Kitty playing favourites

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Kitty playing favourites

Post by willowdragon »

Hi all,
New cat owner here. I have a 5 year old bengal who has changed owners 4 times, and I confidently declare we are her forever home.
She has settled in quickly and taken to us both, in terms of being affectionate and unafraid. I was told by her previous owner she was timid and didn't like being petted or played with, but we have found her to be the complete opposite.
However she is definitely playing favourites; she has really bonded with me, follows me around the house (literally on my heels), the second I sit down she's in my lap, she even waits at the kitchen door when I arrive home from work or wake us, and greets me loudly (and no it's not for food, we've tested that, she's definitely happy to see me.)
She doesn't do any of this for hubby; she's happy to play with him and will let him stroke her, but never sits with him, even if I'm out. We've made it a routine from day one that he feeds her in the morning I feed in the afternoon, and we have done treats and training equally.
Hubby is feeling quite envious and is even a little mad at me, though he realises that's irrational. Is there anything else hubby can do to help her bond with him like she has with me?

*I think partly she's had all female owners in the past, so maybe it'll just come with time.
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Re: Kitty playing favourites

Post by OHWS »

Understand the cat.

A woman I knew took in a stray cat. We think it used to belong to a single woman. When the woman took on a boyfriend, the cat went out of its way to befriend the new boyfriend and substantially ignored the woman who took it in. What we think happened is that the owner before the cat went straying took a boyfriend and the cat was either thrown out or chose to move out because the boyfriend did not like it or maltreated it. So after being taken in as a stray, when the new owner got a boyfriend, the cat decided to make friends with him in order not be be thrown out.

As your cat has had 4 female owners, I think she has spotted a pattern and is desperate to bond with you to keep her home.

That is what I think may be going on, but how to deal with it, I have no idea. Perhaps if your husband understands this, he won't feel so bad.
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Mrs Kane
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Re: Kitty playing favourites

Post by Mrs Kane »

Cats play favourites. It's really hard for the latter party but it's true.

My partner has gone from being the thrice favourite to zero. Our first relationship cat prefers me over him. (She had 3 previous female owners.) He was angry for a good year over this but we've talked a lot about it. He's not over the favouritism but he's better than he was. I think I'd be in the same position tbh. We even tossed around the idea of getting another rescue because he was so upset by the rejection after having 3 cats that simply adored him.

Sofi has warmed up to him over the past 2 years and will take way more shtick from him than me but she does respond to me more and will generally come for more cuddles and sprints to the door when she knows I'm coming home.

I know this sounds weird but if you have the opportunity to leave the house for a week or 2 by yourself (work, family, etc) your cat will appreciate your partner much more. I occasionally need to go back to England because I have 2 family members that are ill and when I come back my boyfriend is always talking about how affectionate Sofi was or how she laid on his stomach when he felt ill, etc. (The best one was when he decided to surprise me by painting the ceiling and he dislocated his shoulder. Sofi laid on his shoulders for 2 days to help him feel better while I was away.)

Some cats react better to certain people, no matter the gender. It's really hard to come to terms with but hopefully, in the best case scenario, the cat will eventually show affection for both owners. If this doesn't happen for you then you really need to have a serious sit-down and make sure your hubby is okay with the favouritism. It's harder for him to witness the bonding and not be part of it.

PS: Sounds like a chore but make your hubby take over everything involving the cat. Food time, litter box, water dish. The whole enchilada. We found this helped with bonding a lot (she now sits on his shoulder while he cleans out her box. Some may call "eww" I call "aww!" She even gets upset when he doesn't let her because he's tired/scrapped for time)
Encourage him to sit on the sofa or a comfy chair too while you sit elsewhere/go out. Cats crave comfy, warm spots to lie on and will create a positive association.
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Re: Kitty playing favourites

Post by Ruth B »

I hate to say it but all of ours seem to play favourites to a greater or lesser degree. The only one that really seemed to change was the Ragdoll, Blue. When we first had him he was very much my OH's cat, while the tortie we already had was mine. When Patch finally went and we got Tiggy, who is far more her own cat than others have been, Blue started to share himself around much more. He was however the type that would demand fuss off everyone who visited.
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Re: Kitty playing favourites

Post by catly254 »

Cats can be interesting sometimes, whatever you cat is doing is controlled by previous relationships with previous owners. But give her enough time to build a relationship with your hubby, they do take time to be comfortable around some people that's what she needs.
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Re: Kitty playing favourites

Post by Crewella »

Some cats can play favourites, but on the whole it's much more likely to be just what she's used to and what she feels more comfortable with. On the whole, men tend to be bigger, louder and with deeper voices than women and some cats do find that harder to cope with. He needs to 'woo' her! :D
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