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I really need some help

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I tried to go back thru past posts, but I couldn't find anything relevant.

Ive had my cat Athena for almost 8 years now. She's generally a happy cat. Just feed her, pet her and let her sleep and she's content. I recently got into a relationship and in the beginning of it, she was fine with it. Even when he came to live with us. She'd curl up with him and let him pet her for hours.

Recently though, she has drastically changed her attitude toward him. For whatever reason, whenever he comes into the room, she shrinks down and creeps by until she gets a chance to run under the bed and will stay there all day if need be. She will only come out when he is asleep or not in the room at all. If I have to grab her while he's in the room, she's pretty much dead weight in my arms. He tried to re-bond with her I guess, while I wasnt home. He told me it went good. She let him pet her and even feed her from his hand. But now she is back to slinking around, and even hisses at him when he tries to pet her. She's never done this before and is ONLY like that with him. With anyone else she's a completely different cat. I know he didnt do anything do her, but I cant for the life of me figure out what is wrong with her.

Any ideas would be fantastic.
post #2 of 9
Hmmm well first let me say I don't mean to offend you or your boyfriend I don't know the entire situation.

Ok how long have ya'll been together and how long has he lived with you? (this is where I am afraid I'll offend someone) Could he possibly be being mean to her or hurting her when you are not around. I ask this because thats the only time I have heard of such sudden fearful changes in behavior like you describe. Especially seeing hows she was ok with him in the beginning and changing so suddenly.
post #3 of 9
OK, I've got a few ideas:

Where does he work? Has he changed jobs recently? Does he work with animals? Chemicals? Did he change his after shave, or start jogging on the same path that the local Great Dane uses?

And here's one that could be way out there - has he been to the doctor recently? Are you aware that diabetes and other diseases can cause the body odor to change, which she may be reacting to. My guess is that it is scent related, but I could be wrong.

Have you tried Feliway? Oh - or possibly he was around once when something startling or painful happened with her, and she associates that with him. Feliway could help her relax. Good luck!
post #4 of 9
PIng - I'm glad you wrote in, because I wanted to say the same thing but was also feeling very 'shy' about doing it, so good for you. It may also just be big heavy work shoes or the smell on them that's the problem, but you do need to question a more serious situation like you did too.
post #5 of 9
The first thing that springs to my mind is to ask how familiar is he with having a cat around?

The reason I ask is that I have had guests round on many occasions who love cats, would never deliberately do anything mean, but just don't really know how to handle them properly because they've never had one!

I've had perfectly well-meaning, animal-loving, but unaware guests who I have had to 'reprimand' for want of a better word for playing too rough with the kitties, encouraging them to 'play' with fingers and toes, and in one case when Radar was 5 months old a friend who is a big soft animal lover but didn't know better picked him up off the floor by his scruff causing him to cry out Other people look into his beautiful green eyes without realising that he could take this as a challenge for his territory!

I am not saying this is the case here, just relaying my experiences with people who see a pet and try too hard to interact with it. In Radar's case this leads to overstimulation and play-biting, but in the case of a shyer cat could result in avoidance and fear. It could also be his deep voice, heavy boots, a strange smell that he has brought in on his clothing, maybe he ran past her to answer the phone and startled her.... hard to tell!

I think the best thing your bf can do whatever has caused this, is completely ignore the cat. He shouldn't make eye contact with her as this will make her feel uneasy and threatened. I would also have him feed her, so she associates him as being the provider of her meals. Get an unwashed shirt of his and put favourite treats down on it so that she associates his smell with the treats.

Another thing I would advise is to have her checked by the vet - it could be that she is feeling some discomfort from illness and has associated it with his presence - maybe some pain when using the litterbox when he was alone with her.

Hope it all works out ok for you
post #6 of 9
It may also not be something he "did" , but something that happened when he was around that made her scared of him. Could be anything, a loud noise or a particularly bad static electricity discharge... Or maybe it was not something intentional, could he have accidentally stepped on her or her tail and not realize it?

Also, I think that change of smells idea is pretty plausable...
post #7 of 9
I must sya that all of the feedback seems to make sense. I will second what Epona wrote, that is, how familiar is he wth handling cats? My cat Timothy (RIP, sweetie) was not used to alot of humans coming and going. Then I started dating a man who was only used to being around dogs. I couldn't understand why it seemed that Timothy would hide from Matt, since I didn't think Matt would hurt my cat. Then I saw how Matt "played" with Timothy - he was too rough with him - he was used to playing with Labs, not cats and I think his roughhousing really made Tim afraid of him.
post #8 of 9
Also, my Dory is afraid of my dad because he once stepped on his tail(a complete accident) about 4 months ago. Dory still has not forgiven my dad for that & slinks around away from him.
post #9 of 9
There was an identical situation posted about here just recently, and several of us were worried that the boyfriend had done something horrible to the cat... but it appears that it was exactly what Epona described above: just a well-meaning fellow playing too rough.

A lot of men tend to approach cats the same way they would dogs, I think -- all manly and tough, with a big thump on the back and a hearty Howya doin, buddy? Maybe a little talk with your beloved (the human one) will get things back on the right track. Good luck...
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