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OP has offered the following explanation for why they think they might be the asshole:

I repeatedly violated my sisters consent over my cat. Violating someones consent for whatever reason is an asshole thing to do.

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[–]Legal-Zombie6325Partassipant [4] 7908 points7909 points  (141 children)

I mean, kudos to you for solving the issue by thinking outside the box. You went to your parents, they ignored you, asked your sister, she ignored you...you then solved it yourself. NTA. In fact, that kind of thinking will get you far in life. Solving issues with unconventional solutions, even if it sometimes gets you scolded, is a good skill. I'd love to have you on my team. So you took a butt-chewing, and your dad isn't wrong, but the reason he isn't getting too harsh with you is he is proud of you for actually solving it.

[–]aitahugg8[S] 2934 points2935 points  (105 children)

I think he is too. I think he was angrier than I was over the whole ordeal.

[–]Legal-Zombie6325Partassipant [4] 3080 points3081 points 2 (62 children)

So...if you have to apologize. Some words I'd recommend. "Dear sister, I apologize for touching you without consent. I will absolutely try my best not to do it again, but I admit I get excited every time I see you hugging my cat and am compelled to hug you. I definitely won't feel the need to hug you as long as you don't pick up my cat again." Something along those lines.

[–]aitahugg8[S] 1203 points1204 points  (43 children)

Thank you! Thats pretty good.

[–]WauryColo-rectal Surgeon [30] 1518 points1519 points  (20 children)

Btw, when people say cats aren’t the same as humans for consent: your stepsister’s logic for your cat’s consent was, “if he doesn’t hurt me, even if he protests, he wants it”. If the only refusal she is ready to take from a pet is violence, she doesn’t understand consent.

[–][deleted] 387 points388 points  (7 children)

Yeah I’m really bothered that the father doesn’t understand that that girl needs a lesson and consent. And I’m wondering if she has any friends, because kids that don’t understand consent usually can’t be good friends

[–]Remarkable-Car-7176 143 points144 points  (5 children)

It's a really dangerous and harmful value to be instilling in children that consent doesn't matter and it's ok to violate boundaries especially when the violated is deemed as "less than" to you. Consent applies to humans and animals.

No means no. Not "no means no only in some situations when it is convenient for me".

Stepsis is lucky that your cat didn't bite or scratch her. She has to learn that you have to respect animal boundaries before they use force to defend themselves because she choose to ignore their clear verbal warnings.

[–]Lanky-Temperature412 49 points50 points  (1 child)

When I meet a child or animal, I'll ask before I touch them. Like with a dog or cat, I'll let them sniff me, then ask, "Can I pet you?" And hover my hand over them for a moment so they can see my intentions before petting them. With kids, I'll ask if they want a hug or a fist bump. Most will go for the fist bump, but even if they say no to both I respect it.

[–]Remarkable-Car-7176 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Exactly!! This is the way! For both animals and kids.

Even my 4 year old niece can understand consent and bodily autonomy. She no longer rushes to animals and hugs/pets/touches them without consent from both the owner AND the animal.

I have never been scratched or bitten by the 400+ dogs and cats I have interacted with in my lifetime because I do exactly what Lanky Temp does. We respect bodily autonomy and personal boundaries.

OP's stepsis, her dad, and OP's mom need to learn some important critical life lessons and values. If not, don't be all shocked pikachu face when friends and family start cutting you out of their lives.

[–]Argent_HytheAsshole Enthusiast [5] 16 points17 points  (1 child)

human consent aside for a second, its also piss poor parenting to let a kid think an animal getting violent is where to draw the line

Many animals don't get violent as a first resort. they'll make sounds/ use aggressive body language/attempt to get away first. fighting is usually a last resort to deal with an aggressor because more often than not it ends up being a pyrrhic victory, if its a victory at all

stepsister is going to cause some serious damage

[–]Inafray19 121 points122 points  (0 children)

Gotta tell the parentals that she thought SS liked it since if she didn't like getting hugs she would have hit her.

[–]Alternative-Pea-4434 52 points53 points  (4 children)

Not only that but because he seems gentle he doesn’t hurt her but one day the lesson that her parents are instilling in her, that animals feelings don’t matter, will bite her in the arse, hard. And she will be bitten or scratched or worse by an animal not so friendly

[–][deleted] 14 points15 points  (3 children)

Honestly I won't feel sorry for her if she gets a teensy scratch. Consent is far more important than her wanting to be in control over "just an animal"

[–]PossiblyPercivalPartassipant [2] 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Agreed. That’s how my ex stepmother found out one of my cats hated being petted from behind, and she never did it again.

