Cat News: 1000s of cats DUMPED by expectant mums fearing death risk to baby | Nature | News

Some go to loving homes – others are not so lucky.

Fears that cats could end up in cots or spread diseases that could blind children were highlighted by past and current cat owners in a survey conducted for the leading cat charity, Cat Protection.

With these shocking revelations, Cat Protection is launching its #KidsandKitties campaign today, encouraging parents to keep their pets during pregnancy and beyond.

The charity states that it receives hundreds of calls annually from people wanting to give up cats over problems related to babies and children, and that they are interested in breaking the myth and keeping cats stable in the family.

A survey of past and current cat owners conducted for the charity found widespread concerns about cat litter management, toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease that can cause eye problems, as well as scratching and injuring children or climbing into their strollers and cribs.

Almost a third of expectant parents admitted they had been warned not to give up their cats, mostly from friends or family, and one in 12 admitted giving away their pets, with the vast majority later regretting their actions.

Daniel Cummings, Cats Protection behavioral officer, explained the driving force behind the new campaign: “There seems to be a lot of conflicting advice about cats, pregnancy and children, so we’d like to stress that you don’t have to raise your cat if you can are pregnant or have young children.

“With just a few simple considerations, cats and children can live together in harmony, and there are tremendous benefits to this, such as helping children learn responsibility and compassion for living beings.”

Cats Protection offers plenty of advice to cat-loving parents and parents-to-be.

Among the tips are:

· · Play baby sounds for your cat to use (available at www.cats.org.uk/kids-and-kitties/baby.mp3).

· · Familiarize your cat with the new baby equipment like furniture and strollers, but don’t let them climb on them and think they are forbidden.

· · Improve your knowledge of cats’ body language so you can spot signs of stress when a baby arrives (visit www.cats.org.uk/behavior for information).

· · Make sure your cat has plenty of hiding spots to escape to when feeling stressed out.

· · Introduce your cat to your baby step by step. Do not force interaction or leave your baby and cat alone:

· · Take the time to give your cat daily attention as this will help relax you and her.

· · Wear disposable gloves and an apron when cleaning waste bins, or let someone else do this for you.

Emmerdale star Samantha Giles, who has two children, ages nine and five, supports the campaign.

She said, “I am a big believer in the use of cats for both calm, relaxed pregnancies and children who are learning to care for and care for an animal.

“I remember when we brought our first baby daughter home we put her in the lounge so our cats could sniff, which they did. Our cats were quite old at the time, too, and they accepted and loved our two children.

“Of course you have to be sensible and not leave a baby alone with an animal, and we made sure that we close the door to Eva’s bedroom so that the cats cannot get into her crib.

“I would definitely encourage people not to give up their cats when they are pregnant because there are so many benefits to having a pet in the family.”

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