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You Asked: Am I Overreacting About Their Cat Connection?

Dear Sugar,

My boyfriend and I have been dating for about six months, and he's been sharing custody of his cat with his ex-girlfriend throughout our entire relationship. I am all for loving your animal like part of the family, but this is just driving me crazy. The cat travels back and forth between the two of them, which means they are constantly connected. I have told him that this bothers me, but he thinks I'm being crazy and insecure. He constantly reassures me that he's over her, but it's really starting to affect our relationship, and I want to fix it before it's too late. What should I say or do? — Jealous Jessica

To see DearSugar's answer,


Dear Jealous Jessica,

Sharing custody of an animal can definitely be tricky after a breakup, and yes, it means that both owners are in constant contact. But no matter how uncomfortable it makes you feel, you're going to have to get used to it if you want this relationship to work. While it's easy to jump to conclusions about their constant communication, try to put yourself in their shoes — wouldn't you do whatever it took to spend time with your beloved animal?

I'm glad you told your boyfriend how you feel, but I think it would be best of you two had a deeper conversation about it. He's discredited your feelings, so my advice to you is to think about what would make you feel more secure about their situation and then explain your position to him. Hopefully he'll be able to take your side into consideration, and on the flip side, hopefully you'll be able to see that this really is about the animal, not the ex-girlfriend. Good luck to you.


