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Long-term girlfriend and I can't agree on cats.


elarson
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To start, my girlfriend and I (both 24) met in college. We've been together for over 3 years.

About a year ago, she decided she wanted a cat. I said no, her family said it wasn't a good idea, but she said she needed one to support her emotionally. So she got one. Two months later, the cat is causing problems for her. She says it's because the cat is lonely all day by itself, so she gets another cat. 

We lived together at that point, but we split things off and moved apart. We weren't connecting, we weren't spending time together, we weren't doing anything. I spent all my time away from the house to avoid the cat smell, hair, etc.

Then 3 months later we decide to get back together, we couldn't stand being apart. We each had our own separate leases though, so we didn't move back in together. But now it's coming up on time to sign a new lease, and we obviously want to live together again. 

But I don't want the cats still. I finally told her last week that if she wanted to live with me, the cats have to go (you can think that makes me a bad guy if you want). She counters with saying the cats aren't going anywhere, and that I need to make the decision. 

 

So, the question is, does this problem have a resolution?

I never wanted a pet, I made that clear. And perhaps it wasn't smart to get back together again with her, but it seemed like a less important problem.

She suddenly can't imagine life without her cats.

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10 minutes ago, elarson said:

she said she needed one to support her emotionally. We lived together at that point, but we split things off and moved apart. She counters with saying the cats aren't going anywhere, and that I need to make the decision. 

Sorry this is happening. You're incompatible on many levels .

The cats are a symbol of this. You two are in a gigantic power struggle.

Renew your lease. This isn't going anywhere. Hookup, have sex, enjoy, but you're not compatible and there's no future.

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You are simply not compatible. She wants pets and you don’t. There is no compromise in this . 
 

For instance I could never be without my cats and I married another cat lover who was also raised with cats. 
 

To successfully be with someone your lifestyle and main goals must be the same. 

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1 hour ago, elarson said:

To start, my girlfriend and I (both 24) met in college. We've been together for over 3 years.

About a year ago, she decided she wanted a cat. I said no, her family said it wasn't a good idea, but she said she needed one to support her emotionally. So she got one. Two months later, the cat is causing problems for her. She says it's because the cat is lonely all day by itself, so she gets another cat. 

We lived together at that point, but we split things off and moved apart. We weren't connecting, we weren't spending time together, we weren't doing anything. I spent all my time away from the house to avoid the cat smell, hair, etc.

Then 3 months later we decide to get back together, we couldn't stand being apart. We each had our own separate leases though, so we didn't move back in together. But now it's coming up on time to sign a new lease, and we obviously want to live together again. 

But I don't want the cats still. I finally told her last week that if she wanted to live with me, the cats have to go (you can think that makes me a bad guy if you want). She counters with saying the cats aren't going anywhere, and that I need to make the decision. 

 

So, the question is, does this problem have a resolution?

I never wanted a pet, I made that clear. And perhaps it wasn't smart to get back together again with her, but it seemed like a less important problem.

She suddenly can't imagine life without her cats.

There are two options: You do learn to live with cats OR you remain living apart and date. The relationship would not progress beyond that and may end up hurting the both of you in the future as you both lean on each other more. 

In all of this I have to ask if either or both of you have depression or are depressed or dealing with other mental health stresses (ie work, family and other tensions)? 

Why did you get back together in the first place? Was it out of loneliness? The first time around it sounded pretty bad: "weren't connecting,..weren't spending time together,..weren't doing anything".

She got those cats for emotional support for what exactly? Because of an unfulfilling and unhappy relationship? She adopted cats to make up for the void in her relationship with you? I ask to get a better idea of why things were so shaky in the first place to start. 

Getting back together or reconciling isn't a good idea if you're both not addressing why the relationship didn't work the first time around and I don't think it's because of the cats.

 

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1 hour ago, elarson said:

But I don't want the cats still. I finally told her last week that if she wanted to live with me, the cats have to go (you can think that makes me a bad guy if you want). She counters with saying the cats aren't going anywhere, and that I need to make the decision. 

