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Does kitty not like me anymore?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, I'm new to the board and thought I might poll for some answers. My husband and I have had Milton for over a year now. He was a very loveable stray that adopted us, and we ended up keeping him after finding out he has feline leukemia (though it's a very light positive, and he's healthy for now). Milton has ALWAYS been very loveable and socialiable to both my husband and I, and everyone - until recently. The cat seems to really prefer my husband - to the point of totally ignoring me. We also have a dog, and the two have lived together for as long as Milton has lived with us. Though, I've had the dog since she was a puppy (12 years). The two coexist happily - not really friends, but never any hissing/growling/etc from either of them. I do the primary feeding/cleaning of litter for Milton - which I do regularly. He used to sleep right inbetween us at night, now he goes around the bed to my hubby's side and sleeps with him only. He only sleeps on his lap when we're watching tv, and pretty much only shows affection to my husband now. I'll even approach Milton when he's lounging, try to pet him, and he'll literally turn his back on me and look away and flick his tail at me. This is a total surprise to me as there hasn't been any changes in the house, and there certainly hasn't been an event between the cat & I which would trigger such behavior! I'm lost. I love my kitty and am afraid that he's just bonded with my husband recently and now he's the primary buddy. I do have one thought, and that's that the dog might communicate to the cat to "stay away" from me - as I've had the dog for 12 years. But again, this is a recent change in behavior. Is there anything I can do to win Milton back? Any ideas would be helpful!
post #2 of 5
Hi Margit! I'm so sorry about Milton and finding out he has feline leukemia.

The first thing that stands out to me is what Milton does when you approach him. He sits with his back to you, which does not mean the same in catspeak as human speak. To a cat, this behavior is showing submission. It's more like a bow than a "I hate you".

Now, has nothing changed at all? Are you treating him any differently than you did before you knew he had FeLeuk? Are you, possibly, being more affectionate towards him, or trying to?

My advice to you is to continue feeding and cleaning his box, and other than that totally ignore him. To a cat, not looking at him, not trying to touch him, etc, is more inviting that approaching him.

Milton may just not like being approached, and once you stop, he'll start approaching you again.

As for things changing in the house, it's often things you don't even notice. Have you changed soaps or shampoos? Changed your diet recently? Stuff like that affects how you smell to your cat.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Good tips! I appreciate the reply! We've known he's had FL since we took him in, so nothing has changed in that respect. But, not five minutes ago I realized that we have been reorganizing a bedroom that Milton enjoys sleeping in - so perhaps we've thrown off his routine. Maybe since he recognizes me as the primary feeder/cleaner, he's associated me with the reorganization of things.

I think I'll lay-off him a little bit, and let him come to me like you said. And I'll look into what little things have changed like soaps, diet, etc. You could be right about those things.

I really appreciate the insight! Thanks!
post #4 of 5
Hi Margit! I think you got some excellent advice and I have nothing further to add, except to say that I wish you good luck with Milton.
post #5 of 5
Have you tried petting him when he turns his back? I've figured out that when Swanie turns his back on me, he wants me to pet him.
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