Animal House

cat related injuries

People kept asking us if and when we’re going to get rid of the animals.

We have four cats, six chickens, a rooster and a hamster. Oh and some tadpoles.

We’re not getting rid of any of them because we’re having a baby. We may find a new home for Feathas the rooster because it’s just not practical to keep a rooster but we’re adding to the family not replacing members of it. We were a family long before the pregnancy and that includes everyone – tadpoles included. Though we won’t keep them all because it’s not really practical to have two dozen frogs living in the house. We just don’t have the room.

I don’t really understand the mentality of it really. The idea that we should get rid of some of these family members because of another. I’ve asked people why they think we should and the answers vary to the fairly logical – cat litter is dangerous to pregnant women and babies – to the downright reprehensible – you won’t have time for them.

The cat litter is a non-issue. I change the litter, my with doesn’t go near it. Simple enough. Plus the cat litter trays are big enclosed tubs with lids. She hasn’t changed the boxes since we started trying to get pregnant last year.

cat related injuries
Reb ‘The Bagel’ Brown

I get told the cats aren’t safe around the baby, and find this a bit insulting – as if I’m going to leave the cats to raise the child or smother it. No, I know what the cats are like, I’ve woken up enough time with a face full of cat and a nose full of fur to know they could be dangerous around Snappy when they’re little. We already have ideas for dealing with that – mostly lids for the cots.

Or pigeon spikes.

That fact that we won’t have time for them is the most annoying. It’s takes me five minutes to feed the cats and the hamster. Longer for the chickens. Ten minutes to empty, clean and re-fill the litter trays. I live in hope that Snappy will sleep long enough for me to do these things, babies sleep right? Plus have you tried to deny Reb Brown any attention? He’s six kilograms of fluff, when he wants to sit in your lap he sits in your damn lap and becomes an immovable blob. It would be quite impressive if it weren’t so annoying. Merry screams and headbutts you until you fuss her, Pogo is happy to stand very close to you and purr loudly (then sneeze on you) and Seymour will follow you around for fuss (with screaming).

They’re worth the effort (most of the time), they’re part of the family.

One woman bethend knows gave up a dog already.

I find that pretty deplorable. If you can’t look after a dog and a baby, you shouldn’t have gotten pregnant in the first place. Or gotten the dog.

It’s like suddenly everyone seems to have forgotten they had pets when they were kids; even my own sister. When I was born we had a dog, by the time my sister was born we had a dog and a rabbit. At one point, when I was 13, we have seven dogs, three rabbits and a guinea pig.

The cats are as much part of our queer little family as Snappy is. And it’s important for kids to be around animals and learn about them. Also, it doesn’t make much of an impression if we just give up on them because they’re an inconvenience to us, what sort of a lesson is that to my child?

Just thinking about the fact that we might have to give up little Seymour was heartbreaking. I don’t think I could live with the reality of it. I still miss my old cat Mickey.

What about you? Have you given up an animal because you were having a kid? If so why?



37 Replies to “Animal House

  1. I don’t know why people would ask if you’re getting rid of the animals because a baby is on the way! Fur babies and just as baby as a baby is a baby. 😉

  2. “Pigeon spikes” LOL! It’s probably not the best cat safety measure, but it’s funny. 🙂

    I’ve never had children, so I haven’t been in this situation. But I’ve had lots of cats and loved them all–even the borderline unlovable ones. They’re family.

  3. I don’t think I could do it! You’ve gotta read “The Rooster I Did Not Want” on my blog, I think you’ll get a big kick out of it 😉 The catbox is one thing that’s very hard for me to stay on top of, even with daily cleanings it still stinks!

    1. I’ll definitely check it out – ours are more contained so they don’t really smell and I change them twice a week. Plus wood litter is better for the smell.

  4. What utter nonsense. You might as well say to a family with an older child, “Are you getting rid of that kid now that you’ve got a new one on the way? Well, you won’t have time for both! The older one might hurt the little one!” Absurdity! Pets are family.

  5. No we haven’t, although when I was expecting our first child there were people who expected us to get rid of our little dog Zippy. I couldn’t get my head round their way of thinking, especially as we went through a lot of trouble bringing our little dog with us from South Africa to Greece when we moved.

    When my youngest was barely one we got another dog (shock, horror to some). Over the years we have taken on new dogs this time last year we had five dogs, one not-so-feral-cat and her five kittens to look after. Sadly our old dog passed away and four of the kittens didn’t make it, Mum cat and her kitten have now both been spayed and live happily patrolling the woodpiles and shed. The dogs are also happy and healthy. Now I’m not the most organised of people, so if I can juggle pets and a family then I’m sure others can. It’s just a case f being sensible.

    I’m sure your little and your pets will live together quite happily.


  6. Absolutely no need Get rid ! It should on the contrary be added 🙂 For example cow. Have fun, and your own milk! And where there is milk and butter, cheese, etc. So solid pros 🙂 Good luck!

  7. oh I’d never get rid of pets before having a baby – though I’ve known people who have – we have 3 children and 3 dogs – gorgeous big family and the pets add such a great dimension for the children and will certainly help them avoid being scared of animals if you didn’t have any in the house – good luck with the baby though – really fun times ahead #KCACOL

  8. I was puzzled by this comments too. Giving up a pet because it’s not convenient… it’s that something one would like to teach their kids?
    I have a dog and I heard this nonsense, even though I was never pregnant.

