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Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Please help!

My cat is neurotic. My family keeps trying to tell me that she takes after her owner...

Rocky loves everybody. She also loved my boyfriend when I first started going out with him. That lasted for about 3 months. Then I moved to a new apartment, and he found her in a cupboard over the fridge and promptly pulled her out. I think the combination of moving and being scared by him took it's toll, because she started hiding, peeing, pooping, growling and hissing, but only at him.

My problem now is that it's 2 years later, he has moved in with me, and things are even weirder. She'll let him pet her or even lie with him if he's on the couch, but then for no apparent reason she'll growl and hiss and run. She also always hisses and growls if he's standing. This in itself wouldn't bother me so much, but he's around in the day when I'm at work and things get worse. She hides, usually in the litter box, for the entire day until I walk in the door. If he goes out and comes back, she'll poop on the floor as she tries to run away to the litter box.

I set up a different box beside her litter with a lid so that she could hide without getting covered, but she'll poop and pee in that too. He's tried giving her treats, and now she's his best friend as long as he's on the couch. But the second he moves...

There are 2 main things that bother me.
1. She liked him at first, and loves everyone else in the world (even large groups).
2. Even if she just didn't like him that would be okay, but I am really getting tired of cleaning up the rug every other day and giving her baths all the time because she's covered in litter.

We are moving to a new apartment soon and I'd rather not ruin another rug.

Sorry this is so long, but I'm desperate! Please help me if you can.

Thanks, Janelle
post #2 of 6
Wow! That's certainly a difficult situation. My neighbor had a similar experience with her husband's cat when they got married, but the cat was aggressive towards her, not scared. She was a calico, and the vet said he saw this behavior a lot with calicos. I'm sorry I don't have any words of wisdom for you, but I do feel bad for your trouble. Hopefully one of the more experienced members will have some hope for you.
post #3 of 6
It seems she is afraid of him while he is standing. I would try to get him to feed her and play with her while he is sitting, even if it is on the floor. Have him give her treats while sitting on the couch and floor. Then as time goes by and she takes the treats and attention then I would have him sit on his knees so he is a little higher. Then gradually work to the standing position. It sounds like she was pretty traumatized by him taking her out of the cubbard. It may take some time to gain some trust back.
post #4 of 6
I think Sandie has an excellent idea! I like the gradually going from sitting on the floor and then moving to his knees and then squatting, then standing bent over, etc while giving treats and spending time with the cat. I would suggest doing this very slowly....each evening for about a week have him stay with the cat in one position, then the next week he can move to the next higher position. If he is willing to go through with this you will know he is a good man!

Also, I've noticed that my cats are sometimes frightened by men's voices because they are often deeper and louder than what they are used to. So, perhaps have your boyfriend use a soft voice when near the cat.

Finally....is it possible that your boyfriend changed shampoo or soap or laundry detergent or something like that? Maybe there is a scent on your boyfriend that is really offensive to the cat.

I hope this works, it must be so sad and frustrating to have this going on.
post #5 of 6
I just read this response by Chloe on the post titled Scaredy Cat. I think it is a perfect solution to your problem! (I hope Chloe doesn't mind me copying her post!)

My cat Chloe got to where she hated my friend(whom I live with). We got our 2nd kitten and Scott, my fiance was more drawn to Romeo's(the kitten) sweet good-natured personality. Chloe has A LOT of pride and wants everything on her terms. Well Scott started showering Romeo with attn. so she started actually putting her tail b/n her legs aand running real low to the ground. She would not use the litterbox or eat until he went to bed. We eventually broke up and I moved my cats to my parents' house. Chloe actually helped me get thru the breakup, thinking "well Chloe's much happier now." We got back together and Scott confessed it hurt his feelings that Chloe was terrified of him. To someone who didn't know better, it looked like he abused her. But of course he didn't. I made him promise he would work with her. All of her fave things, I refused to participate in. Scott had to do it: take her outside on leash, feed her 1st thing in the morning, etc. It really didn't take long. So now for the last 5 or 6 mos. Scott and Chloe are the best of friends! You ought to haer the way he babytalks those cats and kisses them! You would never guess he used to be a "dog-person". Which is his nice way of saying he didn't like cats.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for some good ideas. I've already gotten my boyfriend to start feeding her first thing in the morning, although even just now she laid there and growled and hissed while he did it.

We did figure that it was his scent at some point last year, because I had borrowed a sweatshirt of his and when I came home she was laying under the couch growling at me. But that seems to have stopped since we do laundry together. Now her tail goes between her legs if she hears him coming (she jumps out of her skin when he first comes out of the bedroom in the morning!).

I'm not sure whether to yell "NO!" when she's hissing (it works for other things) or to be nice and call her. Both seem to stop her for a split second, but usually she ignores me.

It's frustrating because he's trying so hard to be nice, although he's not a "cat person," because he knows I don't want to get rid of her.

Thanks again, and thanks for the story about Chloe, it gives me hope!
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