Dear Barb—The Cat House

Dear Barb:

I am a guy in my twenties and have been dating an awesome girl for the last year.  I live at home with my parents and she has her own apartment.  We have started talking about moving in together and we both feel we are ready for this move except that I have some hesitations because of her cat.  I really do not like cats, I find them extremely annoying and I hate getting hair all over my clothes.  I have not mentioned this to her, although I think she has an inkling that I don’t care for the cat.  Whenever the cat jumps on me I push it away.  I try to do this when my girlfriend is not looking, but it’s almost like the cat is trying to annoy me, because he jumps right back up on my lap.  When I stay over the cat sleeps right beside me.  Some mornings I wake up and it is on my pillow, purring into my ear.  My girlfriend loves this cat and she has had it for five years, so I don’t know what to do.  I don’t know whether I can live with the cat, and I don’t think she would get rid of it.  Can you think of another option?  Looking forward to your advice.  Thanks, Tyler. 

Hey Tyler;

Thanks for writing.  Your situation is fairly common where one person doesn’t like the other’s pet.  There are some things you and your girlfriend can do to try to improve your circumstances before making any rash decisions.  First you need to discuss your feelings with your girlfriend.  You said she has an idea that you don’t like the cat, so she probably won’t be shocked when you tell her.  Together you need to set some guidelines.  For example, you don’t like the cat sleeping with you, which may be a solvable problem, simply keep the cat out of the bedroom.  If the cat has his own area, which includes a scratching post, you should be able to train the cat to stay out of the bedroom.  It may take a few weeks for the cat to adjust, and most likely he will be scratching or meowing at the door.  Also with the cat hair everywhere, perhaps additional vacuuming or grooming the cat would help.  There are groomers that specialize in caring for cats.  Your job may be to find a cat groomer in your area, and perhaps paying for the grooming could be your responsibility.  Over time you and Puss N Boots may find some common ground and be able to live in harmony, heck you may even learn to like the cat.  Hope this was helpful.