the dog, is there any reason to think he would harm a baby?

If she really wants to keep her pets, then the following link will help, but if she wants to dump them because of the "out with the old and in with the new" thing and they were merely substitutes for the "real thing", then of course it's a waste of time.

Sorry you have to deal with this from a friend. She must know that many people have pets and kids.

Kids and dogs (

December 3rd, 2004, 11:49 AM
My Champ (golden) was not raised with children, but he loves them. He is big even for a golden and his size scares a lot of little ones.

Champ taught himself to lie down about 10 feet away from the tiny ones and crawl towards them on his belly. I never taught him this, and we are talking about a dog who jumped up on adults at that time. The golden may be "clumsy" around the larger humans, but suprisingly delicate around the baby. After all the baby is just a "puppy" to them and there are some natural instincts of protection there.

The animals will be curious about this new addition to the household (sights, sounds, smells). That is natural. They can be introduced to the new baby, so they see what is the cause of the sounds and smells and then their access can be limited (i.e. the gates mentioned before) and when they do have access, supervised.

Babies and pets do not have to be an either/or situation. I was born into a household with an adult chowchow and we co-existed quite nicely.

The cat is probably attracted to the basinet because of the smells, it is cuddly, warm. Once there is a squalling occupant, the basinet will not be so attractive (as previously pointed out).

December 3rd, 2004, 11:54 AM
Thanks Lucky. I too feel the same way you do.

The screen is a good idea. I will suggest that. I sense there is an "out with the old, in with the new" thing here. I am not quite sure how to confront her about that though. She is a dear friend and I have let it be known how I feel about dumping pets because of changes like this. Or too much hair, unsanitary for the baby type things.

I was thinking about those stoller covers, the mess ones that the baby can see though and everything - it's like a bug delfector - putting one of those over the play pen and bassinet while the baby is sleeping... do you think that would work? I know it's more of a human comfort thing, but I bet it would detour the cat..

The dog concerns are tripping on the stairs. As it is now, the dog is constantly underfoot and she's concerned about him tripping her while she carries the baby up or down the stairs...

I am at a loss here... you think you get people; you think people get you... and then something like this comes your way.

She is very aware about other people having children and having pets. I discuss it with her many times. This is a time for change for ALL of them.. the animals know that something is changing, but they're not quite sure what it is... they need time to adjust, they need to meet the baby, smell it, and learn to be comforatble with the new addition. I know they can be trained; it's a matter of conveying this to her.

December 3rd, 2004, 12:36 PM

My mother warned me about cats. Out of her 6 kids, there was only 1 time that a cat bothered the baby, while in the bassinett. I can't see how a cat would do that, but I guess there are some that do. Luckily my mom just found the cat on the side of my sister, and not on top of her. That was the only time the cat did that too. I think it was more of a "I wanna see what this thing is" then something harmful.
As far as the dog running up the steps and stuff, our Cano used to do that. We have a big peice of hard plastic that we put infront of the steps now. That way, he knows that he doesn't belong up there. From that he has learned that if I go up the stairs, and don't move the plasitc back, he has to stay down there, until I invite him up. It has worked really great.
I hope that your friend will not put these pets out of her home, when she doesn't even know how things are going to be after the baby is around.

December 3rd, 2004, 12:51 PM
Thanks Lilith!

I will be working with her to try and make this work. The last thing I want to see is her giving these wonderful animals away!

I was thinking that placing a baby gate at the bottom of the stairs would work, but that's another tripping hazard too... There shouldn't be any issue if the baby is sleeping upstairs and the door is closed with the monitor on! This cat is VERY cuddly and he enjoys wrapping himself around your head while you sleep - like my Connor (gotta love them;) ). I could see why she would be worried, like Connor, this cat will sleep on your chest.. I don't know much about babies and cats as I don't have children yet.. but Iwould tend to think that the cat would realize that the baby is indeed too tiny to lie on top of like he would with an adult... :confused:

December 3rd, 2004, 12:53 PM
I don't mean any disrespect, Lucky, but I don't think the "cat suffocating baby" thing is a total myth. Stealing breath - yes, utter nonsense. But accidental suffocation can happen. Babies don't always wiggle and cry. They actually sleep very soundly, and put off a lot of heat. If the cat is interested in the cozy bassinette now, imagine how appealing it'll be when there's a compact heat generator in there to cuddle up with, especially if the cat is a cuddle-bug to begin with. IMO, it's a real situation that needs to be addressed.

