We adopted Bella around July. She is a rescue, and was found outside heavily pregnant so no back story but as she was housetrained the original foster assumed that the owners chucked her out because she was pregnant. She hates DP. For no reason and i feel sorry for him as he is desperate for her to like him but she won't have a bar of it. She a very nervy kind of cat (you absolutely can't pick her up) but with me she will come when called (most times) and occasionally jump up beside me on couch for rubs. Occasionally when she is dozing she will let DP stroke her but not for long, it's as if she suddenly remembers "oh hang on a minute I don't like you/ am scared of you". To try and make him seem less like the enemy he is the one who gives the cat their food (we were hoping for good associations) but that hasn't done the trick. We recently moved and she did seem to thaw a bit but now the hatred is back worse than ever. If she is looking out the window and he comes up garden path she will growl and flounce off. Is there anything i can do? DP is a big softie and i can tell it's upsetting him.
Unfortunately I think it will just take time as she's obviously associating him with a nasty human in her old life. Only thing I can recommend to help is for him to just be around her as much as possible, but without interacting. Eventually she should start accepting his presence, and then realising its a good thing.
Hopefully a few of the experts on here will pop up shortly with other suggestions.
It seems to be very, very common for rescue cats with unknown histories to be very scared of men. We can only assume that a man has been nasty to them in the past which makes them wary of all men. I have unfortunately no concrete advice on what to do, but I'm absolutely sure that she will eventually come round and realise that this particular man is no threat and is indeed her human As for timescale though I really can't say, but I'm sure it will gradually get better.
UPDATE: In the last couple of weeks DP has said that she will jump up next to him on sofa if he is giving our other cat rubs, but only if i am not there. If I am there she will pretend to hate him/be terrified of him .
As thecatneuterer said, many rescue cats are scared of men. Who knows what was done to them in the past.
Good news that she's coming round - DP must have been feeling very low about it. The best thing for him to do is to act offhand with her - ignore her most of the time and only stroke her briefly if she happens to come up to him. Most cats can't abide being ignored.
I don't think you can make a cat like someone. They have their own agendas most of the time. Our rescue girl cat who we got as a kitten adores men. Even her foster carer commented on it and she was only 6 weeks old. This has lasted nearly 4 years now. She absolutely adores my DH. Follows him round always trying to sit on him and clean any of his exposed skin.
Me, she can take or leave. Rarely pays me any attention unless he's not there! It's like "I'll do"!until the love of her life comes back!
Glad yours is slowly coming round to your DP. She will learn to accept him on her terms as you have prob figured out!