Kids N Cats

Updated on April 16, 2008
C.B. asks from Oskaloosa, KS
4 answers

okay so this might be a silly question, and i know it's early to think about, but i had an "i wonder" earlier as i put my son down. he's 18 months old, and i was wondering, how long before i can leave his door open at night? it would be so nice to open up the house and have a nice breeze blowing through (like we used to do before he was here), but with the cats i keep his door shut 24/7. i don't want them thinking that's part of "their" area, and i CERTAINLY don't want them in there when he's sleeping. i was totally paranoid about SIDS when he was younger, but i still don't feel comfortable letting them have free roam. if they got in his bed i think i'd flip out. what if he rolled over in his sleep and scared them and they scratched him? or worse, what if they DID sleep with him and suffocated him? i know he's still way too little to consider it but i'm wondering, how old is old enough to share a bedroom with a cat?? both my cats are well-behaved and tolerate him, but you know, with cats you just never know. just any thoughts would be welcome. five years? ten? thanks!

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So What Happened?

wow thanks so much for everyone's replies. i really thought that it was a BIG no-no to have kids and cats together - thanks a lot prenatal classes! i'm really glad to hear that it's not such a big deal. and now that i think about it neither of them really like him much (just the other day i heard my son giggling hysterically over and over, went to check on him, and he had cornered one of them by the food bowl and kept pulling her tail, which he found hilarious *sigh*). i bet they would leave him alone. i guess i'm still a bit overprotective. i'm so glad that mamasource is here to answer all my questions - big and small. thank you guys SO much!

More Answers


answers from Kansas City on

I gotta say my cats don't cause anyone any issues. I run a daycare and they pretty much leave all the kids alone. I've had to shoo them out of a crib from time to time but that is rare and only when no one is in the crib. They just don't really want to be near the kids.

My cats seem to understand that family beds are a little different and I've seen them sleep at the foot or head of my own kids reagular beds. BUT, only after the kids are asleep because they really don't want to be pestered.

My cats are declawed just to be on the safe side. But I've never seen them purposely try and scratch a child. Most scratches happen when the child tries to hold on too tightly and they push off with the back claws. Even those scratches haven't been deep and none have ever become infected.

My 7 year old has one favorite cat. She grabs him and sleeps with her arm around him and he lets her. They've been close like that for about a year.

My opinion is that the whole cat suffocating kids thing is highly over emphasized. I've NEVER known anyone that it happened to and I've never read an article about it happening. Even so, I just don't think the average 2 year old child would sleep through their face being laid on. They would move. My 3rd child had sleep apnea and stopped breathing many times per night. We hated it and it was scary. But she always woke up on her own. She would wake up just enough to roll over and get into a better position and she would go back to sleep. We had her sleep with us because we could check on her a lot and we could hear her snoring. So I saw how her body took care of things quite naturally. We eventually found out why she had sleap apnea and was able to get her tonsils removed which took care of it.

Just a thought.. You could remove the front claws. I've had it done in 10 year old rescue cats with no ill-effects. None of my cats ever had a problem with it and they all recovered quickly.




answers from St. Louis on

If your worried you could always invest in a crib tent. I had one for my son when he was born, we have a cat and was always worred that the cat would jump in with him as she sleeps on me and hubby all the time. She dont even go in my sons room. She is more of an adult cat than a Kids cat. I really dont think the cat could suffocate your son at this age maybe when he was an infant.



answers from St. Louis on

I know how you feel. I have four, yes four, cats and a six month old son. We also keep his door shut. I think once your child moves into a toddler bed or regular bed it would be ok to open the door. I grew up with cats, and I can't remember not sleeping with them. Or you could keep the door open, during the day and only close it when your son takes a nap or is down for the night.



answers from St. Louis on

Some may find this odd, but my cat sleeps in my sons bed, he's 2 1/2 now, but she started sleeping with him when he was about 17 months. They will move before they get squished and generally will do so quickly leaving no time to scratch. Not to make less of your fears, but cats suffocating children is really an old wives tale.
But you have to do what you feel is right, otherwise you will be up all night sick with worry! Perhaps you should start leaving the door open when he naps, or once you lay him down leave it open until you go to bed.

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