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Cat Likes Me, Not Girlfriend

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I can not understand this cat's behavior. We got him at eight months old and he's now 14 months. This cat just loves me. He'll lay on me, come over to me, let me put his belly, anything. But when my girlfriend tries to go over and pet him he always runs away. She's just heartbroken because she loves cats and wants him to like her. We've tried everything. She's fed him treats. He won't take it out of her hand but will take it and run when she puts it down. She's tried isolating him on a small room. He lets her pet him, but only because he knows he can't escape. When the door is open he won't go near her. When guests come over, the cat will go over to them when called and let them pet him, but that's about it. The cat gets along unbelievably well with our other cat and me, but it is so frustrating that he won't show the same affection to my girlfriend. Any suggestions?
post #2 of 15
Several things come to mind. Sometimes cats can sense when someone is ill. Has she seen a doc recently to make sure all is OK? Any pains she's been writing off as "it's just [fill-in-the-blank]"????

Don't mean to pry, but do you live together? Does she have her own kitty? Perhaps she smells like a strange pet - a kitty, a dog.... something the cat doesn't like?

Has she tried changing the scents she uses? Soap? Shampoo? Fragrance? If she uses one thing all the time, just try giving it a change and see if there's any change in his reaction. If it's not a scent, then here's what we'd do.

We've found that our cats prefer to head over to the people who ignore them, rather than to someone trying to give them attention. Give it to a cat to go pick out the "I'm not really into cats" person.

I'd suggest you completely change tack. Cats are contrarians (for the most part). When we feel like loving on our kitties and they're not cuddly, we start ignoring them. This works.

So I'd suggest she begin ignoring him altogether. She should act like she doesn't even know he's there. Suggest she not even look at him.

In the meantime, do things to help him come to associate her scent with "good" things. This is a "trick" we use to help socialize cats to each other, but it's worked with cats who don't like certain people. (For instance, a cat that was abused by a man who now does not like men.... ). Have her take a couple of t-shirts she doesn't want back and get them really good and sweaty. Put one under his food dish and leave it there (if he free feeds - otherwise, put it under his food dish when you feed him). Put one in his favorite bed. YOU play with him - and when you're done, put treats down for him on one of her sweaty t-shirts.

Just wait for him to make up his own mind. The more she tries, the more he'll resist. My guess is that after a couple of weeks of this - maybe a month - he'll relax around her, and maybe even headbump her himself. This is a "trick" we use in socializing feral kitties. Just be in the room with them, ignoring them, never looking at them (this is seen as a sign of aggression) - look at their forehead or over the top of their heads. Don't reach out to them (unless it's with a spoon in your hand with some gerber's chicken babyfood in it) - never directly face them, spend as much time as you can down at their level - doing other things and completely ignoring them. Wait until they get curious enough to come to you. And when they do? Don't react. Don't reach out to pet. Let them check you out. It can be really hard and very challenging - but it is worth it, and I think it might work here. When they've got that trust thing down, they'll bump you, or rub up against your leg and turn their butt to you. That's when you first pet them. And you sit down, at their level, and slowly reach out, palm down (palm up is also a no-no), for that first pet. Now this last stuff may be extreme in this instance. But the idea is - she should ignore him while he has time to come to associate her scent with good things, and she should stop pursuing him, just wait until he comes to her.

I think she should approach it like he's just scared of her for whatever reason, and while you work on getting him to associate her scent with good things, she should treat him like we would when socializing a feral kitty.

Laurie
post #3 of 15
I would suggest she ignores the kitty too. He's possibly getting put off by her advances now. He has the choice between you stays still and lets him come to you, or her who keeps coming up to him and trying to be his friend. Some cats love that, others feel threatened.

Let us know how it goes and welcome to the site!
post #4 of 15
Sometimes cats will be catlike. The girl we've had for 13 years only likes 2 people in this world-- me and my dad. She's my cat and loves for me to love on her and loves on my dad for the most part. She doesn't like my mom or my brother who have also been around for her entire life, or anyone else for that matter. She'll tolerate my mom and my boyfriend sometimes, but otherwise she actively avoids all people. Some are just like that.
post #5 of 15
smell is big with cats.
maybe she wears a lot of perfume and/or makeup that the cat doesn't like?
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckDodgers View Post
Sometimes cats will be catlike. The girl we've had for 13 years only likes 2 people in this world-- me and my dad. She's my cat and loves for me to love on her and loves on my dad for the most part. She doesn't like my mom or my brother who have also been around for her entire life, or anyone else for that matter. She'll tolerate my mom and my boyfriend sometimes, but otherwise she actively avoids all people. Some are just like that.
Very true words Duck.
I had a cat, Taco, who I rescued from an abusive home. My screen name here is taken from the little trill noises she would make when petted. (when she would let me) I worked with her to socialize her, get her used to being touched without being hurt, much time and energy spent with her. She did not like me, but loved my ex (current at the time) Slept on him, loved on him, etc. Not me. I was a bit heart broken by this as he did nothing for her care, but, cats will be cats and I accepted it.
I agree she needs to just step back and ignore the cat, as much as she wants to be friends and love on him, the cat will decide when and if that is OK.
post #7 of 15
Dump the girlfriend; keep the cat.

