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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 20587
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Ever since my girl cat jumped onto my boyfriends face nearly

Customer Question

Ever since my girl cat jumped onto my boyfriends face nearly when she was running aroubd he hasnt trusted her, and has ordered her away from him on many occasions, by either banging his flipflops on the floor, he has also enjoyed teasing her by makinf eye contact and making her run away to a next room hissing at him..in fact anytime his key was heard in the lock she would run to hide in my daughters room. I spoke to him many times about being consistent with her as sometimes he would call her to him and stroke her, then other times he didnt want any contact. Consequently she was always keeping away wen he was in the front room, only rushing past to get to the litter..he kept saying he would leave if the cat didnt...now she has cancer and is very despondent and not herself at all..he feels very sorry for ever having scared her but i feel so angry and guilty for not being more forceful on him to make amends with her..i feel like her last year of her life was spent being scared of him
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Good afternoon,

I have read about your historical situation between your boyfriend and Twinkle. You have not actually asked any questions that I can answer directly, therefore I will just give my honest thoughts on the situation and you can reply if you do have any specific questions for me.

Now I am afraid that his behavior was inappropriate towards her. His teasing, scaring her, and using loud noises would have been interpreted by Twinkle that he was a potential threat. If he was nice to her at times, then as they were both long term members of the household she may have dared to let him have close positive contact with her. In a way, these moments would have been her risking herself and safety while trying to establish a relationship with him as she has with you.

Still it is likely that his changeable behavior towards her would have confused her. If he was using negative behaviors towards her, then these would have been the motivating factor for her hiding, rushing pass the front room, and avoiding getting into his path. As I am sure you can appreciate cats are a prey species (despite being the bane of small wildlife) and very sensitive. This means that they are hardwired by instinct to see things as a threat first until proven otherwise. His behaviors when being unkind to her were all things that would have driven her to avoid him and react the way she did.

Now hindsight is 20/20 and with her recent diagnosis, he will of course be sorry for those unkind behaviors as before. And while those behaviors are not excusable, cats do not hold grudges and do tend to live in the present. As well, it sounds like Twinkle was always keen to repair the rift between them. Therefore, despite his previous behaviors, he can try to make amends. There should be no more negative behaviors but he can try to at least make up for their broken relationship in the time she has left. Of course, you do want to make sure she is supported with her condition and associated signs (ie pain relief, medication to support her eating, hand feeding, etc) and keep her comfortable. But there is no reason why he cannot try to give some TLC and affection to your poor wee lass to make up for his previous behaviors.

Please take care,
Dr. B.