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Old 06-11-2010, 08:28 AM   #1
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Pets cause arguments

My husband and I have two cats and a dog, no kids. I had the cats before I met him, then we got the dog while we were living together, but it was only because he wanted it (I'm a cat person). My cats are strange. They were found in the wild as baby kittens, maybe 3 weeks old, and so they were never properly weened form their mother. This effected them greatly and they have always been super attached to me, hissed at strangers, and talk a lot. They're simply put: neurotic. But I love them dearly. They are so sweet to me and they make me happy. I have a strong value that you should not take on a pet unless you are willing to commit until it dies or dire circumstances. So when my then bf and I moved in together and the cats were hissing at him, I knew we'd have a long road ahead. One cat eventually got better and stopped hissing at him, but the other one has not. It's been almost 4 years. When my husband walks into the room where the cat is at, he hisses and runs away. It really gets on my husband's nerves. I try to keep them separated as much as I can. But now my husband is making the argument that if the dog were growling at me, he wouldn't hesitate for a second to get rid of it. So he is asking me to get rid of my cat. I have asked him to try and make more of an effort and he just has given up. I don't want to get rid of my cat. And now he is accusing me of putting him last in my life. I feel torn. I will never feel right with myself by giving away my cat. I don't understand why my husband is putting me in this position so that he can feel comfortable, knowing how much these cats mean to me. Any thoughts?

 
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Old 06-11-2010, 08:41 AM   #2
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Re: Pets cause arguments

This is a tough one. I'm sure a lot of people will say "he's your husband, he's more important, get rid of the cat." But being an animal lover and pet owner myself, I know it's not that easy. I'm sorry this wasn't discussed in detail before the two of you got married, and come to an agreement beforehand if the hissing and such didn't get any better. But since you didn't, and you're here...

First of all, it's unfair of your husband to give this ultimatum and say "it's me or the cat" when he knew from the beginning what this cat's issues were. The time for such ultimatums was before marriage. And to compare it with a dog growling at you is also unfair. The cat hisses because it feels threatened and it runs. A dog growls, also because he feels threatened, but it usually means the dog is about to attack. The worst your cat does is run away from your husband, making noise and annoying him. The worst a dog could do after growling is chew your fingers off, cut you up, even crush bones in your hand if it's a breed with very powerful jaws. His comparison is lopsided and unfair, and emotional manipulation, and that's not right for him to pull that.

I'm more of a dog person myself so I don't know all that much about cats, but I have heard that they can be trained to a certain extent. Perhaps little things like having your husband feed the cats, just putting the food in their dish, or leaving a trail of treats that leads to where he's sitting. You might want to check out some books on the subject, I'm sure there are some. But you need to assess with your husband what's the bottom line here. If you don't get rid of the cat, then what? Will he leave you? IF it does come down to you having to get rid of the cat, and I hope it doesn't, make sure you find a really good home with someone who understands the cat's particular issues and is willing to deal with them, and follow up. You don't want to find out later the new owner got fed up too and had your cat put to sleep. Talk it out with your husband and see if he is willing to give it some more time. I think you haven't exhausted every option yet, and you shouldn't get rid of the cat until you do, for your own peace of mind.

Last edited by Larrylou'smom; 06-11-2010 at 08:46 AM.

 
Old 06-11-2010, 09:05 AM   #3
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Re: Pets cause arguments

That is a tough one. We have a dog and we could never imagine getting rid of her. But, I totally sympathize with your husband (being a dog person myself, and really detesting cats). It's not like he simply doesn't like the cat, the cat makes him uncomfortable in his own home. That's not fair to him, in my view. If you could find a good home for the problem cat, where you could still visit, maybe that would be a solution. Although, from the sound of it, no one is going to take this cat. Truly a tough one.

 
Old 06-11-2010, 09:17 AM   #4
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Re: Pets cause arguments

don't EVER get rid of a pet for a person......
a pet will give you unconditional love, a person won't.....evident by the simple fact that he wants you to get rid of the pet!

 
Old 06-11-2010, 09:31 AM   #5
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Re: Pets cause arguments

Quote:
Originally Posted by caberg View Post
That is a tough one. We have a dog and we could never imagine getting rid of her. But, I totally sympathize with your husband (being a dog person myself, and really detesting cats). It's not like he simply doesn't like the cat, the cat makes him uncomfortable in his own home. That's not fair to him, in my view. If you could find a good home for the problem cat, where you could still visit, maybe that would be a solution. Although, from the sound of it, no one is going to take this cat. Truly a tough one.
No, my husband hates my cat. Not simply dislikes. That's another problem. He says everyday that he wants nothing more than to wring his neck. I have to listen to this all the time, how badly he wants my cat dead. I know he is venting, but really, I feel so disrespected when he talks like that. So during the day I keep my cat in the basement. When I get home from work I let him upstairs then outside. He grew up as an indoor cat so I can't let him roam outside, but I do put him in our porch hooked up to a leash. He loves it out there. Then at night it's back to the basement. Meanwhile his dog is sleeping on our bed. It tears me apart.

