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Cats terrified of boyfriend

claw
January 9th, 2012, 05:35 AM
Hi guys,

I have 3 wonderful cats. They get along with me great, but two of them are terrified of my boyfriend. Every time that he comes near them, they start to hiss and if he tries to pet them, they start to poop and pee themselves. My couch and some of my blankets now wreak of cat pee. :( I also have to give them baths every time they have an accident because they get dirty and smell bad.

Is there a way that we can get the cats to bond with my boyfriend and make them feel more comfortable with him? I can't keep dealing with the constant hissing and peeing.

Thanks so much.

sugarcatmom
January 9th, 2012, 07:29 AM
For one, I would tell your boyfriend to stop trying to pet them. A better way to their heart is going to be for him to mostly ignore them and let them come to him on their terms. Also, if he can try to be conscious of his movements and act calmly and quietly around them, that could help. Some guys are a bit like a bull in a china shop and stomp when they walk, talk loudly, and are generally rather buffoonish, which can scare some cats. Not saying that's the case with your boyfriend....but just in case.

Also, pick up a couple of Feliway diffusers to place in areas of the house that your bf and cats hang out, like the living room or kitchen.

And if your cats have a treat they go nuts for, have only your boyfriend be the treat dispenser. At first, get him to gently toss a couple treats in the vicinity of the cats. If they go for them, he can gradually toss them closer to him, until eventually they're willing to eat them out of his hand. This should take place over many days. It's important to be patient with the cats and go at their pace. No attempted petting until they're comfortable hanging out with the bf on the couch and stuff.

Play therapy can also work wonders (waving a wand or fishing rod style toy around, tossing pompoms or fake mice, etc). As long as he remains calm in his movements!!

Do your cats have some high spaces they can go to where they can just watch the bf down below? Access to vertical space can help cats feel more confident.

Good luck! I gotta say though, urinating and defecating out of fear like that is a pretty extreme reaction. Are those 2 cats like that with everyone or just the bf?

Love4himies
January 9th, 2012, 07:44 AM
Do your cats act that way with anybody else???? Is there extreme abuse in their history? I find it quite unnerving if your cats only react to him this way. I have a feral who is not comfortable around men, but she just stays clear of him when he's walking around.

I agree with SCM, cats need to come to the human, not the other way around. Avoiding eye contact, attempting hand feeding and play sessions with him staying put would be the best way for him to win their trust.

binkybuff
January 9th, 2012, 10:44 AM
These cats may also be trying to tell you something else.

How long have you been going with the boyfriend?

I knew of a couple of cats that disliked the boyfriends of friends, and after the break up, they were found not to be nice people.

Myself, my ex., accepted my animals, but then came to threatening them, I should have listened to my pet before I married him. Two of them wouldn't go near him at all.

All I am saying is watch for any signs that could be causing the cats to act like that, although, it could have been abuse by another before you got them, if they are rescue.

the advice given by the others is good, try it.

Good luck
binky

claw
January 9th, 2012, 11:46 AM
These cats may also be trying to tell you something else.

How long have you been going with the boyfriend?
binky

I have been with my boyfriend for almost 2 years. The one cat is 7 years old and i adopted her from a shelter. She has been a very skittish cat since the day I got her. I think it has something to do with her previous home. She has always been scared of my boyfriend. She would flinch if he even looked at her.

The other cat is almost a year old. I got her from someone that had to get rid of their cats or they would be evicted. I think she came from a home of about 7 cats or something like that. That's 7 cats running around in a small 2 bedroom apartment. I think her issues have something to do with that.

My boyfriend really wants the cats to like him, but he gets frustrated when they hiss at him for just walking by.

I'm getting frustrated too. :(

Loki Love
January 9th, 2012, 04:42 PM
My boyfriend really wants the cats to like him, but he gets frustrated when they hiss at him for just walking by.

When he walks by, he should drop some high value treats (dehydrated chicken is a favourite around our house) on the floor near them so they can start to associate good things with him. He should really, at this point, completely ignore them except to drop treats whenever he walks by them - they will come around in time. They may never end up as BFFs but it may end up as a tolerant situation.

Koteburo
January 9th, 2012, 07:27 PM
When he walks by, he should drop some high value treats (dehydrated chicken is a favourite around our house) on the floor near them so they can start to associate good things with him. He should really, at this point, completely ignore them except to drop treats whenever he walks by them - they will come around in time. They may never end up as BFFs but it may end up as a tolerant situation.

That is an awesome idea. You should really give this a try and please be patient. Never give up on your kitties :lovestruck: It'll take time and patience but eventually :)

sugarcatmom
January 9th, 2012, 07:52 PM
And try really hard not to get frustrated. Cats pick up on that vibe and it only adds to how uncomfortable they feel with the situation. Patience, grasshopper!! It will get better.

claw
January 9th, 2012, 08:15 PM
Thanks for all the great suggestions! I will definitely give them a try. :)

Love4himies
January 10th, 2012, 10:31 AM
I am still interested to know whether this is how they react to ALL people, or is it just your boyfriend. A normal reaction for a cat who is not comfortable with strangers is to run and find a hiding place and not come out until they feel safe. To have BOTH cats have such a fear of a human that they actually defecate and urinate really brings some questions to my mind.

dbg10
January 10th, 2012, 07:57 PM
I have a question that may or may not be relevant, but how many litter boxes do you have? The recommendation is for one litter box for each cat plus one in a multi-cat household. This could be the reason they are peeing and pooping on your furniture, it may have nothing to do with your bf.

