Our Cat Hisses At My Fiancé

Our Cat Hisses At My Fiancé

by Carmen
(Conroe, tx)

Our cat was a stray kitten that wandered up on our patio at an apartment complex the day after Christmas 2008. We took the kitten to the vet and was told that it seemed to be about 4-5 weeks old. We did try to locate the rest of the litter and the momma, but never found them.

Generally he is a very docile cat, even tempered and friendly. I call him my little cuddle bug cause he always waits on me to sit down on the couch so he can curl up on my chest and nap while we watch tv.

But on a handful of occasions he goes into a fit of hissing and bowing up at my fiance when he comes in the house from being outside doing yard work. If he tries to get near the cat he goes crazy with aggression. The only time he stops is after he showers and puts on clean clothes. Then he will go to him and let him pick him up and play with him.

I figured it has something to do with A) odors from outside of B) odors he emits when he sweats. I think it's B, only because he went out into the garage and came in sweaty (hadn't been out in the yard yet) and the cat was at it again. I have read and looked up this type of behavior but there isn't anything about odors from human causing this.

And before everyone goes rampant with comments about my fiance being stinky or overly smelly, he is not. I don't smell a terrible odor or anything beyond normal when he sweats.


Hi Carmen... Thanks for visiting and asking. I don't think this has anything to do with your fiancé other than he smells like someone who frightened your cat when he was very young, during the first few weeks of life.

Cats have a fantastic sense of smell. They recognise people by their body odor.

During the first seven weeks of life they learn a lot and develop deep and permanent reflexes to stimuli. This is the period when cats are socialised by breeders.

It would seem that your boy had a bad experience during these first weeks and he relates that to your fiancé's body odor.

There is not much that can be done to unlearn that. I would try and ensure that the two don't encounter each other until after your fiancé has showered to avoid reinforcing the memory.

But that might be very impractical. Good luck. My love to your little boy. Gradually your cat may learn to understand that your fiancé is not the same person. Plenty of tender loving care from a showered fiancé might encourage that mentality!


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Our Cat Hisses At My Fiancé

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Aug 07, 2011
To Carmen
by: Ruth

I love your photos, your cat and dog look so content together.
Michael is right, it's a certain smell from outside, probably from the garage, on your fiance that triggers off your cat's defensive reaction.
It sounds as if he had a very bad experience before he came to you, cats never ever forget. Even if something bad happens to tiny kittens, it stays with them all their lives. Cats have a very strong sense of smell and if the same smell comes up even years later they feel threatened.
It's not your fiance's fault, or your cats and all he can do really is avoid going near him until he's showered and changed.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

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