My cat hates my girlfriend and I don’t know what to do about it. She lives in northwest Austin and only comes by 2 or 3 times a week, but she usually stays the night so it’s like living with me part time. She tries to be extra nice to him, but he doesn’t want anything to do with her. He won’t go into any room she is in – even if he’s hungry. I really want him to be comfortable around her, but I don’t know what to do. Any advice?
– Worried cat owner
I think in this situation it is best to call a cat therapist – preferably one who does couple counseling – and see if they can resolve your cat’s problems with your girlfriend. Perhaps there is some type of regression therapy that could help your cat resolve their problems with your friend. I know some people might say that talking doesn’t help with cats, but that strikes me as a bit defeatist. Talking may not help, but it certainly can’t do any harm. Yes, it could get a bit expensive, but what are a few hundred (a few thousand? I don’t know, I’m not a therapist, let alone a cat therapist) dollars when it comes to your cat’s mental health? That’s the thousand dollar question, isn’t it? Let’s hope it’s a hundred dollar question at best, but you get the idea.
The bottom line is that pets are expensive, and I’d bet crazy pets are insanely expensive – especially if they rip the leash out of your hand and run away and mangle a toddler or something. Anecdotally, I can tell you that every time I’ve seen someone’s pet become all Cujo, the owner is usually even more surprised than the person who is being mangled. They always say something like, “I swear my 500-pound Bengal tiger has never mauled anyone! He’s just a big kitten!” Exactly, a large kitty with a dismembered toddler arm hanging out of its mouth. How could they overlook such a blatant mental health problem? It’s hard to imagine. Maybe not enough time for one-on-one meetings? Pets have an annoying habit of defying our constant humanization of their instinctive animal behavior.
Granted, I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never had a cat that went on a hunger strike, and definitely never a cat that went on a hunger strike because he thought my girlfriend was an asshole. (Oops! I’m going back to anthropomorphization.) But it’s not uncommon for cats – and pets in general, to be precise – to distrust strangers, especially if they haven’t experienced healthy socialization. To be honest, you could say the same about people. Some of them just get a little nervous when they are with strangers. As far as I know, your girlfriend may be very scared of hanging out with frightened cats. And TBH, you seem a little concerned about the situation yourself. Once again, I’m not a licensed cat therapist, vet, or even a full-fledged doctor, but one thing I know for sure: fear generally creates fear, so someone in your house needs to show some zen. Day it’s you
Like I said, you should definitely drop a huge pile of money on a cat therapist. If nothing else it will boost the local economy but if you are feeling financially pressured just try patience and, like I said, this zen thing too. Maybe you and your girlfriend can smoke a bowl, or if you’re anxiety prone, take CBD gums. And next time you’re chilling out on Netflix and with your girlfriend, focus on chilling out. Rest assured, your cat will eat when and where it wants, but it wouldn’t hurt to entice it with something tasty – not CBD gums. They are more expensive than cat therapy. Give him something he really likes, like smelly wet cat food – you know, the stuff that makes you gag a little when you open the can. Cats love that shit – almost as much as they enjoy feasting on the corpses of their dead owners. Oh, calm down, you wouldn’t be using the corpse anyway. Here you go! Hope that helps! If not, you can always go to sleep with your girlfriend!