We in rescue are always astonished when people return a cat who has been part of their family “because we’re having a baby”.
What? You’re expanding your family by eliminating part of your family? You’re bringing a new little human into the world, where you will be responsible for teaching that child how to be a responsible, loving, caring human being, but you’re starting by discarding a member of the family?
Yes, there ARE times in everyone’s life when a change has to happen, and there are times when after much heartache a decision is reached to find a new home for a beloved pet. The astonishment on our part is how easily some people take on the responsibility of caring for a new life–their kitten or cat–and how easily they discard it when challenges arise. Our advice to is to not adopt a pet, unless you’re willing to fulfill the commitment to giving him a true life with you.
Happily, we also have many wonderful stories of new parents welcoming their human kitten into the world and sharing the love with the feline ones. We just received a picture update on grandson #2, and how Norm the cat is doing with him. Since Norm loves grandson #1, he’s already quite prepared for life with baby.
The biggest reason for success with any new baby/cat combo is making sure you give your cat the same amount of love and attention after baby is born as you did before. When the cat doesn’t feel displaced, you’re unlikely to have problems.
And as the baby grows, teaching him the proper respect for other lives (no pulling the tails, no teething on their ears, etc.) not only helps you maintain a happy household, it helps our whole world. You’re instilling wonderful values into the child who will one day grow up to be a vital member of society. Respect, compassion, responsibility, trust are among the many things a child will learn by having a pet and are the most valuable things you can ever give a child.
Our thanks to all the parents who DO keep their pets when the baby is born. Your child is the one we want to have our rescue babies!
Reprinted with permission from Nancy Wahl, Community Cats Coalition. This article is original in content and not to be reproduced. Copyright November 15, 2015.
The mission of Community Cats Coalition, located in the Pacific Northwest, is to enhance the lives of community cats by promoting spay and neuter and providing training and mentorship in Trap-Neuter-Return. Education is their number one goal and to that end it publishes a variety of posts on Facebook related to community cats. A Best of Facebook can be found at the CCC website.