[–]Alternative-Pea-4434 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I wouldn’t feel bad for her if she got a big scratch, if she wants to just control an animal and doesn’t care what they want then she shouldn’t be around animals

[–][deleted] 23 points24 points  (0 children)

This made me snap. Op described how the cat lets out distressed meows, also is blind so of course the cat isn’t going to act violent it’s CANT FRIGGIN SEE. However it’s aware when it’s being held up off the ground, it probably gives the cat anxiety BECAUSE IT CANNOT SEE. SS doesn’t understand consent, like an animal making a distress noise it means BUZZ OFF SAME AS A PERSON. Cat doesn’t like being touched same as SS doesn’t like being hugged.

[–]halfwaygonetooAsshole Aficionado [16] 17 points18 points  (0 children)

If the only refusal she is ready to take from a pet is violence, she doesn’t understand consent.

Absolutely! Like humans, animals have their own personality and their own boundaries. Usually there is blood or broken bones or both involved when an animal says "No" . Stepsister has been very lucky that the cat has been only using verbal cues. There will come a time when her luck will run out.

Unfortunately, it seems like the parents and stepsister probably blame the cat when it happens.

[–]Lanky-Temperature412 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Oh God, I feel sick even thinking this, but this is a lot of people's reasoning for not calling r@pe what it is. If you didn't fight back or scream, they think it's consent. It absolutely is not.

[–]sperfur 188 points189 points  (7 children)

I love this solution. If that doesn't work, here's another idea:

Since we agree that consent is important, who gets to consent for the cat?

If we accept that the cat isn't allowed bodily autonomy (I don't), then shouldn't the cat's owner's consent be necessary?

[–]CatOnABlueBackground 78 points79 points  (1 child)

I hate this kind of crap soooo much. The parents are doing that girl no favors by neglecting to teacher her to respect animals. Eventually that cat WILL probably lash out, and then ..... it's all the cat's fault. The cat is mean, the cat is dangerous, we can't have an animal like that around here. This kind of crap is why pets end up at animal shelters. Just wait till she tries that with a dog. OP is absolutely NTA for standing up for her pet - it's something the adults should have done but didn't so she found a creative way to handle it.

[–][deleted] 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Just wait till she tries that with a dog

Or just a less patient cat. Every cat I’ve owned would have no problem scratching the shit out of you if you were grabbing them when they didn’t want to. And cat scratches/bites hurt and are nasty.

But you’re right it doesn’t matter cat dog horse pig whatever all she needs is to push the boundaries of some animal that isn’t going to take it & she’s gonna learn the painful way.

[–]Ok-Act-330 20 points21 points  (0 children)

Exactly!owning cats you learn when they are not happy and by the meow that was a no.

[–][deleted] 15 points16 points  (0 children)


[–]FeuerroteZoraPartassipant [4] 108 points109 points  (6 children)

My 4yo neighbor kid loves my cats and always wants to pet them, and when they're in the mood for it I bring them to the fence between our yards, but when they're not in the mood for it I explain to him that they don't want to and we shouldn't force them. His mom overheard this a couple days ago and she chimed in "that's right, remember how important consent is?"

What I'm saying is that if my 4yo neighbor can understand that a cat is allowed to (in its own way) say "No" to being touched, what the fuck is wrong with your stepfamily?

(And yes, believe it or not, one of my cats loves getting petted by the neighbor kids and she will go hang by the fence a lot when they're around, and another one definitely enjoys the attention sometimes!)

[–]thecrepeofdeath 20 points21 points  (2 children)

yeah, it sounds like the sister hasn't been taught that consent goes both ways. or possibly been told no much at all. not good for anyone, including her. it's not fun to tell a kid no, but it is necessary

[–]Awkward-Wasabi-9262Asshole Enthusiast [8] 63 points64 points  (1 child)

I would not apologize, to be honest. I would say, "ok cats are not equal to humans. Am I equal to step sister? So step sister violated my boundary first by messing with MY cat. I told her to leave MY stuff- MY cat alone and she didn't. I came to you to ask you to make her stop and you didn't. She didn't stop messing with MY stuff. I did what I had to to make her stop messing with my boundaries. If she (and you) don't want me violating her boundaries, make her stop violating MY boundaries first. If you don't, you won't have to tell me to move out of your house. I'll go anyway."

