He won’t let me keep my cat

You can't keep your cat

Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Any man who dictates to his woman, wife or girlfriend, that she can’t keep her cat is behaving extremely badly and foolishly. There may, on rare occasions, be a valid reason for his demand but I am writing about the untold numbers of occasions when a bullying sort of man simply wants his way with his woman and does not like cats. The sort of man I am writing about is the type who is prone to domestic violence of varying degrees against his girlfriend or wife.

Can a man who demands that his wife or girlfriend gets rid of her cat ever have a stable relationship with her? I can go wider and ask, is this man suited to any relationship with a woman?

It’s about attitude and the institution of marriage. I’ll presume that all man/woman living together relationship have the same rules whether married or not. The basic rules are acceptance, respect, trust, support and to make an effort to be constructive and not destructive.

Live-together relationships don’t just fall into place naturally without any thought, unless you are one of the lucky ones. Some couples do have highly successful, long term relationships without any thought given to how or why. They are successful because the people in the relationship naturally follow the rules of a successful relationship.

But a lot of people need to work at it a bit, or a lot. Elisa says that she has been told many times by acquaintances that they were told by their partner to get rid of their cat. This often results in the cat be placed at a cat shelter where being allowed to live is far from guaranteed.

The way I see it is that the woman should make it clear at the outset, before she gets hooked up, that she likes cats and looks after a cat and nothing he can say will change that. That is proactive. The reactive response is to do what Elisa did  – walk, leave the pain-in-the neck behind and keep your cat.

It is much more difficult in reality to do that than it is to write about it.

A man bullying his live-in girlfriend to get rid of her cat has not only disrespected her, he has ignored the fate of the cat. He is the sort of person who either ignores the emotions and sensibilities of the cat or lacks the education to apply his mind to it.

Even if the woman’s cat can be placed with a new home, the whole episode will be very difficult for the cat. As mentioned, relinquishing a cat to a shelter can end up with the loss of the cat’s life. Is the boyfriend ignoring that prospect? If so does a woman want to be associated with such as character? I hope not.

Of course, the problem cuts two ways. Some woman will also be unscrupulous enough to lack sensitivity towards their cat. They won’t be true cat lovers or really care for their cat. Some women will like a demanding and highly macho man who dominates them. These woman may have self-esteem problems and living with such a man will only make matters worse.

Above all, when a man tells a woman, “You can’t keep the cat!”, it is the cat who is a victim and the cat is an innocent victim stuck in the middle of unpleasant behavior between two humans who are meant to love each other.

My advice to women: check out a man’s character. At the very least he must respect you and your cat. He doesn’t even have to like cats to do that. If he fails the check, dump him.

10 thoughts on “He won’t let me keep my cat”

  1. i agree – be pre-emptive.
    several years ago i had a relationship with a man that on the first date i had said “i have a cat, so if you have issues or allergies, now is the time to say something and this will be our first and last date”. he said as a matter of fact he was allergic to cats but that his sister had a cat and he just took a zyrtec, no big deal.
    well, six months down the road, he wants to get engaged but he doesn’t want to “take any more pills”. i reminded him that in the beginning i told him my cat was not negotiable and i was sorry, but i couldn’t continue the relationship.
    he was dumbfounded that i would break off a human relationship for a cat. i told him, “you know, what if i did give up my cat, and what if we got married, and what if some years later we got a divorce or you die – then i wouldn’t have you and i wouldn’t have my cat either.” i told him i’d had my cat a lot longer than i’d known him, altho it wouldn’t matter if i had only had the cat one day, that when i brought him home i had made a commitment to take care of him for the rest of his life. i would see this guy at parties now and then and he’d always ask me if i still had “that cat”. you betcha i did. he passed away at 18 in 2010. since then i’ve rescued several furry little furballs and i love them all, and i have a relationship with a lovely man that has two cats of his own.
    i’ve always heard that you should beware of people (men or women) who don’t like cats because these types of people have controlling personalities – and we know how cats feel about that LOL.

    • Great comment and I am impressed with you. I think you did exactly the right thing and it worked out well in the end. It is a reflection on a person’s character if they want to get rid of your cat. Personally, I’d never request that. It would be impossible for me to ask a woman to get rid of their cat.

