It may surprise people that today, December 25, 2015, a quarter of UK pet owners would surrender their cat or dog if they had a new baby on the way. This clearly means that a very large percentage of pet owners in the UK believe that a cat or dog is dangerous to a baby. It may be true for a dog because there are, rarely, cases of babies being attacked by dogs. Although I'm sure these attacks are ultimately down to careless dog ownership.
However, I don't have an example of domestic cats hurting babies. It is a fallacy that the domestic cat presents a danger to a baby. The opposite is nearer the truth. Some people believe that a cat's faeces are a hazard to the unborn baby. I have written an article about that sometime ago which can be read if you click on this link. The hazard is extremely slight and can be protected against quite easily. The danger is certainly exaggerated.
If a person wishes to adopt a cat while at the same time carrying an intention to have a baby in the not too distant future then they should not adopt a cat. Surrendering a cat to a rescue centre should be the very last option and only taken under very severe conditions. Cats are not throwaway creatures to adopt and discard at a person's whim. We know that.
A study also reported that 30% of UK dogs are abandoned in the months just after Christmas. This once again is another aspect of the rather careless, throwaway mentality of some cat and dog caretakers.
The same study reported that 8% of the 2000 pet owners participating had admitted that they had surrendered a cat or dog in the past when they had a newborn.
About 40% of people in a relationship stated that they had not made any plans as to what would happen to their cat or dog if they split up and went their own way while only 34% said that they would try to keep their cat or dog if they separated from their partner. That does not indicate a fantastic attachment between person and pet.
According to the UK's main dog adoption website, 67% of rescue centres said that the surrender of dogs was on the increase.
The famous London animal shelter, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, said that there been increase in people wishing to surrender their pets to their rescue centre in order to go on a summer holiday because they were unable to afford a boarding kennels or find someone to look after their cat or dog. Clearly this is shocking once again and indicates a lack of proper connection between pet and person. These people should not look after a cat or dog. That is obvious. Today there are too many people in the UK and I suspect anymore else in the world who are not suited, if we are honest, to be a responsible caretaker of a cat or dog.
The research comes from Co-op insurance and a poll conducted by One Poll.