Baggins is a two-year-old domestic short hair. I found him in the forestry near my house when he was only weeks old. He was starved and very nervous. It took a long time to build trust between us as he was terrified of everything. After months of building this trusts, he evolved into a very energetic, playful, and curious kitten and continued like this as he began to mature.

However, in the past 4 or 5 months, he has become skittish and nervous all of a sudden. He still trusts me and spends hours sitting in his nest on my desk. However, when he hears or sees my brother he freaks and bolts. My brother doesn't spend as much time with Baggins, but he isn't cruel and I don't think he would ever hurt him. I'm very confused and was wondering if anyone would have any answers or solutions to this problem. It's come to the stage that when I open the door for him to come inside, he looks and listens before entering in case my brother is home. I feel terrible seeing him like this as he conveys visible terror and I don't want him to be scared in his own home. I have read animal psychology books and tried finding answers online but at this point, nothing seems to work. Thanks for your help! :)

  • 2
    Welcome to Pets; I think the reason for this change of behavior is that your cat has found The Ring and it is what's influencing his behavior. In case of Gollum, it also started like that. I am sorry for this comment, but I just couldn't resist making this reference with a cat named Baggins ^.^ I wish the best for your cat, I am sure you will get a helpful answer soon.
    – lila
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 16:52

2 Answers 2


Trust the animal. Animals remember the person and it is quite possible that someone resembling your brother hurt the cat while he was very young. Maybe ask your brother to change his appearance and see if the cat behaves the same way.

Cats also associate a lot of their experiences with smells. It may be possible that your brother smells a lot like someone the cat has had a bad experience with.

Just as humans, cats tend to remember the bad experiences more than the good ones. For them it is a part of their survival mechanism.

For now it is best to keep a distance between the two and let him be.


If you are sure your brother hasn't been abusive to the cat on purpose maybe he has accidently stepped or sat on the cat but doesn't want to tell you incase you get angry. I don't know any other reason why an animal would suddenly become scared of someone who they've been fine with before. I hope you get it sorted.

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