March 2008 Issue

Cats That Hate Company

Does your cuddly tabby turn into a terrible tiger when guests arrive? Here's some help in understanding her behavior.

When Kit, a 12-week-old female kitten, earnestly beckoned from her cage in a Manhattan animal shelter, Miriam knew she was the one. Miriam was lucky to adopt Kit, as many people had been admiring her. Kit settled in with Miriam and her two roommates in a small apartment. Kit loved everyone; Miriam was even jealous when Kit would occasionally sleep on her roommates’ beds instead of her own. Kit played and romped and greeted people at the door as she grew into young cat-hood. A year later, however, Kit is a feline terror. "I don’t know what happened," says Miriam, "but Kit now attacks people when they come in; she scratched my aunt who came to visit. No one wants to come to my house anymore, including my boyfriend! But she’s so lovable to me."

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