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Sunday, April 6, 2008

Cats and Babies at Home

"You certainly don't have to get rid of your kitties. Cats and kids have a great thing going, and raising a baby in a household with pets can be a wonderful experience for the child. But to keep both baby and kitty healthy and happy, you have to do some planning.

Be sure your cats have plenty of toys so they don't feel left out or bored. they need stimulation and attention, too.

Supervise both the baby and the cats. Comercially available crib tents can keep the cats from jumping into the crib. Encourage friends with babies to visit so the cats can get used to babies. As your baby gets older, your cats may learn to play gently with him; Cats by their nature, prefer to hide or escape rather than be stressed or confront something undesired.

Toxoplasmosis, an extremely rare but serious disease, can lead to birth defects in unborn babies. The parasite that causes it can be found in undercooked meat, contaminated soil and cat feces. Many cats are immune to the disease and pose no threat to an expectant mother, but to be safe, you should cook meat thoroughly, wear gloves while gardening, wash vegetables thoroughly and have Dad clean the litter box (or wear gloves if you do it.)

Finally, spay or neuter your cats. Spayed or neutered pets tend to be healthier and have better manners."