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To stop my BIL coming over because of our cat

162 replies

Overwhelmedoverfit · 29/12/2019 08:09

So my BIL has been coming round quite frequently to see us. We have an indoor 7 month ragdoll, who is very sweet and loving but does know his own mind. He doesn't mind being picked up but will give a light nip when he wants down, doesn't hurt and usually he licks as well to show he means no harm.

My BIL has twice now picked up the cat, not put him down when the cat 'asks' and tried to punish the cat when he bit him harder and tried to scratch. At this point BIL was holding the cat and rubbing his tummy, something I don't think any cat likes, but Po didn't cause any bleeding or even marks, which I think is quite restrained!

BIL punishment is to blow in the cats face and try and hit him. I say try because I've never let him get that far, and I've let him know how disappointed we are that he considers that acceptable!

BIL doesn't listen to a word I say, says he's doing what's best for the cat cause if you let them bite they won't stop and he knows dogs and he's read about this breed. He's never owned a dog but his wife used to walk them, and they both seem under the impression that with enough punishment they can get our cat to do whatever a dog would. Which is complete BS!

I've now said he can't pick up the cat at all and when he didn't stop I suggested he doesn't come over until he can control himself. My MIL has now had a massive go at me for putting a cat above family.

AIBU? We try not to use punishment with Po cause it doesn't work and he just gets sad, and him showing he wants down and getting annoyed when he's not put down isn't anything to punish in my mind? Also my BIL is 30 so should definitely know better!

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


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VQ1970 · 29/12/2019 09:13

YABU for not posting a picture of Po Grin

My niece has a rag doll and he's a beautiful cat.

I have a ginger ninja who also lets you know when he's had enough of the stroking.

violetbunny · 29/12/2019 09:15

If someone tried to hit my cat I would ban them from my life, not just my house AngryAngry

Beautiful3 · 29/12/2019 09:16

He is bullying your cat. Your cat is vulnerable and under your protection. You must stop welcoming bil into your home. If he turns up with mum, then turn him away and explain why. After the initial embarrassment she will realise that it's best not to bring him again. By the way my dog has been attending training classes, the first rule is to never use hiting or shouting. Its all about using positive reinforcement e.g treats and praise. So your brother is wrong on that idea. I've grown up with cats and I'd say your cat showed amazing restraint when he didn't rip him to absolute shreds. Your poor cat.

kalinkafoxtrot45 · 29/12/2019 09:19

BIL is an arse and I would have no problem banning anyone who tried to hit a pet of mine for any reason.

AgentJohnson · 29/12/2019 09:19

It’s a power play on the parts of your MIL and BIL.

Twats aren’t born they’re enabled and you have that in your MIL and BIL. It’s your home, you make the rules, BIL respects your rules or he doesn’t but there will be consequences if he disrespects them.

This is a perfect opportunity to assert your boundaries and it will pay dividends in the end.

montmatre · 29/12/2019 09:20

My uncle once kicked my (beloved) dog in the face. Said uncle is currently in hospital and I couldn't care less.

Dontunderestimateme · 29/12/2019 09:23

The cat has no other way to communicate! You are definitely right to not let your BIL in if he can't be trusted. My cat is incredibly friendly, but absolutely hates being picked up, so we don't pick her up unless absolutely necessary.

Smelborp · 29/12/2019 09:29

It’s not that you’re putting a pet over your BIL. He’s not welcome as he won’t respect your rules and he’s cruel to your animal. I’d stick to your guns. I’d also tell MIL she’s not welcome too if she insists on bringing him when she knows he’s not welcome. She can stick to your rules too.

Overwhelmedoverfit · 29/12/2019 09:29

Thanks everyone for your replies. Well just have to keep reiterating that if he comes round he has to leave the cat alone. Mil doesn't help with her insistance that he knows best but I'm not sure there's a whole lot we can do about that as he can do no wrong in her eyes!
The poster who asked why we clip his claws so often is to get him used to it. We only take the very tip off each time, maybe a couple of mm or less so he's now very used to getting his nails done and getting a small treat lol :) just makes it easier for all of us and saves the vets doing it!