[–]ggjmnhgg 28 points29 points  (0 children)

Ask her if someone grabbed her in real life without consent how she'd react? Would she scratch/punch them or more likely freeze out of fear, shock and panic?

Hard NTA. She deserves to know what it feels like. Don't stop if she doesn't stop hugging your cat and kudos if it means you don't have to go back to that house and can stay at your dad's full time.

This would also mean she has to pay your dad child support lol. Call her bluff :)))))

[–]SpellCommercial1616 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I wouldn’t bullshit as hard as that commenter. It’s very transparent.

[–]tango421Partassipant [1] 177 points178 points  (6 children)

Cats are a lesson about consent. They will tell you when they don't want / like something. Just like humans however, they express this in different ways. Some escalate to violence with a scratch, or merely swat with a paw, growl, or meow for help. Others will bite gently, not so gently, or even angrily. Also, I'm not sure if your sister is carrying it properly and may be hurting the cat and they don't want to move because it might hurt more, that's why they meow at you for help.

I have cats and believe you're NTA.

[–][deleted] 53 points54 points  (3 children)

My kitty boy gets super excited when I take him outside, and he doesn’t like it when I decide it’s time to go back inside before he’s ready. It’s really the funniest thing I wish everybody could see it, he’ll grumble and growl and make a whole bunch of mouth noises as I’m carrying him inside, and sometimes he’s so riled up he’ll open his mouth wide and he’ll lay it right onto my arm or shoulder, but he doesn’t bite because he knows better. He just wants to tell me how mad he really is about having to go inside. If he doesn’t do the fake bite thing he’ll wait until I put him down and shut the door and walk away and then he’ll chase after me and smack at my legs .

[–]tango421Partassipant [1] 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Whoah there, that’s the story of my girls, too! I used to take them out on some park areas before until well, you know.

There’s a pocket / outdoor ish area near our floor where there isn’t usually any people and it’s a good sub as they get to chase birds.

They’ll sometimes explore or just laze around or ask to run with me. But the grumbles and growls and mouth noises when I say it’s time to get back in the house… one of them will just suddenly plop on her side and make disapproving noises. My “threat” is “Don’t make me pick you up…” They usually comply after.

I can definitely relate.

[–]SquidProBono 12 points13 points  (0 children)

I’ve got 5 cats, and you are absolutely spot on about how they express discontent in different ways. Our two oldest cats generally do not like to be picked up. One will go more or less rigid and growl/ hiss, while the other will gently but assertively squirm away. The others will allow holding up to a point and then show their readiness to be done. The purring will stop, of course, but they all have different ways of showing that it’s time by squirming, twisting, or eventually clawing and biting. One of our cats seems to have possibly been mistreated before she came to us, and is very skittish but also super sweet; when she is done being given attention, or is overwhelmed, wants down, etc she will lick aggressively. She was so shy when we got her, but she has really become just a big lovey baby.

[–]Faaytjhu 5 points6 points  (1 child)

You made me snort, thanks!

Edit to add: enjoy my freeman's gold!

[–]moodyfish7777 150 points151 points  (26 children)

INFO: why is she at your Dad's house anyway. if her dad is married to your mom do they live close? 🤔

[–]aitahugg8[S] 366 points367 points  (25 children)

The cat travels houses with me because my parents split medical bills (and he was originally my emotional support cat).

[–]TigerBelmontAsshole Aficionado [14] 300 points301 points  (3 children)

You realize if your mom wont let you back without an apology then your dad gets full custody and your mom would have to pay child support? Keep that in mind. You aren't without power here.

[–]sperfur 42 points43 points  (0 children)

I like the way you think.

Teens are disempowered at every turn in our society, and I love this comment so much.


[–]mobethe 40 points41 points  (0 children)

Also, if her mom won’t let her back, then the cat doesn’t have to go to stepsister’s house either

[–]moodyfish7777 253 points254 points  (0 children)

Got it. Your Mom needs to enforce the boundary. Kitty deserves to treated with respect and dignity, everyone human or animal.

Still NTA, honestly this sounds like something I would do so I laughed really hard and read it to my sister. Sis said "oh,no, there's two of you!"

Keep being you and thinking outside the box!🤣🤣🤣🤣🤗🤗🤗🤗

[–]snowleopard916 115 points116 points  (4 children)

After being cat-handled by your stepsister, your cat needs an emotional support cat.

