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Old 04-22-2005, 11:07 AM   #3
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Default Re: Pets, Kids and Families (X-Post from GD forum)

Originally Posted by flowermama
Structure your lives so that the pet gets protected while your child builds the impulse control.
I think it's really important to have a place the pet can "escape" to, a place the kids are not allowed in. We have a cat door in the door to the basement, where the kids were not allowed. We had three cats before having our first child; one of them adored the kids and was terrific with them, one of them would whack the kids (claws sheathed) when she thought the kids were getting too pushy but otherwise tolerated them just fine, and one of them completely avoided the kids. I suspect if the third cat ever got cornered by a toddler she would have scratched or bit, but since she had a way to completely avoid the kids she did so. Now that the kids are older she'll hang out with them just fine, but I think things would have gone badly if she hadn't been able to avoid little ones.

Even our most patient kitty would sometimes get tired of being mauled (eldest son would get too rough when excited - would pet the cat in the right direction, but press too hard I think), and would dissappear for a while. I've known people who would go drag their dogs or cats out so the kids could "play" with them - I wouldn't do that. Even if the animal is "good with kids," sometimes they need time alone.

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