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A 2 year old VS. a cat and a little Beta fish

by Tarzan · 4 comments

So we have a cat now.  Our little Monkey’s favorite animal.  Thankfully this cat is very laid back and pretty much lets our son do anything he wants to with him.  That is said of COURSE with supervision by Jane and I.

Overall, Monkey is great with the cat.  He knows how to pet him and be nice.  But every once in awhile – meaning 4-5 times a day or more – we have to tell him to be nice to the cat.  We caught him pulling his tail, stepping on his paw, holding him down by a font leg and back leg, etc.  The cat puts up with all of this with no problem.  Strange.  But we’re constantly trying to teach Monkey to always be nice to the cat.

It’s an ongoing battle.  2 year old VS. cat.  And I have a feeling that it’s going to take quite awhile for Monkey to finally learn that you need to be nice to the cat 100% of the time and what is right and wrong to do.

Having small kids and animals can be tough at times.  From having a baby and your dog or cat going on the back burner to teaching your little one how to act and treat animals.  But that’s all a part of the process I guess.

We also have a fish.  We got that for Monkey after our dog passed away.  He really enjoyed watching the fish swim around for a few days and soon lost interest.    Thankfully for the month or so the fish lived in a small tank in our living room, nothing crazy happened.  We only had to stop Monkey from putting cars and other toys into the tank 2-3 times at first.  After that, it was smooth sailing.  We didn’t have to worry about it at all.

I am now the caregiver of the fish.  Great.  Little did I know that these Beta fish live for YEARS.  I now have a friend who lives in my office – AWAY from the cat.  I’m the only friend this little Beta fish knows.  I regret buying it.  Lesson learned.  Do not buy a 2 year old a beta fish or any fish, unless you are a fish person, I guess.

I grew up around animals.  As a kid, I had a pet duck, a rabbit, 3 cats, 2 dogs, and a hamster.  The oddest one was the pet duck.  I was around 3.  I named him Quackers.  Animals were an important part of my life growing up and I have so many fond memories of them.  But I also remember being 3 or 4 years old and quickly doing something to the cat when my parent’s backs were turned.  For example, putting the cat in the washing machine while it was on.  I think my butt still hurts today from the spanking I got after that one.  Lesson learned there.

I think it’s important to introduce kids to animals at a young age so they know what to do and what not to do.  For example, Monkey LOVES to put his face right in the cat’s face and make noises, sing, and jump around.  This is something that is a BIG no-no and we’re constantly correcting him.  It’s gone from 4-5 times a day to maybe once a day correcting him.  Hopefully in the next week or two he’ll know that’s something not to do.  I’m just always freaked out the cat will one day freak out and attack, you know?

Any of you have some interesting stories about your little ones and your cat, dog, parrot, fish, monkey, etc?  How’s the teaching what to do – and what not to do going for you?  Any little tips or secrets you’ve found that works well?

You might also want to read:

  1. Today I did everything a 2-year old wanted to do… and it was great!
  2. At roughly this exact time last year, we made a little Monkey.
  3. A Daddy on Being a Daddy of a 2 and 1/2 Year-old
  4. I’m all registered at the hospital for the D&C (insert sad face here)
  5. A quick post about our previous pregnancy blogs and baby blogs: Plus Our One Year Anniversary!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katie

We have 3 cats. My daughter is now 2 and a half. For the most part she is very nice to the cats. Two of them avoid her most of the time, and my older cat 9 years old, who I thought would be the worse around her, actually tolerates her better than the other two. I do have to occasionally tell her to be nice ie stop pulling hair, ears, whiskers, tail…..but just recently she started this aweful mean thing, where the cat is walking across the room and she kicks him like a football :-o I was shocked the first time I saw her do it. She has only done it a couple times, and it has gotten her in a LOT of trouble.

2 Tarzan

Thanks Alicia! Dumping orange juice into a fish tank does not sound like a fun mess to clean up!

Ambria… I don’t know what it is about kids pushing cats to the ground. Monkey does the same thing sometimes. I can’t figure out why he does it… but if he’s going to do anything, I’d much rather that then pulling the cats tail or pulling on his ears!

3 Alicia

My daughters first words at around 7 months old was “kitty cat” so, for her first birthday, she got a kitty cat. We got it as a kitten and they have both learned to love each other. She still holds her tails so it can’t run away, but for the most part, she’s nice to it. And since the cat was young enough when we got it, it also knows to be nice. We have another cat though… This cat has been mine since before I met my husband, that being said, She does not like kids. Period. Doesn’t like them, and has smacked my daughter around a bit. When she feels threatened, she uses nails and we have had some ugly scratches on my daughter :(

At one point, the cat used both front paws and no nails and it looks like she was boxing with my daughter. My daughter was instigating (about 13 months old) and poking at her while the cat was trying to sleep in the back of the couch. She took both paws and gave Alli a good 6 or 7 thumps on the head. Again – no nails, just a blur of paws whacking the top of my daughters head.

I can’t always stop them and the older cat does get very nervous, but I pet the cat while my daughter pets the cat, and they do okay. Allison knows it’s not a very nice kitty, and the kitty knows she better just leave the room.

(Sorry for the long post)

On the other hand, we have a 120 gallon saltwater fish tank, and my daughter LOVES the fish as much as I do. But the fish we keep are very active, probably a lot more active than a betta and they have been around since she was born, so she’s also used to that and doesn’t terrorize them too much. ( Though she managed to dump Daddy’s orange juice into the tank which was not fun for me to fix the chemistry of the tank)

Good luck with the pets!

4 Ambria

My 2 year old son LOVES animals too! He is usually nice to the kitty and will put his head on her and go ‘Mmmmm’ in a sweet voice. But sometimes he pulls her tail or pushes her all the way to the ground. (He thinks it’s SO funny to pull her tail!) I have to tell him to be nice to the kitty. She’s pretty laid back but she does get fed up after a while and will usually swipe at him. Never on his face just his hands, enough to get the point across. He laughs about it though. Goofy kid!

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