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My cat scratched the kid - ideas?
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Author:  strawberryrock [ Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My cat scratched the kid - ideas?

Leela is kind of young to train in this sort of way, but I know a lot of families where the rule is, you don't touch the kitty, ever. I worked for a family with three kids and those kids wouldn't come within 6 feet of the cat! They had all gotten scratched and knew better. It honestly worked pretty well for everyone. Right now the 16-month old twins I work for pretty much know not to touch the cat. One twin LOVES the cat, and kitty was her first word, and she will seriously shriek with happiness every time she sees her, but she won't touch her or come within a few feet of her unless the cat initiates the contact. (And yes, several scratches helped this happen.) The other twin doesn't care much, but is very rough and tumble and totally mauled the cat once...he got a scratch on his face and now he won't come near her anymore. "Gentle touch" is a much more complicated concept than "no touch." Cat scratches suck since they are prone to infection and stuff, but god knows these twins have gotten way worse injuries in their lifetimes, and I'm glad they learned a little cause and effect there. Yesterday we were playing on the deck (just installed a baby gate on it, so exciting) and the cat loves to hang out out there (she's indoor/outdoor) and seemed kind of annoyed at first that the space was being taken over by babies, but then she just napped on the blanket that we were playing on. The cat-loving twin was THRILLED that she was there but stayed two feet away at all times.

Author:  Butternut [ Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My cat scratched the kid - ideas?

Tofulish wrote:
I can't trim either of our cats' nails. They both hate it and its a bloody disaster.

I know it's hard to get started with this. The first couple times were like the ninth ring of hell. Then, they got used to it and it's not that bad. It is a two person job for us, which means we have to wait until nap time. We do it in the bathroom with the door shut. My partner holds the cat and I clip the nails.

Also, the vet will do it and I have heard of vets that put soft paws on for you, but I don't think my vet does that.

I grew up with ill-behaved dogs and cats (and other random animals including chickens, goats, snakes, and horses) and my parents definitely let me learn my lesson by getting the swipes and nips that come with this territory. I certainly don't want babynut in harms way, so I'm just observing all interactions and helping her pet gently when she is excited to touch the cats. I step in and separate them when the cat looks agitated. I'm sure scratches will happen, even with this type of care but I'm not super concerned about it.

Author:  Tofulish [ Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My cat scratched the kid - ideas?

Both our cats are not cooperative in any way. Both have to be sedated at the vet for the most minor of examinations, because each turns into a furry yellow-eyed demon. They laugh at the burrito method, even with two of us. One is 24+ lbs and the other is a ninjamaster of the flying swipe. Its been 3 years and we just can't trim their nails without blood and a lot of yowling and screaming.

I might take them to the groomer though....

Author:  strawberryrock [ Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My cat scratched the kid - ideas?

I assume you already get their claws trimmed at the vet when they're already under sedation, but obviously that's not frequently enough...I've heard that xanax can be very helpful, though it made my cat homicidal, so your mileage may vary.

Author:  Tofulish [ Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My cat scratched the kid - ideas?

I'm a bit scared of Xanax after reading about Agnes stalking you! My guys would turn into the Menendez brothers

Author:  strawberryrock [ Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My cat scratched the kid - ideas?

Tofulish wrote:
I'm a bit scared of Xanax after reading about Agnes stalking you! My guys would turn into the Menendez brothers

Apparently it's a very rare reaction! But yeah, it was a little frightening.

Author:  Butternut [ Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My cat scratched the kid - ideas?

24plus pounds! I would worry about the menendez brothers thing then. Thats twice the size of my "big" cat.

Author:  bunniee [ Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My cat scratched the kid - ideas?

Ariann wrote:
So maybe the answer is just Cuddles + Leela outside, but separated by walls and doors or baby gates inside until Cuddles is less freaked by her?

It makes sense to me that Cuddles would feel more relaxed with Leela outdoors, because he isn't boxed in and has all the outdoors as a potential escape route.

