Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Teach your children well

This is one of my dining-room windows. The roses are a birthday gift from my daughter, Allie. "Thanks honey" and the shamrock I have had for years and it comes to life every summer filled with gorgeous white flowers.

Lately, I have been hearing of incidents where cats are biting children in the home. When I hear this I get so infuriated because I can picture in my mind what goes on before the cat actually had to bite. Too often cats are handed to kids as 'toys' with no proper training of how to treat them and very little supervision. Cats are just expected to take the pounding, pulling, grabbing, squeezing and not fight back. When I was fostering for the shelter years back one of the criteria for an adopting family was to have no small children in the home.
 I did get some flack for that because people would say "my child is not mean" but that wasn't the problem. The problem was that parents were not taking the time to educate the kids on proper handling of the kittens so I just made it a rule...NO young CHILDREN. I never regretted it.

What to do if bitten by a cat

The first step is to secure the cat from the victim. More often than not there is a child involved. Immediately remove the child from wherever the cat is. Wash the wound with warm water and soap. Rinse all soap.
Cover the wound with a clean, dry dressing. If you have an antibiotic cream then apply some right away. Most cat bites will cause infection. It is best to consult your physician in case the wound needs stitching.
If you do not know the cat you must get medical treatment in case of rabies. Rabies is fatal to humans if not treated. 

I have a one year old grand-daughter now and she lives with 2 cats. She loves these cats (as much as a 1 year old could) and is now being taught to treat them gently. At one, their first reaction to a small animal is to grab, pull and pound on. Children can get too rough and eventually the cat will have had enough. You cannot blame the cat. Imagine what that feels like for the animal. Imagine a small kitten being squeezed too hard. It is our responsibility as cat owners to teach our children to have a gentle hand with cats.
Teaching my kids to be gentle (1987)
 It is as easy to start out right teaching our children to have respect and know the proper way to handle the cat as it is to teach them to be gentle with their human friends. 
If you don't, the results might be a bad bite with possibly a scar to follow and a child that will be a bully to animals or terrified of cats. As far as the cat is concerned, many end up in shelters or euthanized. Prevention is the key here.
and that's that!

hugs, Deb


  1. Deb your plants are beautiful! Thank you for the advice you gave about children and cats. The importance of teaching children well around cats and all pets cannot be over stated.
    Thank you for this most important post!

  2. Very wise advice and your pic of you teaching your kiddos was so sweet!

  3. Wow what a great post! Teaching children how to respect cats and other living creatures is really so critical. I am so happy you posted this.

    For those reading this, check out my cat blog for some interesting stories about the cat colony I manage.

    Debby in Arizona

  4. Aunty Deb,
    It's so true what you wrote. We've had children visiting our home in the past. Brad and I have had to endure the torture they inflicted on us - pulling of the tail, the grabbing, the ear pinching, the chasing... Then Mama banned those children from coming anymore. Not a popular decision but had to be done. purrr....meow!

  5. Kittens, cats and small children don't mix. Small children do not comprehend why you don't squeeze the death! Their little minds dont grasp the full consequences of their acts. They have not yet developed adequate impulse contro either. That's why they are called kids not short adults. My cats are never alone with children EVER! Supervision is the key. If you can't supervise, separate. Easy as that. Our local shelter does adopt to people with kids but the bulk of the adoption volunteers will reject these applications. God bless their common sense. As one volunteer said, no one ever thinks their kid is rough even when the adopter brings the kitten back saying something is wrong with it and the kitten is later found to have multiple internal injuries or broken bones.

  6. You are so right Deb ~ children have to be taught how to handle animals. Animals have to be able to protect themselves. It's only natural.

    Love your flowers!
    xo Catherine

  7. I remember so well our Mom teaching us to be "gentle" with any animal. she used to hold little injured birds and we got to pet them with one tiny finger..... and when we got our dog.... even though he was big...we used to be very gentle with he was with us too.... we always loved cats and finally adopted a stray who had kittens. How we loved that cat and her one kitten we also kept. We've always advocated for gentleness with animals...and immediately do the same with any child we see not using our "correct" techniques when petting cats in particular....
    I prefer seeing cats adopted by childless homes myself....