Having said that, I think there are ways to deal with it without getting rid of the cat. The best one is putting a screen door on the baby's room, as Lucky suggested. I don't think the mesh cover will work, because they don't have any sort of frame, so if the cat jumped on it, it would just sink on top of the baby (and then the cat might freak out, try to jump away, get caught in the mesh, etc...).

The dog should have been taught a long time ago not to trip the owner when going up/down stairs. Now is as good a time to start as any. Until he gets the concept, tho, they should probably get into the habit of keeping the dog at the bottom of the stairs (with a baby gate) whenever they're going up or down the stairs with the baby in their arms.

The sight of my pup playing with my 5yr old or "cleaning" the baby's hands and face after breakfast will always put a huge smile on my face. I can't imagine not having a pet in my life, or in theirs!

December 3rd, 2004, 12:56 PM
Oh Sammiec, I baby sit for this wonderful couple. They have the nicest baby gate ever. It attatches like a normal baby gate, but there is a swinging door, that you can use a lever to open, so you don't have to take the gate off or try to step over it. If I see it some where, I will let you know what brand it is. But tell her that she should look for one like that. It made it so easy when it was time to but baby Claire to bed. And they don't even have a pet, to trip over! Plus the gate isn't one of those flimsy plastic ones, it is metal. So much nicer than the regular gates you find at wal-mart.

December 3rd, 2004, 12:58 PM
Here is that gate I was talking about!!!

December 3rd, 2004, 01:24 PM
Thanks Lilith! That's a fantastic gate. I emailed her that with the link that Lucky posted! Thanks guys!
I am determined to make this work. Otherwise, I have another cat and another dog... LOL! ;)

December 3rd, 2004, 04:20 PM
I posted this on an earlier query by someone seeking to rehome (though they were more rude about it) a pet due to a child and it applies here. I would add though that it is just ridiculous to think that a cat will smother a baby. They might like the warmth of the baby - being cats after all. Anyway, here is the other posts.

If your friend wants medical studies or professional advice about babies and cats, let me know!! There is also a good book written by Kathie Freeman called Feline Odessy about the creulty of people seeking to rehome or get rid of a cat simply because they are bringing home a new baby. It is up there with allergies as the all time worse reason for giving up on a beloved animal who knows no other home, sighhhhhhhhhh

Before I responded to this query, I actually decided that I would scroll down so I did not view others' posts. I cannot believe that yet again, someone wants to "get rid of" (for want of a better term but that's how I read it) their pet because of the baby or the child.

I am soooooooo sick of this excuse. And please do not think I am not conidering the health or needs of the child. I am not some crazy radical PETA person who thinks pets rights supercedes those of children. My professional training (most of it anyway, lol) is as a pediatric oncologist so I have seen many many ill children at their very worst - even some who may have been attacked by their pets. Most pediatricians will tell you though that the liklihood of a well trained pet - dog, cat, rabbit, whatever - harming your child is so minimal that anyone citing this excuse is either one of several things:

1. Too lazy to have trained their pet or to teach their child how to interact properly with the pet. Of course small children and pets need supervision - mostly it is the pets who need to be kept safe from small children, especially those whose parents do not take the time to have the two learn to get to know one another well. Busy parents who leave small children with pets are asking for trouble. The little ones think Fluffy is like their stuffed dog and so when Fluffy bites or scratches after more than an hour of pulling her tail and other taunting, it suddently is the cat's fault. Or the unsupervised three year old who picks up the baby kitten and then throws it down in front of a parent while the parent says not one word of admonishment!

2. The parent has failed to recognize that the furbaby - who truly has been used to love in the family and being the center of attention (and many are - alas, some are not so well treated but that;s another story!) - might be jealous when the baby comes home. There are so many great strategies to put in place - getting the pet used to the smell of the baby, giving both pet and baby lots of attention and NEVER leaving the two alone.

