I’m sure that some people who read this site must have dealt with this issue before, so help me out here: how on earth do you have pets and babies in the same house?
Since Cate has started crawling, I have had to swipe cat food out of her mouth on at least three occasions. (I only successfully retrieved it two of those times, the other time it went down the hatch too fast. Oh well, a little extra protein in her diet won’t hurt, right?) And twice in the past week, she’s overturned the cats’ water dish onto the floor and all over herself. She hasn’t yet discovered the litter boxes, but I know it’s only a matter of time before they become her own personal sandbox. And oh my god, eww. I don’t know if there’s enough soap in the world.
So what do you do? I thought about baby gates, but the problem is, our cats haven’t figured out that they can jump over the gates, they just stand at them and yowl for us to come open them. (I now prop the gate at the top of the stairs open at night because I got so sick of Beaumont’s four a.m. wake-up calls.) I have no idea what the next step is, short of keeping Cate on a leash. And I have a suspicion that most parenting books would frown on that. Help?
I don’t have kids, and no way of knowing how to keep the kid out of the cat areas (but I will be watching your comments to get ideas since I have a cat and we’re trying to get pregnant).
However, I cannot stress the important enough of keeping baby from the litterbox. My mom’s best friend’s son once ate litter from the box and had to go to the emergency room to have his stomach pumped – the absorbent material of the little was dehydrating him.
And on that icky note, I did find a baby gate with a pet door in it: http://cgi.ebay.com/Easy-Step-Tall-Baby-Safety-Gate-w-small-pet-door-plt_W0QQitemZ120186725742QQihZ002QQcategoryZ117029QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
Interesting quandry. Short of having to buy three new gates (I already ahve three sans the cat door, which, if you ask me, Cate will figure out before the cats do, unless she’s bigger than they are), I am hoping you come up with a solution. When Alphagal and company came to visit, we set up the gates. Sammy was all atwitter because she thoght she was being kept out of stuff instead of the reverse. Oh yea, e-baby managed to get a great big handful of the moist cat food durign that visit. I know Alpha was thrilled! E-baby certainly was.
Oh man, I was only freaking out at the thought of the baby getting toxoplasmosis from the cat poop. The thought of what the litter itself could do to her hadn’t even crossed my mind. Oy.
I’ve seen pet door kits that were used to install a pets only access door in the basement door to keep the cat boxes far from little hands.
I’ve switched the cats from free-feeding to a twice-daily routine. We gather them up, feed them, then take away the bowls. They learn pretty quickly that it’s snackin’ time and they better eat. If that works for you then it’s one way to keep her out of the food since it wouldn’t be around. The water, well, it’s just water. 🙂
As for the cat litter, hmm. We use “world’s best c@t litter”, available at petsm@rt and all. It’s more expensive but is compatible with auto machines. It’s a corn litter that clumps but is chemical free and doesn’t clump as severely as other brands, in case Miss C gets into it.