Post # 1
So here’s the story: my wife and I married recently, but have been living together for 3 years. We have two cats, which we adopted as a couple. The cats have been a growing issue for us that has reached its breaking point. When they were younger they had some behavioral issues, nothing too extreme, just the normal stuff that comes with the territory of being a pet parent; chewing & scratching, crying, that kind of thing. This is when she began to dislike them, especially when they chewed an expensive electrical cord. So I worked hard with them and trained them, they are now very well-behaved… they still jump on off-limits furniture from time to time, but that’s about it. Otherwise they are just normal, happy, affectionate cats.
But my wife still can’t stand them. In the past, she has brought up the idea of finding them a new home… to which I said no, absolutely not, several times. I ask why she doesn’t like them, and she doesn’t really have a specific response, other than the fact that they are cats doing cat things, like chasing eachother around the house, and jumping into her lap (god forbid they try to show her love while she is trying to watch tv). I have tried every possible (and reasonable) solution to make the situation tolerable for her, but her attitude hasn’t changed. Now, every time the subject is brought up, the conversation ends with both of us in tears.
It is becoming clear to me that she will never be happy in our home, no matter what, as long as the cats are around. I resent her for hating the cats, for being uncooperative, and she resents me for refusing to re-home them at the expense of her comfort. I have been crying over this issue for weeks, but I completely refuse to let our relationship be so completely derailed because of it. Please, I am begging you guys, if anyone has any advice, I need it.
Post # 2
I used to have this issue with my Ex.. There’s a few key words in that sentence. When I first started dating my Fiance, I needed to know that he was an animal lover as this is a deal breaker for me. The difference in my situation was that I owned my problem cat, before Fiance came along. Problem cat, has attacked my face on muiltple occasions, attacked my other cats and foster cats/kittens, charged at Fiance on multiple occassions, attacked our dogs etc.. You get the idea. He’s a headache. He’s been the subject of many discussions, fights, and tears. We’ve taken steps to address his behaviour, give him time-outs etc.. Pretty much like a naughty child. Some days he’s ok, some days he isn’t. Lately, he hasn’t been, and the conversation of “what can we do about Problem Cat” has come up once again.
What I don’t understand is that you guys adopted the cats/kittens as a couple? Did either of you talk about the expectations of owning cats? Indoor cats can live up to 20+yrs. Outdoor cats usually have a shorter life span of 6-8yrs, if they’re lucky. She obviously at one stage wanted the cats, was it purely their behaviour which has changed her perception of them? Or is it something else? Occassionally, Fiance will say that he feels like I’m more affectionate with the animals and he feels excluded. Could this be an issue for your Wife? If it is just their behaviour and she’s not willing to open up to the cats, you may be left with the choice of her or them.. Unfortunately, from experience, there isn’t really a compromise for one person wanting pets and the other not wanting them.
Post # 3
I dont really know if I can help but we have 2 cats and can’t imagine how Id feel if it came to that with Fiance. The only thing I can think of is really getting to the cause of why she dislikes them so much. Is there shomething else getting to her that means she just has no patience? I know if Ive had a bad day and the cats are running amok knocking things over I get so frustrated and it seems like they are being a lot worse than usual, but it doesnt last. Maybe there is something ongoing that she needs help with, and the cats are just how she is expressing it?
I hope it works out !
Post # 4
Is there any possibility of creating a cat-free space in your home? I understand that the idea is not great – when I moved in with Fiance, I brought my cat, who does not like other cats, and he aleready had two, and we’ve had to divide up the apartment because mine goes into screaming attack mode when she sees the other two. It sucks because I would love to have her running around the house with the other two, or doing the tuna dance with them whenever we’re making dinner, but … oi, we cat people can talk about our cats forever! Anyway, point is… do you think it would help if you had some space that the cats are not allowed into? I’d especially recommend the bedroom – make that JUST abut the two of you, and not the cats. They might whine a bit but they’ll get over it!
I’m also interested to learn just what changed – if your wife was into the idea of cats enough to adopt a couple together, what made her suddenly dislike them so much?
Post # 5
I think her reasons are a combination of things: she owns and runs her own business, so her job can be very stressful at times. When she has had a particularly full day, she has no patience for them at all. In our talks, I have brought up the idea that maybe she is taking out her stress on the cats. She insists this is not the case, that she can’t stand them either way, but they make her bad days worse. She also doesn’t like that her freedom is limited in small ways, i.e. not leaving food unattended, making sure to close the bathroom door. We live in a very small apartment and she feels that there are “just too many bodies for the space”. I have more free time than she does, so I am primarily the homemaker; I think some of the unpredictability that happens with animals frustrates her.
Her family had cats when she was growing up, so they are not a new concept to her… which is what I find so confusing. When we adopted them, we were very much on the same page. I think I was more eager to have them than her, but still, she knew what having a cat meant and she was on board.
