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cat and roommate

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I live with two other girls and my cat, Miko, in a little apt. For the most part it's fine, but my roommates tend to get annoyed at Miko for things like jumping into their closets. Today Miko was trapped in my roommate's closet all day - about 12 hours! My reaction was that I felt terrible for Miko because it must have been so terrifying for her and I took her out and cuddled her. My roommate started yelling at me and saying she was going to hit Miko for going in her closet, and I shouldn't cuddle her after, cause it just shows her that it's ok, and started throwing her clothes at me demanding that I get the cat hair out. I thought she was totally overracting. It's just cat hair! And you don't hit animals! Miko's just being a cat and finding a cozy spot to rest in and it's my roomate's fault for shutting the closet door without checking to see if Miko was in there.
Is there anything I can do to keep Miko out of the closet and convince my roommate that she CANNOT hit my cat?
post #2 of 13
You can keep Miko in your room when you are not home. Get a large cat tree for climbing and lots of toys. She will love the high perches so much, she should stay away from your room mates closet.

As long as she is kept in your room they shouldn't bother her. You have to keep her safe and if you are not there, your room needs to keep her safe. If the cat is in your room no one needs to hit her because she will not be getting into trouble.

Try to keep all the doors in the apartment closed. This will keep her out of rooms that belong to other people. You have to remember they do not have a cat for a reason, and you have to keep your cat in your parts of the apartment.

Best of luck!

Teresa
post #3 of 13
Oh, that's a sad story! I would feel so bad for Miko too. I would say move out and get your own place, but seeing that you live in NYC, that probably isn't so easy.

Maybe you could convince your roomates to close the door to their bedrooms (if they have their own bedrooms)? Maybe they would do so if they're convinced that it's in their own best interest. Of course I don't know why she can't just shut her closet door..... geesh.

If worst comes to worst, do you have your own room of a reasonable size that Miko could live in permanently? It wouldn't be ideal, but it would be better than having Miko getting physically abused by your roommate(s). You could leave Miko's litter box and food bowls in your room, and when you're home, maybe let her into the living area with you for some additional exercise. Best of luck!
post #4 of 13
I'll be honest. Despite having my own room, if my room mate started making threats to hit my cat i'd be wondering if she hadn't hit her already?!, especially the way she's went on screaming and throwing clothes at you.

And my suspicions would be was Miko not shut inside the closet on purpose?!.

I'd be looking for my own place because i wouldn't trust her to be alone with my cat i'm afraid to say.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
I have my suspicions that she's given her a little swat before when I haven't been around.
We argue about this a lot. She thinks it's a legitimate disciplinary tactic that shows Miko right from wrong, like spanking a child. I think it's mean and regardless she's my cat! You wouldn't spank someone else's child.

Anyways, the way our apt is set up, I'm the only one with a door. I'll try to keep Miko in my room more while I'm at work and while we're sleeping. She just doesn't like it much being behind closed doors and cries a lot which makes me sad.

This roommate is like my best friend and I don't want to move out. She's just not a cat person and she can be stubborn and insensitive at times. It's very frustrating because when she insults or yells at my cat I take it personally.
post #6 of 13
Maybe the two of you can sit and talk about what to do about the situation. just calmly tell her that is the kitty is causing a problem that she needs a time out and put her in your room and shut the door. That is a way she will feel the kitty is being disaplined and that she has some control in what happens.

It is hard when friends disagree, but as friends you both need to work out a solution so you can stay friends.

Teresa
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonLady
Maybe the two of you can sit and talk about what to do about the situation. just calmly tell her that is the kitty is causing a problem that she needs a time out and put her in your room and shut the door. That is a way she will feel the kitty is being disaplined and that she has some control in what happens.

Teresa
In fact, isolating the cat is the BEST discipline - tell your roommate
that! Hitting or punishing the cat only accomplishes one of two things:
it convinces the cat that the punisher is a hunter, and puts the cat
into agressive mode out of defense, or it reinforces through negative
attention that if the cat misbehaves, at least it gets some attention.

