Iowa City Animal Center

(319) 356-5295 3910 Napoleon Lane Iowa City, IA 52240
Mon - Fri 10:30-5:30 | Sat 10:30-3:00 | Closed Sunday & Holidays

The Truth About Cats and Babies

You've all heard the old wive's tales about cats and babies--"When a cat smells the milk on a baby's breath, it will lick their mouth and smother them" or "If a cat hears the baby cry, he will think a strange cat is in the house and leap into the crib to harm the baby."

Stories like these are based on ignorance, not fact. Yes, your cat will be curious about the new baby. But most likely, your cat wlil be frightened the first few times he hears the baby wail and, instead of jumping into the crib, will probably run under the nearest chair. In fact, until the cat gets used to the baby, he will probably want little to do with the newest family member.

To help your felines adjust to the strange sights, smells, and sounds of the new arrival, let them get involved before the baby arrives. Let the cats check out the nursery during supervised visits. Have someone bring home a baby blanket or item of clothing with the new baby's scent (before you return from the hospital) so the cats can become accustomed to the scent. And upon arriving home, let someone else hold the newborn, while mom greets her feline.

There are always adjustments to be made when a family grows. Just don't forget that your pet is part of that family too.

Provided by the American Humane Association