Join The Conversation
cbaby28 cbaby28 8 years
here is what i think....they shouldnt be sharing custody of the cat. when they broke up that is when it should have been determined where the cat stays and that's that. my ex and i adopted two kittens together..his name was on one cat and mine on the other..when we broke up i took both of them. and that was it. unless you have a child...when you break up..there is NO reason to be in contact with an ex.
Natalie-Love Natalie-Love 8 years
I'd be insulted he cares more about a cat then my feelings. It's a cat. It's not a child. Joined custody? Are they crazy? I understand why you feel it may not be all about the cat, I think so too.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 8 years
I still think that this situation is over-the-top. The OP is worried about which p#ssy he is visiting. She will find out soon enough, I guess.
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 8 years
that sounds annoying that you are always being reminded of her. i never understood how some people felt about their pets until i had my baby. then i realized that the way people talked about and acted around their cats was just like me and my baby! so i think he just really love love loves the cat! even without the cat (or a child) some people must stay acquainted with their ex's for other practical reasons and the people they've moved on with just have to deal with that right?
khadeekiinsz khadeekiinsz 8 years
This is weird. He stil loves that woman, and the cat sounds like an excuse for them to still be in touch with each other.
sass317 sass317 8 years
This would be weird for me. I DID actually adopt two kittens with my ex and I was worried that he would want one or both of them when I kicked him to the curb, just to hurt me- I told him under no uncertain terms that they were staying with me and surprisingly he didnt even try to argue. He had no claim on them anyway, I paid the adoption fees and my name was on all the paperwork. There was NO way I was going to share them with him- he couldnt even care for himself and he was a deadbeat dad, there was no way he could take care of a pet. Although when I started dating my now husband, his roommate had shared custody of a dog with another old roommate, THAT was annoying- bc the roommate that left would want to drop off the dog like they agreed and my husband would get stuck taking care of it.
hope2be hope2be 8 years
Sure, it feels unusual/weird for me since when I shared 2 cats with my ex, he ended up keeping them and we didn't do the whole custody thing although I missed those cats very much. But, yeah, everyone is different and it's not like he sprung this one on you suddenly. They've probably been doing this before you guys went out/became gf-bf. So it's like, either it's your dealbreaker or deal with it/accept it. Sure, he may not be over her or whatever, but everyone runs that risk when they're in the relationship whether it's blatantly obvious or very subtle action by the current partner.
Meike Meike 8 years
Gotta love the close-minded comments and ignorant generalizations of a lot of people on this topic. My husband loves cats, hates almost all dogs except mine. I guess that makes him less of a man for being such a cat lover. Give me a break. I agree with htothehizza and Chrstne for the most part about pets. They are family and while I don't necessarily value them equal to any of my human family members they are still very much an important part of our life. As much as I dislike the ex-factor, it's rather cruel to dismiss that the guy might truly love the cat and nothing more.
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
You're being insecure over a cat. Honestly, if he says he is over his ex...why not believe him? If he wanted her, he'd be with her. Seriously. Same thing on her end, if she wanted him, she'd be with him. You, no mater your title can't ever stand between two people who are in love with each other if that is the case. Who says a cat can't be man's best friend? My BF loves dogs, but he is becoming more of a cat person since we adopted ours. He absolutely ADORES our cat. I love our cat, definitely. I guess if we broke up I'd leave him with the cat, since I think she likes him more anyway =P -- but if we wanted to share custody, it's not because we're obsessed with each other, it's because we love our cat. Cats do become like children, you raise them, you nurture them. They are not humans, but if you never had a human child, you don't know what it's like anyway. My cat is like my child, I'm definitely not crazy for that. She's part of the family!
MissJules5x MissJules5x 8 years
you about it*
MissJules5x MissJules5x 8 years
i'd say youre insecure because of his constant contact with his ex. if he's assured you and his actions tell you that this really is about the cat then whats the harm in it? its inconvenient at best but its no need to constantly question it when it was something thats been happening since before he even started dating you. if you can't deal with it then leave. i can almost bet that if you made him choose he'd choose his beloved pet. you may be ruining a perfectly good relationship because there is one thing that bothers.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
...sharing...custody...of ...a that right there screams "wierdo" drop him fast. Who does this?
bluestar bluestar 8 years
Please! Can you really see them still sharing custody of the cat in 5 years?? Yea right.
crayolasky crayolasky 8 years
It could be an excuse to see each other, or it could be that he really loves the cat... but I kinda doubt that. You don't have to buy him a new cat. But they are not together anymore. I would talk to him and tell him it's bothering you... and that he really should decide who gets to keep the cat. They should NOT share it. I think this is pretty dumb, for lack of a better word. You shouldn't be jealous of her/their friendship or whatever it is - and they shouldn't be sharing it in the first place.
frieddumpling frieddumpling 8 years
Assuming you knew about the cat situation at the beginning of your relationship and it has always bothered you, you should have addressed this issue beforehand --> ex. no cat custody if he's dating you if you're that bothered by it. Other than that, I'm going to side with the boyfriend because it does seem you are being insecure about it and also, it's not uncommon that people stay connected with their exes. Also, it's really too late now to change the cat arrangements unless other new information has come up that you do have a legitimate reason (ex. ex-gf trying to seduce your bf) now to ask your boyfriend to stop the cat custody arrangements. I think he is doing this arrangement thing for the wellness of his relationship with the cat, rather than some lame excuse to see his ex. You just have to respect his relationship with his pet. Like others have mentioned, what would you do if it wasn't a cat, but a child? You have to figure out why it's bothering you because people do keep in touch with exes and you have to deal with your insecurity and accept the arrangement as it is and be mature about it (his feelings matter too)! He is probably bothered by the fact that you're being a tad unreasonable about it.
Myst Myst 8 years
to all the people saying to get him a new cat, have you thought about HIS feelings. It's HIS pet and he loves it, so why should he have to give it up for someone being insecure and jealous. Not all exes want to get back together and there are plenty who are friends and share something common that neither is willing to give up such as is this case, which is a beloved pet. So you can't ask the man to just give that up for a 6 month old relationship that may or may not go somewhere. As Queenlizzie said, if they wanted to get back together, they would've by now. It's clear that this was something that was in establishment before the OP came into the picture so why should it be a problem now, especially when she came into it, knowing what was in place in regards to the cat.
GScott86 GScott86 8 years
All three of them needs to get over the cat. The cat's getting all the attention, and really, it doesn't really care. This whole thing is silly. It's not even about the cat. You're insecure that your bf and his ex is going to end up having sex is what it is...the cat will eventually die. You two need to work through your trust issues, that's the main problem here. Having that other person around isn't fair though, frankly, I don't think it's unreasonable to want your significant other having certain or any ties to their past loves (unless they share a human child that is).
htothehizza htothehizza 8 years
how is loving an animal and wanting to keep it in his life "bad behavior"?
jnnyvox jnnyvox 8 years
If my boyfriend was in that kind of constant communication with his ex I would be upset, and vice versa. I don't think it's about the cat at all, I think they are using it as an unhealthy way of keeping in contact. Maybe if we had more details about their break-up it would make more sense?? In general, having an ex around isn't going to help YOUR relationship and if he's not able to give up HIS relationship with HER, I would give up on HIM. I doubt that you're "crazy or insecure," that's just what guys say when you call them out on their bad behavior.
htothehizza htothehizza 8 years
Okay, you people are ridiculous! Who are any of you to say that a cat or dog isn't like a child? Some people aren't baby making factories and truly value their pets as a family. For one, if my bf and I broke up, you can be damn sure we'd have custody of our dog and this is coming from a person that isn't crazy or out of touch. I'm just not heartless. Did anyone ever think to respect the guys feelings? Oh wait, cat's aren't "male" pets so he can't possibly have an attachment to this animal. This girl just needs to either accept the fact that she has a boy friend that cares about his pets or find someone just as selfish as her
queenlizzie queenlizzie 8 years
I'm with Sugar. Get over it before it breaks up your relationship. If they were going to get back together, they would've done it a long time ago. They clearly love their cat a lot. If you can't understand that sort of love for a pet, maybe you shouldn't be with him anyway. Clearly you have different values than he does.
0fashionqueen 0fashionqueen 8 years
You are getting jealous over a cat. That is so stupid.
GScott86 GScott86 8 years
Yeh, this is just silly, that dude needs to stop being 10, either get full custody of mittens, or have his ex pay him money for the furball and move on. It's just lame, and rather unfair to the relationship itself.
letsgetloud21 letsgetloud21 8 years
Um ya cats are not like kids. I also agree it is just an excuse to see each other.
missangelique999 missangelique999 8 years
I love animals, and I've had pets all my life. However, it seems like this situation exists so that they can keep seeing EACH OTHER, not the cat. I smell a rat. Hey! That rhymes. Moving on, you aren't in the wrong for thinking it's strange and I would definitely have a more serious talk with your boyfriend.
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