I'm no expert, but I don't know if any amount of training will help an animal to not feel threatened when they are backed in a corner, or having their tails pulled. It may be best to keep them separated until Leela learns how to behave around cats and dogs. She's just too young to know any better right now.

Author:  Adam Crisis [ Fri Jul 27, 2012 4:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My cat scratched the kid - ideas?

maybe youre raising the spawn of the devil and the animals know it?

why dont you tell us what really happened the night of the conception Tofulish???

Author:  jildez [ Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My cat scratched the kid - ideas?

Tofulish, I think taking the cats to the groomer is a great idea. When our tomcat growing up got older, my parents started doing that and he loved it! he would attack them if they tried to trim him, but the groomer had some special powers that he actually seemed to enjoy and the cranky old cat was more of a fave then their sweet pup.

Also, i know you have lots of dog training experience, but do you think it might help to have a trainer come in for a session to help you come up with strategies that fit the animals needs?

Finally, it sounds like there is so much tension right now with the man's health issues and i know this is just one more thing. Lots of good thoughts for you guys are coming over the miles from my heart.

Author:  littlebird [ Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My cat scratched the kid - ideas?

if it were just the cats, my answer would be to let it play out. the baby will get scratched or nipped a couple times, and will learn first that cat=ow and then that manhandling=ow, and learn to be wary pretty fast. not that you WANT your kid to get scratched, but it's in the realm of normal toddler injuries in my opinion. most cats aren't going to do any more damage to a kid than them smacking their heads on the edge of the coffee table or nose diving off the bed. tzipi learned really fast and effectively that doing certain things to thomas will earn her a scratch, and i'm okay with that. she is very gentle with him now, although i do have to remind her occasionally.

cuddles worries me a bit more, because (as i know you know) a dog injury is on a totally different level then a cat injury, even an unintentional one. to me, dogs and babies always always = separation/supervision. i just don't think there's any other safe way to do it. it really sucks for you and the dog, depending on the layout of your house, but i just don't see any way around it.

anyway, re the cats, tzipi went through a particularly grabby/obsessed phase with the cats at around leela's age, then again when she got really good and steady on her legs, and then again just in the last couple of weeks when she got into pretend play... now the cats have to participate in whatever it is she's cooking up, and they don't always appreciate it. each phase lasts only a little while, and then with some strong reminders she backs down and chills out. so it likely won't be forever that you have to monitor what's going on.

Author:  Veg_Eric [ Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My cat scratched the kid - ideas?

Tofulish wrote:

And then Cuddles the dog barked right in her face, so he is now also being kept separated. We have been training him to stay about 5ft away from her, and she backed him into a corner and so he freaked and barked. UGH! I am now worried that next time his reaction might be worse. And he is a 70lb pittie.

I'm only posting here cause Cuddles seemed a "I'm cool with everything, I just love to lay on the couch" dog to me. Cuddles seems so lovely and cool.

I have no experience with baby's /toddlers or dogs, but I do watch the dog whisperer on discovery channel quite often.

Based on that I think if you get all tense when Leela gets near Cuddles, Cuddles can sense that and he will also get more tense than the situation calls for.

I understand it's hard to keep a balance between feeling Leela is safe and letting your pets go their own way as before Leela was born.

I understand the dilemma, but also don't want to see Cuddles "suffer" from the tensions.
In my view, Cuddles is absolutely a "goody two shoes"
Perhaps I'm too positive or too hopeful, but it's hard for me seeing a "sucker" like Cuddles going into violent attack.

As I said, I have no experience in the situation so my opinion might not have any real life value. Just wishing the best for you, Leela, Cuddles, Carlito and (forgot the name of the other cat)

Author:  Tofulish [ Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My cat scratched the kid - ideas?


Thanks Veg-Eric! You are the sweetest! You are right that he is an incredibly gentle and sweet dog and maybe it really is all my tension. I'm going to try and relax a bit more and see how this all plays out..... <3

And our ginormous fat grey cat is Veto :)

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