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Poor Animals

Author: Jeff Anderson

Since Nathan is home now, I thought it best to help keep him as safe as possible from our pets.

The cat probably poses the most danger to an infant, specifically in his claws. Our cat is very well behaved, and we have trained him to not scratch things. He still takes his claws out when he plays, and sometimes he just plain forgets that he has them, and that they could hurt someone.

The bird's wing feathers had grown in, and we more or less let him fly from place to place (meaning from his cage, to his playground, to one of us, or vice-versa). Unfortunately, the bird like to go other places too, and has been known to buzz the cat by dive bombing. When he pulls out of his dive, he can end up just about anywhere in the apartment. The danger that the bird poses is minimal at best. The worst case would be that he lands on the baby, scratching him. The absolute worst case would be a scratched retna.

It seems like de-clawing cats is out of style now. "It is literally maming a cat" advocates one pro-animal, pro-pet group. This cat was acquired from a group that made us promise to not declaw the cat ever. Training has been sufficient for us and our furniture, but it still leaves the possibility of an accidental scratching. We also weren't sure how the cat would react to a wiggling, squirming infant. I purchased a product called SoftClaws. Essentially, they are soft, squishy, plastic nails that are glued over the cat's actual nails.

I had to clip all of the cat's nails first, which I do from time to time anyway. He tolerates it quite well as long as I am not forcing it on him all at once. After clipping the nails, it's fairly straightforward to apply the nails. Put a little glue inside the fake nail, extend the cat's claw, apply. The claws are shaped in such a way that they can grab onto the cat's claw on their own. This is useful because the glue takes time to dry, and I didn't have to press and hold the nail in place while the glue set. I probably spent a total of about 45 minutes trimming and putting on the fake nails.

The cat doesn't seem to mind the fake nails. I've noticed that he's lost at least two on his back feet since I applied them, but I'm not terribly worried about them right now.

It has been long enough since we clipped the bird's wings that I felt like I should look up how to do it again. The bird really hates it, and I didn't want to under nor over clip his wings. We opted to take out the first 6-7 feathers. This is an aggressive clipping that makes him not able to fly at all. He can still flutter down from his cage, so we put his ladder back in place so he could get back up from the floor.

Technically either animal could still hurt the baby, even after we've disabled them a bit. We're not too worried about anything happening because it is outside the nature of both of our pets to intently do anything harmful. We still keep an eye out, but we've seen no indicators that would suggest that the baby is in harm's way by having our soft and feathery, or soft and fluffy animal friends around the house. The measures we took were to help prevent anything that could potentially happen by accident. I feel like it is on par with child safety locks on cabinets and door knobs.

Posted: Oct 01, 2009 | Tags: Planning Ahead Baby Safety

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