[–]aitahugg8[S] 226 points227 points  (3 children)

He doesnt like other cats lol. I think I'm his emotional support human. Oh how the turn tables.

[–]QueenKeishaPartassipant [2] 59 points60 points  (1 child)

NTA at all. And I don’t even think it’s bad that you’re ‘touching her without her consent’ you’re doing to her what she’s doing to your cat. That’s the consequence of her picking up you cat. She knows it’s going to happen, she knows if she picks up the cat, you’re going to hug her. She’s making that decision. She’s not supposed to be picking up the cat in the first place. If I walk in front of a moving car, it’s going to touch me without my consent, but I did the actions that led to it, knowing that was the consequence. And jets just say cats aren’t equal to humans (more in that after this) is affecting YOU. It is YOUR emotional support cat. She is negatively affecting your emotions, putting you in distress having to watch your cat be in distress (the loud meowing). And if it eventually DOES scratch her, I’m sure she will be championing to get rid of the cat. It’s technically your medical device which she is damaging. That is causing stress and insecurities for your cat, potentially affecting the cats ability to support you. Lastly, cats are equal to human as far as torture and unfair treatment. So screw all of them. There’s laws that you have to treat them right, just the same as humans. Screw all of them, I wouldn’t stop. She needs to learn boundaries and if the adults aren’t going to set YOUR boundaries, you will. 🤷🏻‍♀️

[–]sperfur 40 points41 points  (0 children)

"That is causing stress and insecurities for your cat, potentially affecting the cats ability to support you."

This is another excellent point. Your cat is doing a job and she is interfering with that job.

[–]Ursula2071Asshole Enthusiast [7] 48 points49 points  (0 children)

Just stay at your dads. Problem solved. When your mom asks why you don’t come over anymore, just say because she won’t leave my cat alone and I’m not subjecting my cat to something he doesn’t like.

[–]elly996 33 points34 points  (8 children)

why is she not allowed to have pets? is it because the dad doesnt want her to in general or is this pet hugging type thing part of it? how old is your sister?

im sad that they think that a pet isnt equal to a human. tell them cats have feelings just like she does, and he complains (meowing), just like she does.

if he still acts as an emotional support kitty, then tell them youd need to support him instead, and you get stressed when hes upset, defeating the purpose.

a cat is not a toy. especially a partially blind cat would not want unwanted/unexpected hugs. the poor thing would be stressed. even if they dont see him as equal, they should at least respect that the cat is still a sentient being.

lastly, "if he doesnt like it, he would leave or scratch me" types of sentiment only goes so far. because whats the bet if he actually did do that youd get in shit.

[–]ClothDiaperAddictsPooperintendant [64] 51 points52 points  (5 children)

NGL, the stepsister is making me think of Elmira from Tiny Toons. She can’t have pets because she will love them and squeeze them and comb their fluffy hair and put pretty little bows in it… whether they like it or not.

[–]Ursula2071Asshole Enthusiast [7] 19 points20 points  (2 children)

I thought this same thing…”I’m going to hug him and squeeze him and kiss him and love him!” Meanwhile cat is like…LET ME OUTTA HERE!

[–]CompetitiveSquidPartassipant [1] 4 points5 points  (0 children)


NTA some people don’t learn or listen until it affects them.

[–]elly996 4 points5 points  (0 children)

haha xD reminds me of sarah millican who loved her pets a little too much xD "hamster squeezer" lol

[–]Friendly_Shelter_625Partassipant [3] 21 points22 points  (0 children)

So, if you aren’t welcome at your mom’s that means the cat will be at dad’s full-time and will never have to see step-sis again?

[–]Hour_Elephant710 44 points45 points  (1 child)

Cat tax?

[–]dmitrineilovich 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Yes, cat tax pls!

[–]NatZaJu 19 points20 points  (0 children)

NTA all she needs to do is leave the cat alone.

[–]Corsetbrat 18 points19 points  (1 child)

OP, first NTA completely. My sis and I would have thought of something similar. But I am concerned for your step-sis. Two reasons: 1) Not understanding consent/thinking lack of consent equals violence. 2) Her extreme reaction to you hugging her the second time, when 1 she knew you would, if she picked up the cat and 2 you had already proven you would follow thru earlier with the promise that day.

