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What to do When the Cat Hates Your New Spouse

 

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Treat-giving can also be done by the spouse. It may initially involve casually tossing a treat so the cat can eat it from a distance. You can also do clicker training with your cat so that you can click and reward for any positive step toward your spouse. In some cases, that positive step may simply be that the cat is willing to step into the room where your spouse is sitting. Regardless of whether you clicker train or are simply offering treats for desired behaviors, set the bar low enough so the cat is rewarded for the smallest of steps.

The Power of Play

Playtime is a powerful tool in your behavior modification toolbox. When a cat is in play-mode, she’s having a good time, the good brain chemicals are being released and she’s making positive associations with her surroundings. Initially, you may have to conduct the play sessions while your spouse sits on the sidelines, but it’ll be a way for your cat to see that she can relax her guard and focus on the toy instead of worrying about your spouse. Use an interactive toy based on a fishing pole-design so you can keep the action going. Don’t move the toy too close to your spouse. Keep the action within the cat’s comfort zone.

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In subsequent sessions, you can sit closer to your spouse as you conduct the interactive play session and then eventually hand the toy off to the other person. Work up to having your spouse initiate the games with your cat.

The Environment

Provide your cat with plenty of areas where she can retreat and feel comfortable when your new spouse is around. If there’s no place for her to hide or retreat, she’ll feel very vulnerable and end up diving under the bed. There should be at least one cat tree in the environment so your cat can have a high elevation where she can feel safe. Instruct your spouse that the cat tree is off-limits and when the cat is up there it means she wants to be left alone. If your spouse respects that then the cat will begin to feel as if she can go to the tree instead of hiding under the bed in another room.

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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