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  • FIRST POST
    • LemonSocks
    • By LemonSocks 4th May 17, 9:17 AM
    • 199Posts
    • 1,298Thanks
    LemonSocks
    Clingy cats and new baby
    • #1
    • 4th May 17, 9:17 AM
    Clingy cats and new baby 4th May 17 at 9:17 AM
    Hello.

    We have two beautiful 8 year old cats, Gabriel and Edward. We've had them since kittens. They are predominantly indoor cats (we moved to a flat shortly after adopting them. Their first house with garden wasn't until about 3 years ago and even then only 1 had any real interest in going outside - and only for an hour at most).

    We are expecting our first child in July and I'm worried about the impact on my cats. Gabriel likes to be wherever I am. He will greet we at the door when I get home in the evenings and then stay with me until bed time (either cuddled up on my lap or snuggled up next to my right (and only ever right) hip. He follows me in the kitchen when I'm cooking, and it's not unusual for him to wander into the bathroom with me too.

    Edward is my biggest worry. If I am working from home, he will sit on me during the day (otherwise he likes to go and get IN bed), in the evenings he likes to sit with either me or my partner. But he is also a very stressy cat. He has had numerous vet visits over the past 5 years or so for stress induced UTIs. One of the reasons we moved from our flat to the last house - to give him more space - but it didn't really help.

    We moved into a much bigger, detached house 1 month ago with a much larger garden. The move has gone surprisingly well and they both adjusted much quicker than expected (it took them much longer to settle in the old house).

    I'm hopeful that the environments (too small, paper thin walls, and too close to the street in dodgy areas) had been the problem before. But I am really worried about the big change of having a baby on both them. I'm not necessarily going to have the lap space for Gabriel to snuggle up with me, and I'm not sure if he will find the baby offputting. And then Edward's previous UTIs when dealing with stress really worry. What if he develops another one, but I'm so busy/ tired I don't even notice!

    My cats are like my babies, but I appreciate that a real human baby may change that and I just won't have the time to give them the attention they need. I have no intention of getting rid of them, but I also want to ensure that they are happy.

    Do you have any suggestions on dealing with a new baby with two clingy house cats?
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Page 1
    • Jojo the Tightfisted
    • By Jojo the Tightfisted 4th May 17, 5:38 PM
    • 22,775 Posts
    • 87,609 Thanks
    Jojo the Tightfisted
    • #2
    • 4th May 17, 5:38 PM
    • #2
    • 4th May 17, 5:38 PM
    My stressy cat spent three days in the back of the (open) wardrobe after I brought DD home. Once she came back out, she practically babysat - she sat underneath the cot, she watched the chair, she waited until DD was asleep before she got on my lap. She was fine.

    PS. We were in a tiny, tiny flat. In a bigger environment, I'd suggest some high up perches where they can observe from afar if they wish. And it's kinda nice having company when you're up in the night that's just happy to see you, rather than wanting to be fed.
    Last edited by Jojo the Tightfisted; 04-05-2017 at 5:41 PM.
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    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 4th May 17, 5:47 PM
    • 4,715 Posts
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    iammumtoone
    • #3
    • 4th May 17, 5:47 PM
    • #3
    • 4th May 17, 5:47 PM
    Had three cats at the time DS was born. I lost of count of the people who asked me if I was getting rid of them (thought never crossed my mind)

    They soon learnt to keep out of DS way They would live upstairs in the daytime and once son was in bed would come down for fuss.

    The only change I made to the household was to shut the bedroom door if ds was up there on his own, other than that cats had the run of the house as normal.
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    • penguingirl
    • By penguingirl 4th May 17, 7:02 PM
    • 1,362 Posts
    • 1,156 Thanks
    penguingirl
    • #4
    • 4th May 17, 7:02 PM
    • #4
    • 4th May 17, 7:02 PM
    This could be me! Our male cat has a history of UTIs including several blockages. He's on his last chance. He is an indoor cat due to being very terratorial when we moved hso use when he was 9- unfortunately he was no longer the biggest/ strongest cat in the neighbourhood but it didn't stop him trying! Cue regular trips to the vets for the first 6 months and him nearly losing both ears, having a mouth abscess, ripping his leg open etc. So now he stays in as it is genreally better for his health! My OH works from home and cat is nearly always in the same room, he gets grumpy if alone too much etc. He is fine sleeping in a shut downstairs room at night, but he has always done that so it is his normal routine to take himself to bed.

    I'm 38 weeks pregnant and about 6 weeks ago he showed signs of a uti again. We took him to the vet who thought it could be stress linked to my pregnancy. He gave us metacam (anti-inflammatory) and recommended deli way plug ins. He also said his own cat had the same during pregnancy and they used to play it crying sounds on the laptop to get him used to it! I've not done that, but might be worth a try? I've also let the cat look and sniff at all the baby belongings, and am turning a blind eye at the moment to the fact he thinks a baby seat someone gave us is a cat bed! We're also making sure he drinks plenty of fluids to keep things moving- he doesn't like wet food so has diluted cat milk twice a day, which we've in creased to 3.
    • spookylukey
    • By spookylukey 4th May 17, 8:13 PM
    • 829 Posts
    • 958 Thanks
    spookylukey
    • #5
    • 4th May 17, 8:13 PM
    • #5
    • 4th May 17, 8:13 PM
    You sound like great cat parents - lucky boys!