    • I’m impressed with you as well 🙂 I’ve been with my husband for many years. He has many faults however disliking cats isn’t one of them; he loves our 3 kitties 🙂 I could never imagine myself with someone who didn’t like or wanted to get rid of my family and even if I refused how could I ever trust that person? I would never know a minutes peace. Ditch the man every time he can speak for himself and will survive and cat is the innocent party and will most likely be murdered I hope you wet lettuces out their who ‘can’t live without a man’ can live with that on your conscience 🙁

  2. I read about a woman who gave up everything for her alcoholic husband because it seemed that her having a life independent from him upset him and caused him to drink more. She gave up painting, all of her friends, everything she enjoyed– and he just drank more and treated her worse than ever. So she left him and did what she enjoyed again. I think sometimes women think they can change these guys if they just give in on certain points, and then he will be happy with them. Abusive guys like that are never going to be happy, their problems will always be (to them) the fault of someone else and nothing you do to placate them will work.

    I think it’s a huge red flag if the guy demands the cat be taken to a shelter, where it will likely be killed. It shows a disregard for life. If he sees no value in the life of a companion animal he will see no value in the life of his human companion.

  3. I have known women to give up their pets, their jobs, their children for some louse. In doing so, they have forfeited their lives. If breathing wasn’t involuntary, they would have given that up too. Only shells – no self esteem, no independent thinking, no goals. It’s jaw dropping. I don’t even know if Freud could figure these women out.

    • Only shells – no self esteem

      I think it is about this, Dee. Self-esteem. In many countries today the man keeps the woman down as a shadow of himself. But even in America where women do well in business, there is still a female self-esteem problem and the cause is probably the male homo sapiens. He likes to keep female homo sapiens down. It suits him. It makes life easier and life is all about that in the end.

  4. ‘You can’t keep that cat’ ‘You’ll have to get that cat declawed’
    ‘My husband won’t let me have a cat’

    What is wrong with some women that they let a man rule their lives like that? Have they no self respect? Once a bully, always a bully, what law will he lay down next?
    Our late father was the boss of the house, our late mother said he couldn’t help it, he was Victorian in his attitude.
    I was determined never to allow any man to rule over me like that once I was old enough.
    Surely marriage/living together is about equality these days, women no longer have to answer to their man as if he is the boss.
    There has to be mutual respect to have a successful partnership.
    Mind you some men are just as bossed by their women, I know of a few who are henpecked and just accept it, their wife/girlfriend is the light of their life, but I often wish those men would show a bit of self respect and point out that it’s supposed to be a partnership.

    • I think it’s important to be pre-emptive. I would always say my cats were here first and they are here to stay before going into a relationship. Women get jealous if you love your cats too much. They also want you to be jealous over them – some women anyway – they think it shows you want them or something.

      The whole thing is confusing and most of all, humans are confused and riddled with problems of bad behaviour and getting along. Thats why any kind of relationship with a human is going to have a serious effect on your relationship with your cats. It’s hard to know if it’s really worht the risk. If you love your cats then you don’t feel lonely so you don’t necessarily need a human. It’s all confusing really.

      In this day and age I would say in countries or areas where education is good that it has become the women who are the bosses. But either way – not allowing a person his or her cat companion is out of order if that person really loves and cares for the cat.

      Ruth sometimes men who are henpecked are just making a choice based on experience. It’s often easier to be p***y whipped than it is to have a discussion or argument. I know for myself I will just ok if it’s going to mean I avoid totally messing up my evening. Obviously as a tactic it can’t last and is wrong but it’s often just less painful and much easier to go along. I am sure women are exactly the same way with difficult and unreasonable men. Reason and respect are important and that includes towards oneself first and foremost. That’s why the ‘she won’t let me’ excuse can’t last long before it becomes something you have to fix regardless of how much a pain it is to fix. I can’t stand the pain. I think I got really sick of it and relying on a human being to ensure my day is a good one and not a bad one. Left to my own devices with my cats every day is a good one and I never let my cats down. It’s hard to let go of that and open your life to another human being.

      • Good comment for. I agree with what you say. It is not clear cut because sometimes women bring these sorts of problems upon themselves. They invite the sort of behavior that I refer to. However, that does not justify it. The problem is that the cat is likely to have a hard time.

        I think it’s important to be pre-emptive

        As you say this is so important. These days my attitude is that if the woman I am seeing (dating in old fashioned language) is giving me problems for whatever reason, no matter how much I like her, it is off, over. I can’t stand the hassle anymore.

    • What is wrong with some women that they let a man rule their lives like that?

      This is part of the problem, Ruth. You have an independent mind etc., but a lot women let their boyfriend/husband dominate and let them behave unreasonably. Sometimes (not always) there are two players creating the one problem, one encouraging the other or letting it happen. The cat, a family member, is very vulnerable under these conditions.

      I don’t like reading about the sort of scenario that Elisa describes. Although, I think it is fairly common. It can be pretty dysfunctional out there.

      Men who are henpecked are sometimes just keeping the peace. As Marc says it is easier to say “yes” than disagree. No man who avoids arguments is doing it for the sake of the cat!


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