Children and cats are made for each other. However, there are of course some rules that you should lay down with your kids so that both them and the cat can remain safe as they play and have fun together.
Children, have a tendency to hurt cats (particularly small kittens) while playing with them. Although it is not done on purpose, kids lack physical discretion and usually get out of control during play. It is very common for them to bruise or injure any small house pet, especially if left unattended.
Your Cat May Bite Back!
There are more than 500,000 cat bites that go reported every year in the United States. As you can tell, cats will defend themselves if they feel threatened, even if it’s against your loving children. But although 500,000 bites seems like a large number, it is very small compared to the more than 3 million bites that go reported in the United States each year from dogs.
But even though cats are shown to bite less often, strong discretion and proper training of your children is a must to prevent this incident from occurring.
One very important discretion that you must make is to ensure that your cat has had his rabies shot. If your child gets bit for some reason, even if it is a small bite, be sure to treat it as serious as possible. Contact your doctor immediately because cats (although very clean animals) do harbor some very harmful bacteria inside their mouths.
Safety Tip for Babies and Infants
There is absolutely no reason why you should leave a baby alone with the cat, regardless of how well trained and well behaved the animal is. This should be a common sense but amazingly enough, babies are reported to have been bitten by cats quite often and without being supervised by an adult.
Safety Tip for Toddlers
Toddlers can be quite a handful, even for two adults in the house. Now imagine what it may be like for your cat to be rough housing and playing with a high energy 4-year-old child. It is a situation which causes most cats or kids to get injured. Even though cats do learn quickly that they should avoid children at this age, your cat will defend himself if being chased or cornered by a small child who is just trying to have fun.
Be sure to keep a lookout at all times when your children are playing with your animals. Installing gates to block off certain parts of the house is very helpful in preventing injuries to both your cat and your kids.