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I've noticed recently that my nephew's cat is not reacting well to him. He's acting territorial with me and with my cousin and will out of no where go into a sort of strike position when my nephew gets near him. A lot of times he's fine, and then bam he's not. My rule is if you do something to bother the cat then don't come crying to me when the cat retaliates, but now we're talking about the cat being Mr. Grumpy pants for no apparent reason. One thing I have noticed, which allows me to intervene before it escalates is that it always starts with him sort of opening his mouth like he's panting. I want to nip this in the bud now. My nephew LOVES this cat and I want to keep it that way. He already gets scared when the cat goes into psycho kitty mode, and I don't want him to grow up fearful of animals.
 

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Was there an incident that your nephew did something to the cat to hurt it, like pull its tail, or frighten it by throwing a toy at it? Something happened, and the cat has decided 'the best defence is a good offence'. Your nephew should be closely supervised at all times with the cat, and told and made to "leave kitty alone". The only interaction your nephew should have with the cat is to feed him his meals....to give his food to him, and to give him treats. This should change the cat's mind that good things come from the nephew and there's nothing to be defensive about when near him. Yes, you certainly don't want kitty to go into "psycho kitty mode" as that will have an impression on your nephew, so you will need to strictly surpervise him when he and cat are in the same room. You could also get your nephew to play with cat with fishing pole type toys (just be careful he doesn't hit the cat with it but only drags it around behind him on the floor), or drags a cord/long ribbo around. Cats love to chase after a kid pulling a cord around and it's fun for the kid too. Although your nephew wants to pet the cat, this should be done only if the cat is accepting of it or initiates attention himself. Good luck!
 

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It truly is an offense. Sometimes it's territorial. For example he was lying on my stomache when my nephew approached me and he didn't like it. It quickly got him evicted from his comfy spot. I won't accept that type of behavior. I get it, but I won't put up with it. Your nice to the boy you get treats. Your mean to the boy go find somewhere else to sun yourself. But at other times it seems unprovoked. I was in the kitchen cooking dinner and my nephew was on the rug coloring the cat was with me and then went up to my nephew striking out with his paw (claws out).

He's a good cat. 98% of the time he's either loving or at the very least tolerant, but I want to nip this 2% in the bud asap. The other thing is I don't get his warning sign. As I said, he always starts with his mouth slightly open and kind of panting and then I know he's about to get grumpy.
 

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When you see him with his warning sign of "open mouth slightly panting", then distract him by throwing a toy/foil or paper/ball/paper clip or even drop something on the floor of the kitchen....anything to switch his focus. If he starts approaching nephew and looks like he may attack, stomp your foot on the floor and say "NO!" and give him a hard stare. If he ignores, stomp your feet toward him. This will show him you don't approve of his (intended) behavior and will not put up with it. Also when he is near your nephew and behaving well, praise him with "Good boy" (maybe a treat).....also give him some extra loving and pets ....may be some jealousy here.
 
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