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5 Ways To Help Your Cat Like Your New Partner

 by jaime on 17 Aug 2014 |
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Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that your cat will approve of your choice of partner. While you may have foreseen this if you have an obviously shy or choosy pet, there are also mystifying cases in which cats simply do not like particular people. You may never convince your cat to love your partner as much as you do, but keeping the following advice in mind may at least help your cat to tolerate the new person in your life.

1. Don't try to force an instant resolution
It is vital to avoid the temptation to force your cat and partner into intense interactions in an attempt to create a bond. If your cat is scared of your partner, the animal will only emerge from these enforced liaisons feeling more afraid. Your partner may also see more aggressive behavior (such as hissing and growling) because the cat will feel trapped. Explain all of your ideas and motivations to your partner so it is clear that you're not demonstrating mistrust as well!

2. Swap scents
Smells are very important to cats, and your pet may become more comfortable with the presence of your partner if you place items of your partner's clothing around the home (when your partner isn't standing in front of the cat). The scent may slowly become less threatening, and your cat may be less intimidated by your partner's presence as a result. Interestingly, you can also try putting some of your cat's scent on your partner. If you gently rub some of your partner's clothes on scent glands near the cat's mouth, pheromones will be transferred. Your cat deliberately transfers these pheromones onto people and objects in times of relaxation, so you may be able to trick your suspicious pet into feeling more comfortable around your partner.

3. Create safe spaces
Your cat will find it easier to deal with the discomfort felt around your partner if there are plenty of places to hide. Comfortable beds, small spaces inside cat trees and even cardboard boxes provide sanctuary, and your cat is more likely to come to terms with your partner's presence if an escape route is always available.

4. Offer bribes
If your cat comes to see your partner as someone who brings enjoyable items, trust may slowly develop. For example, your partner might try putting a single treat in your cat's food (before walking away) each time they meet, or you may even try having your partner prepare the cat's food at mealtimes. Toys can also make effective bribes for particularly playful cats, especially if the toys contain catnip (for those cats that like catnip).

5. Suggest play sessions
In addition to giving the cat toys to play with, your partner can try playing games with your cat. The key is to play from a safe distance, using a fun toy dangled at the end of the rope. A younger or more active cat will find this type of game hard to resist, and repeated sessions can help to lessen feelings of fear or hostility in your pet.

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