OP posts:
IAmNotAWitch · 29/12/2019 09:30

Have you tried tapping him on the nose with a rolled up newspaper and saying "No" firmly?

Overwhelmedoverfit · 29/12/2019 09:33

Grin maybe he'd undrstand that!

OP posts:
Fluffycloudland77 · 29/12/2019 09:34

Mil sounds a right enabler.

Zaphodsotherhead · 29/12/2019 09:34

Most animals hate being picked up. They feel powerless - they can't get away and they are forced to endure idiots with no recourse but biting/scratching. People used to try to pick up my terrier and 'cuddle' her.

They don't do it any more.

Imagine how you'd feel if a powerful giant came in, lifted you off your feet, turned you upside down and forced you to endure tummy tickling...

Maybe you could employ someone like Dwayne Johnson to do that to your BIL? He might get the message then...

EnglishRose13 · 29/12/2019 09:35


Nanny0gg · 29/12/2019 09:37

Every time the cat goes to see your BiL, take it away and pet it.

If he can't get at it, he can't hurt it.

I assume he isn't a child then?

Lweji · 29/12/2019 09:41


I once threatened to divorce exH because of how he treated the cat.
I'm a firm believer that if you're mean to animals, you're mean to people.
Notice how it's now exH? He was a shit and he ended up being violent to me.

If you have to discuss the issue say it's not about the cat but how he doesn't respect you in your home. You've set your boundaries on how your cat should be treated and he's not respecting them.
He's insulting and being abusive towards you, most and foremost.

Saxineno · 29/12/2019 09:42

I'm not a cat lover, and I think most the posts on here are, so my opinion is why can't you just shut the cat out when he visits?

Unobtainium · 29/12/2019 09:43

If I were you I'd tell my prick of a brother in law that the next time he touched my cat he'd have me to worry about - and that I had a far harder bite than the cat.

If someone tried to hit my cat I would ban them from my life, not just my house

I agree with these. I’m quite mild-mannered generally but wouldn’t hesitate to give both barrels to anyone who hurt or tried to hurt my cats. No matter who it was.

MitziK · 29/12/2019 09:45

@gingersausage of course. I'm talking about my own cats, including the longhaired rescue DTwatCat #2, who took a long time to accept it, but learned I meant her no harm. She's now the biggest softy ever and throws herself at friends whenever they visit.

Any adult who tried to hit them after pulling them about would have to leave for their own safety.

Lweji · 29/12/2019 09:47

I'm not a cat lover. I'll happily remove my cat from my spot on the sofa. And put him away if someone feels uneasy around cats or when he tries to grab food when guests are at the table.
But I'd ban BIL for mistreating my cat.

RedPanda2 · 29/12/2019 09:49

It's not banning him due to your cat, it's due to BIL's behaviour. Tell him if he does it again he needs to leave.

StillMedusa · 29/12/2019 09:50

Practically, I'd pop the cat upstairs when he visits..and not allow BIL upstairs. Cats are cats, they like and dislike being handled in their own way. Ive had one you could do anything with..wrap round your neck and he'd stay there..and others who would take your fingers off if you touched their tummies...

But actually..he sounds a twat who frankly knows nothing about animals .. you can't train a cat and no decent trainer would use punishment on a dog.. it's simply not done (thank heavens) anymore.

Next time he visits tell him it;s YOUR cat, YOUR house and if he can't keep his hands to himself he isn't welcome.

ps..where's the pic? I love ragdolls :) (my dd1 has one and he IS a little demon, but gorgeous!)

Lweji · 29/12/2019 09:52

Scratching when tummy is rubbed is quite normal.
My cat invites play and will gently bite and hold with his front paws. His back paws, however, are lethal. He's quite relaxed and playful, but we have to protect our hands to avoid serious scratches.

Your poor cat is just doing what cats do. They're not fluffy toys.

billybagpuss · 29/12/2019 09:53

I agree with @StillMedusa cat goes upstairs for a lovely long nap on your bed, and make it very obvious ‘oh nasty bil is here come on puss let’s pop you out of his way for a nap’

smemorata · 29/12/2019 09:53

Could you get a large crate to put him in when he comes to visit? Then he could still enjoy the visit but not be able to upset the cat.grin

Love it!

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