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Cat v. Hubby

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
HELP! I got married last June to a wonderful man, Andy, who likes cats. Unfortunately my cat, Katana, doesn't like men.

Background: About 4 1/2 years ago I finally convinced my (now ex) fiance, Joey, to let me get a cat. He agreed under the conditions that she be solid black and he got to name her; I told him I had to ok the name. I was working in a vet's office at the time, and we had three homless kittens, one of which was solid black. I took her home at the end of the week. He started running through character names from Mortal Combat, and I figured when he got to Princess Katana that was about as good as it was going to get.
Anyway, Joey was less than kind to her. He abused mentally and emotionally, and he abused her physically when I wasn't there. He would tell me about it later; I think he did it partially just to infuriate me and hurt me. It worked. His abuse made her very distrustful of just about everybody other than me, especially men.

Recently: About 1 1/2 ago I moved back in with my mother for medical reasons. She has 2 cats, and Katana was always fighting with one or the other. She knocked Phoenix, who is twice her size, off my mother's deck twice, and was willing to go over the side too on one of those accounts. I can understand and live with her fierce territorialism; I just have to keep a close eye on her now that I live in a neighborhood where other people let their cats run around outside. The problem is that she attacks my husband and our roommates without provocation, and I don't know how to make her stop.
Andy has tried being nice to her, and we've had him be the only one to feed her for a while. She doesn't seem to care. Squirting her is pointless. I found out quite a while back that she doesn't mind being squirted a little bit. Once she found out that I was spraying her with the same stuff she drinks, she quit caring. I tried adding a little vinegar, but that only worked for a couple of days. The only liquid I've found that she really hates is beer, and nobody wants me spritzing beer around the house.
Andy's trying to be good about the situation. He knows she means a lot to me. She's been an integral part of life ever since I brought her home, and although my mother has told me she's willing to take Katana back into her home, Andy knows that would break my heart so he's trying his best not to hate and kill my cat.

post #2 of 7
I am so sorry to hear he abused her. Cats can hold a grudge for a very long time. Course, I might do the same thing. I dont know how long your husband has been around her. It may take ahwile for her to trust again. Could you explain how she attacks them?
post #3 of 7
I'm glad you broke up with Joey - sounds like a nasty sort of person.

Have a look at this thread:

Do you see any similarities? Do you see any change with time? Any improvement hopefully?
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
I brought Katana into our home last July. She started off disliking everyone in the house (there are 5 of us living here) except me, but she took a special dislike for my husband, which I think is based on jealousy and territorialism.
Our roommates have been sweet about letting me keep her without too much complaint, even though she's drawn blood from each of them on several occasions. They've just learned to leave her alone for the most part. She still swipes every once in a while, but these attacks have diminished considerably. She's even taken to sort of liking Liz, who is the other woman who lives here, and when I leave for a few days, Liz says Katana is rather sweet to her.
Andy, my husband, started out trying to be sweet to Katana, but there's only so many times he was willing to be swiped at before he started getting mad. I can't really blame him; she would wait for him around corners and when he passed by, she would swat once with either paw and run to one of her hiding spots. These attacks were unprovoked, and we didn't know how to make her stop. Although these attacks have stopped for the most part, she still draws blood from my husband on a fairly regular basis (once a week). For her last attack, she waited until my husband and I were having a playful wrestling match and I had him pinned, then she went for the bottom of his foot. Then she ran for one of her hiding spots (she's good at finding those). When he got her out from under there, he chased her around for a little while roaring (yes, roaring) at her all the while. When I made him stop, he left the room. When he came back in later, he apologized. He felt that he had overreacted; he's just frustrated. Quite honestly, I am too. Everytime I think she might be coming around, she attacks him again.
I am hopeful though. When I went to live with my mom for a while, Katana treated her in the same manner. She would wait around corners to attack, and she tried to kill my mother's cats. Katana started getting better with my mom when I went to see my dad over the weekend. Mom said she even got lovey and sweet while I was gone. I was hopeful she would do the same with Andy when I went to visit a friend over a weekend. She was sweet to Liz, our female roommate, instead. This past week though, Andy said Katana went after him with no claws, her way of playing! I am hopeful. I'm just not certain her improvements are going to come fast enough for him.
He wants me to keep her because he knows how close I am to her and how much it would hurt me to have to give her up. He also knows that my mom has said she would be willing to take Katana back into her home if things don't work out with her here. I appreciate my mom's offer, because I know that regardless of what happens, Katana will have a home with people who love her and will take good care of her. Selfishly, I want that home to be with me.
post #5 of 7
This sounds pretty serious to me. I could give you a few options, but I really do think it would be best to contact an animal behaviorist. One I know of that is good is Pam Johnson Bennett. If you like, I can give you her phone # and address. She specializes in cats.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
I would really appreciate Pam Johnson Bennett's phone # and address. We're still trying to make the best of it, but we are at quite a loss as to what to try next.
post #7 of 7
You could at least see what she has to offer, I dont know how she works, but I have heard good things about her. She has also written several books, you could do a search on her at barnes and noble.

PO box 50511
Nashville, TN 37205

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