Do cats dislike certain people? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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Do cats dislike certain people?

Ok so my cat Nala is pretty friendly with everybody. She's really nosey and always investigating new people. So far she's been cool with everyone, especially my 2 best friends. She seems to like guys more than girls but I live alone so it's not a problem. And until now she's never shown any aggression to girls, she just ignores them.
Yesterday my friend stopped by and brought his new girlfriend over. At first Nala went up to her and sniffed her as usual. But then she became really defensive. She didn't want the girl to pet her or even walk by her. She would hiss and swat at her. She even swatted at my friend when he tried to calm her down (until she realized it was him). Is it normal for cat to dislike only certain people?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 11:58 AM
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Scent? ..... Pets in her home? Perfume? body lotion? deodorant? ummm - female issues? Cigarettes? I had a neighbor once that that cooked Indian food a lot and her clothing smelled like curry. Could be anything. You need to think like a cat. Cat's don't really care about sex or race so I'm guessing it's 90% scent - the rest could be medical on GF's part.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 12:18 PM
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Our former cat was with my husband before we met. She was very skiddish, but adored him, of course. He didn't get a lot of company and she seemed okay with girls too, like when I met her. She seemed to freak out if a guy visited or if there were over 3 people in the room at one time. One time when our son was small and she was around 7-8 years old? and rather overweight she was in the living room with us and my husband's mother and we had the baby gate up. My brother-in-law came in the room, just stepped over the gate...and sat down. I don't think he even said anything, but she freaked out and jumped over the gate. We didn't even think she could jump that high anymore! Our new kittens haven't been exposed much to other people and are very nervous if anyone stops by. They are almost a year old and from the same litter. Decimal adores my husband and seems to like my son quite a bit too. I think she tends to like the boys, but not scared of girls. Delta was scared of my husband until just recently and she still seems to keep an eye on him. He is so calm around her and is patient letting her get to know him on her terms, but I don't know what it is. Luckily, she doesn't hiss/claw, but was nervous around him and would turn and go the other direction. This same cat (Delta) seems to be a mommy's girl. She will sit with me probably more than anyone. It will be interesting to hear some responses. Marcia brought up some good points and she seems to be a good source here.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 12:24 PM
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Cats can appear to be quite discerning and it all seems rather mysterious how they obtain their reasons for being tentative or defensive around someone at first meeting. Cats use subtle indicators like eye contact, a person's movements, the pitch of a person's voice, but I agree with Marcia that scent is what they utilize most. Some reasons just can't be figured out, but they do occasionally seem to present an upfront bias for or against a particular person.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 01:27 PM
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My oldest cat (14 years) grew up knowing me as a smoker. I quit for over a year, during that time she wasn't at all as close to me as she had been in the past. I thought perhaps she had just reached an age where she wanted to be left alone more.

When I failed my quit and picked the smoking habit back up, I discovered the lovable little black cat I had known for close to 5 years.

I did quit again, just about 4 years ago, now. She kept to herself a little bit, at first, but then she slowly came back around to her old self. Of course by the time she had settled with the idea that I was now a non smoker, I bring home a couple of kittens into the fam!! Surprize, B.B.! lol

Point is, like Marcia said, it has LOADS to do with scent, AND it can be the same person they have known. Scent is the key with cats. This is why they are so fastidious. Their survival depends on them being able to read and distribute, as well as eliminate scent

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 01:37 PM
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Yeah...I have no idea. MowMow loves everyone. Maintenance men, cable guys, ex boyfriends (I really wish he would have better judgement on those, because ONE of us needs to be smarter than we've been), and delivery guys....but my ex husband freaks him the heck out.

I have NO idea why. Ryan is great with cats and loves them. He's never hurt MowMow or been mean to him. The moment MowMow sees, hears, or smells Ryan he's gone and under furniture. Even if he's brave enough to stick around and let Ryan stroke him... after a few moments it's just too uncomfortable for him and he leaves to hide.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 02:26 PM
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Unfortunately Mystique is a bit like this with my husband, and like your ex he is a bonafide cat guy who is so kind and loving to animals. He keeps saying she will come around and takes it in stride, but I know it bothers him because he loves her too and would like to be able to pat her or have her run up to him like she does to me.

And we have no idea either - maybe he reminds her of someone in her past who was less than kind to her? She was found on the streets so who knows what it could be. Or maybe it's just a certain scent, like others are saying.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 03:36 PM
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has anybody ever considered the option that cats are empathic and can see/feel things about people that we can't

as a profession delivery guy (UPS) i run into pets every day and have had only one experience when a dog wasn't very pleased with my being there (owner was controlling the dog properly)

cats on the other hand come up to me and give me the big sniff and then lots of purrs and rubs

i say along with the other posters that it is scent
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