No, cats are not baby killers. They don’t steal anyone’s breath and they are not plotting to injure your sleeping infant. This ridiculous myth probably started because some cats enjoyed curling up next to the warm of babies. A cat may even have sniffed the baby’s mouth due to the scent of milk on the breath and that act probably set off alarm bells in the minds of panicked parents.
What we now know of as SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) may have been blamed on cats who enjoyed sharing a nap with an infant.
Because infants can’t turn to get away from objects, it’s not safe to have ANYTHING in the crib or bassinet with the baby and that includes a blanket, toy or stuffed animal. So for safety, keep your cat out of the crib but certainly allow your cat to enjoy being close to your baby at other times.
There are crib tents available that make it easy to keep the cat out of the crib.
Need More Information?
For more specific information on preparing your cat for the new baby, helping children develop good relationships with cats, cat training or cat behavior problems, refer to the book Think Like a Cat by Pam Johnson-Bennett, Certified Cat Behavior Consultant.
Pam Johnson-Bennett is the star of Psycho Kitty airing on Discovery UK. She is author of seven best-selling books on cat behavior including Think Like a Cat: how to raise a well-adjusted cat – not a sour puss. Think Like a Cat has become known as the cat bible. Pam is considered a pioneer in the field of cat behavior consulting. In addition to her television series and public speaking engagements, Pam owns Cat Behavior Associates, a private veterinarian-referred behavior company in Nashville, TN. Cat Behavior Associates offers private cat behavior appointments on a limited basis. Pam Johnson-Bennett is a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant.