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cat suddenly afraid of husband

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Help! My husband woke at his normal time this morning, and went to his computer to do some work. As usual, our cat Target came over to say good morning, and get a quick pet. She was desparate for comfies, and hopped up on his lap for a cuddle. She sat down, turned and looked at my husband, and started hissing at him! He talked gently to her, trying to calm her down, but she hopped down and hissed again, tucking her tail between her legs. He didn't do anything to her, at all. He continued to talk softly to her, but she wouldn't calm down, and left the room, sitting in the doorway, preventing him from leaving. He moved to the couch a little bit later and grabbed a blanket (her favorite) and put it over himself, and she hopped up for cuddles again, but promptly hissed before he even touched her to give her a "all-better" pet. I came out of the bedroom at this time, sat down at the other end of the couch, and she hopped right on up for me to pet her. She sat on my lap for about 20 minutes, occasionally turning her head and hissing at my husband.

I don't know what to do! She's continued this throughout the day. She's fine with me, but is acting very strangly towards my husband. She kept trying to jump up and cuddle with him, only to start hissing (while still sitting on my lap), and he is doing NOTHING to her. She didn't even like it when he talked. He took and shower and put on new clothes in case it was a "scent" thing. We left for lunch, came back, and the same thing happened. We finally waited for her to leave the room and we have shut ourselves in here.

She has fresh food and water. Her litter box is fine, and i saw her using the box normally as well. I couldn't find any vomit/hair balls anywhere in the house, so I don't think she was sick. She is totally fine with me, so I don't think she is not feeling well. we can't take her to the vet (last time we needed to there was 3 failed attempts at sedating her to get her to the vet, and we ended up with them making a house call, and even THAT didn't work with a ton of sedation), and I'm not sure what else to do. My husband didn't do anything to her, the shades are all drawn so she couldn't have seen another cat outside, and she's fine being around me.

She is spayed, so I don't think it's anything to do with hormones, either. She's 6 years old, and we got her when she was about 5 weeks old from a pet store. Neve had any health problems with her, but we do know she is skittish around strangers. She's always been fine around us, though. My husband is her favorite, even--he works from home, and she usually spends the day lounging in his lap.

Does anyone have any ideas why she's doing this, and what we can do about it? I don't like being afraid of our cat!

Sorry so long!
post #2 of 4
My first thought is that your husband is using a new shampoo, aftershave, soap, laundry detergent or something like that, and she does not like the new smell.

If nothing has changed, I can't help but wonder whether hubby is coming down with something. When we become ill, our scent can change. She may be detecting a change in his personal scent and is interpreting that change as him being an intruder. Is it possible that your husband has developed some physical problem?

I can't help but think of the woman whose dog suddenly attacked her breast and then kept attacking it. She finally went to the Dr who found a lump which turned out to be cancerous. Other research has also found that dogs can detect cancer. Perhaps cats can pick up on illnesses to.

Please note that I am not saying that your husband has cancer!!!!! I am just suggesting that his scent must have changed.

Ask your hubby to start giving Target some extra special yummy treats. Soon, she will return to associating him with good things.

Good luck!

I hope some of the others have some better ideas about what might be going on.
post #3 of 4
Oh...I remembered something that happened to me last winter...

I was petting Ollie, my scaredy cat. The air was very dry and while I was petting him, I zapped him with static electricity. He lept back as if I had hit him and looked at me with anguish and ran from the room (despite it being only a little zap). The whole rest of the day he hid from me and hissed whenever I came around.

Could this have happened between hubby and Target?
post #4 of 4
Any time there is abberant behavior it is always a good idea to take the kitty into the vet. However, you say she is stressed out with vet visits and requires sedation. Do you have a vet nearby that could make a barn call (house call) if the behavior continues.

As hard as it is DO NOT show fear when Target becomes aggressive and avoid looking directly into her eyes (as cats take that as agressive behavior) You can try using a Bach Remedy on her just put it in her water- Rescue Remedy etc. Revival Animal Health has a good product called Pet Nutri-Drops that will help calm her down as well. Just three drops on her tongue will de-stress her. Here is the link to their website:

Whether we can understand them or not when they try to tell us something by acting out is the challenge of being a good cat caretaker. I hope you figure this out for her.

Revival Animal Health
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