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What to do when...


Animal Communicator
Have you ever had someone discipline your cat(s) that is not yourself, or your significant other, or have anything to do you with your cat(s) at all?
How do you handle the situation?

My brother-in-law comes over with my sister on regular basis, and for some reason finds it his duty to discipline Zeddie. Now, I don't mind someone telling Zeddie off for something she deserves, but I a) have a different discipline approach and b) have specific rules.
My mom babysits my niece all the time, so Zeddie and my niece have quite the relationship (I still can't get over it...I'm really not a kid person, and my niece is super rough but Zeddie loves her...I think it has something to do with the food :p)
My niece ALWAYS feeds Zeddie bits of food off her high chair, and my sister and my mom just laugh about it, so Zeddie always begs by my niece's high chair. When my brother-in-law sees it, he will throw Zeddie away, yell at her, chase her around, really anything that works until she hides.
We have a no counter rule, but Zeddie is allowed on the table (we really don't use it for eating) and today he yelled at her and tossed her off the table.
I don't really know how to handle the situation as he is family, but is a lot rougher with her than I am, and he is enforcing rules that have never been in place. I am sure it is to protect his daughter from kitty germs, but he is the only one to do it, and I am sure it is confusing Zeddie. Also, he is the most sensitive person I have ever met, and upsets very easily when asked not to do something.

Sorry for the long post, any and all insight is very much welcome :)


Staff member
Kristin, that is a tough one and I can only give you my opinion...I would NEVER allow anyone to be rough with my cats or discipline them in any way. I think you kind of need to think of it as she is your child...would your brother-in-law allow you to treat his daughter that way?

When Taj gets overstimulated, he will give little love of my friends tapped him pretty hard on the nose and I can tell you, he will never touch Taj need to be Zeddie's protector, no matter who is mishandling her.


Animal Communicator
Thanks Paige. I get very very angry when people mishandle my pets, but I raised his dog and have definitely disciplined them...but I also do all the fun things with them as well.
I find it hard to see if I am over reacting or not. I think what I will have to start doing is taking Zeddie away from the situation before it begins...

Brigitte Cowell

Staff member
Yes, you could just shut Zeddie away when he comes to your house.

But I don't think it unreasonable to calmly ask him not to shout or chase your cat when in your home. I cannot imagine tolerating that in my home...


Animal Communicator
I talked to my mom about it, and she said that next time she will just say something like "she is allowed to do that here" or something like to that effect.
He is just really, really, really sensitive. The last time my mom asked him not to do something he left in a bit of a huff.
I am really protective of Zeddie, I hate the misconceptions about her, but at the same time we have to keep family peace. I don't really think it is fair to lock her away every time he is over (which is a few hours a day), but I guess it is the safest bet

Pam Flachs

Savannah Super Cat
Kristen, I've never had anyone discipline my cats, but I understand how you feel when your brother in law does it to Zeddie.

When we have visitors, I realize some of them do not much care for cats and that is their prerogative. At those times we have company over, all of the cats are moved to another area (we have several "cat-playground" rooms with food and water dishes, litter boxes, cat trees, and toys). I would much rather see my visitors and enjoy their company without worrying about the few who make snide remarks about cat hair or the kitty trying to dunk his paw in their drink or taste his food ;) I would not be happy if one of those people tried to discipline my cats, so when they are expected over, the cats go away, and other times the cats stay out when cat-loving friends and family are here :)

I think, for the few hours your brother in law is over, Zeddie will be fine put away in another room. Make sure she has a treat or a snack, maybe a new make her feel like she is special and not being punished.

Hopefully you will soon have your own place :)


Animal Communicator
Thanks for the tips. Zeddie definitely hates being locked up (I mean who wants to miss any excitement?) but I think that is in her best interest too...and I can hang out in there with her and play:)


Staff member
Your brother-in-law sounds like a real jerk. I would have no problems telling him he either behaves around the cat or he is no longer welcome in my home. And if that hurts his feelings then boo hoo for him... :mad: