“I chose my baby over my cat and now my friend won’t talk to me.”

It’s always a nervous time when you bring a baby into a home where you already have a cat or dog. Will the pet accept the new family member? And what if they don’t?

I remember feeling massively relieved when my two nervy little rescue dogs were fine with my baby. But it didn’t turn out so well for a new mum posting on UK website Mumsnet. She had a rescue cat that she’d owned for eight years, and she and her partner tried to prepare the cat for the new arrival by letting her get used to the baby furniture and playing her baby sounds. It didn’t seem to work.

“When we arrived home with our daughter it became very apparent that our beloved cat was not coping,” she wrote. “On several occasions our cat tried to attack our day-old daughter. Luckily she never touched her as we always stepped in and prevented this from happening. Our cat started to spend all her time outside and became increasingly jealous.”

Within a matter of weeks, the woman and her partner made the “very hard decision” to rehome the cat for the safety of their daughter. She explained the decision to one of her closest friends.

“My friend thought it was dreadful that we were rehoming our cat and didn’t seem to understand how concerning her behaviour was towards our daughter. Since then my friend has been very distant with me.”

The woman said her friend’s behaviour has brought a “dark cloud” over what should be the happiest time of her life.

“It seems that she put the welfare of my cat above the welfare of my daughter.”

cats christmas trees
"I love animals but they’re not humans." Image: Getty.

Some of the people who responded supported the woman’s decision to rehome her cat and thought her friend was being unreasonable.


“People I've come across like this, in my experience, are either (a) elderly cat ladies or (b) don't have kids,” one wrote. “She's small loss to you if she thinks a cat is more important than a baby.”

“I love animals but they’re not humans,” another added. “Some animals hurt babies and have to be removed. That's the way it is.”

However, there was also a lot of anger from animal lovers.

“You had this cat eight years!” an outraged person posted. “And yet they were disposable when you had a child! I wouldn’t talk to you either!”

Several people felt she hadn’t given the cat long enough to adapt to the baby. One woman said it took two years for her cat to accept the new family member.

“I knew my cat would struggle when I brought my daughter home as he was very bonded to me,” she explained. “There was hissing, running away scared, refusing to come inside and he would have scratched her if I had have allowed it. I kept cat protectors on cribs and cots. I made sure there was never an occasion where something terrible could happen. I gave him lots of attention when she was asleep too.”

Another said she’d seen this kind of thing before.

“The number of people who suddenly find that they absolutely must give away their pet, often before or after having a baby, is staggering. It's obvious that most just don't really give a s--t about their pet.”

Would you give away your pet if you felt your child’s safety was at risk?

Brace yourself: Reddit users reveal the worst baby names they've ever heard. 

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