I need some help with my cat and my boyfriend

by Amanda Centers
(Florence, Kentucky)

I need some help with my cat. I have been dating my boyfriend for about a month, and I was leaving her at home for 2 weekends in a row, and on the 4th and 5th weekend, I bought her with me.

I am having some problems with her and my boyrfriend. She is hissing and growling at him, but that's just one part, The other part is that he hisses and growls at her when she does it to him!

I can't change him. I have tried. But maybe I could try and get some help with her! Please help me!

Dear Amanda,

It sounds as though your boyfriend and your cat have gotten off to a very bad start. In order for your cat to be comfortable with your boyfriend, his behavior will most definitely need to change. Whether or not he means to do so, he is making your cat very afraid by acting so aggressively toward her.

The stress alone of traveling to your boyfriend's house and being in a new environment can cause aggressive behaviors in cats, but this is almost always due to fear. For tips on how to ease the stress on your cat and help her and your boyfriend get along better, please read my response to another reader whose cat was terrified of her boyfriend.

There are many, many things you can do in your cat's environment to ease her stress. Regardless, though, your boyfriend's behavior will need to change or your cat will never feel comfortable with him, and understandably so.

All the best,
Dr. Neely

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