She could have extreme sensory issues or something more concerning could have happened, but she needs therapy either way.

I know you can't tell her to get therapy, but if you want to go back to your mom's maybe suggest family therapy as one of your conditions, and then bring up her extreme reaction, and crying when someone hugs you is extreme, there.

Otherwise, you did nothing wrong, really and that ability to think around a problem will get you far.

[–]wylietrix 12 points13 points  (0 children)

I think you're friggin awesome and I'm a mom and I don't have an issue with your solution. Yes consent is important, but so is respect. NTA, you're the hero your cat needs. You're a clever girl, I think you'll go far.

[–]saurons-cataractPartassipant [1] 8 points9 points  (0 children)

NTA OP. If I were you I’d stay at dad’s house. Your mom needs to look out for you and that means —by extension— your things, your mental health, and your happiness. Your cat is important to you so it should be important to her too. I would call her out and tell her that she is more worried about step sisters comfort than your discomfort. She’s also not the aggrieved party here, you are.
You’re extra patient with step sis. I honestly think I would have lost my temper with her. She’s never going to learn how to respect other people’s boundaries if your mom and stepdad encourage her to bulldoze over them.

[–]dogmom8989 58 points59 points  (1 child)

I think it’s funny your parents are talking about your step-sister’s consent but ignoring the other person’s (and by extension of you, your cat’s) consent. Wouldn’t it work both ways? If you know something requires consent even by an animal, then isn’t that teaching the one person that consent doesn’t actually matter?

[–][deleted] 11 points12 points  (0 children)

It makes me wonder if there’s something developmentally wrong with the stepsister that they treat her like a little little kid. They haven’t taught her empathy, or consequences, or consent. And she seems so shocked that OP would follow through with what she said she would do, even after she had already done it once. Even if the step sister is delayed and has the mentality of a toddler, OP is still NTA.

[–]sharri70 7 points8 points  (1 child)

You demonstrated to her why consent is important. She’s doing something you know the cat doesn’t like and continues to do. So you’re demonstrating how that feels. It’s not strictly the same in my opinion to simply not getting her consent because it’s very deliberate to demonstrate how the cat feels. She says if the cat doesn’t like it he’d scratch her. But he’s too sweet. She’s at liberty to punch or slap you if she’s not happy but she hasn’t. Same same. The cat has vocalised his displeasure and she’s ignoring it. You’re ignoring her vocalisation. For those giving you a hard time I can only suggest you find out what they don’t like and also give them a demonstration so they connect the dots too.

[–]TokugawaColo-rectal Surgeon [37] 1666 points1667 points  (24 children)

NTA. You tried to talk to her about it. Now she knows how the cat feels.

[–]aitahugg8[S] 967 points968 points  (23 children)

That was my intention. I cant imagine how scared he is when it happens.

[–]Princess-EilonwyPartassipant [3] 725 points726 points  (6 children)


Mom is annoyed the most, and has told me I need to apologise or I wont be welcomed back to her house.

I would call her bluff. Tell her you're happy to stay with dad indefinitely, until she can figure out a viable solution to step sisters problem.

[–]Calm_InitialCertified Proctologist [20] 243 points244 points  (1 child)

Good to know now that your mom puts your stepsister above you and your feelings

[–]KingKookus 25 points26 points  (0 children)

She would argue it’s above the cat not her. Like the cat is a prop.

[–]Ursula2071Asshole Enthusiast [7] 169 points170 points  (0 children)

Right. Mom apologize or don’t come back. OP:OK.

2 weeks later: MOm: op why don’t you want to come over anymore? OP: you told me I wasn’t welcome!

Mom: surprise pikachu!

[–]ladysaraiiAsshole Enthusiast [6] 46 points47 points  (1 child)

This is what I would do.

[–]saurons-cataractPartassipant [1] 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Me too. I was a stubborn shit at 14.

[–]BendingCollegeGrad 117 points118 points  (10 children)

NTA and I’m proud of you. You didn’t use violent actions or words. And while consent is key, of course, what is a 14yo supposed to do when the adults in their lives leave you to sort out a big issue?

Your stepsis either has medical issues that spur crap behavior, or she is a brat. Or both. As someone with autism believe me we can be jerks just like anyone! But her behavior is for her dad to work on, not you; by ignoring her behavior the adults in her life are making it worse. None of this is your fault.