3. Most pets are overprotective of babies and small children and will tolerate all manner of teasing and tail pulling and the like that they would they never would put up with from an adult. A well trained and well socialized pet knows the difference and parents who take extra precautions ensure that their child and pet will reside happily together!

4. Without question, those children with cancer (some with what some may see as so called "terminal" - a word I hate. (As one ten year old informed a nurse he overheard telling someone he "is a terminal case", "we are all terminal. We just do not all know when it we'll be terminated!") I have treated who have a pet live longer and do much better in their treatment. It is the old story of the benefits of animals taken to a different level. These children have lower blood pressure, have grown up helping another being so often their thoughts are on someone else and not theor own problems and they can talk to their cat or bunny or puppy about issues they would never discuss with their parents or even their doctor. What's more, the animals know these kids need them!! They always come through for the children!

(We recently had an artist come in to draw a painting based on what children in the oncology unity who had to spend long visits at the hospital. I had a print made because it was so revealing. One of the standouts in the painting are the three cats that one seven year old said made his chemo worthwhile!)

5. Or the family lacks knowledge and is unaware of the facts surrounding pets and children!

Sooo, I have just had it up to here with people who suddenly need to find homes for their pets because their children and the animals conflict with one another in some way. Of course it takes work and patience to do this well - and that is something we accept when we have or adopt children and when we adopt pets!! I myself have had to dig into my reserves of enery to cope with my three month old kitten's "toddler" time but her cuteness and what she gives me back more than make up for any extra time and effort I have to expend. Plus, who needs a gym when you have to chase a kitty through the house after she has stolen the socks she knows she is not supposed to have, lol I can almost hear her laughing as she is halfway down the hallway and I am puffing my way after her. If I stop, she looks back, caught in the act. It's not the socks she wants - it's the game!!

Anyway, I have veered off track. My advice to you is to access the many wonderful resources that are available online about chidren and pets. There is no need to ever find a new home for a pet based on your cited reasons. Even if the little one and the canine somehow got off on the wrong foot er paw, there are ways of starting again to have them get along. Behaviour therapists can help. You could follow the example of TwinMommy who is coping with a dog with serious behaviour problems and trying every imaginable effort and accessing every available possible resource available to her family to keep the dog and her twins.

Please look at serious alternatives BEFORE asking anyone to take your pet. S'he too is a member of your family - or should be!

December 3rd, 2004, 04:26 PM
Sammiec,I am sorry your friend has put you in this's so easy for some people to completely forget the pets they used to love and just get rid of them like so much garbage.
All it takes is adjustment...even though I don't have any babies,having 3 cats I always have to look where I am walking,that is just the way it is when you have animals,you adjust and so will your friend,the dog and the cat.
If I were you,I would print out all the comments and show her....there are few things worse than dumping your"beloved"pets because a baby is on the way,an extreemly heartless cruel thing to do :evil:

December 3rd, 2004, 07:28 PM
The cat in the crib may be a myth, but I was too stressed out when I came back from the hospital, so I set up Gypsy's cage for Frankie and Sam with treats and warm laundry(you gotta love it) and they think it's their condo!!LOL!! I had just done it temporarily until I could find out if it was really a myth or not, and now my kids are 1yr old, and I know that it's a myth, but my cats LOOVE this--they come and get me once the kids are down, and "bring" me to their cage to fix everything for them. I know most cats wouldn't like this and it might provoke a lot of "crying" but I figured I'd pass it on. who knows what works with different kitties. As for tripping over the dog, he is just trying to protect and maybe he's after some extra attention, but they can get used to a routiine--god knows faster than the baby :) Put the dog away for the few minutes thatyou are putting the baby to sleep--that's where that baby gate comes in:)--and then when all's quiet, I know you're tired, but take some time with the dog...he'll get used to the routine and he'll know that he'll get some time later. And make sure your friend reads Lucky's link!!! I have it on my "favorites"( yes, I figured out how to do that :) and I access it regularly!!(Thanks again LR)

wishing your friend the best :)

December 3rd, 2004, 07:48 PM
I too have a big clumsy Golden, who also trips me going both up and down the stairs...but he is quite gentle with my son and any other children who visit.

Try to convince your friend to give her pets the benefit of the doubt, and exhaust all other possibilities first, before finding new homes for her pets. If I was closer, I would be more than willing to take her Golden, I don't mind a little clumsy...or alot clumsy for that matter.

