Posted by: Nell | 2009/01/15

Safety of cats near babies

I am due to give birth the 30th of May. What concerns me is that my cat has for the last month been throwing up hairballs very often. Although we have placed her on a recommended diet, have groomed her regularly and have done all we can, it does not seem to help her ability to throw up everywhere. I am fearing that this will affect the health of my baby once she is borne. Is it safe to have a cat in the house throwing up when you have an infant too?

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Our expert says:
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Dear Nell

Take your cat to the vet - she may have an bowel obstruction due to swallowing the hair that needs attention.

Cats do carry certain germs like toxoplasmosis, but if you keep baby away from litter box and wash your hands well after handling litter box, the risk should be minimal. I have had cats all my life and love mine to bits, so I would not advise you to get rid of your cat but rather to make some adjustments. You may experience certain problems like the cat spraying in the baby's room ( they obviously feel that you love the baby more than them!) and it is dangerous if the cat gets into the cot as they can inadvertently scratch, bite, or possibly smother the baby. Before your baby is born, it's a good idea to discourage the the cat to go in certain rooms. Choose a specific room where you'll be able to play with the cat and have quality time away from your baby. You can also get the cat a climbing centre with a nice secure box at the top, so your cat will be able to jump up out of the way and hide if necessary if baby starts crawling. Vomiting hairballs should not be a major risk, unless baby starts to crawl and starts to put everything in her/his mouth! Ensure that the cat is properly immunized and flea free at all times.
Dr Bets

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Our users say:
Posted by: Ruby | 2009/01/15

Hello Nell,
Our cat is on IAMs biscuits (it reduces furr balls). Since she started on it some years ago, it almost completely stopped her from vomiting hairballs. Maybe once every 2 years. If grooming does not help, have you tried washing the cat? We wash ours with Johnson and Johnson' s baby shampoo (it seems to work better than the stuff you buy from the vet, our breeder recommended it to us). Washing the cat really helps for allergies, but will also reduce maybe the amount that she lick herself. Washing once a week and grooming every day if possible. All the best! Sorry, I dont know the answer to your question, I am sure the Dr will know. Ruby

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