can a cat take a baby’s breath away

One of the most common worries when it comes to cats with babies is ‘stealing breath’. As the name suggests, this is the belief that cats will suffocate a baby by breathing in its breath. Of course, this moggie myth is untrue and it’s as silly as it sounds — our furry friends do not suck away the breath of babies!

Adding to this report is the long-standing belief that cats are witches’ familiars; therefore, if parents (or even coroners) found an infant dead with a cat nearby, the cat was automatically blamed for the incident. Coroner knows best, so it must be true, right?

Cats always seem to get a bad rap. Possibly the most widely-held misconception about cats, second only to the notion that black cats bring misfortune, is that cats will choke on babies’ breath, killing them.

There are two common theories as to why your cat would want to suffocate your new baby: first, cats are said to get very jealous when babies steal their attention, and second, cats love milk and are attracted to the scent of a baby’s milky breath. Although it is possible for a cat to unintentionally suffocate a sleeping baby by snuggling too close to its face, experts concur that it is extremely unlikely for a cat to do so on purpose.

There are few reports of infant deaths caused by cats, so how did this story spread so widely? Perhaps one case from 300 years ago provided the story with the impetus it needed to reach its current level of fear. There is an entry for Jan in the Annual Register, a publication that lists the year’s noteworthy occurrences. 25, 1791: “An eighteen-month-old child was discovered dead close to Plymouth; during the coroners’ inquest, it was determined that the child’s death was caused by a cat suffocating on its breath, resulting in a strangulation.” ” RELATED MYSTERIES.

Currently, though, we are aware that otherwise healthy infants can pass away for unknown reasons; this phenomenon is referred to as sudden infant death syndrome.

Castro, J. (2012). Taken from https://www.ifcatsactuallykillbabiesbysuckingawaytheir breath livescience. com/22449-do-cats-really-kill-babies-by-sucking-away-theirbreath. html.

Urban legends are passed down from person to person over years or even centuries, usually starting with friends of friends. According to an urban legend, a cat will steal a baby’s breath while it is sleeping. Although anyone can believe this urban legend, those who are expecting or have small children are typically the ones who worry about it the most. While the specifics of urban legends can vary, this one typically involves a cat getting into a baby’s crib and taking its breath. This is said to occur because the cat is either drawn to the milk scent on a baby’s breath or is merely envious that the baby is receiving more attention from the owners. Information on this topic is found mostly on the internet. This legend dates back to the seventeenth century and is still told today. This is an unusual belief because, in addition to the fact that cats are not known to do this, it also defies logic that they would.

Generally speaking, society has a negative opinion of cats. Regardless of the number of people who own and enjoy them as pets, these opinions have persisted for centuries. Although anyone can spread this urban legend, expectant or new parents tend to find it more relatable. There are several explanations for why individuals continue to hold this belief. First of all, people are naturally wary of cats because they are typically connected to evil or the devil. Secondly, it becomes much more credible when a coroner or someone with first-hand knowledge confirms that this actually happened. Although social influences play a significant role in upholding these beliefs, there are psychological explanations for why people might hold these beliefs in the first place.

Numerous first-hand accounts from parents claim that their baby’s death was caused by the cat getting into the crib and stealing its breath. Although this may not be the official reason, among believers and storytellers alike, it is something that “everyone knows.” Additionally, a coroner’s report from 1791 attested to the fact that this was the reason behind a specific baby’s death. This evidence, while not always factual, is sufficient to maintain the urban legend’s circulation. The previously mentioned coroner’s claim was later proven false. That case actually involved sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which is a condition that can affect babies. Experts have refuted the urban legend by stating that a cat would not act in this way.

A significant psychological factor in upholding a belief is social support. Speaking with others who share this urban legend’s belief helps to confirm it. The effect of beginning a story with “a friend of a friend” is something else that must be considered. This makes the account more personal and easier to believe. Parents also worry that something bad will happen to their child. Stereotypes about cats alone can lead people to perpetuate the myth even if they don’t genuinely think that a cat can take their baby’s breath in the middle of the night.


Can a cat take a baby breath?

While the claim that a cat will purposefully suffocate your baby is false, the VERIFY team did find one incident in the United Kingdom in 2000 where a six week old baby died after the family cat fell asleep on his face. Still – Dr. Johnson says that situation is incredibly rare.

Is it safe to have cats around newborns?

Babies, children and cats should never be left together unsupervised. It is important an adult supervises them at all times. The main health and safety risks to your child are: risks to their breathing.

Why is my cat attracted to baby’s breath?

Supposedly, this happens because either the cat is attracted to the milk scent on a baby’s breath, or it is simply jealous that the owners are giving more attention to the baby.

Do cats hate the smell of newborns?

Even scents that are “light” to human noses can be overwhelming to a cat. All of those new smells and odors associated with the baby can cause anxiety for your cat. A baby’s crying can sound like a cat fight, which can be stressful to the cat.