Isolating the cat, by shutting Miko into your room, removes the temptation
for the bad behavior, over time convinces Miko that the behavior will
lead to undesired results, gives Miko a time out to calm any aggressive
instincts from being "caught", and gives your roommate a time out
away from Miko!

Much more productive than a spanking!

Carol
post #8 of 13
IMO anyone that acts like that and threatens a dog/cat, is NOT a person you want animals around. Best friend or not, your pet is in danger. My question is who was there first? Cat or roommate? If the roommate was there and you brought a cat in, knowing she was not an animal/cat lover, why in the world did you adopt a cat?

And if the cat was there and your roommate moved in, why would you want a roommate who didn't like pets?

IMO you should either find a new roommate or another home for the cat depeding on who was there first.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
I had the cat for a year when I was living abroad and then I moved in with my roommates in NY and brought my cat with me. She said she was happy to have a cat and grew up with a dog herself. I think she just wasn't prepared for the reality of a cat - like cat hair and the fact that Miko prefers to play and wrestle rather than sit calmly on someone's lap.

I really don't want to move out until our lease is up in Nov. 2007. However, after that point I probably will want to live alone because of this cat issue.

It's not that I think she's a real threat to my cat. It just is upsetting to me when she complains about her or reprimands her and I hate feeling like I'm always on the watch for something Miko might do that would annoy my roommates.

I guess I'll try and keep Miko in my room more (her litter and food are in there anyways) and maybe make it clear to my roommate that she CANNOT hit my cat. Regardless of how she feels about animals, she's my friend and she should realize that this is important to me.

I'll give her the idea of giving Miko a time out in my bedroom if she's "bad". But then I worry, will she think of my room as a place of punishment?
And if I try to leave her in there in the morning before I leave for work, to keep her out of trouble, will she think she's being punished?
post #10 of 13
Just a happy note for you: Having a cat you love doesn't mean you ever have to live alone! There are lots of fantastic people who love cats (just look around here!)

You shouldn't feel like you have to choose the cat over your friend or viceversa. Your friend is the human with reasoning and you should be able to discuss this with her. Tell her that you know the cat's behaviour is frustrating her, and you are taking these actions to try and stop it.

And maybe buy her one of those sticky hair-removers, put a bow on it, and leave it on her bed.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by abnihon
I'll give her the idea of giving Miko a time out in my bedroom if she's "bad". But then I worry, will she think of my room as a place of punishment?
And if I try to leave her in there in the morning before I leave for work, to keep her out of trouble, will she think she's being punished?
Well, rather than have your roommates discipline her at all, I think
at this point I would keep Miko in my room unless I'm home to supervise
her outings into the rest of the place. Get your roommates to agree
that they can complain to YOU, not the cat, and YOU will handle the
cat.

Then, you remain the person who "disciplines" in a loving way. If you
are careful that your times together in your room are good ones (play
time, food time, goodies, love time, sleep time) and that she has
sufficient to interest her when she's there alone (cat tower, toys,
warm bedding, etc.) then the "discipline" isn't the room but the
fact that her behavior separates her from you in the outer spaces.

I think it's important that you let Miko out of the room, so she doesn't
get scared to go out of your bedroom when you move. But since
your roommates are so unused to dealing with Miko, I'd remove
the responsiblity from them. Bring Miko out when you can be
responsible for her.

Best of luck, whichever way you go!

(And yes, I agree - you need to be respectful of your roommates,
but they need to be respectful of you, too!)

Carol
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malakaiii
JAnd maybe buy her one of those sticky hair-removers, put a bow on it, and leave it on her bed.
Good idea!

(And don't forget the other roommie, either!)

Carol
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by abnihon
She's just not a cat person and she can be stubborn and insensitive at times. It's very frustrating because when she insults or yells at my cat I take it personally.
With a best friend like this one who needs enemies!.
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