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Why Does My Cat Hate My Significant Other?

Loki's "I hate you" face.

If you're reading this then I am guessing you've come here because you have a very mad kitty. I am also going to guess said kitty doesn't like your significant other. Don't worry, it happens. Cats aren't like dogs. You can't just tempt them with a little piece of steak and throw a tennis ball to become friends. If you try that your cat is just going to give you the above look and walk away hell bent on destroying your new relationship. Never underestimate kitty, they're smarter than we think.

You might even have adopted a new cat that took to you easily, but just down right dislikes the other person in your life. That's okay. There's something about an immediate bond with a cat. If you get that special moment you're lucky. If your partner does not, maybe some of the following tips can help.

1. Feeding Time:
  • If you're the only one feeding kitty, start letting your partner prepare the cat's food and actually feed the meal. Kitty might not be to happy about this person feeding them at first and not necessarily comfortable eating in front of  your significant other. That's okay. As long as you let this other person prepare and feed the meal (then walk away to let kitty eat) you are still getting your partner's scent on the food and food bowl. This helps kitty associate your partner's smell as part of something good. This person serves food and kitty likes food. Maybe this person isn't so terrible after all. Keep this up for two full weeks. Completely remove yourself from the feeding situation and allow just your partner and kitty to be involved.  
2. Play:
  • I can never stress enough how much playing with kitty makes a huge difference. Your cat might not be so receptive to playing right away with your partner. I suggest using a wand toy so that kitty and partner have a safe distance between them. You start playing first and half way through the play session hand the wand toy to your significant other, letting them take over. Over a matter of a few days remove yourself completely from playing giving kitty and your partner the one on one time they need.
3. Catification:
  • Make sure you provide cat safe places in your shared dwelling so kitty has a place to get away and feel safe. Cat trees, cat shelves, or covered cat beds are all great things to invest in. When kitty is over it, he/she is over it and will want to retreat somewhere safe and quiet. 
4. Scent:

  • Use something you've recently worn or use a lot, like a pillow case. Rub your partner's scent (head and feet are the best places) on the item and then place it near kitty. This way kitty can start to associate your smell and your partner's together. I have even seen some suggestions of taking one or both of your partner's clean socks, rub then around kitty's face (facial pheromones are the strongest there) then have your significant other wear them as they normally would walking around the house. This helps spread kitty's smell and your partner's in neutral areas. 

5. Litter Box:
  •  If kitty's litter box is in a common area like your bedroom or your bathroom, get a secondary litter box and place it somewhere else that your partner doesn't frequent. This gives kitty another choice on where to go potty and avoids accidents out of the litter box due to kitty feeling forced to only have one option near or in a space they are now sharing with someone new.
6. Don't Force It:
  • Having your cat get used to someone new or live in a mutual space with someone they aren't sure about takes time. Never force kitty into exchanges with your partner. This will only make things worse. Also, teach your significant other some of your cats body language and triggers to help them understand and realize when your cat is getting overwhelmed and ready to lash out. 
I hope some of these tips help. Good luck and as always, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me via my Facebook page. Slo Crazy Cat Lady

 Have a Purrrrrfect Day
Bonnie 

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