Just a protip-- if you find yourself acting like... well, I'll try hard to put it nicely... not the best person you could be, it's a good time to reevaluate whether you're with the right person.  Your boundary itself is perfectly fine.  Not everyone likes or wants cats.  However, presenting an ultimatum that she get rid of what any semi-responsible adult would and should consider commitments is not.  Animals aren't something you treat in the same regard as headphones you held onto the receipt for.  

A lot of people meet each other in college.  A lot of people move on to meet other people after college.  Sounds like you should've stuck with the decision to go about the latter.  Lording over matters as significant as whether to have animals in the house isn't the best look, nor would it be much fun.  At least I'd hope not.  

Edited by j.man
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Hey OP,

 

Never been a pet lover and am a neat freak for the hairs and things… I get it.

 

Like others have said, maybe this seemingly small something you disagree on is a sign of bigger problems and not being compatible? You seem to be at a stale mate over this issue. You did say yes in the first place right? Which puts you on the awkward back foot, but then she got a second on what sounds like excuses abs not with your consent. Hmm. I don’t know. Is everything else amazing with the relationship? Do you see this lasting for the rest of your lives? Might be time to re-assess.

 

All the best, 

 

x

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You're not a bad guy for telling her to rehome her cats. You're a person who has expressed an incredibly selfish demand to someone you claim to love.  I was a cat owner and my cat was part of our family.  Husband felt the same way about his (wish we could have one right now!).  Someone who would suggest I get rid of a part of my family would be no friend of mine let alone a romantic partner. 

This is why though I am glad I didn't get involved with a dog owner/dog lover.  I am not a dog person and I like certain dogs.  I would strongly prefer not to ever have a dog. 

But had I fallen in love with someone who did we would have had to reach a compromise -no, not half a dog, lol -but maybe certain breeds or sizes of dogs or how we would care for the dog (meaning agreeing that the dog wouldn't have to travel with us but could be cared for or boarded).  But never ever ever would I have suggested a partner rehome a dog.  

What you said and demanded is completely out of line.  I agree with the others.

 

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By the way guys have you seen cats? I grew up with two adopted stray kittens my mum took on, they were a law unto themselves, like mini tigers, solitary, serious, and didn’t give a fig what you were doing or how or when. They would disappear for a week on end and I can only imagine live off mice and fight in the allies. One even had a massive pink scratch across its eye like scar face claw… 

 

I realise people see them as a part of the family, but you are not asking her to turf out children here. I think a cat could manage emotionally fine being re-homed if it meant the death or life of a relationship. 
 

Unpopular opinion… 🥲 I kind of half joke,  I mean I realise it’s more than that on the connection front for her and the animal but yes, these are two cats, not twin newborns. 
 

Whether you guys can work through this and reach a compromise (seems very hard) I don’t know, but if you want to break up just break up, don’t threaten her about the cats 🐈!

 

Lo x

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I wouldn’t want to be in a live partnership with someone that asked me to give up my companion animals. And I wouldn’t think very highly of someone who abandoned their animals to be with me. This would make me incompatible with someone who thought getting rid of the pet was even an option in the first place. Let alone any other variable in the relationship. 
 

Maybe she will turn out to be closer to your values than mine but I would not hold your breath. 

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Pets are part of someone's family. You wouldn't ask someone to get rid of their kids if you didn't like them. You'd choose to be with someone who didn't have kids. The principle is exactly the same.

If anyone gave me any kind of ultimatum, they'd be out of my life. It's bullying and controlling. 

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clearly you are not a cat person. By this time she knows it to. And no it doesn't make you a bad person. Otherwise you me and other two guys that i know are also bad person because we hat living with a cat. What in the gods name she gets from cats emotionally from cat rather than you. She loves cat more than you and I guess you can't do much about it either. I hope it answers your questions. 