    You can download baby noises free from the Dopgs Trust, might be worth playing it regularly to help them get used to the sound of a baby before he/she arrives. It's not all full on screaming, starts off as grizzly baby noises, plus there's a children playing download too.

    https://www.dogstrust.org.uk/help-advice/dog-behaviour-health/sound-therapy-for-pets

    Scroll down to 'sounds soothing' and underneath the pdf leaflet click on 'sounds soothing - tracks'.

    I've found Feliway plug ins to be helpful in times of stress, doesn't work for all cats but I've noticed a definite improvement when I've had cause to use it.
    • OldMotherTucker
    • By OldMotherTucker 9th May 17, 7:39 PM
    • 6,921 Posts
    • 15,253 Thanks
    OldMotherTucker
    • #6
    • 9th May 17, 7:39 PM
    • #6
    • 9th May 17, 7:39 PM
    Have you considered a 'urinary care diet'?

    What are the symptoms that cause you to take him to a vet?
    • Pop Up Pirate
    • By Pop Up Pirate 10th May 17, 8:36 AM
    • 683 Posts
    • 1,818 Thanks
    Pop Up Pirate
    • #7
    • 10th May 17, 8:36 AM
    • #7
    • 10th May 17, 8:36 AM
    This is what I did when I had cats and brought new baby home:
    Absolutely nothing.

    Carried on as normal.
    • ManofLeisure
    • By ManofLeisure 10th May 17, 1:15 PM
    • 391 Posts
    • 786 Thanks
    ManofLeisure
    • #8
    • 10th May 17, 1:15 PM
    • #8
    • 10th May 17, 1:15 PM
    Our son's cat made a hasty departure when baby arrived home. He turned up on our doorstep a week later having travelled a distance of 15 miles. He has no intention of returning home. We had obviously made holidays spent with us too cosy .
    • CassieKeith123
    • By CassieKeith123 11th May 17, 4:39 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    CassieKeith123
    • #9
    • 11th May 17, 4:39 PM
    • #9
    • 11th May 17, 4:39 PM
    I think the most important thing is planning ahead and sorting out how you will tackle this. I think creating some sort of separation before the baby comes will help. Maybe cut the contact down slowly but surely - so the cats get used to having boundaries.

    Once the baby comes they won't associate the baby with the new routine, because you introduced it before then.

    You need to slowly introduce them to the baby once they were born. So maybe introduce them by smells first?

    Cats are part of the family, but it's up to us to make sure they aren't put in a situation that they're uncomfortable with.

    Hope that helps.
    • paddypaws101
    • By paddypaws101 13th May 17, 6:23 PM
    • 2,045 Posts
    • 2,449 Thanks
    paddypaws101
    Some people find Pet Remedy works better than Feliway, it is cheaper too.
    Beaphar do a calming spot on which can be used weekly
    Consider giving Cystease/Cystophan as a preventative......they should help calm the cat down.
    Some of the urinary diets contain Tryptophan too to help calm the cat in the same way.
    • penguingirl
    • By penguingirl 17th May 17, 1:49 PM
    • 1,362 Posts
    • 1,156 Thanks
    penguingirl
    We've tried urinary diets before (when he first had difficulties several years ago) but were advised by the vets that they probably weren't necessary as he doesn't have calcium stones.

    Our cat's symptoms when unwell are going to his litter tray more often, doing very small wees or not at all, miaowing while having a wee, over grooming his bits and belly. Previously he has had full blockages resulting in hospitalisation/catheterisation on 3 occasions years apart with no clear cause identified.

    Thankfully he seems fine at the moment. It's hard to spend less time with him as I am bored at home on maternity leave so he is enjoying that! OH works from home too, so thankfully he is used to someone being around and he sleeps downstairs at night so that won't change.

    I've not noticed any effect of the feliway, if anything he seems more hyper if it is switched on! May try pet remedy if we have any more difficulties, but hopefully he will be ok.
    • morg_monster
    • By morg_monster 19th May 17, 12:44 PM
    • 2,358 Posts
    • 2,136 Thanks
    morg_monster
    I just wanted to add our experience. We have two cats that were on the scene for about 4 years before I got pregnant. They weren't exactly clingy but they did like to be near us - eg in the evenings they will ALWAYS be found in the same room as us. We moved just before daughter was born which I think upset them a bit :-( from a big long garden with a wood at the end, to a small garden with high cat density. They became mostly indoor cats. When daughter first arrived they were not at all bothered by the crying, or the change in routine. They probably felt a bit neglected (just emotionally! not physically) compared to their lovely life pre-baby, as there was so much more for me and DH to do now the baby had come along. They couldn't just sit on our laps for hours in the evening anymore. But they seemed happy.
    However as she started getting mobile they got quite stressed. She loved them and would always crawl after them which annoyed them, and it was difficult for them because they always wanted to be near me, and I was always near the baby. One cat (female) had repeated bouts of cystitis for 6-9 months due to stress. However over time the baby got less fascinated by them, and learned not to bother them, and now she is 2.5 years old, she understands that one cat doesn't like being stroked on her sides, while the other one loves it, and she knows not to interrupt them when they are eating etc. I don't think they will ever be best mates, they generally avoid her, and actually she still gets jealous when they they try to sit on my lap! however I've noticed one of the cats has started seeking her out like they do me and DH, so maybe there'll be a friendship there of sorts.

    My main point is that there were several points during the past 3 years where I thought, are we doing the best for our cats? They seem truly unhappy, would they be happier somewhere else? But each time it always passed and I'm very glad that we're all fairly settled now.
    The other point is that in our experience the newborn days didn't affect our cats so preparation for that would've been pointless, it was the mobile/toddler stage that they found hard, but it's over fairly quickly.
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