Is a cat causing relationship problems between you and your partner?
You’re not the first person to be in this situation, and you won’t be the last!
Cats are curious creatures, you either seem to understand them and get along with them, or you don’t.
If you don’t – or your partner doesn’t – it can cause some serious issues.
But before you consider doing something drastic (like rehoming the cat or you moving out), there is always a solution!
Cat Causing Relationship Problems? 8 Things to Consider
1. What Does the Cat Means to The Family
Most pets, and cats and dogs, in particular, mean a lot to most families. In fact, they are part of the family.
If you’re not getting along with your partner or the family cat, you need to really understand how important the cat is to the family before you do anything.
Can you imagine your partner rehoming their child because you don’t get along?
Of course, you can’t!
Cats can be very important to their owners – and you need to respect that.
2. Understand What Makes Cats Happy
If you could get on better with the cat, it’s going to solve a lot of the issues, right?
Cats are simple creatures, and they like simple things.
They like a clean litter box, food, water, and somewhere warm to sleep.
If you can provide those things, you’re most of the way there!
Then it’s just a matter of giving them space when they need it, and attention when they demand it.
If you’re not a cat person, it’s time to at least try to become one for the good of your relationship.
3. Accept that You’re Going to Have to Give Them Space
Cats like their space, and you’re just going to have to accept that.
If finding cat hairs on your clean clothes and finding the cat in your favorite spot on the couch is annoying you, I’m sorry but that’s what living with a cat is.
They’ll come to you when they want attention – and the rest of the time, they’ll just want to be left alone.
If the cat is being destructive and has behavioral issues, that’s different. You’re going to need to get professional help to sort those issues out.
4. Give It Time
Is the dynamic of living with a cat new to you?
If it is, give it some time.
You might not like living with a cat at first – but after a few weeks or months, you might start to see the appeal.
Cats can be very calming creatures, and they quickly become part of the family.
If you’re still struggling after a few months, then it’s time to consider other options.
But if you’re just not used to it yet, give it some time!
5. Take Your Partner’s Feelings Into Account
Your partner is going to have a lot of feelings about the cat, you, and how it’s affecting the relationship as well.
You need to take their feelings into account when you’re making decisions about the cat.
If they’re not ready to compromise or let go of the cat, then you need to respect that.
It might not be what you want to hear, but it’s important to remember that if it’s their cat you can’t force them to do anything.
6. Make an Effort to Get to Know the Cat
Honestly, in my experience, a lot of non-cat people just don’t make an effort to get to know cats.
If you’re a dog person, I get it. Cats seem weird to you, they’re loners, and they don’t give you the same type of affection as a dog does.
But they still have their qualities.
In fact, if you take time to fuss over the cat and ask to be the one to feed them, I’m sure they’ll warm to you.
Even if you don’t want to be best friends, just having them on your side and not annoying you might be what you need!
7. Set Some Boundaries with Your Partner
If your partner is a cat person, it’s important that you set some boundaries.
Just because they’re okay with the cat being around all the time doesn’t mean you have to be!
Talk to them about setting some limits on when the cat can be in your space.
It might mean that the cat sleeps in their room at night, or that they keep the door to your bedroom closed when they’re not home.
Whatever you need to do to feel comfortable, make sure you communicate it to your partner.
They might not even realize how much it’s affecting you. But once they do, like any relationship issue, they should be willing to compromise.
8. Seek Professional Help if Nothing’s Working
If you’ve tried all of the above and nothing’s working, it might be time to seek professional help.
There are animal behaviorists who can help you figure out what’s going on with the cat and how to make it work in your home.
It’s a last resort, but sometimes it’s necessary and I know a lot of people who have had success going down this route.
At the end of the day, you need a solution that’s best for you and your relationship – and sometimes we need mediation to help us find that.
Why Does My Partner’s Cat Hate Me?
If your partner is extremely close with their cat, but the cat hates you it can be an incredibly frustrating situation to be in – especially if you’re not a big fan of cats to begin with.
There are a few reasons why this might happen:
- The cat might see you as a threat – If your partner is constantly holding or cuddling the cat, the cat might see you as a threat.
- You’re not giving them attention – Cats crave attention, and if you’re not giving them any they might not respect you.
- They may not hate you – The cat might actually like you, but if you don’t like cats, everything they do is probably just going to annoy you.
So what can you do about it?
Here are a few tips:
- Try to spend some time each day bonding with the cat. This might mean brushing them, playing with them, or just sitting near them while they nap.
- Don’t force the issue. If the cat hisses or runs away, just let them be. Pushing them will only make the situation worse.
- Be the one who feeds the cat. Cats tend to respect the person who feeds them – and who can blame them – ask your partner if you can take on that responsibility for a while.
Is It Possible to Become a Cat Lover?
I know it might not seem impossible, but I promise you it is possible to become a cat lover.
Unless you have allergies or something like that, of course.
But I should know – I used to be a dog person myself.
It took me a while to come around, but once I worked things out with my partner’s cat – I have to admit I fell head over heels in love with cats.
It’s not something you can force, and I can’t give you any real tips. Other than to spend time with the cat, and do things on their terms because that’s just how cats operate.
If you have a cat in the home, you have to at least try!
Image credits – Photo by Chen on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.