My Cat Only Comes to Other Family Members, Never to Me

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When Vincent moved in with us, he showed a great preference for me. He lay purring in my lap for hours every evening. In the morning and the evening, he often followed me meowing so as to make it clear to me that he was hungry. My husband, Lars, often watched jealously; although Vincent let himself be petted by Lars, he never came and lay in Lars’s lap. We often talked about this and concluded that it had to do with me having the most interaction with Vincent in situations where it was about his needs. I always fed him and brushed him, cleaned his kitty litter and smoothed his blankets when they were crumpled, as well as doing other things for him. I also played and spoke to him the most. So maybe it was understandable that Vincent tended to come to me when he wanted something.

Then I took a long trip with my colleagues (we spent two weeks at linguistics conferences and symposia in Malaysia and Singapore). Lars was home alone with Vincent at the time.

It turned out that Vincent understood that Lars was a really nice guy as soon as I was away for a few days. Lars fed him just as well, and he could relax on Lars’s lap just as well. When I got home again, we set it up so that I fed Vincent, brushed him and cleaned his kitty litter in the mornings (because I am often up before Lars anyway) and Lars does the same in the evening. After that, Vincent became a very just, unbiased cat. Every night he spent an hour on my lap, and then exactly as long with Lars. At night, he often lay between us in bed, and turned to Lars just as much as to me when he wanted something or had something to show us. Finally, we were convinced that Vincent cared for us equally.

Tip: If your cat ever goes to only one person in the family, try dividing up the chores (feeding, playing, cleaning the kitty litter) among family members, so that the cat understands that they are loved by and can expect help from everyone in the family. And if your cat goes only to other family members and not to you, try to spend a few days alone with the cat and pay special attention to the cat in this time, play a lot and spend a lot of time with them. If you are lucky, you and your cat will have a much better relationship as a result.

Tags: #cat #cats

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