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Belle was mean!

post #1 of 2
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My boyfriend had his 6 year old brother over for the weekend and Belle DID NOT like him. He has been over several times before and has been OK with him in the past. However, when he tried to pet her this time, she swatted and hissed at him. At first, I figured she smelled the cats he lives with, but the behaviour continued after he was here for a few days with daily showers. He wasn't really pestering her - he has cats at home, so they really aren't a big deal to him. He was just trying to pet her. She just didn't seem to like him in our space. She would follow him around meowing -as if to say "get out"! Haha...last night he was trying to sleep on the couch and came in to the bedroom saying that Belle was growling and hissing at him when he was trying to sleep.

This is new behaviour. We've had her since she was 10 weeks old and she was handled plenty as a kitten. We don't get a lot of visitors, but Belle is always the one to go up to get pets from people. She has always been a hisser when she gets scared (my first meeting with her went something like "hiss--scatch--run"). However, this weekend, she was growling/swatting at him constantly - and never seemed to get used to him being there.

It's not a huge problem at the moment...if he comes over again, we'll just tell him to leave her alone. But, of course, the worrier in me is thinking to the future when I have children (hopefully in the next few years...but no time real soon). I just don't want her to think the behaviour is OK...and on the other hand, I really hope that any future children wouldn't stress her out so much that we'd have to re-home her. It would break my heart. I know I'm thinking too much about it, but I'm just curious about other people's experiences with cats and children. Are they different with children who they have met as infants? Is there anything I can do to discourage the behaviour? I've thought about maybe getting some Feliway for the next time he comes to visit for the weekend.

During all this, Delilah didn't seem all that impressed by his presence - but seemed to just stay away. She did let him pet her a few times.
post #2 of 2
I would try just telling him to ignore Belle for a while. My cats are definately different with younger children than they are with adults. If the cat still is aggressive even with him ignoring her then you have cause to worry. My experience is that when the children are your own they adapt well. They seem to know that this one won't go away.
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