Our brain damaged rescue cat is imprinted onto my husband

By Judi G

Cat imprinted on a man who cared for her intensely when she was sick
Cat imprinted on a man who cared for her intensely when she was sick.
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We adopted a two year old cat who suffered brain damage from getting hit by a car. We brought her home two weeks after the accident when she was still having trouble with vision (blindness) and walking.

After we brought her home she suffered a severe upper respiratory infection that she picked up at the shelter. She needed veterinarian care including nebulization because her immune system was already compromised from her previous injuries. It took her 5 weeks to recover from the infection. During her URI illness we had to sit with her and try to get her to eat because she was losing weight rapidly.

My husband spent more time sitting with her during her illness than I did. To make a long story short, she seems to have imprinted herself with my husband. We have now had her almost 2 years and I have never seen such a close bond. She needs to be always on his lap when he’s sitting, she yells at the door if he goes into the bathroom or goes to bed. She suffers separation anxiety after his days off when he goes back to work.

She ignores me when he is around. It is a very intense bond. She is obsessed with him. I have had cats my whole life and a few that I have had special bonds but nothing like this. I think she was reborn after the accident (she was near death) with brain healing being delayed because of the URI so she imprinted on him. Or maybe she has an mental illness from the brain damage? I have told my husband the she acts like a bird who has imprinted on a human.

Imprinting: To become imprinted on another animal or on an object identified as the parent.

Can imprinting take place between young kitten and human?


1 thought on “Our brain damaged rescue cat is imprinted onto my husband”

  1. She’s a lovely & lucky cat.

    I don’t think it unusual that she has become so close to the human who spent most time with her when she was so ill & vulnerable. I don’t think it is mental illness or the brain injury either.

    I’m not even sure it is imprinting. Even adult mammals will become emotionally close to those who provided intense care to them during periods of vulnerability. They can even become fixated or possessive of that carer, sometimes this extends to the care itself. At 2 years she was an adult cat.

    Humans exhibit this type of behaviour too.

    You have both done a very good job in caring for her.


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