Hi, this is my first time posting here and I really hope I can get some advice. I am a first time cat owner and I'm not sure how to fix my current problem... Here goes:
About three months ago, my husband (a cat lover, has had cats all his life) brought home Tobias, a two year old unneutered male who was given away by a coworker (a single working mother with two kids who didn't have time for him anymore
). He warmed up to both of us pretty quickly, giving us lots of head butts and snuggles. I do not work at the moment so I had the chance to bond with him even more and we did just that. He followed me around with curiosity and curled up on top of me for naps.
About a week ago I bought a harness for him. As far as I know he has never worn one or been walked but his former owner used to let him roam outside in the summer. I don't feel comfortable letting Tobias out because, like I said, he's not neutered yet but I figured putting him on a leash and letting him sniff around the front lawn and backyard might be a nice idea. As recommended by several websites, I put the harness hear his food dish so that he would get used to its presence and associate it with positive experiences. After a couple of days of having it there I picked it of to put on it the windowsill in our living room, a place he often lounges on. That's when everything went wrong.
Immediately, Tobias got very aggressive. His ears became flat and he lunged at my legs with his claws out, hissing and biting. I clapped my hands and gave him a loud "no" (I was very startled and scared) but he continued to try and attack. I tried to leave the room but he followed, still coming at me. After telling him no over and over with no results, I put him into the bathroom and closed the door for about 15 minutes. When I let him out he came to me, letting out sad sounding meows. We were a little cool toward each other all day but he still seemed okay with me.
Since that incident, his behavior toward me has changed dramatically. He is either completely uninterested in my presence (even if I try and play games with him, give him a treat, talking to him gently. He'll just walk away and go into another room.) or becomes agitated (such when I pet him. His ears go flat and he sometimes give me a nip, even after on pet). I don't really know what to do to smooth things over. He's been giving me the cold shoulder for a week but is still loving and cuddly with my husband.
Sorry for writing so much... I guess I'm just very upset by this. I miss his affection but I also worry about him turning on me again. If you've made it this far reading, thanks.