Issue 7: April 09

Dear Fancy,

Hi Fancy. We got our cat, Milo, three years ago as a kitten, shortly after my husband and I were married. I was always Milo's favorite, but recently he's shifted his attention toward my husband. The two of them are best buddies now, which is great, but I feel left out in the cold. I take Milo's lack of interest in me to heart and miss the relationship we used to have. Is there anything I can do to win his love back?

Empty Lap

Dear Empty Lap,

The first thing you must accept is that sometimes cats do things that, to humans, appear random. You will never completely figure us out; that bit of mystery is part of our appeal.     

But that doesn't mean you have no influence over our actions . . .

Do you feed Milo? Food is as important to cats as it is to people. Maybe a tad more so. To feed is to nurture; to nurture is to build trust and lasting bonds.

Do you spend time playing with Milo? Through interactive play, you provide Milo with an outlet for exercise, creativity, mental stimulation, and fun – with you. Playing with kitty often strengthens and broadens the human-cat bond. Keeping in mind that cats are naturally skilled hunters (thank you), give Milo some challenges by letting him try to catch, swat, pounce on, and/or manhandle various wand and chase toys that you manipulate in interesting ways. Don't make the games too easy, but let Milo repeatedly win.

Observe how your husband interacts with Milo. Is he using "just the right touch" when petting him? Does his playing style closely match Milo's? Are there mutually enjoyable routines that the two have invented? You may want to be a "copy cat" and borrow some of your husband's techniques in trying to re-establish a close relationship with Milo. Many cats ("ahem") grow picky over time and prefer things just so.

Have you been using any new perfumes, lotions, or shampoos? Some scents – particularly citrus – can be off-putting to cats. I've perfected the "you don't smell good" snub myself.

Speaking of smells, try wearing one of your husband's shirts after he's worn it. You know how attached we cats become to favorite smells. You never know; if Milo associates your husband's scent with you, he may be inspired to welcome you back into the exclusive club.

Hang out as a threesome. You may find that Milo not only picks up on and joins in the togetherness, but figures out ways to sprawl over both you and your husband, for maximum comfort and control over his humans.

I hope these tips work for you and you are able to have a cat-filled lap once again.




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