A Cat & Baby Duo Are Going Viral For Snuggling Together In Bed
But the pair have also raised questions about cat and infant safety — so Scary Mommy talked to the experts.
This mom was minding her business when she got a notification from her baby cam. Kelly De Alba opened her camera app to see the family’s little black cat, Luna, snuggling her daughter, Kallie. Luna had crawled up and into Kallie’s crib.
In a now-viral TikTok video, baby camera footage shows Luna purring and nuzzling into the baby while “You Are My Sunshine” plays in the background. It’s a truly adorable moment.
“When your cat manages to get the door open to get to her baby. Their bond amazes me. Don’t worry, mommy was there within a minute,” she captioned the viral video.
“I got a notification, so I opened it, and I just saw Luna rubbing all over [Kallie],” De Alba told The Dodo. “The camera was right in her face, and they were both looking at it like, ‘Mom, please don’t separate us. Please don’t. Let us stay.’”
Kallie and Luna have been best friends since the day De Alba brought the cat home from the shelter. As soon as Luna smelled Kallie, she knew they were meant to be together.
“She instantly was on Kallie’s car seat [at the shelter],” De Alba said. “And I was like, ‘I can’t leave without this cat. This is the one.’”
“It doesn’t matter where it is, Luna just seems to always be right next to [Kallie],” De Alba added. Luna isn't very vocal, but give little meows whenever she hears Kallie’s name mentioned. And Kallie reacts the same when her mom brings up Luna. “She gets the biggest smile every time,” De Alba said.
“Kallie will lay and rub her head for 20 minutes at a time and they are both just in heaven,” De Alba continued. “Luna still tries to get in Kallie’s bed when she can, but ends up sleeping with the bigger kids at night and with Kallie during naps.”
However much these two want to snuggle, De Alba knows they cannot be close to each other without supervision for too long. Worrying that it might be unsafe, she removes the cat/baby duo from their embrace.
“I hate separating them, but I know it’s not safe,” she wrote on the video.
Janet Cutler, Ph.D., Board Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist that specializes in cat & dog behavior, would applaud De Alba’s instincts. Cutler says babies and family pets can interact, but any co-mingling should always be supervised.
“All animals should be supervised around young children and babies. Babies can be scary as they make unusual noises, have different smells associated with them, and move differently than older people,” she explains to Scary Mommy.
“As they grow up, new stages can bring new elements, such as crawling, toddling, babbling, and more. Cats can react aggressively when fearful, or accidentally harm a young child, so you do want to supervise at all times.”
Dr. Christina Johns, pediatric emergency physician & Senior Medical Advisor at PM Pediatric Care, echoes this sentiment. She tells Scary Mommy, “Adult supervision is always a must, and animal education should be a routine part of a pet-owning family's life.”
So, what can parents do to help their kids understand safe boundaries with pets? Johns says it takes “consistent modeling and conversation” for kids to really internalize what they need to do.
“Kids should be encouraged to treat animals gently and with consideration, just like they would their peers. Additionally, it's important to talk to kids about what to do if a conflict with an animal occurs: alerting an adult, disinfecting cuts and immediately distancing from the animal, etc.,” she explains.
As for Luna snuggling up inside Kallie’s crib, experts say that’s a big no-no. “Animals can carry infections and bacteria that can be harmful to a baby, whose immune system is still developing,” Johns explains.
“Allowing cats or dogs inside baby cribs lets the animals know that they are welcome there all the time, resulting in pet hair and dander shedding inside the crib. Also, animals can try to snuggle up to the baby in a way that could obstruct breathing.”
It doesn’t seem like Kallie and Luna’s paling around is going to come to an end anytime soon with De Alba giving frequent (and adorable) updates on the besties on her TikTok account, but it should be noted that family pets, like cats, are still animals. Parents should always have a watchful eye on their young children when they interact with pets.
“Supervision, supervision, supervision,” Johns notes.