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So we have 5 cats and 2 of them we found on the street in an abandoned car. My wife and I took both cats home and ever since, one of them has always been afraid of me. Her sister is very loving to us and the other cats, but Bianca is just terrified of me for some reason. If it were a new thing I would not mind, but it has been a couple of years already and though she will hang out with my wife, she just runs under the bed when I come into the room... my question is, what's up with that?

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Perhaps another man has been cruel to her in the past? It is usually men who physically abuse cats, and they are quick to make the association. Our cat, that we took in 3 years ago, was very leery of my mother, and it took a long time for him to learn to trust her. Even now, he will not let her pick him up, but that may be because she is rather frail, and he is afraid of being dropped. He is also reluctant to let her pet him when I am holding him, but he is slowly becoming acclimatised to that. The cat always comes to me for cuddles (and food), although he will go to Mum when she is in bed.

As for your cat, I would suggest that you (and only you) feed it, if this is possible. Food is the best conditioner of all, and if the cat learns to associate you with food, it should come to trust you quickly enough. It will mean no grazing, though, and set meal-times would be best. You will need to be very strict about it, though, and let the cat go hungry if it won't accept food from you. How you are going to stop it from eating the other cats' food will be a problem, however. Naturally, only you should give the cat treats for the time being. Hopefully, your wife will be understanding.

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  • I agree that it can be an association with something that happened in the past -- my Little Madam spent 18 months refusing to go near my partner until she learned to trust him. And she's still wary of any other man who comes to the house.
    – user10093
    Aug 22 '17 at 12:52

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