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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?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

Gertrudesgarden · 29/12/2019 09:53

Nope, you and your cat are being completely reasonable. Cats are living creatures with their own preferences and ability to make choices. Your bil is behaving hatefully, especially as communication from both you and cat has been very clear on the matter. Hed be banned from my home for being so disrespectful.

Lweji · 29/12/2019 09:56

Why would you welcome anyone in your home and then say "oh nasty [anyone] is here"?

SimonJT · 29/12/2019 09:57

Why should an animal be forced out of certain parts of their home?

If someone attempted to hit my cat, or harm her they would never be allowed in my home again. To do so would essentially be condoning their behaviour and a failure to protect my cat.

Mine doesn’t like her back legs being touched and will wag her tail if you do touch them, touch them again and you get a claws in slap, a third time and you get a hefty bite.

My son is four and more than capable of knowing that if she wags the end of her tail she doesn’t like what he’s doing so he stops.

LeahDownTheLane · 29/12/2019 09:58

So he basically gets his jollies from restraining your cat to the point where your cat needs to say no to get himself out of the situation and your brother in law can then punish him. F*cked up. You’re an advocate for your cat, do whatever it takes to keep him away and don’t let anyone guilt you in to doing otherwise.

Iwantacookie · 29/12/2019 10:00

What a twat.
One of mine only like fuss on his terms but as his owners we know when hes had enough and when to stop. The other you can man handle into fuss.
Cant you do same to your bil?
Restrain him then blow in his face?
I tend to point my finger mm from my cats nose if they're naughty and they know theyve done wrong.

Equanimitas · 29/12/2019 10:01

My MIL has now had a massive go at me for putting a cat above family.

Point out that you aren't putting the cat above family. All family members who don't torment the cat are entirely welcome. Ask why she is OK with putting someone who thinks hitting an animal is acceptable above her family.

kiki22 · 29/12/2019 10:02

I wouldn't allow him to come round but also I would try to stop your cat nipping when he wants down. My cats just jump down when they want down.

Readthisearlier · 29/12/2019 10:04

MitziK - it doesn't sound like you know much about cats. Any "experienced cat owner" knows that all cats are different and that some will accept being touched all over, but some never will.

It's also perfectly natural for most cats to bite and scratch when they need to communicate. They aren't dogs, they aren't comparable to dogs in any way. To do so is unintelligent and frankly ridiculous.

OP - if someone tried to hit one of my animals, they'd never set foot over my door again, and I wouldn't give a shit what my MIL said.

Asschercut · 29/12/2019 10:05

@iamnotawitch you do mean hitting the BIL right?

The BIL would not be coming near my cat and if needed my home. It's your home, your cat and your rules. Many commenters on here clearly know nothing about cats.

Crazybunnylady123 · 29/12/2019 10:08

If anyone hit my cat I would be chucking them out never to be seen again. They would be lucky if they weren’t hit back!
My cat, his house. Nobody hurts my animals.

TurduckenFucken · 29/12/2019 10:08

How hard is, “don’t pick up the cat” to understand? Our cat is very affectionate, loves to sit on people, loves to be stroked and have her tummy rubbed, but hates being picked up.

KTheGrey · 29/12/2019 10:09

Your house your rules. Really simple.

ScreamingValalalalahLalalalah · 29/12/2019 10:10

I'd be thinking about castration as a possible cure for unwanted behaviours. Of the BIL, not the cat.

IJustLovePirates · 29/12/2019 10:15

Your BIL is a complete twat. What he is doing is cruel. YANBU. Ban him from the house until he learns to treat you and your cat with some respect. He sounds like an arsehole

Cacklingmags · 29/12/2019 10:15

Tell MIL BIL is a cunt.

TimeIhadaNameChange · 29/12/2019 10:17

I'd forgive a VERY young child from hurting my pets as I'd assume it wasn't intended (though blame myself for not supervising better). Older than that and on purpose and they'd get my wrath.

Even with children though the only ones allowed near enough are those whose parents, on hearing the pet had retaliated, would tell the child off for provoking such a reaction. No special snowflakes allowed. (One lad was most aggrieved that my guineas hid from his attempts to pick them up. I pointed out he was lucky he didn't get nipped instead. He went crying to his mother, expecting sympathy, and got even less from her. That's the sorry of parent I like!)

As for an adult, they'd be out of my house before they could take another breath. The fact he's only threatened to 'punish your cat makes no difference. I'd not let him back in my house ever.

anothernamereally · 29/12/2019 10:18

Yabu for not posting a photo

juliej00ls · 29/12/2019 10:22

This isn’t a cat issue it’s a power issue. Why on earth would MIL run to the aid of BIL. No is a complete sentence . No BIL you cannot touch the cat. No MIL I am not discussing a decision I’ve made about how MY house is managed. Please refrain from using highly emotive phrases about family in an issue which is clearly nothing of the sort. Assert yourself calmly and do not bother explaining yourself. They both sound very childish. Good luck

FamilyOfAliens · 29/12/2019 10:33

my opinion is why can't you just shut the cat out when he visits?

Did you miss the first line of the OP that says this is an indoor cat?

silly0ne · 29/12/2019 10:37

Does your BIL have additional needs? I am asking because my eldest son does and cats are his special interest. When he visits, we supervise his interactions with the cat carefully because it can end with the cat being chased and lashing out at him (she is a feisty animal). This Christmas, he opened the cat toys, played with the feisty cat and then we played a game in which we sat of the sofa and waited for the cat to approach us. She sat on my son's lap, which really pleased him.

If your son does have some additional needs, it could explain his failure to understand the cat's needs and your MIL's response.

thecatsthecats · 29/12/2019 10:37

I am friends with a cat hater and someone allergic to cats, and they both treat my old softies with more respect than this idiot.

80skid · 29/12/2019 10:59

What a strange man, insisting on holding an animal which doesn't want to be held for his pleasure. If he doesn't get banned from the house, he either needs to be told when he enters the house to leave the cat alone, or the cat needs to be put out of the room he's in - presumably the living room. BiL needs to grow up by the sounds of it and stop asserting his authority over you as the cat owner and over the cat who doesn't wish to be messed with.

koshkat · 29/12/2019 11:01

Fucking hell OP what a wanker! I have a raggy and he is the sweetest cat in the world. If anyone tried to harm him they would be out immediately never to return. Do the right thing and protect your cat.

MitziK · 29/12/2019 11:01

@Readthisearlier. You're very much mistaken.

In any case, there's a whole world of communication long before a cat considers biting or scratching that tells you they aren't comfortable/feeling safe where they are. If you understand and respect that, you can teach them to accept more touch than they would as a kitten whose natural instinct is to bite and scratch anything that touches them.

DTwatCat #2 was a matted bundle of bile and rage/fear when I got her aged about 7 months. DTwatCat #1 was a feral kitten when I brought him home. BestCatEver (I still miss the criminal genius) was a half dead feral kitten that needed handrearing and spent her first three months with me largely living inside my jumper for warmth. And so on with all the other cats/kittens I've had.

I don't think that I purely coincidentally got animals (cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, chickens, horses, etc, etc) that all had immaculate temperaments throughout my adult life.

They were my animals. I made sure that they learned I wasn't a threat, that I wouldn't hurt them, but that I needed to be able to touch them anywhere in case of injury or illness - whether I was cleaning out an abscess, removing grass seeds from between toes or holding a paw for the vet to give the last injection.

No stranger/visitor/other person in the house would be allowed to maltreat them. Ever. Which is why I, despite actively working to teach all animals I've had that being touched isn't scary and it's not necessary to bite or scratch, agree with the OP that she is being perfectly reasonable in barring her arsehole BIL from her house for the protection of her cat.

koshkat · 29/12/2019 11:02

Oh and your MIL can do one as well. Your cat relies on you to defend him - do NOT let your BIL near him again.

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