Post # 6
Btw, our bedroom has always been a pet – free space
Post # 7
The only other suggestion I can think of, if you can afford to, would be sending the cats to a pet hotel or to stay with family/friend for a week or two. This might give your wife time to de-stress, start to see that perhaps it’s NOT the cats, it IS her work and that she is channelling her frustrations out on them and you. It may also give her the opportunity to see how affected you’d be without them.
The whole situation sucks and I’m really sorry you’re going through it..
Post # 8
You are married and you have to put your wife first.
You’ve tried everything and your wife is still unhappy.
I have to say that if you have two cats in a very small apartment then it is hard to get any respite from them. I don’t suppose that they are outside as well as indoor cats?
I agree with the previous poster’s idea of putting the cats in a cat hotel for a week or so.
Have a break from the cats and use the time to come to some decisions.
People feel how they feel and so I doubt you can use reason to get her to like the cats. It is probably a mixture of things. Stress, cat litter, fur from moulting, meows, jumping, lack of privacy, etc.
Post # 9
Frankly I don’t think much of your wife, but I have no patience for people who get pets and then grow tired of them. I also have no sympathy for people in a relationship whose happiness is contingent upon the unhappiness of their partner. It does sound like she is taking her stress out on the poor cats,
And I realize I’m probably going to have 75 people screeching at me for equating pets with people but I would think very hard before having a child with your wife.
Post # 10
doberman: 100+, agree. And will stick by you if anyone argues. Wife knew what getting a pet was all about.. I still suspect she’s taking her work stress out on them.
Post # 11
Can you move? Sounds like you just need a slightly bigger space, for her sake. Maybe you could find a different neighborhood where you can get more space.
Post # 12
fauxfox: It must be very hard for your wife to live in an environment that causes her stress or that she feels impacts her quality of life, but the simple reality of it is that she adopted these cats with you and they are now a joint responsibility. They’ve done nothing wrong and deserve a happy and secure home.
I would have an extremely difficult time maintaining my respect and attraction to a partner that was discussing re-homing the cats. I don’t know, it just really doesn’t sit well with me, especially given there is nothing particularly extraordinary about the way these cats are behaving.
I can’t help but also wonder how she will adapt to having a young family, if that is what you have planned. Before you adopted the cats, were there other issues that dominated your relationship? In my limited experience there are just some people who always need a source to direct their unhappiness and frustrations at. Do you think if the cat problem could be magically solved to the satisfaction of both of you today that life would be calmer and happier from here forward? Or will there just be something else? I guess I’m wondering if the cats are really the problem here, or just a symptom of something else. I certainly don’t have any answers or judgements about those questions – just wanted to put them out there for consideration.
Post # 13
Supersleuth: hell no to that animals come first in my house, I’d leave/divorce my partner if he wanted me to get rid of any pets. Lucky he knew that very early in our relationship.
Unfortunately OP I’m not much help because I wouldn’t stand for that. There are too many homeless cats why make two more. In my opinion cats are forever and its hard to find any care unfortunately your wife’s opinion based in the fact she clearly disagrees.
ETA leaving him sounds extreme but it’s the truth. Unless he has an extremely good reason too want to regime them. Maybe not the first time he suggested it but it it led to frequent arguemebts he’ll yes I would leave.
Post # 14
My husband would go mad at me if I wanted to get rid of our cat for that reason.
Our marriage. My husband is very, very, very allergic to a lot of things. I owned three cats when we met and he was to move in with me. His eyes swell, he sneezes, he suffers asthma wheezing and throughout the eighteen months before his doctor managed to put him on the right medication the cats made his life hell.
BUT whenever I suggested getting rid of them or leaving them with my parents or anything to do with no longer owning them he would not hear of it. He insisted that he could handle flu like symptoms because my happiness was worth it.
Literally he swore down he would live with runny eyes, a blocked up nose and a headache forever if it meant I got to keep my baby cats. Now he is on the right stuff his symptoms have calmed down considerably but I knew he was the one for me when he never once made me feel guilty for them.
He never put me in an awkward position and he genuinely cared more about my cats and me than himself. I think your wife should be told to grow up.
Post # 15
We have two bengal cats (if you know anything about bengals you will know that they are very high maintenance and demanding) which I had before I got together with my husband. He is not a cat guy at all but it absolutely would have been a deal breaker for me if he wouldn’t accept that they and I come as a package. He can get impatient with them and they are VERY willful and can be destructive but he knows that i would never in a million years get rid of them. In my view, you make a commitment to an animal when you take it on, to look after it and take care of it for it’s lifetime. Some pets are challenging and some pet owners realise that they themselves are not as patient or as flexible as they need to be at times but a commitment is a commitment and in my view you don’t just just give up on something because it’s hard.
On a practical basis, you can’t carry on like this though. Is there any way of letting your cats outside? That might tire them out a bit more and make them less lively in the house? In my case my cats had free reign in my house before I lived with my husband but since we have lived together the cats are now banned from the bedroom and kitchen at his request and I think that’s fair (and probably more hygenic!). Is there any kind of compromise you can reach like that?