Cat behaviour around baby

veganeh

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My daughter is 7.5 months old and I’ve noticed a change in one of our cats’ behaviour now that she is crawling. Anakin (our cat) will come sit in my lap when I’m playing with my daughter on the floor each morning. I’ll pet him for a bit but eventually get up so I can make breakfast. He used to sit on a chair, the counter or go to his cat tree while she crawled around and I prepped breakfast, but lately he’ll lay down 2 feet away from her play mat and has swatted at her once (no hissing) when she begins crawling towards him. If I try to move him he goes right back to her play mat. I’m so worried he’ll hurt her and don’t know why he’s making a point to get so close to her now when he clearly seems aggitated (sometimes ears pinned back) that she’s moving towards him...
 

Lari

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Huh, I have no answers, I just want to follow this thread, because mine is three months and will eventually get more mobile. I do think my cat is a bit jealous because if she notices me breastfeeding, she'll come over and start headbutting me for petting, like "pay attention to me!" So I wonder if he is. Or maybe he sees her as a kitten that needs to be trained.
 

Furballsmom

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I'm posting this article so that other readers and lurkers can benefit from it, --although I'm not sure there's anything that really addresses your situation...
Cats And Babies: All Your Questions Answered! – TheCatSite Articles

Something that just crossed my mind - what if you change the material of that play mat to something different than what it is currently? Maybe something about how it smells, I don't know but it might be worth a shot.
 

neely

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When our first baby was born we had two cats. One was very independent and fine with the baby but the other one, my cuddler, started exhibiting unusual behavior. He would have diarrhea and rub his butt along the wall. Clearly he was stressed out so I called the vet. You may want to contact your vet for advice. In the meantime, this Article about stress in cats may be helpful. Scroll down to #4 where it suggests using a Feliway product: Stress in Cats – The Ultimate Guide – TheCatSite Articles
 

game misconduct

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could be he is still trying to figure out what this new noisy lil thing is animal?,new pet?strange looking cat? :lol:joking aside just keep interaction supervised my sisters cats took a while to get used to my sisters kids while they were infants especially once they got to that stage of grabbing pulling things not knowing any better one cat didnt care other one would retaliate scratch the kids back but they got used to each other kinda one cat would just avoid the kids but she never liked kids after that or strangers (was just mean like that)
 

susanm9006

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Sounds like he is fascinated and scared at the same time because the formerly stationary baby is moving. I would try sitting down right next to him on the mat, talking softly to him and stroking him, maybe even giving him a treat. He hopefully will start to relax and be a little less scared but in the meantime you need to chaperone.
 
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danteshuman

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I have no baby/cat experience. More than being worried for your baby; I’m concerned that once she gets more mobile she will injure your cat by pulling his tail.

If it was me I would get a wall mounted shelf or a tall cat tree in the livingroom where the baby crawls. Put cat toys, catnip up there.Give the cat treats up there. However whenever your cat gets next to the mat & gets anxious; I would put the cat in your bedroom for an hour. (Make sure the cat room has litter/food/water/cat bed/some toys.) It isn’t to punish your cat but to keep kitty away from the baby. (& allow your cat time to decompress.) The most time you want the cat in the bedroom is 6 hours a day, max. You could put your cats in their room during babies most activetime/when you are most stressed. Like around dinner time. That way you are not juggling an active toddler & a stressed out cat. Your cats would benefit from 15 minutes of wand playtime every day but babies are exhausting. A catio (even just a window one) and some bird feeders will help.

For now I would suggest putting your cat up on thecat tree before youleave the room and putting your baby on a blanket. You can also start teaching your daughter soft touch. When she gets older you can teach her to not go in the cats room & to never pick up a cat.


Please tell us how it goes?
 

Pjg8r

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My dad had a cat that would not tolerate anyone crawling on the floor - this included adults who might be playing with a child. He would come after us, back arched, hissing and swiping. Hassy was fine with toddlers who were walking. Hassy didn’t live with children, so he might have gotten less stressed by it from exposure but we only visited every other month or so.
 
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