Ask any new father and they will tell you about how things change upon the arrival of the first baby into the family. The stereotype is that new fathers tend to become irritated because they feel they are being neglected by their wife. The truth is – they are. Well, at least to some degree because there is a third person in the picture who demands a lot more attention, and the basic maternal nature of women to attach themselves to their children. Introducing a cat into the family, or if you already own a cat, requires doing some additional homework if you are going to have everyone safe and happy. You may have a cat that seems friendly and manages to stay out of trouble, but are you aware of how they will respond when a new person is brought into the family? You should be, so as a starting point here are five cat breeds you should avoid if you have a newborn in the house.
In creating this list we have selected the more commonly known breeds. There are a number of breeds that have even a greater potential for disrupting a home, so if you are not absolutely certain of your cat’s breed do your homework. This can fall under the old adage, better safe than sorry. Some of the problems may not be the cat physically acting out but can be hidden in the very nature of the cat. There are illegal cat breeds that have not been included in the article but present a clear and present danger to owners, with or without a newborn. The list has domesticated breeds, and are available from responsible breeders.
The Sphynx is just one of several breeds of hairless cats. Cat lovers see them as unique and they definitely can be a conversation piece. But that feature manifests itself in constantly demanding attention, and as noted above, there is already someone demanding attention. Remove the attention and it turns into an unhappy and aggressive cat. Something will have to give, and we know who is going to have to go.
2. Scottish Fold
As unique and interesting as this breed is, some experts recommend this is a cat to only be owned by a person who lives alone. The reason is jealousy. The Scottish Fold is likely to amuse you but it really doesn’t like newborn babies. At all. It seems they sense the same thing the new father does – that the level of attention they are getting will face a steep decline much sooner than later. Then there are other experts who say that this breed works well with children. The question is are you willing to take that chance.
One of the most popular and famous domestic cats in the world, the Siamese attracts cat lovers because of its wide eyes and its general appearance. But when it comes to children they tend not to be very friendly to them. What makes matters worse is they prefer to be petted by only one person in the family. If that person just happens to be short of time on a given day, you are likely to have one very unhappy cat on your hands. After that, it’s hard to know what comes next.
Their demeanor reflects their personality. Calm and usually quiet, that is how they prefer their living environment. Enter a crying baby at 3 o’clock in the morning and their demeanor will change to one that gets irritated easily and they will become very aggressive. This behavior holds true for older children as well, so it is safe to say this breed is restricted to people who are single, live alone, or have families where the children are grown and gone.
5. British Longhair
The British Longhair presents a different kind of danger both to newborns and to their parents. This breed’s coat is very high maintenance and a nightmare for allergy sufferers. That coat must be groomed regularly because it molts regularly. Then there is the issue of them being temperamental, so you never know what’s on its mind. The last thing anyone needs, especially during the early months of the newborn, is one more moody and temperamental member of the family acting up. The main issue that cannot be ignored is how to deal with a cat that has been a family member for a number of years. One web site strongly recommends never leaving any pet – cat, dog, turtle or whatever – alone with the baby. Regardless of how well-behaved an animal may seem we need to keep in mind that underneath it all they are still animals. What humans see as a non-threatening gesture or movement may be understood as life-threatening to an animal. We just don’t know, and as mentioned above, it is better to be safe than sorry.
But these five breeds are the exception to the rule. It is perfectly safe to own a cat when the newborn arrives. As a general rule, cats and newborns get along very well. There may be some obstacles to navigate, such as your cat noticing the newborn baby smell, but it is nothing that should be of major concern. They will adjust to each other and learn to co-exist, just like mom and dad. As a cautionary note, where you get your cat from is critical. Social media sites such as Facebook or Instagram attract thousands of people looking for a cheaper and easier way to getting the cat of their choice. Some of those people end up in court because what they thought they were getting and they actually got were two very different things. If you ask what the cat breed is and you are told it’s a mix, run far, far away from that person.