The hissing and growling is a cat's normal reaction to something they don't like and cat's will automatically hiss and growl if they feel cornered which they may feel depending on where they are when your bf tries to pat them or walks by them.
Just my 2 :2cents:

claw
January 10th, 2012, 11:24 PM
I have a question that may or may not be relevant, but how many litter boxes do you have?


I have 2 litter boxes for 3 cats.

The one cat only started doing this when I got the two other cats. Ever since then she has been quite different than before.

The other cat also started doing this when she arrived here.

They are all pretty normal around strangers.

Melinda
January 11th, 2012, 06:14 AM
here is a far fetched question, what does bf wear for cologne/after shave? My sis had a cat that hated old spice and would avoid and swat at my hubby when he wore it, changed to gilette one day, went over to visit and the cats sniffed him, one jumped on his lap and the other more or less ignored him

Winston
January 11th, 2012, 06:44 AM
I am wondering if the old baby powder trick would work? put some on the cats and on your bf and see if because they are smell the same they may be more accepting?

Monkey68
January 11th, 2012, 10:15 AM
I agree with love4himies. There is a wealth of wonderful suggestions offered in this thread but if the behavior that the cats are exhibiting is exclusive to your boyfriend perhaps there is something ( as small as a particular noise he makes? ) that he is unknowingly doing that is misinterpreted by the cats. Have you tried having him feed the cats and seen their reaction? Perhaps if you are able to sit back and watch him interact with the cats as an observer you may be able to see what it is that that they are picking up on. Good luck- and be sure to have your boyfriend involved with the treats and feeding- warm belly=warm heart!

claw
January 15th, 2012, 05:23 PM
We just got this cat condo for the cats. We put it on top of our filing cabinet so that the cats can watch my boyfriend from up high. So far, they seem to really like it. :D

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a383/Clawzz/catcondo.jpg

NoahGrey
January 20th, 2012, 12:23 PM
I agree with Love4himies and the fact that her questions keeps getting overlooked is questioning as well.

Animals are a good judgement of character, a sixth sense so to speak. They can sense alot about people, even when people dont want to see it or believe it. I am not saying that your boyfriend is mean spirited, however you said they act normal around strangers.

All I am saying is that at times, when a animal is showing you how they feel about a person, sometimes it is better to listen.

marko
January 20th, 2012, 12:44 PM
For one, I would tell your boyfriend to stop trying to pet them. A better way to their heart is going to be for him to mostly ignore them and let them come to him on their terms. Also, if he can try to be conscious of his movements and act calmly and quietly around them, that could help. Some guys are a bit like a bull in a china shop and stomp when they walk, talk loudly, and are generally rather buffoonish, which can scare some cats. Not saying that's the case with your boyfriend....but just in case.

Also, pick up a couple of Feliway diffusers to place in areas of the house that your bf and cats hang out, like the living room or kitchen.

And if your cats have a treat they go nuts for, have only your boyfriend be the treat dispenser. At first, get him to gently toss a couple treats in the vicinity of the cats. If they go for them, he can gradually toss them closer to him, until eventually they're willing to eat them out of his hand. This should take place over many days. It's important to be patient with the cats and go at their pace. No attempted petting until they're comfortable hanging out with the bf on the couch and stuff.

Play therapy can also work wonders (waving a wand or fishing rod style toy around, tossing pompoms or fake mice, etc). As long as he remains calm in his movements!!

Do your cats have some high spaces they can go to where they can just watch the bf down below? Access to vertical space can help cats feel more confident.

Good luck! I gotta say though, urinating and defecating out of fear like that is a pretty extreme reaction. Are those 2 cats like that with everyone or just the bf?

Imo, this advice is fantastic and bang on.

......

My boyfriend really wants the cats to like him, but he gets frustrated when they hiss at him for just walking by.

I'm getting frustrated too. :(

Although many men don't like cats, there are also many guys like me that love cats. Reading this, to me, your boyfriend WANTS this to work out. So personally, I don't think there's anything in his character that makes him "evil, or unlike-able" to cats. Cats get spooked for all kinds of reasons and it could be as simple as a boyfriend having a beard and the cat had a bad experience with someone that had a beard. IF for whatever reason you are indeed suspicious of your boyfriend's intent or behaviour, maybe set up a nanny cam or something like that...but it just sounds to me, like something innocuous is spooking the cat. Try the advice in this thread. it's gold.

When he walks by, he should drop some high value treats (dehydrated chicken is a favourite around our house) on the floor near them so they can start to associate good things with him. He should really, at this point, completely ignore them except to drop treats whenever he walks by them - they will come around in time. They may never end up as BFFs but it may end up as a tolerant situation.

another fab suggestion.

maybe try coating your boyfriend in catnip spray and see if they respond positively to that...might help.

Good luck!