Lucky Rescue
December 4th, 2004, 01:15 PM
sammiec, it sounds like your friend is not very knowledgeable about dogs. She bought this one at a pet store and it sounds like it's not trained either.

People who want to discard their pets will find a reason to do it, and also find a million reasons why they cannot take advice that is offered.:(

December 4th, 2004, 04:41 PM
I too have a big clumsy Golden, who also trips me going both up and down the stairs...but he is quite gentle with my son and any other children who visit.

Try to convince your friend to give her pets the benefit of the doubt, and exhaust all other possibilities first, before finding new homes for her pets. If I was closer, I would be more than willing to take her Golden, I don't mind a little clumsy...or alot clumsy for that matter.

This is a very good reason for people with pups to teach the "wait" command. My dogs "wait" for me to go up the stairs or down the stairs and then they come along. One of the more safety related commands.

Heather and her 3 Golden Girls

December 4th, 2004, 06:15 PM
I guess I should have taught him that, but I didn't. He is smart though, and it's something we could work on, but it's not something I'm stressed over. There is no perfect dog, as we all know, and definitely no perfect owner. If your friend truly loves and cares for her pets, she should really start to work on these issues. It's never too late.

December 4th, 2004, 07:14 PM
I guess I should have taught him that, but I didn't. He is smart though, and it's something we could work on, but it's not something I'm stressed over. There is no perfect dog, as we all know, and definitely no perfect owner. If your friend truly loves and cares for her pets, she should really start to work on these issues. It's never too late.

Absolutely never too late! I have had 12-yr old Fosters in my care that are so quick to learn new things. Dogs are an amazing animal and oh so smart!


December 6th, 2004, 08:44 AM
Thanks for you replies guys. I wil pass them along. So far here's the update. I passed along information about the gate Thanks Lilith! As well as Lucky's link Thanks Lucky! I sent her an email, and we talked about these issues. They are going to keep the Golden, and try. I told her that the attention seeking could be due to the fact that he realizes that *something* is going on, and with her due date passed (yesterday) she's much more anxious and that they haven't spent much time with the dog in the past month.
I told her that regular attention probably will not stop the cravings he has (LOL), but it might curve them a bit and give her a little space!

The cat has begun to remove blankets and toys from the crib and top of the dresser. She is finding blankets strewn out about the house. (I find it quite humourous though, LOL). I told her that he needs time. He doesn't realize what's going on.. He doesn't know that these new items are not for him to play with, and no matter how many times you scold a cat... they just con't care. LOL!!

LUCKY - You're right, they do not know too much about dogs... she does however understand puppt mills and BYB. The reason that they bought a dog from a pet store only for one reason... He was trapped in one of those glass cubes at 6 months of age. He was hunched over because he had outgrown the cube and the pet store was unable to sell him because he looked ridiculous in there! It truly was a pathetic sight! :(
They bought him for nearly nothing because the store just wanted to get rid of him so they could cramp 3 other new dogs into the cube! :mad:
With all understanding of BYB and puppymills, this dog was in dire need of help, that's what they did, helped this little guy have a life that he might not of had the chance for because of cruel humans! :(

December 6th, 2004, 09:10 AM
Re: The cat has begun to remove blankets and toys from the crib and top of the dresser. She is finding blankets strewn out about the house. (I find it quite humourous though, LOL).

I agree - it is funny and the cat is just being curious and wondering what's going on. They hate change and he senses something is happening. Mom should have some baby things around so the kitty can get used to it and the same before the baby comes home from the hsopital (which barring complications is a very short period of time these days). Even one or two thingss with the baby's scebt would be helpful. And they should not ignore the pets but give them extra attention and treats for being good while all this change is occuring. Change is never easy and a new baby - while a wonderful occasion - is still considered one of the most stessful, epsecially for the new mom! Pets - sort of like older toddlers - need reassurance that they are still loved as much as ever!! Making the a part of the new baby's life is also important. (I am not keen on anecdotes for this but I recall how our fox terrier was at first a little miffed to have her place as the baby supplanted but then happy to be the overprotective companion to the newcomer!

I hope all works out well for your friend.