And not to defend my cats over my husband, but I truly feel this is mostly his own fault. When we first started dating and my cat hissed at him, he would pretty much encourage the behavior by yelling at him, stomping his feet to scare him away, etc. He thought it was funny and I told him to stop. Too late. So now of course whenever my cat even hears his voice, he gets upset. Now what is really strange is if my husband is in bed and not talking or moving, the cat will come up and let him pet him. The minute he moves or says something, he hisses and runs. I truly believe he is traumatized and I can't help but blame my husband for the behavior. And now he is asking me to get rid of him so that's why I am resisting the way I am.

It's been a problem the duration of our whole relationship. We've just swept it under the rug and tried to live with it. Bad move I know. So now I am just trying to keep the peace by keeping them apart as much as possible. I really don't want to let my cat roam outside, but do you think I should? He'll be happier that way rather than cooped up.

 
Old 06-11-2010, 09:43 AM   #6
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Re: Pets cause arguments

Quote:
Originally Posted by mannie8 View Post
He says everyday that he wants nothing more than to wring his neck. I have to listen to this all the time, how badly he wants my cat dead.
Nice! Sounds like a great guy you married, there!

Quote:
So during the day I keep my cat in the basement. When I get home from work I let him upstairs then outside. He grew up as an indoor cat so I can't let him roam outside, but I do put him in our porch hooked up to a leash. He loves it out there. Then at night it's back to the basement. Meanwhile his dog is sleeping on our bed.
If you're going to force the cat to live in the basement anyway, you might as well find it a new home. It is exceedingly unfair to the cat to make him live that way! That's really, really unfair to the cat!

Quote:
When we first started dating and my cat hissed at him, he would pretty much encourage the behavior by yelling at him, stomping his feet to scare him away, etc. He thought it was funny and I told him to stop. Too late. So now of course whenever my cat even hears his voice, he gets upset. ...I truly believe he is traumatized and I can't help but blame my husband for the behavior. And now he is asking me to get rid of him so that's why I am resisting the way I am.
It's his own fault for making the cat act this way toward him and now he insists you get rid of it and tells you he wishes it was dead? What a jerk. Seriously. This guy you married is a complete and total jerk. I've dated guys who were mean to my cats, and guess what? I got rid of the guy because I have zero patience for people who don't repsect my pets. I can't believe you would have continued a relationship with him after you knew he was treating them this way and then you went ahead and married him? What were you thinking?

I would not get rid of the cat. I would tell your loser husband that he made the cat that way and now he has to live with it! And if he doesn't like it then he can just leave. This whole thing is just stupid and it's all his fault! He has some nerve telling you to get rid of the cat when he is the one who caused the problem!! What a jerk!

Last edited by Administrator; 06-11-2010 at 05:36 PM.

 
Old 06-11-2010, 10:18 AM   #7
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Re: Pets cause arguments

No, I wouldn't recommend making an indoor cat roam around outside. He may never come back, may run off, get lost and scared, get hit by a car, he doesn't know how to fend for himself outside. And since he started out as an indoor cat, I'm guessing he's been de-clawed? So he can't defend himself. No, I'd suggest finding a good home for the cat before letting him roam outside.

Your husband is to blame. The cat was traumatized to start with, and your husband's behavior made it worse. Sounds like he has never even tried to get along with your cat or try to make things easier. Your husband hasn't compromised at all, is sounds like. Not only is that deeply disrespectful to the animal, but it's deeply disrespectful to you, as the person who owns and loves the animal.

If your husband is really serious about wringing your cat's neck, if he really hates the cat that much, then it's probably only a matter of time before he actually does kill the cat or whoops, accidentally on purpose lets him out of the house, or just takes him to the pound while you're at work or something. It's not fair that you should have to keep your cat in the basement all the time. Not fair to you, or the cat. IF it were me, I'd have gotten rid of the husband by now, but, I can't tell you what to do, and of course a marriage is a marriage and it must be taken seriously, but if he's not willing to meet you even halfway on this issue, then you really have to think long and hard about what's best for everyone in the long run. But if you decide to get rid of the cat, please make sure you find it a good home with someone who will understand the cat's issues, and someone who will let you visit once in a while. Good luck.

 
Old 06-11-2010, 11:21 AM   #8
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Re: Pets cause arguments

No WAY would I get rid of a pet for my guy. My pets were there before him, he knew I had them when we moved in together, if it was an issue then he shouldn't have moved in. There's a huge difference between a growling dog and a hissing cat anyway. A hissing cat runs and hides. A growling dog might attack, and dogs are much bigger and more dangerous.

