If you’ve ever seen an episode of My Cat From Hell, you should know just how much of an ***hole a cat can be at times. We all like to believe our pets are sweet angels with hearts of gold, but the truth is there’s a varying amount of douche in each and every cat in the world. They just choose when to reveal it.
The reason you found this article is most likely because your dearest kitty has finally gone full jackass and decided it hates your partner for no particular reason. If your cat hisses at your husband, boyfriend, or partner, their reaction can be confusing. Especially if they seemed to get along perfectly before.
If your cat is being, well, catty towards your romantic partner, there may be several reasons why. This article dives into the most common ones.
Kitty is Jealous
If your cat is suddenly afraid of your boyfriend or partner, the likeliest reason is jealousy. Deep down, I think all cat owners know that they’d be in a toxic relationship if their pet was human. Cats are notoriously narcissistic creatures who will not hesitate to make you feel bad because you’re spending too much time with someone other than them.
If your partner regularly comes over and you spend most of your time with them, your cat may start noticing this sudden change in the amount of attention it is being given. Any drop in cuddles, baby-talk, or playtime with your cat could result in jealousy.
Yes, you read that right. Cats can become jealous, especially when their owners shower all their affection on a newcomer that your cat doesn’t believe deserves it. This is particularly common in the case of bringing a new person into your home.
The first few times may not bother your kitty because you always bring friends over. However, once their visits become regular and more prolonged, your kitty may take serious issue with their presence in your home.
Signs of jealousy in cats include:
- Clingy behavior
- Hiding from your partner
- Refusing to eat while your partner is around
- Chewing and scratching furniture
- Marking their territory with urine
Although cat jealousy is common, there’s no surefire way of curing your kitty of the green-eyed monster. Try giving your cat more attention while your partner is around or reintroducing them after spending time away from each other’s presence.
Encourage your partner to play with your cat too. There’s a chance your furry friend may change its mind once it realizes two humans means twice the attention. If this still doesn’t seem to help, you may need to consider getting a cat behavioral specialist in to sort it out.
Another major reason why your cat is suddenly scared of your husband or partner, especially if you’ve just moved in together, is due to a cat’s natural territorial instinct.
Cats are very territorial animals. Their space is their space, their toys are their toys, their humans are their humans. Your kitty may not be welcoming your partner into their territory with open arms, erm, paws, simply because they see it as trespassing.
They’ve gone through all the trouble of marking each and every piece of furniture, corner, and windowsill with their scent. They’ve rubbed their heads against every shirt, pair of pants, and skirt you own, just for someone new to come in and decide to sit on their couch, sleep on their bed, and play with their toys.
If you suspect it might be territorial aggression that’s making your cat hateful towards or afraid of your spouse, try setting up your kitty’s most prized possessions in a quiet part of the house where your partner doesn’t spend much of their time. This may help your feline friend realize it still control its territory and can still enjoy its toys, food, and litter box in peace.
Other Reasons Why Your Cat Suddenly Hates Your Partner
Although these are not as common as jealousy and territorial behavior, they may still be the cause of your kitty’s newfound aggression.
Cats have powerful senses of smell. If your partner wears cologne, perfume, or deodorant, as most people do, your cat may be taking offense from the smell and not so much the person itself.
There are a few scents cat hate more than any other in the world. If your partner uses any scented product containing that specific smell, your cat may despise their presence and turn to hissing and swatting to keep them away.
Scents that could be driving your kitty up the wall include:
- Citrus: Cats absolutely hate the smell of lemons, oranges, and other citrus fruits. They hate them to the point that some people use the scent to keep cats away from their garden or home. Even if your partner uses a citrusy soap, the lingering smell may be enough to make your kitty contemplate murder.
- Lavender: Although a little lavender essential oil can calm your cat, it might not appreciate the smell itself minus the calming effect. Lavender plants can even be placed in gardens as a natural cat-deterrent.
- Coffee: Those cute videos of cats bumping coffee cups off tables hold a much deeper meaning than simple mischievous behavior. Most cats hate the smell of freshly ground coffee, so much so that wet coffee grounds in your garden can be strong enough to keep cats out.
- Mint: This includes menthol, which is a very irritating smell to most cats.
If your partner uses products containing these scents or even just really loves freshly brewed coffee, it could be the reason your cat seems to love them one day and hate them the next.
Cats live their lives based on routine. They have a specific spot for their litter box, set times to eat, a napping allocation on their schedule, and a very small social circle to share it with.
Your cat may seem to hate your partner if them visiting your home has brought any sort of disruption to this routine.
If you’ve moved their litter box to make space for an extra chair, forget to feed them at precisely 9.30 AM because your boyfriend is over for coffee or go to bed at 11 PM instead of your usual 10 PM, this may leave your cat thinking it’s your partner’s fault for the disruption. And any disruption to a cat’s schedule is punishable by everlasting loathing.
They Got Off on the Wrong Foot
Okay, we all know our partners can sometimes be a little over-zealous at trying to make a good impression on our loved ones. It may be that yours has gone overboard in trying to win over your kitty’s affection and simply alienated them in the process.
Cats may not appreciate being cuddled, picked up, and hugged by a total stranger, and this could lead to some serious shows of aggression to get the message across.
Give your cat some space and get your partner to do the same. There’s a chance that a good helping of nonchalance may convince your cat your partner isn’t trying to kill it with kindness.
How to Fix the Relationship Between Your Partner and Your Cat
As mentioned earlier, there’s no one way to getting your cat to like your partner. However, there are a few things you can try, including:
- Reintroduction: It’s like pushing a reset button for your cat’s relationship with your partner. Keep them away from each other for a month or so, then gradually reintroduce them, going only as fast as your kitty seems comfortable with.
- Calming pheromones: Cats respond very well to pheromones from diffusers, sprays, or collars. Calming your cat down while your partner is around could eventually resolve any negative feelings between the two.
- Bribery: Make feeding your cat your partner’s responsibility. Over time your kitty may learn not to bite the hand that feeds it. Literally.