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What to do When the Cat Hates Your New Spouse

 

quote from dr. haug

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In the case of a new spouse or if the new boyfriend or girlfriend moves in, that becomes an overwhelming invasion into the cat’s territory. All of a sudden there’s furniture, clothes and other belongings that have an unfamiliar scent being hauled into the house. If you’re moving to your new spouse’s house or moving into a new house together, it can be even more overwhelming because now your cat has also lost all of her familiar territory.

Changing Your Cat’s Mind About Your Spouse

First of all, you can’t rush this process. Cats need to feel as if they have a choice. The more you try to force the cat on your spouse, the more the cat will back away. You have to go at the cat’s pace. What matters to kitty is that the new person in the home isn’t a threat so if you rush the process, it’ll just intensify your cat’s anxiety.

Sock Magic

Let’s start with scent. You can help your cat begin to feel more comfortable if your spouse carries some of kitty’s scent. Take a clean sock and gently rub around your cat’s mouth to collect some of her facial pheromones. Cats have scent glands on their body and the ones around the mouth contain the pheromones (scent chemicals) that are the “friendly” ones. Cats facially rub on objects when they feel comfortable in the environment. Take that sock and rub some of your spouse’s personal belongings such as shoes, briefcases, purses, etc. Get more socks and repeat the process (not all at one time – don’t wear your cat’s cheeks out). You can also rub the pheromone-baited sock on the corners of furniture pieces belonging to your spouse.

You can also have your spouse wear pheromone-baited socks around the house.

woman holding a cat

Photo: Fotolia

The Way to a Cat’s Heart is Through Her Stomach

Have your spouse be the one who prepares the cat’s food and serves it. Your cat may not feel comfortable eating with your spouse in the room but the scent of your spouse on the food bowl will be a start toward her associating good things with the presence of this new person.

4 comments

  1. i just got rid of the man that my cat didnt like! we are both happier now! 🙂

  2. Great article with many great tips to ease your cat’s adjustment to a newcomer in the home. I used to think it was jealousy when my cat, Sylvester, would do the things he did to men I was dating. (chewing their shoelaces to shreds, jumping on the back of the couch with a toy in his mouth & shaking it so hard it hit the guy in the head, clawing at his legs, or getting on the counter so he could get a few claws in at a higher level). When I met my husband and had him over to my house, Sylvester really changed how he dealt with him, allowing him to pet him,to eventually greeting him everytime he came over. He would even sit between us on the couch, not in a mean protective way, but wanting to be included. When my husband asked me to marry him, of course I said “yes” and Sylvester even gave his blessing!

  3. and when your significant other is willing to do these things you know they have a strong foot hold in the ‘keep’ category. If they aren’t willing to work with a beloved pet then that is something to take in to consideration when choosing a life partner!

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