Cat suddenly scared of my husband

auri

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Just in the last week or two, our cat has been having occasional freakouts (hissing, growling, scratching) toward my husband when he gets in bed with me/us. The cat seems genuinely scared of him, though we've lived all together for 5 years and they've built their own sweet relationship (slowly - she was very standoffish when he first came into the picture).

It's like she forgets who he is!

There haven't been any recent changes in her routine. The house is changing a little as we are getting ready to have a baby in a few weeks. But the common areas and all of the cat stuff haven't changed. If anything, she's getting more attention than ever bc I'm working from home (thanks, COVID).

I don't know what's going on in her brain. We got a new screen door last week...? But why only take out her anxiety on my husband, who she usually gets along with??

Any wisdom welcome! It's not a great time for her to start showing unpredictable aggression toward family members - baby due soon!
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. Has your husband changed soaps, lotions, colognes, etc. Is he on medications that he wasn't on before? Changed jobs? Any of these things can affect his scent and the way she reacts to him.

Also, here is an article about babies and cats, in case that would help any with your upcoming family addition!
Cats And Babies: All Your Questions Answered! – TheCatSite Articles
 

Furballsmom

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Try having him ignore her, and also have him give treats (on the floor near her and walk away), and give her food and water, and even clean the litter boxes if she doesn't have any issues with these other activities. The idea is to have his smell on everything of hers and by completely ignoring her otherwise, hopefully she has the chance to come back around to her comfort level with him.
 

Caspers Human

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I’ve got a long shot idea but it’s an interesting one...

What if your cat smells your baby?

Cats can smell things that people can’t. Some people say that a cat’s sense of smell is more sensitive than a dogs... It’s debatable but it’s a theory I’ve often heard.

So, what if your cat smells that you have a baby on the way and it’s causing her nesting instinct to kick in a little bit? If the cat sees your bed as a “nest” where babies will be born, she might be defending that space from potential interlopers.

When hubby comes to bed and the cat growls, she might be saying, “Watch out! There’s a baby on the way!”
 
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auri

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I’ve got a long shot idea but it’s an interesting one...

What if your cat smells your baby?

Cats can smell things that people can’t. Some people say that a cat’s sense of smell is more sensitive than a dogs... It’s debatable but it’s a theory I’ve often heard.

So, what if your cat smells that you have a baby on the way and it’s causing her nesting instinct to kick in a little bit? If the cat sees your bed as a “nest” where babies will be born, she might be defending that space from potential interlopers.

When hubby comes to bed and the cat growls, she might be saying, “Watch out! There’s a baby on the way!”
I don't usually think of my cat as being intuitive (she's not winning any intelligence awards...) but this occurred to me as well! My hormones have definitely changed during pregnancy and it's possible she's smelled that and on some level understands there's a baby coming? She's only aggressive toward him when I'm in the bed, so it could be a protective reaction?

I'm just really unsure if she could understand that I'm pregant!
 

Caspers Human

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I'm pretty sure that she can smell that you are pregnant.

I have heard of cats reacting to pregnant women, before.

The long shot part is whether your cat makes the connections. I think that there might be a good chance of it, even if I'm not 100% certain.

If she considers you to be her human, part of her clan, she would naturally be defensive of you.

If she senses that one of her clan is pregnant, she might naturally be defensive, too.

If you are her main human and she smells that you are pregnant, there is a chance that she is being defensive of the bed.

I don't think she needs to be intelligent or intuitive to understand what mainly comes as instinct for animals.

I'm not saying that I think this to be the case without definite proof but it is a theory that I have heard of before and I wonder whether it's true.

Maybe we can collect more information from people who have been pregnant around their cats to see if it's more than just a hunch. :)
 

Krienze

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I don't usually think of my cat as being intuitive (she's not winning any intelligence awards...) but this occurred to me as well! My hormones have definitely changed during pregnancy and it's possible she's smelled that and on some level understands there's a baby coming? She's only aggressive toward him when I'm in the bed, so it could be a protective reaction?

I'm just really unsure if she could understand that I'm pregant!
Honestly, one of my moms favorite stories to tell people is how our cat Samantha would 'guard' her when she was pregnant, and once I was born, she would hide under my crib and swat at anyone not my mom or grandma, like she was protecting me. She went super crazy protective for a long time, she did NOT want anyone near my mom when she was pregnant with me, or near me when I was finally born, unless it was my mom or Grandma.
 

klunick

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I'm pretty sure that she can smell that you are pregnant.

I have heard of cats reacting to pregnant women, before.

The long shot part is whether your cat makes the connections. I think that there might be a good chance of it, even if I'm not 100% certain.

If she considers you to be her human, part of her clan, she would naturally be defensive of you.

If she senses that one of her clan is pregnant, she might naturally be defensive, too.

If you are her main human and she smells that you are pregnant, there is a chance that she is being defensive of the bed.

I don't think she needs to be intelligent or intuitive to understand what mainly comes as instinct for animals.

I'm not saying that I think this to be the case without definite proof but it is a theory that I have heard of before and I wonder whether it's true.

Maybe we can collect more information from people who have been pregnant around their cats to see if it's more than just a hunch. :)
Our first cat loved my husband as if he was hers. She would intentionally lay on my face when I was in bed with him like she wanted me to know that I am not allowed near "her man". When I got pregnant with our first, she would lay on top of my belly all the time. Knowing that she didn't care for me, I figured she was protective of "her man's" baby and wanted to make sure she kept it safe. Unfortunately she passed away a few months before my son was born. She ended up having Cushing's Disease.
 

fionasmom

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A French study has just confirmed that Belgian malinois were able to detect the COVID 19 virus from the sweat of suspected patients with a near perfect score. I see no reason that your cat does not sense something along the lines of hormones and that is the cause of her change in personality.
 

lollie

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Hi. Has your husband changed soaps, lotions, colognes, etc. Is he on medications that he wasn't on before? Changed jobs? Any of these things can affect his scent and the way she reacts to him.
This. My cat completely wigged out on me once because I tried a new hand lotion. I don’t know what was the matter with it, but she had a regular hissy fit.
 

cmsandford

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In the meantime...get a Feliway diffuser to ease her anxiety. Or the spray.
 

Albus

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Just in the last week or two, our cat has been having occasional freakouts (hissing, growling, scratching) toward my husband when he gets in bed with me/us. The cat seems genuinely scared of him, though we've lived all together for 5 years and they've built their own sweet relationship (slowly - she was very standoffish when he first came into the picture).
Your cat might be responding to your hormones and getting more protective of you. My sister's dog suddenly decided that none of us could come near my sister when she was pregnant either, and I've heard many instances of cats doing the same. Someone in another forum sent a video of a cat who even made a nest for her pregnant human. :)
 

SheriGoddart24

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My cat was always kind until another cat appeared in our house. They have been living together for 3 years, but they just can't make friends
 
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