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4 minutes ago, WildPump said:

clearly you are not a cat person. By this time she knows it to. And no it doesn't make you a bad person. Otherwise you me and other two guys that i know are also bad person because we hat living with a cat. What in the gods name she gets from cats emotionally from cat rather than you. She loves cat more than you and I guess you can't do much about it either. I hope it answers your questions. 

I don't think it means she loves the cat more than a person.  It means she considers the cat part of her family and doesn't want to abandon part of her family when it's not that he's allergic. He's just not a cat person.  He loves not being inconvenienced by a cat more than he loves her.  By your logic.

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Just now, Batya33 said:

I don't think it means she loves the cat more than a person.  It means she considers the cat part of her family and doesn't want to abandon part of her family when it's not that he's allergic. He's just not a cat person.  He loves not being inconvenienced by a cat more than he loves her.  By your logic.

I am sure I was clear about my logic.

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19 minutes ago, WildPump said:

I am sure I was clear about my logic.

Yes so by your logic if she refused to keep all sugar and treats out of the home because he didn't want it around then it would mean she loved sugar more than him (as opposed to him being controlling or some other reason).  Your logic is clear.  My point is by your logic it's all up for grabs and if a person makes a certain choice it must be because she loves ___ more than her partner.  That's logical.  I don't think that's a good way to be in a committed relationship.  JMHO.

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Pet (or cat specifically) people are never going to understand or be swayed to the other side and vice versa. The OP's girlfriend doesn't love the cats "more than" him. It's a different kind of love, the kind she doesn't want to be without. Not to mention these are living creatures.  You don't just toss them out the door or shove them onto a rescue if you've agreed to care for them.

That's why the OP and his girlfriend are incompatible. He sees no value in having cats and she doesn't want to be without them.

I don't ever want to have a dog as a pet. I don't want to have to take them for walks and I don't want to pick up their poo logs and I don't like how so many of them jump up on me or shove their noses into my crotch or butt. Or how they seem to love to sniff poo, never mind eating it. And I will not get involved with a man who has a dog because I don't want to deal with one.

I do, however, love cats.

I also love kids. My very close friend cannot stand children. She thinks they're noisy and disruptive and make messes and are all around annoying. She will not ever have children and has taken steps to ensure she and her husband will never have any. They agree on this. She would have been wasting her time dating a man who had kids or wanted them because they would have been incompatible.

I hope the OP comes back and tells us if or how this issue was resolved.

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Her cats aren't going anywhere.  They're here to stay.  Therefore, you're the one who has to leave the relationship.  Be with a woman who doesn't want to own a cat or cats.  Then you'll be much happier.  She'll have an easier time imagining her life with her cats than her life without you. 

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The solution is to not sign a joint lease and end the relationship on decent terms.

  She has chosen the cats over you so that is that.  Even if she got rid of the cats she would resent you for it and you would pay the price from now until you ultimately break up.

  Take some time to heal and when you start dating again decide if cat people are a dealbreaker and simply don't date them.

 

Lost

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5 hours ago, Batya33 said:

Yes so by your logic if she refused to keep all sugar and treats out of the home because he didn't want it around then it would mean she loved sugar more than him (as opposed to him being controlling or some other reason).  Your logic is clear.  My point is by your logic it's all up for grabs and if a person makes a certain choice it must be because she loves ___ more than her partner.  That's logical.  I don't think that's a good way to be in a committed relationship.  JMHO.

Because he is not ready to live with the cat that connection and imotional thing was missing, which resulted in breakup and that is known to both the parties. Bf clearly mentioned the new T&C. 

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3 hours ago, WildPump said:

Because he is not ready to live with the cat that connection and imotional thing was missing, which resulted in breakup and that is known to both the parties. Bf clearly mentioned the new T&C. 

Interesting!  Nothing to do with what I wrote about your analysis in your previous post. I don't agree with your separate point here but it's an interesting one!

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