Cats are more sensitive than we are. If the cat has such a strong aversion to her, it is probably because she isn't a nice person and you are better off without her.
post #8 of 15
Zane's Pal; this is not necessarily always the case. I have a friend that I have known for close to two years. It took Ping a whole year to come up to her and sit on her lap. He would sniff and walk away. It took her becoming very ill for him to come around her (they thought she had cancer). She is well now and he loves her to bits. Some cats just take a long time to warm up to people and sometimes they just don't like the person for whatever reason. It does not mean they are a bad person they just don't like them. I don't like everyone I meet but I don't assume they are a bad person.

OP I don't have anymore advice then what was already said. The girlfriend needs to back off and let the cat come to her on his own terms and that might take awhile.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zane's Pal View Post
Dump the girlfriend; keep the cat.

Cats are more sensitive than we are. If the cat has such a strong aversion to her, it is probably because she isn't a nice person and you are better off without her.
Nah, if I trusted Alafair's opinion of people I'd be living the life of a hermit This is true to a certain degree though. Animals can pick up on things that we don't necessarily...
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zane's Pal View Post
Dump the girlfriend; keep the cat.

Cats are more sensitive than we are. If the cat has such a strong aversion to her, it is probably because she isn't a nice person and you are better off without her.
Cats are funny creatures and there's so many things that can influence a cat's behaviour.

One of my kitties is very shy and much prefers me over my husband, but one of my other kitties much prefers my hubby over me. Should we get divorced and take our respective kitties?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckDodgers View Post
Nah, if I trusted Alafair's opinion of people I'd be living the life of a hermit This is true to a certain degree though. Animals can pick up on things that we don't necessarily...
Exactly
post #11 of 15
There were a lot of good advices.

Here some of my comments.

To give the cat threats may be useful, but I think better is to be the one who gives it food. It is not fool-proof, the food giver dont automatically becomes the mom, but does always gives plusses for the food-giver.

A guite effective way is if the beloved parent is away several days, and our nr2, normally more or less neglected, is left in charge. Food, changing litter, doing all the everyday musts. (And as earlier said, NOT demanding attention if attention is not desired by the cat).
There is a good chance the cat after a couple of days will come to nr2´s bed for sleep, and also accept some petting, thus also showing some affection. Better nr 2 then nothing!


Also, not so few cats prefer to be petted only when they are laying down on a place they themselves choosed.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by StefanZ View Post

To give the cat threats may be useful, but I think better is to be the one who gives it food. It is not fool-proof, the food giver dont automatically becomes the mom, but does always gives plusses for the food-giver.
You mean treats, don't you? Calling people on spelling is a bit petty, but when it changes the meaning. . . . .

Quote:
A guite effective way is if the beloved parent is away several days, and our nr2, normally more or less neglected, is left in charge. Food, changing litter, doing all the everyday musts. (And as earlier said, NOT demanding attention if attention is not desired by the cat).
There is a good chance the cat after a couple of days will come to nr2´s bed for sleep, and also accept some petting, thus also showing some affection. Better nr 2 then nothing!
That is true; my parents had a cat who didn't like me, until they went away for a week and left me in charge. Within a couple of days, I sat down and he was in my lap!
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zane's Pal View Post
You mean treats, don't you? Calling people on spelling is a bit petty, but when it changes the meaning. . . . .
Calling them on it when English is their second language makes it a bit more petty. I think we all knew what StefanZ meant.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbysMom View Post
Calling them on it when English is their second language makes it a bit more petty. I think we all knew what StefanZ meant.
I didnt minded at all Zanes Pals remark, as she gave it in a very friendly tone. Also seconding my advice for good measure.


This reminds me about another of my adventures here a couple of years ago.

Somebody asked about home made treats.
So I did wrote a long list of home remedies, as even a vet would be proud of.

But the question was not about home treatment (=remedies), but about treats (= "candy")


It seems to be the same root, but it´s two entirely different meanings...


EDIT. Ps. I did also learned to be a little more careful with advicing these home remedies. A visit to a good vet or at least contact with a vet is usually the best advice.
But that is another story.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by StefanZ View Post
I didnt minded at all Zanes Pals remark, as she gave it in a very friendly tone. Also seconding my advice for good measure.
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That's nice of you to be so kind as I personally found the remark to be very rude.
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