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Racist and Sexist SV

Jylee

Savannah Kitten
#1
I have found out that my darling kitty is both racist and sexist as she tends to like asian women the most (probably because I am one).

I wasn't too worried since she is an almost a year old F2B, so I was expecting that she would be a little harder to get along with other people after already bonding with me as a kitten. But recently, I've been starting to worry because she actively stalks my boyfriend (American):

She's never liked my boyfriend, but since every time he came over, I would give her a treat, she at least tolerates him and comes out instead of hiding. My boyfriend plays with the cat with a laser pointer or a wand toy, and she plays along avidly, but never lets him touch her. He's even fed her some treats from his hand which allows him to sneak in a few pets before she hisses and runs off. (He likens it to the movie 50 First Dates, haha.)

My boyfriend wasn't feeling so well one day and I guess Nova, my SV, sensed this and basically harassed him. She would jump on the bed, hiss in his face and run away. Then when he went to bathroom sink (the sink is right behind the door), she ran and jumped onto the door, which smacked my boyfriend and then rounded the door to hiss at him before running away again.

I'm worried that she'll start behaving like this to other friends and eventually escalate to using claws and teeth instead of just hissing. Any advice on how to get her to stop doing this? Or better yet, to actually tolerate/accept people?
 

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Paige
Staff member
#3
UH...cats cannot tell one race from another...it could be she is jealous and needs more reassurance from you...it does sound like she is wanting to pay and hissing is often a way of communicating...I don't think she is doing anything maliciously and you may have to just spend more time with her and with her and your bf...maybe have him do the feeding for a couple of days...and if he shows fear, she will sense it.
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#4
I am going to assume that Nova was with you before your boyfriend was? I think there are potentially a couple of things going on - it is possible that she doesn't like men (I'm not sure that race comes into play unless you've witnessed her jump into an Asian man's lap without hesitation) and she's jealous that she has to share you with your boyfriend. I don't think her hissing is an act of aggression, more likely it's an expression of disapproval or distrust because she hasn't bonded with him.

I would suggest that you change the routine in the household. Depending upon how often your boyfriend comes over you should try to have him be the only one to feed her meals and snacks while he's there. He should play with her routinely, e.g., 20 minutes every time he comes over, and finish with a treat.

You haven't mentioned how your boyfriend is handling all this - is he cautious around her because she has hissed and shown aggression toward him? Does he yell at her when she hisses or swats? Or is he genuinely interested in developing a relationship with her? If he's not vested in the effort he won't get very far.

Finally, when she hisses and/or swats you need to let her know that this behavior is unacceptable (I assume that hissing is reserved for your boyfriend and she never hisses at you). I wouldn't recommend punishing her, but you can show her your disfavor by both of you turning your back on her and completely ignoring her for a few minutes. You can even provide a time-out by crating her for a few minutes if the former is ineffective. With either technique be very matter of fact in your actions. Any other feedback - either positive (gestures of reassurance) or negative (scolding) will likely only reinforce the behavior.


I really think if you and your boyfriend develop a plan of action for his interactions with Nova and stick to it she will come around. Cats are creatures of habit so by establishing a routine of his interacting with her will hopefully bring her around in time. Mostly, be patient and give her the time she needs to decide that he is really an okay guy.
 

Jylee

Savannah Kitten
#5
Thanks for the feedback! I only say my cat is racist because she seems to tolerate Asian males a lot more than she does American or Hispanic males (if ever). ):

Yes, I had Nova before I've met my boyfriend. I actually ended up meeting my boyfriend because he saw a picture of Nova in my cellphone and got super excited that I had a Savannah cat. :)

He's actually extremely sad that Nova doesn't like him and he tries to coax her to him all the time despite the hissing (sometimes I wonder if he's dating me for my cats, haha). My other cat, Nyx, seems very fond of him, so hopefully by seeing Nyx interacting with him, Nova will come around.

I told him about the food, treats, and play time and he's up for it. :D Thanks for the insight!
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#6
The more time he can spend with her the better the chances of her warming up to him - even better if you are not there and he is the only human she has to interact with during meal or play times. I've heard of situations where a cat took months or even a year or more to finally warm up to a person, but it can happen - good luck!
 

Wyldthingz

Savannah Super Cat
#7
I don't know? Cats do determine things by color. I had one girl that hated my silver stud. She would attack any silver cat that looked similar. It was really weird so I wouldn't be surprised if dark vs. light hair is obvious to them just as male and female gender choices. That would be an interesting study!
 

Kristin

Animal Communicator
#8
I know with my parrots they discriminate on the way I wear my hair o_O I guess when I pull my hair back I look like my sister or something as my one parrot tries to attack me (he hates my sister...she is his nemesis).

Cats are definitely susceptible to energy as well. Men tend to have a stronger presence than women, which can set some animals off. Lots of dogs hate my dad as he is a big guy with a big energy.
 
D

Dantes

Guest
#9
My cat hated my ex. I should've listened to him. The man was horrible, it was only a matter of time until he showed his true stripes (so to speak). He had all of my friends and family fooled, but Simba knew better.