Why does my cat hate men?

maemae0812

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My Binx is 5 months old and does not like other people. He is very much playful, but has a real biting and scratching problem. It is not as bad with my mom, sister and I, but when he knows my dad or any other human male is around he runs and hides. Today I handed Binx to my dad so he could pet him when he attacked my dads face and hissed. I don’t know why he did it but he only does it to men. Please help me understand why so that I don’t have to put him away anytime a guy is around.
 

susanm9006

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He doesn’t hate men or strangers - he is afraid of them. And when you force him to be close to someone or something he is fearful of he defends himself by biting, scratching and trying to get away. Some cats never get over their fear but others do, if they are allowed to do it in their own time. You don’t ever want to force them into interaction.

The best thing to do is to allow the cat to hide or put him in another room while your father or other visitors are over. If the cat chooses to come out, everyone should ignore him until he rubs on them or demands attention. And even then the person should do no more than put a hand out for the cat to sniff at first and only move to touching them if the cat seems ready for it.
 

ArtNJ

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Cats do not trust everyone equally or at the same time. Its totally normal for a cat to trust and bond with one or more folks in the house, but not yet trust another. With the other folks, it may take longer, and may not happen at all if they expect to be at the same place as the other folks in the house with the cat, or don't have the same patience. And you absolutely can't hand most cats to someone it doesn't know and trust and expect things to go well.

So I don't know that this is really a hates men thing. Does the cat do well with women it doesn't know? And are they trying to pick the cat up?
 
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maemae0812

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Cats do not trust everyone equally or at the same time. Its totally normal for a cat to trust and bond with one or more folks in the house, but not yet trust another. With the other folks, it may take longer, and may not happen at all if they expect to be at the same place as the other folks in the house with the cat, or don't have the same patience. And you absolutely can't hand most cats to someone it doesn't know and trust and expect things to go well.

So I don't know that this is really a hates men thing. Does the cat do well with women it doesn't know? And are they trying to pick the cat up?
My cat does well with women he doesn’t know yes. He rubs on them and loves when people picks him up and holds him. The instance with my dad happened because he has held him before and he was sweet. We thought he would be fine because my mom and sister hold him all the time and he loves it. So my dad was sitting and wanted me to bring Binx because he was in a good mood. When all of a sudden his mood changed and he scratched. I work at a vets office and I have to hold cats often and this has never happened. That’s why I’m confused because he loves every woman that comes near him but he just is scared of the men. My dad thought it would be ok because he sees him the most. But no one is forcing my kitty into anything I promise he loves to be held. He was a stray as a kitten and me and my dad saved him but he only connected to me and the women in my family. I just wonder if it is a behavioral thing where he is just trying to protect me, or if maybe there was a man that hurt him when he was homeless and he is just scared of them? I’m sorry for rambling Binx is just a good kitty and we want him to feel safe in our home. I’ve done everything I know from my place of work and have looked it up but he just continues to be scared.
 
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maemae0812

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He doesn’t hate men or strangers - he is afraid of them. And when you force him to be close to someone or something he is fearful of he defends himself by biting, scratching and trying to get away. Some cats never get over their fear but others do, if they are allowed to do it in their own time. You don’t ever want to force them into interaction.

The best thing to do is to allow the cat to hide or put him in another room while your father or other visitors are over. If the cat chooses to come out, everyone should ignore him until he rubs on them or demands attention. And even then the person should do no more than put a hand out for the cat to sniff at first and only move to touching them if the cat seems ready for it.
I’ll continue to do that and let everyone know not to hold him. He loves being held and my dad thought he would be ok because he wasn’t acting scared but I will make sure to take it slow.
 

di and bob

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Men are louder and bigger and it is usually men that yell at cats. Cats are intimidated by them and can get very fearful. Do not force a cat to go to anyone, if they are afraid and hide, so be it. A cat HAS to approach a person on its own. If they are forced they will scratch and bite. Cats are usually afraid of children too, they are too loud and move too quickly. My cats run to the basement and hide from ALL company. If the company stays, I have to provide them with food and water in the basement for a few days. They have always been this way and always will. Out of 10 cats I had maybe three that came out when company came over.
 

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cleoandsuki87

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My previous cat was like that. When female friends came over he was friendly and sought their attention. He was terrified of men. I don't invite people over that often, so it wasn't a huge deal to me. Poor thing did hide the entire weekend when my parents came to visit (from out of state) once.
 

Beholder

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I think everything above is pretty on point, but just to add I once read that cats can't hear deeper pitches as well as higher ones, so they may be more naturally unsure/threatened of deeper male voices because they simply have a harder time hearing them. That in addition to being larger an louder can cause some more sensitive cats fear. Goose and Morty are also very afraid of "stranger" men. They took time but eventually got used to my partner after warming up to me very quickly. When he uses his "deep" voice (like if we're just playing around or whatever) and a Morty or Goose is in the room they will usually run and hide. Po on the other hand (weirdly enough) freaks out from fart noises. But that's a whole other story lol...

According to this brief article: "When you talk to a cat who is stressed, use a slightly higher than normal pitch to your voice and speak softly. Deep voices create fear, and loud voices can be grating on a cat’s sensitive ears."

 

ArtNJ

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It definitely doesn't take much. My cats are afraid of my mother because she has a walker. As has already been noted, men tend to be louder. I also think walking faster, or at least heavier, likely has something to do with it. Smell differences could perhaps be relevant as well, but it would take some distinctive circumstances, like if the men in your circle all work somewhere with a particular smell.

I don't think cats start off understanding that men and women are different, so if its not a reaction to an actual difference, it would be something learned like past abuse.

Although maybe you'll tell us that there are plenty of gentle, soft-spoken, quiet men that the cat doesn't like, and the smell explanation doesn't work, and then...well sometimes cats are hard to figure out.
 
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