Why your feline friend opposes your love life
By Leslie Phelan
Most cats hate new people, period. If they don’t hide out and ignore intruders completely, then they are coming down to judge and watch with apprehension and general displeasure when a new person comes by. But sometimes cats tend to have a very special hate-on for their parent’s new boo.
You may think that all the hissing and scratching and avoidance is just the cat acting out of jealousy. This could be it; or it could be something else entirely.
Behold: ten reasons why your cat hates your boyfriend:
1. Because he is there
Cats are notoriously territorial, and tend to dislike any disruption to their regular routines. Being as introverted and sly as they are, the fact that he exists at all within your kitty’s sphere of personal space makes him an automatic target for pure, plotting-his-death-from-on-high hatred.
2. Because he smells different
Cats familiarize themselves with people and things by rubbing the ‘friendly’ pheromones that radiate from around their mouths and cheeks onto them. This is why your cat rubs its face on you; he loves you and wants to relate with you at a chemical level to further enjoy that love. On the flipside of this, most cats hate anything they haven’t familiarized themselves with yet, so for the time being, everyone just needs to accept that the cat is not ready to love your boo the way you do.
3. Because he stomps around
Cats tend to hate on anything that isn’t as dainty and feline as themselves. As the heavier-footed sex, men naturally disturb your cat’s light-footed peace. Basically, your cat thinks your boy-toy is a Neanderthal and wishes he would lose your phone number and address for good.
4. Because he brings other weird sounds with him, too
As soon as a new boyfriend gets comfortable in your space, he will inevitably begin to play his music, whistle his tunes, watch his shows, and bring his other loud friends into the mix, completely effing up a cat’s preferred state of pensive, restful quiet. Action movies with a lot of artillery and explosions? Hell no, says your cat, he must die like the pitiful fools of the box-office drivel he so enjoys.
5. Because he isn’t the food-bearer
Cats, unless they are some kind of magical healing service cat, are generally self-seeking creatures who only have love for people who bring something to their lives. As a general rule, if your cat doesn’t have to like someone, they won’t.
6. Because he doesn’t play with her
I will reiterate: your cat only likes people she has to like. Until she has to like him, she will hate your boyfriend. If she hates him, she won’t go near him to give him a chance to play with her. And if she hasn’t played with him, then she hates him, even if he would be a willing play participant. Some might say it’s the cat’s problem for being a snobby kitty, but it really doesn’t matter, because to your cat, it’s your boyfriend’s fault for being so hate-worthy, and he should just accept his fate – and go away.
7. Because he hangs out near the litterbox
Unless you have a huge home and are able to place kitty’s throne in a very private, very out-of-the-way place, then your cat thinks your boyfriend is an absolute pest and pervert for frequently being in proximity of the space where they conduct their most personal business. Think of any time you’ve had to share your own bathroom space with new people – it is invasive and just plain annoying, right? Kitty says ‘ditto.’
8. Because he came on too strong at their first meeting
The first time you brought your boyfriend home, your cat might have come out to see what all the racket was. He might have tiptoed over to sniff a pant leg or walk across a lap, but it DIDN’T MEAN he wanted to be picked up or held! Now, the cat has a firm hate-on for Mr. Grabby Hands and is currently figuring out how to poison his glass of wine the next time he gets up to go to the bathroom.
9. Because YOU tried to force it
You figured that since you love your boyfriend, your cat should, too. But your cat wholeheartedly disagrees! And he hates the fact that you tried to put him in your boyfriend’s lap, that you let the boyfriend pet him when he wanted to wriggle away, and that you insisted on inviting your boyfriend over all the time when your cat has CLEARLY cast his vote to ship the dude out. In case you haven’t already figured it out, cats have the remarkable ability to hold grudges. Make no mistake, they DO NOT forget what you’ve done.
10. Because he is in your arms when your cat wants to be
Your cat prefers the way things used to be, when it was just the two of you in the home, and there was lots of room on the couch and bed. Now, your hands are ‘busier’ than they once were, and there is less room to stretch out – what a hateful situation! Your cat might be jealous, but since needy human emotions are beneath a cat to feel, we can just safely chalk the hatred up to the fact that this new body in the house just DOESN’T belong, and that everything was perfect before he showed up.
What can you do?
Of course, there are ways to trick even the most intelligent kitty into liking your guy. You could rub a soft cloth on your kitty’s mouth and then transfer those pheromones you collect onto your boyfriend’s clothes, shoes, and belongings, possibly fooling your kitty into thinking she’s already accepted the dreaded man- folk into her life. You could also make time for play with your cat while the boyfriend is visiting, using a fishing rod-like toy that you can eventually pass to your guy like a torch of feline love — , if kitty will have it. Another tip is to let him be the one to feed the cat, thereby making him someone of necessity to the cat, who will be more likely to tolerate him if he serves a purpose.