I’m a successfully converted SO. My girlfriend at the time had 2 cats, and she made it clear from the beginning that they were part of the package. I wasn’t opposed to cats on principal - it was the whole feeding/cleaning/occasionally finding cat vomit on the floor etc. that I was opposed to. So when we moved in together, the deal was that they were her cats, and she was responsible for their normal upkeep, barring emergencies.
Of course, after we got married and started planning kids, she tested positive for toxoplasmosis, so I got to spend 30-36 months cleaning cat litter, but we chalked that up to “emergencies”. We did wind up getting rid of the cats though when our youngest was diagnosed with asthma & a mild cat dander allergy.
One thing that was an initial problem - the cats would often wander in the bedroom while we were occupied. They’d often stand at the end of the bed and watch too, which I found disturbing. So if your SO requests removing them from the room during happy fun time, just go with the flow and don’t take it as a big deal.
Dogs now - if she had told me a dog was part of the package, we probably wouldn’t have lasted a month. Can’t stand dogs.
Good luck to both of you during your trial period.
For what it’s worth, my husband hates most pets, but I already had a cat by the time we were dating. I didn’t want to give the cat up, so my husband told me to just move in with the cat. He’s (my husband) to a point where he tolerates the cat - he even told me to get another several years ago because the first cat seemed to need the company - but he doesn’t pet or show affection to either of our cats. If something happens to the cats, I won’t get another one out of respect for my husband’s preferences, but I do appreciate that he was willing to compromise (more than compromise, given that he told me to get another).
So, in my experience, it may not be possible to turn a non-pet lover into a pet lover, but if your cat isn’t destructive, your boyfriend not allergic and as long as he doesn’t loathe pets, it’s probably worth a try.
Good news for you: I turned my formerly cat-hating boyfriend into a cat FREAK.
I had my cat before my boyfriend came along. He later admitted to me that he was a little nervous about my cat, worried that I was one of the Crazy Cat Ladies that run rampant in NYC. He was never a big fan of cats, was slightly allergic to them, and was just convinced that they weren’t very loving or interesting pets.
Four years later, he’s utterly converted. In fact, we got a second cat, one that could be officially “his.” (It isn’t. It’s totally mine. Mine mine mine.) His phone is filled with dozens of pictures of the cats and now he joins me in being suspicious of those who claim they’re “just not cat people.”
My wife grew up without pets and I grew up with cats. When I wanted a cat after we got married, she was pretty reluctant and kept putting me off. Finally, I made it clear I wanted a cat; I had to pinky-swear I would do all the work, etc. We got Mike the Cat from her sister and never looked back. My wife ended up really enjoying him and was equally torn up with me and the kids when Mike died at age 15. We now have two cats and they have the run of the house and give us a lot of happiness.
So add me to the list of “it can happen” - and I remember seeing a photo of your cat - a furball that likes to sleep on your face; was that it? Seems like maximum charm potential…is your fella a pushover? If your cat jumps on his lap while he is reading a magazine in front of the tv, will he push it off or melt into a puddle of Awww?
Boyfriend (and future spouse) was raised in a cat household, with a family that promotes a fear of his extended family’s dogs to a certain extent. He wasn’t around dogs growing up, and wasn’t necessairly directly fearful, just cautious around them. He certainly didn’t want a dog in the future.
After spending some time with my parents’ bullboxer - a dog who just adores people - he wants two dogs when we have our own home. He likes bully breeds for their protective qualities (we enjoy walks late at night in the city) as well as the solid companionship they provide. But months ago, would he have let Weezy rest his head on his lap, petting him for hours? It takes the right pet to break someone in - had the dog been a yappy Jack Russell Terrier, it would have been an entirely different story.
I have been totally unsuccessful in influencing Mrs. J. to regard snakes in a benevolent or even neutral manner. Not that I would want a snake for a pet, but neither do I see one and instantly react with
SNAKE! SNAAAKE!!! AIEEEEE!!!
Poor legless reptiles. They mean well.*
*Well of course they don’t, but such is also the case with lizards and crocodiles, neither of which bother Mrs. J.
My husband kind of liked cats and didn’t like dogs at all, preferred being petless. He adjusted quickly to my cat and dog, even though my cat is rather unlovable, but was definitely not a “dog person” and resented any tiny inconvenience that resulted from the dog’s presence.
The experience was like delphica’s… after just a few days, the thought of someone else taking the puppy home and being his forever person was unbearable to my husband. Instant dog person. Within a week he was inviting him to hop up on the couch when before it had been ABSOLUTELY NOT!
My boyfriend doesn’t like pets in general, especially the kind that live in your house. I’m just the opposite, of course…with 3 dogs and 4 cats and 2 kids (they don’t count as pets, of course, but I think they’re messier) I have a busy house.
We spent quite a few month having an ongoing discussion in which he asserted that “pets don’t belong in the house” and I responded with something along the lines of “my house, my pets, my business” until finally I threatened to marry him and move the whole brood into HIS place. I think he decided it was safer to stay unmarried and try to learn to appreciate his lovely girlfriend’s point of view.
He has really developed a fondness for one of my cats and one of my dogs, to the point where he actually wanted to take the cat with him to his house. But I won’t let him, because he’d be an outside cat, and I don’t let him go out (he’s deaf and can’t hear traffic). But his fondness extends to a few minutes of head-patting…I don’t think he’d actually enjoy living with either the dog or cat.
Luckily we aren’t getting married or living together, at least for years and years. Even he admits that he’s starting to come around on the pet issue.
The OP really has three questions on her hands. What does the BF think of pets in general, what does he think of cats in general, and what does he think of the OPs cat?
You both have to aim your efforts at solving (or compromising on) the right problem.
For example …
For me, animals in the house are a non-starter. Let’s move on to a new topic because this one is closed. A discussion of the undoubted wonderfulness of the OP’s cat or of cats in general is immaterial. You’re welcome to keep critters of whatever species wherever you want, as long as it’s outside the house.
So to resolve the OP’s dilemma, she needs to know which problem she’s trying to solve.
Ultimately, pets are a matter of taste. But often deep-seated taste. And unfortunately, despite my example above of a generous counteroffer, pets tend to be an all-or-nothing thing. There’s not much way to be both a pet owner and a non-pet owner simultaneously. So you can’t split the difference on this one.
Which means any payback for the other party’s forebearance needs to come in some other form. e.g. You’ll live without a cat if he lives without gaming. Or he’ll live with a cat if you’ll live with his Wednesday boy’s night out. etc. The hard part about these asymmetrical deals is both people need to remember the deal and live by it for years.
After 21 years of trying, she still hasn’t been able to. the presence of a Canis lupus familiaris in my house which even sleeps in/on my bed has only make my hatred of pet dogs more precise and it is a constant source of problems.
I “accepted” the pet simply because it was coming anyway and I’m a gigantic pushover.