questionshow do you keep a cat out of a crib?

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Electrified barb wire might do the trick, but then you'll likely get a visit from the ASPCA and Social Services. Maybe there's something you could spray on the crib to deter the cats from jumping in it?

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I'm a little confused - how do you find yourself living with cats that aren't yours (or at least that the ability to have them leave isn't yours)?

I think your best bet is to keep the door to the baby's room closed when your son is in the crib.

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We replaced the bedroom door with a screen door. Let us see in, good air circulation, but no cats. Worked great.

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@thunderthighs: that's a good idea. stash the original door in a closet and you can switch it back when needed

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@w00tgurl: Exactly what we did. I think we left it for 2 years until he was out of the crib (18 months) and his mattress wasn't on the floor. Then we used kid gates just to keep the little guy in his room while we slept. We didn't want him wandering around on his own at that age.

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If you can no longer find a crib tent, perhaps try a scat mat or a motion sensor spray.
Other things to make it less appealing to the cats would be laying down some aluminum foil or sticky paws in the crib when baby is not there or have some balloons floating around to scare the cats.

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Frankly, I think anyone that would put their love of cats above the safety of your infant is probably someone you shouldn't be living with.

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Children trump cats. I'm just saying...

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I'll just add that BooBoo was the BEST cat around our son. We called her Nana BooBoo because she would come running any time he cried. When he was a bit older, she would try to comfort him.

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I have not personally used this, but a friend of mine has to keep her cat out of her bedroom in the morning (and keep it from waking her up). She had tried several other styles and said it works wonders!

Catscram Cat Repellent

That being said, I think the screen door idea is awesome!

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As a guy who does not prefer boxes of feces and urine sitting around my house, I'd suggest the easiest alternative: Open the front door for a few hours and then go to the local Humane Society and get a dog.

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@patchedupp: No, you're not the only one. I don't get the animal hate.

@wlknlight: train the cats now to stay out of the crib. The scat mat, double sided sticky tape or a squirt bottle when you catch them in there. Or, just use the screen door idea.

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Spray bottle full of water.

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I like the screen door idea!

But there are good training methods suggested too, my cats though I swear are untrainable. Everything that is supposed to stop/scare them, doesn't work on 3/4. So sad :(

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Assuming your child isn't old enough to reach the rails, scotch tape, adhesive side up, in 6 inch strips. Scares the daylights out of cats. Works well enough to train them to keep off counters, tables, etc.

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Mosquito netting hung from a hoop above the crib, that you can drop around it (not in it). Just make getting in the crib as unpleaseant as possible before the baby comes along, and they will less likely to try later.

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It's good you're starting now with keeping the cats out--that's a good start. I would suggest getting a good baby monitor and closing the door pretty much at all times. When you are in the room with the baby and want the door open, keep a spray bottle with water and give the cats a good facefull when they come in the room. Don't think of this issue as keeping the cats out of the bed--think of it as keeping them out of the room entirely. I love the screen door idea! We will be moving to a baby gate in the doorway soon when we transition our daughter to a toddler bed, but I will remember the screen door idea for our next baby. I've seen screens that hang over the doorway, rather than a solid door, more like mosquito netting I suppose? A cat may be tricky enough to figure that out, though if they REALLY want to get in.

Good luck, I hope you find a good solution!

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@zuiquan @psaux: The OP hasn't mentioned any actual problems with the cats and the baby; she's merely said that she "knows" the cats would hang out in the crib if they were given the chance - which they haven't been given yet. If the cats were attacking the child, I would agree with you, but before a single solution has been tried - including something as simple as keeping the door to the child's bedroom closed - it seems a bit extreme to say that anyone is putting the "love of cats above the safety of [an] infant."

@thunderthighs: That's a great idea for several reasons. Did you have any problems with noise from the rest of the house disturbing your son? I'm guessing the screen door blocked less noise than a typical door, but that's just a guess!

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@neuropsychosocial: As to the noise, I actually considered it a benefit. We were never particularly quite around our son. I figured he needed to learn to sleep through some noise and I wasn't going to tiptoe around while he was sleeping. As a result, my son can sleep through just about anything (that isn't always a good thing though).

When he was about 4, I watched his father lift him out of bed and put him over his shoulder fireman style. He then rearranged the covers, put our son back in bed and tuck him in. The boy never even woke up.

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I am somewhat confused as to whether this question is about cats that are hostile to a baby or just someone who's paranoid about animals being anywhere near the infant.

My mother's had cats in the house since before we were born. One old lady cat when I was born and then one kitten and one older tomcat with my brother. Never a problem with any of them. They would climb into the crib with both my brother and I and cuddle-sleep with us whenever they felt the urge. If my mother didn't want the cats in the baby's room for whatever reason, she'd just shut the door and use a baby monitor. My current three cats are fully trusted with any infant brought into the house, no problems, unless a parent has issues--in which case, closed door and baby monitor. Simple.

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@goldenthorn: I assumed it was because the cats were going to give extra snuggles to the baby but the parents wanted the extra cat snuggles all to themselves. And since the cats, and possibly house, aren't theirs, they can't just force the cats to distribute the snuggles fairly and evenly

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Thanks for all the suggestions. The problem is not the cats with the baby as they frequently avoid the little kids in the house, but rather the messes they sometimes leave. I'd rather not get my son to sleep just to find a hairball or Kitty barf in the sheets. I always close the door when a baby is sleeping in a room, but it kills the air circulation so I have it open the rest of the time. I'll probably start with the deterrents to try to teach the cats to stay out, and if that fails, the netting sounds close to what the crib tent did especially as they never jumped on it.

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@thunderthighs:

Amen to the noise thoughts. People were always shocked that we didn't mind them calling after bedtime, that we could watch movies loudly, behave normally, etc. Our kids never knew any different, and it never bothered them.

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@psaux: I don't think that's a fair judgement. The living situation may need to be reconsidered if a safe approach can't be worked out, but expecting someone to give up a beloved pet that has done nothing wrong because you are living with them with your baby is pretty harsh. The chances of finding a good placement for an adult pet are not great, worse if you want to keep them together, and wrenching them from their home and family on the "presumed guilty" approach is unjust. It's not the cats' fault, it's not the baby's fault, it's up to the adults to come up with a safe and reasonable solution.

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@aafalke: They will. My cat comes and goes from the Great Dane's dog door, which has a large, heavy rubber flap. Everyone laughs when she goes through because she opens just the corner with her paw and slips out the barest opening.