Kitty afraid of my boyfriend.

by Gillian
(Davis, CA, USA)

My boyfriend and I adopted a kitten (Gandalf) several months ago, and he initially spent time living at both of our apartments. My boyfriend's approach was harsher than mine, which Gandalf responded to negatively only after spending time with me. When Gandalf returned to my boyfriend's care, he was afraid and developed behavior problems. Gandalf stopped exhibiting friendly behaviors towards my boyfriend gradually, with sharp changes upon returning to his apartment from mine.

One night at my boyfriend's apartment, Gandalf jumped on top of one of the small animal cages, and ran when my boyfriend went to punish him. During the confusion, there was an accident, and Gandalf was severely injured. I brought Gandalf to live with me. He recovered nicely, and displays no general behavior problems as long as my boyfriend is not around. As long as he is just with me, Gandalf acts like a normal young cat.

Since the accident, Gandalf is usually afraid of my boyfriend, but he is intermittently normal around him. Most of the time, Gandalf hides, does not play, and is despondent when my boyfriend comes over. He will sit in the litter box for hours, and he does not groom himself. He will sometimes eat treats my boyfriend offers, but he growls while doing so. All his kitten joy is sucked into a black hole of kitten depression.

The really difficult part of the situation
is this... my boyfriend is moving in with me. I'd rather not re-home Gandalf, because he is so loving towards me ad has so many adorable personality traits. The only problem is my boyfriend (and I don't want to re-home him either). Do you have any suggestions for my boyfriend and me so that Gandalf can be happy and playful again? We want to be a family.

Answer by Kate
How can I answer this without upsetting you or your boyfriend. Ok I can't so i will just say it, please forgive me.

What do you expect a cat to do when a someone is aggressive or threatening towards it. Ie punish the cat, what, you can't punish a cat, thats cruel. they have no understanding like perhaps children do so punishing them is pointless and aggressive in the cats eyes.

Sorry, i just had to say that. Ok to the problem. Somehow you have to regain the trust of the cat or should i say your boyfriend has to gain the trust. And your boyfriend has to treat the cat differently from now on, always or the cat will never fully trust him.

The process will have to be taken slowly and calmly, don't expect a quick change.

Please see y page here about bondng with your cat.

I hope i have not sounded to harsh. I don't mean to.

best wishes Kate

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