new spouse in house cat is STRESSED - Answered by Dr. Van Lienden
My husband and I have been married for 6 weeks today. My 5 yr. old cat has not been too pleased with the arrangement since it began, but in the last couple of days, she has become very aggressive and seems ?depressed?. She has taken to hiding in a laundry basket away from everyone for hours at a time (more than normal), and she hisses at him if he walks by her and she is cornered in any way (even accidentally). After freaking out completely, I got online tonight and realized how much damage I had done by not taking her normal routine into account more fully (I know, I'm NOT a good mommy right now). My question is, does anyone have any suggestions on how to ease her through this transition? Should my husband ignore her completely until she gets more used to him? OR, should he be more involved in feeding her, playing with her, etc.? Other than spending more time with her (hard because my work schedule has recently been NUTS), what more can I do? I HATE seeing her this distressed. She is NOT a lap cat, but she was never this unfriendly. Thank you SO much for any advice.
One of my cats was unhappy when I got married too. She was used to getting all the attention and was not happy! Cats who have been around mostly women are sometimes afraid of men, who are taller, louder and have a heavy step.
Have your husband feed her, try throwing toys she likes for her and trying to coax her with treats.
Other than that he should ignore her and try avoid making eye contact with her and never approach her. In this way he will appear non-threatening.
She'll decide when to give up being afraid or hostile.
I would also start giving her Rescue Remedy, a natural soothing substance that can be found in health food stores and some grocery stores. You can also order it online.:)
Thank you SO much!
Thanks for the response--makes me feel a little better. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one this has happened to. I woke up early this morning to spend some time with her alone, and she's actually acted somewhat "normal?" I know when he wakes up she'll get weird again, but at least you've given me some pro-active ideas. Thanks again!
Anyone else, please feel free to add your two cents?!? :)
LOL! At 5 years old, she's probably set in her ways! :queen: Queen of her castle! I wouldn't try to force her to sit in his lap, if she's not used to being held. You could try having him feed her for a couple of days. Or maybe he could give her a special kitty treat once in a while. It won't take long for her to get used to him.
My best advice is to not push the issue, let your husband completely ignore your kitty. Certainly hubby could clean the cat box, put the food and water out when needed.
Sometimes leaving an article of your husband's clothing near your cat's favorite sleeping area just might help. Other times this just provokes defecation/urination on the article, so plan accordingly and make adjustments. However leave it at that; less is better.
When I married my wife, her cat hated me (certainly not a lap cat, and wife wasn't either, by the way), but things improved and cat learned to tolerate living with the vet--sort of like living with Hannibal Lecter for the pet set.
In really bad situations where the pet attacks a human, then I prescribe psychotropic drugs if other living arrangements are impossible.
Dr. Van Lienden
Dr. Raymond Van Lienden DVM
The Animal Clinic of Clifton
12702 Chapel Road, Clifton
Virginia, U.S.A. 20124
Hello Linnlb. My sister is having the same problem with her cat she purchased right before her husband was to go to Iraq and then he was gone for 18 months and now the cat pees all over his things. Did you get any resolution for your cat yet?
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