How do I get a kitten to bond with my wife?

Long story short, the cats we have don’t want to have anything to do with my wife. They’ve bonded with me but reject her.

A few days ago I got her a kitten (about six weeks old) hoping it would bond with her. Sadly, it doesn’t seem to be bonding. I know it’s kind of early, but a few months to a year ago we had a kitten that bonded with her, and would sleep in her lap sometimes (I accidentally killed it :().

I’ve tried a few things but they haven’t worked. My wife is wheelchair bound, and, long story short again, I need to draw the kitten to where my wife is. Whenever I put him on her, or find other ways to get him near her, he won’t stay.

So if any of you have any ideas I’d love to hear them. Thanks.

Gorilla glue. Then clamp it overnight.

Honestly the cats may be afraid of the wheelchair. You can always try food. Have her feed the kitten by hand. She can try petting the kitten while it eats so it gets used to her touching it. Then have her play with the kitten in her lap with a toy.

By the way, catnip doesn’t work with kittens.

Already tried the food. I put food near her for another cat. When she pets it he moves away until she stops.

I tried having her feed the kitten, but gave up kind of quickly on that.

I’m positive the kitten doesn’t mind the wheelchair.

I’ve also taken a cord the kitten loves to play with, and put it on her so he has to climb her. He’ll do it for a minute or two, but that’s not really working either.
Oh, and I forgot that cat threads should have pics. Here’s one. His name is Smokey.


I have never had cats, but I once spent a month in a house with two: the orange fatso, Baby, was like a dog which meowed; the black one, Lucy, reckoned humans could barely be tolerated at a very large distance. She was named after Peanuts’ Lucy. A few human-bite-sized pieces of chicken thigh got her to accept me better than she’d ever accepted her owners… I didn’t feed her from my hand, I dropped the bits where she could get at them and did very carefully Not Look while she pounced on them and pounced back.

To be honest, I don’t think you can.

I know that sucks, and I don’t mean to be mean, but a cat isn’t a choice animal for the disabled. She needs a small dog. Again, not to be mean, but a cat is not going to be loyal to someone in a wheelchair, A dog will.

Why would cats not be loyal to someone in a wheelchair?

Experience. I’m sure there are cats that would prove me wrong, but it’s just my experience.

Besides, this is an environment with a lot of cats. A kitten is going to look to the other cats as role models, who don’t like here, apparently. A small dog won’t.

I tried putting the kitten up on my wife’s desk, where a tiny food bowl is, give her a spoon with wet cat food, and then have her put the food in the bowl. The kitten didn’t seem to care. But I can’t think of anything else, so maybe I’ll give it one more try.

We had one kitten who would cuddle with her. And cats are solitary creatures, not pack animals like dogs. I don’t think the kitten is taking his cues from the other cats.

You know what’s best. I’m not being facetious here. I haven’t seen the interplay with you, your wife, and your animals. So I am sure you know better than I. But… You seem like a cat guy; does your wife’s animal companion have to be a cat? The cats reject her, after all. Maybe you should try something else?

Actually, it’s my wife who’s majorly into cats. Although she loves dogs too.

Right now we have enough animals as it is. When our 14 year old cocker spaniel dies we’ll probably replace it with another dog. But for now, four cats and one dog is more than enough.

Yeah, you know better than I. I would really have to meet you, your wife, the cats, and the dog to formulate any kind of decent advice. Just think of me as some random guy on the internet.

And I wish you all well.

Never! I’ll always think of you as my best friend whom I’ve never met, never talked to, never seen a picture of, and never think about!


This may sound very weird, but does your wife have long hair? If she does, put the kitten in her hair when your wife is in bed. The kitten may like sleeping in her hair. Keep the other cats out of the room for a few nights. Our last kitten, (Now a cat and a half) slept in my hair and now follows me aroun like a dog.

I’ll try. When he gets sleepy he sleeps under our couch. If I can catch him after my wife goes to sleep, but before he goes under the couch I’ll give it a try. Thanks.

I would also persevere with the food - perhaps small chunks of chicken or tuna which you slowly place closer to your wife, or let her feed the kitten by hand. I’d also make her the food lady (i.e. you don’t feed them, only she does) so she’s associated with the food and interesting to the cats.

What about a heating pad or hot water bottle on her lap? Kittens like snuggling up somewhere warm and that might encourage it to stay.

It could also take more time - 6 weeks is still early days.

Cats can be amazingly stubborn and you may never be able to get the little critter to do more than tolerate your wife, but Feliway is an amazing product.

I would set up a room with your wife, the kittens food and water, and litter pan. Add feliway to the mix, and let things gently progress if possible. Napping together is good - but do keep in mind that sometimes a cat will be standoffish until they are 8 or 9 years old, then discover the wonders of snuggling and napping closely. Many of my cats have been nicely social, but standoffish until about that age. You may also try valerian in lieu of catnip starting at about 6 months old. [my cat also loves fresh live pot leaves but those are tricky to get semi legally in the US.]

He’s actually bonding with me.

I’m not giving up hope yet. One of our other cats was fairly anti-social until a couple of weeks ago and now gets very loving with me. So there’s always the possibility that the kitten will one day just decide boom, “I like her.”

I think I’ll use pheromones or similar as a last resort.

That’s not something you can make happen, any more than you can make two humans bond with each other. Some kitties are snugglers, some aren’t, some are but only with certain people they choose for their own weird little walnut-brained kitty reasons. We’ve had two cats that our friends have sworn didn’t exist because nobody ever saw them–a strange car pulls in the driveway, they dive under the bed and don’t come out for 6 hours. Except for each cat there’s been one totally random person who almost never came over they’d come right out for. One would also come out to sleep on the chest of an allergic friend if he stayed overnight, but I don’t know he ever saw her when he was awake.