As it happens, pets have been a problem with my BF and I also but we worked it out. I had two cats (still have them) when we met, plus a dog. He had a dog and a cat left over from his previous marriage that had been his wife's and she left them. He actually pretty much hates pets. I also got two ferrets. He REALLY hates ferrets. One recently died, and the other one doesn't have long, and I've promised him I will not replace the ferrets. That is my concession to him. But I do plan on always having a dog and probably two cats at any given point, and he knows this about me and has to deal with it. He's got kids from his previous marriage and I accept that and know that the kids come with the package. He accepts my pets (mostly) and knows they come with me.

 
Old 06-11-2010, 11:24 AM   #9
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Re: Pets cause arguments

You cannot let the cat outside. The poor thing won't know how to defend itself and will probably get killed in a fight. I'd feel awful if it were my cat that got killed.

Your husband helped make the cat the way it is and in my opinion, will just have to deal. Of course, it sounds like he's not willing to deal. So...if it were me, and he gave me the ultimatum of the cat or him, I'd say I'm keeping the cat. I kind of doubt he'd actually leave.
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Old 06-11-2010, 11:25 AM   #10
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Re: Pets cause arguments

If you're willing to get rid of your husband over a cat, I hope that the marriage is doomed for other reasons. I never understand the almost knee-jerk reaction to advise that someone lose the husband over issues that should not be breaking up a marriage.

There are lots of reasons where a person must come before a pet. What if spouse develops a severe allergy? Happens all the time. Still get rid of the spouse over the pet? What if the pet gets physically aggressive towards a member of the family? Happens all the time with dogs. Still get rid of the family member?

This is a harder one because it seems like your husband has not made an effort to live amicably with the cat. And it should be a compromise coming from both sides to see if it can work. But, honestly, I would not be too thrilled to live with a cat hissing at me throughout the house.

 
Old 06-11-2010, 11:41 AM   #11
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Re: Pets cause arguments

this situation is clearly all your husbands fault because he was the one who caused the cat to be traumatized and he must therefore deal with the consequences of his immature actions or else find a way to work through it to help the cat feel more secure around him.

But unfortunately since you married a guy who is clueless and immature and impatient, I'm sure he won't take the time to try to help ease the cats fears! So what can you do? I don't know but I do know that forcing the cat to live in the basement alone and tossing him outside when he has only ever been an indoor cat is the worst thing you can do! In that case you really need to find him a new home with a loving family that will actually take good care of him! It's very cruel to punish the cat for your lame husband's stupidity!

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Old 06-11-2010, 11:57 AM   #12
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Re: Pets cause arguments

this ISN'T a tough one. A grown man is feeling threatened by a hissing cat? PLEASE! What a big baby! Unless the cat were attacking him, then he would have something to worry about. He's acting pretty immature and I would not get rid of my cat.

A dog growling is not the same thing as a cat hissing. My cat hisses when I get out of the vacuum, does this mean I should get rid of my cat?

You have a responsibility to your pets. If you guys have children and the child bites, then what?

He married you with your cats - he needs to live with it!

Last edited by Belly Kelly; 06-11-2010 at 11:58 AM.

 
Old 06-11-2010, 01:42 PM   #13
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Re: Pets cause arguments

I'm going to go out on a limb here, but I dont hold dearly to pets. I have had pets, that I loved, and some I was able to keep for the long haul, but sometimes, things just happen and it's time to get rid of the pet. For instance, I recently got rid of my cat. We had him since he was a kitten, he was 4 years old, and recently had decided the living room was his bathroom and hissing and biting at my 1 year old was a good idea. Guess what.....bye bye kitty! My dog, who I adored, and was very well trained, decided that he didn't like haveing as many kids as we have either, and started nipping at my 5 year olds face. Bye bye doggy. Now a lot of people told me I needed to train my children to be around the pet. But I'm sorry, it's not the pets home, and I dont care what happens, they dont have the right to be disrespectful towards MY children. I will never understand hanging on to a pet and treating it like a human. It's an animal. And if it can't behave, then it's time to go. As far as your husband, it is hard because he hasn't tried to adjust to the animal, but something tells me that's not the whole story. For instance, he's fine with the other cat. I think the cat antagonized him one too many times so he just figured, if you cant beat them, join them, and decided to antagonize back. If it were me, I'd rather keep my relationship healthy and get rid of the cat.

 
Old 06-11-2010, 01:45 PM   #14
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Re: Pets cause arguments

the problem is the relationship isn't healthy to begin with, it has nothing at all to do with the cat.
if the cat was gone, the relationship still wouldn't be healthy

 
Old 06-11-2010, 01:59 PM   #15
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Re: Pets cause arguments

The rlationship isn't stable to start with. Personally, I would never chose an animal over a human...and I'ma dog lover, have three rescues... If you are in an arguement like this I don't hold out much hope for the future.

Last edited by Administrator; 06-11-2010 at 05:45 PM.

 
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