*help* Why Does My New Adult Cat Hate Me But Love Everyone Else?

ragdollmom17

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Hi friends,

I would first like to start off by saying I am so happy I found this site. Reading the threads has helped me so much already! I am going to give a lot of detail in my adoption story, if you don’t want to read it all please find the TL;DR version at the bottom

I am a brand new cat mom. I bought a beautiful 4 year old ragdoll from her previous owner a week ago (October 9th). The previous owner admitted that she could no longer care for her since giving birth to her newborn baby, and that the cat has not had much attention and was not socialized very much for the past few months. The cat was declawed by her previous owner a few years back (terrible, I know).

I met the cat and fell in love. She was very curious, expressive, and beautiful. I took her that day, put her in a carrier, and drove 2 hours back to my condo. She was clearly terrified, since she meowed constantly the entire car ride and pooped in the carrier as well. I have a roommate, but my roommate happened to be away from home last week, so I went and got the cat alone.

The cat immediately hid after I let her out of the carrier, which is expected. During the first few days, any time she saw me she would hiss, growl, and groan extremely loud. Which again, I expected.

I got her on Tuesday and by Thursday night she had already began coming out of hiding and exploring while I was asleep. Friday, I came home from work and saw that she finally ate her food, drank water, and used the litterbox while I was away! I was ecstatic, since this was the first time she did any of those things while being in her new home.

Later in the evening on Friday, my roommate returned home after being away for the week. I warned her that the cat will likely be hiding and she may not be able to meet the cat yet. To my disbelief, once my room mate came home the cat came out into the livingroom in plain sight. Since Friday, she has been a very social cat. She occasionally still hides in my room, but when me and my room mate are watching TV in the evening, she clearly wants to be around us and often sits on the couch with us.

I am very happy my new cat is getting comfortable. She did not take much time at all, not nearly what I was expecting. But my issue is… the cat is absolutely in love with my room mate but she still hasn’t warmed up to me yet (a huge understatement… she hates me!). The cat follows my room mate around, is always trying to get into her room, and always trying to get my room mates attention for scratches and rubs. My roommate has never had any kind of pet, so she is a little scared of the unpredictability of the cat. For that reason, my room mate does not allow the cat into her room when she is sleeping. If it were my cat’s choice, I know she would love to live in my room mates room and not come out.

If I am alone in the condo, the cat is usually hiding. Occasionally if I walk by her (NOT paying attention to her, just walking by!), the cat still hisses. She has never hissed or growled at ANYONE except for me, and she still does it to this day. I have had a few friends/family members over since I’ve had the cat and she always goes up to strangers and meows to say hello. It seems like the cat is very sweet and social, EXCEPT to me!

At first, I thought she may just be scared of me, since I was the one who took her from her previous owner and drove her to my condo. I was also alone with her in the condo when she was going through her terrified hissy/growly phase the first few days of living in her new home. But now I am not so sure. She sleeps in the same bed as me (completely under the covers to stay hidden though, and she still hisses at me if I look at her), she sits on the couch beside me, and eats in front of me. If the cat was scared of me, wouldn’t she not be doing these things and avoiding me all together?

Could it be possible the cat just doesn’t like me? Am I doing something wrong? The cat only lets me pet her for not even a minute, she seems very receptive and meows and wiggles around and exposes her belly… but then she hisses and swats… am I petting her wrong since she lets other people pet her for longer? I usually have sweaty hands, could that be why she doesn’t like my pets?

I’ve already told my roommate to not give her any treats or food, so I am the only person feeding her, giving her treats, playing with her (she doesn’t really play… could I be scaring her when I try to play with her maybe?), cleaning her litterbox, changing her water, etc.

I am so sad to say this but if the cat does not warm up to me I don’t think I want to keep her. I have had dogs all my life and all my dogs absolutely adored me. I realize owning a cat is very different, but it is really affecting my morale to watch my cat let my room mate pet her for 15-20 minutes at a time, then look over at me and hiss! It is making me extremely depressed.

If she acted the same towards everyone else I would feel much better, but the fact that she’s a sweetheart to everyone except for me is negatively affecting my mood. I have already cried about it more times than I wish to admit. Do you think she just needs more time, or is there just something about me that she decided she does not like?

TL;DR -
My new 4-year old declawed ragdoll cat loves getting affection and attention from my roommate and strangers. However she still does not let me pet her and hisses at me any time I get near her, even if I am not looking at her and I just need to walk by to get something. I have had her for just over a week and I know cats need time to get used to a new environment, but why is it that shes comfortable with everyone except for me? Can I change this behavior, or do I need to decide if I need to accept a cat who hates me but loves everyone else or try to rehome her?

Thank you for your advice!
 

susanm9006

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It very well may be that your cat is afraid of you because she associates you with the scary car ride in carrier and coming into a new place. It doesn’t mean that she hates you. Ignore the hissing and talk softly to her without making eye contact. Don’t make an attempt to touch her until she is ready to come to you. This might take a week or it might take months but she has shown with your roommate that she is a social cat that enjoys human contact. She will start to trust you and give you affection if you are patient.
 
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ragdollmom17

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That is odd. Noisy shoes? Does she hiss/growl every time you walk by or certain places or times? Can you bring something from her previous owner or a certain way she liked to be handled/patted??
I don’t wear shoes but sometimes my feet are sweaty and can make noise against the hardwood? I’ll try socks
 

Jem

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Do you wear perfume or essential oils? she may not like it, and many are actually toxic to cats. I had one cat who was so sensitive to scents, that he would run away and even hissed a few times, if he was in the bathroom with me when I brushed my teeth.

But I agree with what someone else posted about ignoring her. Of course make sure she sees that YOU are feeding, cleaning litter, giving treats, playing with a wand toy, ect...but don't initiate contact. Eventually, she will see you as her "bringer of all good things" and if you don't initiate contact, she will learn you are not a threat.
 

KarenKat

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I agree with all the previous advice ... and I’ll just add that cats are very different from dogs in the ways they interact. Someone nervous to be near pets and probably not seeking the cat’s attention is being very polite. Someone ignoring boundaries and going up to the cat to pet it is being aggressive and scary. Also, going off into a secret room of hidden wonders may be intriguing you new kitty as well.

The best way to interact with a new cat that’s unsure about you is ignoring until approached. If you ever see a cat meeting a new person, very often the cat starts sniffing the hand tentatively, hesitating. If she decides it’s safe, usually there is a cheek rub on the hand. I wouldn’t try petting her until you get the “cheek rub” green light.

Also, when you pet her keep in mind where, how often, and how repetetive. Most cats dislike belly rubs, and exposing a belly is a sign of trust but not an invitation to touch. Safest for most cats is to pet only around the head until you know what she likes. Pay attention to ears and tail - most cats start to swish their tail around when they are getting annoyed which is when you should stop. Ears that are going back towards the skull are also unsure or frightened.

Hopefully this helps ... I don’t think she hates you or is a lost cause, I think she is scared and may be picking up on your stress and frustration that you haven’t bonded yet. In time you two will get to know each other and hopefully become fast friends.
 

maggiedemi

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My cat Maggie seems to want to spend time with me when I'm doing a project and not focusing on her. She tends to come over on her own and try to "help" me. :)
 

ohhsoserena

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Hi! I’m in the same situation. 3 years since you posted this…does your ragdoll love you now? If so, what worked for you? Thanks!
 
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