Your Cat Will Not Smother Your Baby

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2009 1:19 PM CST
Your Cat Will Not Smother Your Baby
A little girl has opened a basket to find four twelve week old Blue Persian kittens sitting inside.   (Getty Images)

A column suggesting that housecats murder babies out of jealousy has earned the Houston Chronicle a lot of, well, catcalls. It's not true, the paper now reports. “It’s funny that someone would still actually think that is true,” said a veterinarian and SPCA official. “That is a very old wives’ tale that has since been debunked.” Leaving infants unsupervised with any animal is unwise, but cats to not present a homicidal threat.

Doctors T. Berry Brazelton and Joshua Sparrow passed along the misinformation last week; in this Sunday's column, they'll backtrack. "It may be best to keep cats out of babies’ cribs for the same reasons that we keep extra bedclothes and stuffed animals out of cribs," they write. Says the vet: “I’ve never heard of a cat killing a baby. Cats will usually do a quick swipe and run off.” (More infant stories.)

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