  9. I can’t believe people would ask that! I’m not really an animal person but I totally understand that pets are part of the family, I think it’s horrible that anybody would expect you to get rid of them because you have a baby on the way. I’m sure you will have a lovely, big, busy family!

    1. Exactly. It’s already a bit bonkers here, a baby is going to add to it but I don’t think getting rid of any of the animals really will make us any happier.

  10. Full house you have! Yes, I think it depends more on what suits you. If you like having lots of pets, kids won’t change it. I am not a lot of animals person myself, and only really like cats anyway (even then just one or two). But I have always been like that – it’s not affected by the kids. We have one cat. We obviously encourage the girls to stay away from litter and not to annoy her, and she hasn’t ever been allowed in bedrooms. She mostly keeps to herself. I have to admit that I would sometimes be a little wary about dogs that pre-date the children, depending on the dog’s temperament, because they can be a bit possessive. & also because both dogs and cats tend to mistrust the way babies and toddlers move, but dogs are more confrontational than cats. Normal behaviour for cats is to avoid what they are not sure about unless forced to confront it. There are a variety of dogs owned by various family members we have, most I think are okay with the kids (as much as you can ever be sure), but a couple are definitely not – they are very possessive of their owners and become aggressive when attention is paid to the kids. Nonetheless, I do agree with you – people should really try to take account of these things in deciding to get pets. If you think that dogs, for example, are better suited to slightly older children & the children being there first, or that they are too much work combined with children, & you intend to have children & know how long a dog lives then, yes, don’t get one until later in your lives. You do need to consider your future plans before you get pets that live for quite a while, otherwise it isn’t fair to them. I’m sure you and baby will have lots of fun with your menagerie. & I doubt that frogs pose any risk to children, though I agree 2 dozen in a house would be a lot! #brilliantblogposts

    1. I worry about people who take those pictures of their kids with dogs and you can tell the dogs aren’t happy. Dogs are very much at the mercy of their owners too, if they’re trained and treated right they should be fine.

  11. Thank you so much for reaffirming that there ARE others out there who are like us — animal lovers, pet owners, rescuers — who wouldn’t dream of kicking pets to the curb.

    On March 30th I put my 16 year old cat to sleep. My children are 11 and 9. Did I mention that of the NINE remaining indoors-only rescue cats, two are estimated to be as old as my kids?

    I despise people who ditch animals without a second thought. You rock. 🙂

  12. We had an outdoor cat that we gave to my mother in law when I was pregnant with our second child. I just freaked out about the whole litter thing. If I was attached to the cat in any way I’m sure we would have kept him 🙂 Every family is different & it sounds like you have great plans in place for having your animals & new baby all get along great! Thanks so much for linking up with #bloggerclubuk x

    1. Usually, if you’ve had cats before or for a long time, you’re usually immune to the virus you can catch from litter.

  13. Its great to grow up with pets we had two dogs and two cats and a the numerous amounts of wildlife like deer, beer and moose walking through our back yard growing up. Always room for more it’s just more love and teaching kids about responsibilities too. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me

  14. Love the idea of lids for the cots, or pigeon spikes, to keep the baby safe! We don’t have any pets, but several of my friends had dogs before having children, and never had any issues taking care of both the new baby and the pet! x #KCACOLS

  15. I think it’s insensitive for others to make judgement on your family set up. You had the pets before you had children and so naturally they are part of your family – why would you want to give them up?

    We had our greyhound before I had my eldest and she was so docile and loving towards him it melted my heart. Sadly she had to be put down when my eldest was just 6 months old as she had a stroke.

    My boys are now 3 and 6 and we are hopefully planning on getting another dog soon. #KCACOLS

  16. I really don’t understand why people need to get involved in those important decisions. Pets are much part of your family than your kids. I must admit though that things get more difficult to handle when you have kids as the attention given to your pets are not the same as when you didn’t have kids. But you still love them and of course you want them to still be part of your family regardless. I couldn’t see it in any other way! We had 2 Persian cats since before Nick and I got married.They were our little boys. We loved them so much. I was always worried that they will be jealous of the girls or something but they were so lovely although I felt sad sometimes that I couldn’t give them the same attention than before when the babies were born. But with the time everythings was fine. Sadly one of the cats died a few years ago because of a kidney problem. We were devastated. We were then left with just one cat, my beautiful Kiyan that unfortunately we had again to put him to sleep a few weeks ago cause of another kidney problem. We are still really sad about it 🙁 It is just so difficult to lose a pet. We have now decided to not have more pets for now at least until my girls are much older and we can have a house with a garden. That would be lovely!! 😉 Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS and sorry about my long comment! :-0 xx

    1. Yeah I think it really enriches a person’s life to have animals and pets. I’ve had pets all my life in various forms, I couldn’t imagine not having any.

  17. Hi Bread,

    Follow your instincts and ignore what people say. I am a huge animal lover and I would never kick the animals out of the house. You are right, the baby will grow up in a family that loves and supports animals. Great photos and post!


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