New kitten likes me but not my wife

rustymusket

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My wife and I are both cat people, having adopted kittens in the past 40 years, either as single cats or pairs with no issues.
Six years ago, we adopted two litter mates and brought them home some days after we had our carpets removed and the hardwood floors resurfaced and sealed with polyurethane. The sealer guidelines stated the floors would be dry after a few days curing.

Last summer, the female got very sick and was diagnosed with pancreatitis. She was put down to spare her pain and our agony. The male mourned the loss of his sister and we decided to adopt a new kitten as a playmate for him. Unbeknownst to us, the male was sick as well and began to display similar symptoms as the litter mate and taken to the vet for evaluation.
They were unclear as to the cause but cautiously recommended we separate both cats. I took the kitten to a different location for the next ten days while my wife cared for the sick male.
We soon diagnosed him with advanced pancreatitis as well and was euthanized.
I brought the kitten back home. He was very friendly to me but tended to ignore my wife, although he would purr when she picked him up and cuddled him.
He just turned one year of age and has bitten my wife's hands/arms a few times when she attempted to pet or scratch his fur. We are not clear if she came too close to potentially-painful fur mats or some other reason for biting her and drawing blood.
If we are unable to correct this issue, we will have no other choice but to put him up for adoption.
He is a beautiful DMH with white chest and legs and a broad band of dark auburn hair from the bridge of his nose, over his head, neck, and full back to the tip of his tail. His purr is loud and sounds like a diesel engine at idle. Someone please help!
I
 

susanm9006

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It’s hard to say what caused it but your kitten is biting and scratching because he is skittish or even fearful on your wife. But he is still young and this most certainly can change. First and most important is that she needs to ignore him and not get in his space. So no petting, picking him up or grooming him until he lets her know that he wants attention. This could be in a few week or it could take months but all interactions need to be on his terms.

Second she should take over feeding him and cleaning his litterbox if she doesn’t already. This helps him see her as not someone scary but his provider.

Lastly every day she should get down on the floor, sitting or laying and lay out some treats for him or roll a ball to him. She is much less threatening on his level and play or treats helps him warm up. One great game for her to try is teaching him to fetch by throwing his favorite toy, retrieving it herself and repeating until he joins in.

I really do think you two can turn this around and make him a loving pet to both of you.
 

cataholic07

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At what age did you adopt the kitten? How long was the kitten with the other cat? Make sure your wife is ONLY petting the backside of the head, you do not want to pet the body of a kitty as they can get overstimulated. Never past the shoulders! Have your wife play with wand toys with him, not only will it burn out his energy but he will associate her with good things.
 
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