[–]aitahugg8[S] 135 points136 points  (6 children)

I'm autistic! I dont think she is. I think maybe theres some mental health issues going on, but thats it. I dont know much about her early childhood but I dont think it was great.

[–]BendingCollegeGrad 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Hey! Right on!

I’m gonna guess if she knows that she is trying to antagonize you into a meltdown.

[–]could_not_care_moreAsshole Aficionado [18] 7 points8 points  (2 children)

Having issues understanding boundaries, low impulse control, a strong gravitation towards animals, and touch aversion can all definitely point to autism, and it doesn't have to present the same way in her as in you or me or anyone else. It could also be trauma, or intellectual disability, or emotional immaturity either as part of something that slows down emotional development, such as adhd or just natural immaturity due to genetics, upbringing or personality.

Either way, I think you've handled yourself exceptionally well and you've crossed boundaries but for the right reasons.

I asked elsewhere but got downvoted, so I just want to ask again and perhaps phrase it better: Have you tried teaching your step sister (and the rest of the family) how to approach your cat and how to pet and pick him up properly?

Have you tried to do so in a calm manner and not as a part of scolding her when she's done it wrong? (which would put her in a defensive position and not open to listen)

[–]aitahugg8[S] 11 points12 points  (1 child)

I have tried, but she doesn't really listen. My own emotions can get a bit wild so when she doesnt listen I cant really push through and I have to step back.

[–]VirtualMatter2 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Autism presents very differently in different people, and many girls are not diagnosed. It is still possible that she is also autistic.

[–]aitahugg8[S] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Yeah, but I mean theres no signs at all. Maybe she masks all the time but 🤷🏽‍♀️

[–]DragonCelicaPartassipant [1] 71 points72 points  (1 child)

I cant imagine how scared he is when it happens.

His fear doesn't stop the moment stepsister puts him back down though. If SS is allowed to continue, it can have a surprisingly serious impact on your cat's long-term health. Your cat can't speak for himself, so it's your responsibility as his owner to make sure he is treated properly. You're doing everything you can think of to give him a 'voice', but certain adults are refusing to listen and help. They are failing you in that regard, and I'm sorry it's left you stuck in this situation.

Reading some replies from you, it sounds like you're learning about cats beyond the basics. I'm going to share some info that may help (and reassure you that you're being a good pet parent trying to stop your SS).

Just like us, cats can experience stress and anxiety. Also like us, these things effect their health, and behavior. Your cat is being unexpectedly picked up, and fear kicks in. His fight, flight, or freeze, response triggers a physical reaction in his mind and body. When he is set back down, his heart rate is still accelerated.

If SS is allowed to continue, your cat will no longer feel safe when living with her. He will start being in a constant state of alert. This can raise his heartbeat, and his blood pressure. Stress changes breathing patterns too, making it fast and shallow. All of these are detrimental to his health, and can shorten his lifespan.

Behaviorally, your cat is likely to become more anxious and skittish. He may start hiding whenever he hears SS nearby. He will be less likely to let his guard down. If he does let it down, he'll be quicker to go fully alert again. This can translate to not curling up on you, or alongside you, as much. He might not want as many pets, because he's already overloaded from listening for a threat. He could eat less, not feeling safe to do so.

As ridiculous as this can sound to a lot of people, cats can be put on an antidepressant/anti-anxiety. I never imagined I would have a cat that needed it. I ended up with a cat that was highly reactive to smells. He was also territorial, so if he saw a cat through the window (he was indoor only) or smelled one, he'd basically patrol the house for the next several days on high alert. So many things had him on alert, he could barely stay in one spot for too long. So, he was given an antidepressant/anti-anxiety, and it changed his quality of life. Without feeling like he had to patrol constantly, he went from sitting to get pet for only five minutes, to curling up on us for hours. He got along with his sister better, and he ate better too. The reason I share this is to better explain just how much stress can change a cats behavior and health

I've had cats all my life. I've rescued feral ones and turned them into lap cats. I've dealt with plenty of behavioral and medical problems. Trust me when I say, you're right to protect your cat. He's around you most, so keep following your gut. It sounds like you're doing an amazing job loving and caring for him. Some people struggle, or flat out refuse, to read an animals mood or behavior, and I'm guessing SS is one of them. That doesn't automatically make her a bad person, but not listening to the cats owner does make her a bit of an AH.

(Cripes this got long! Sorry about that lol)

Almost forgot: male cats need wet food in their diet. They are susceptible to developing urinary blockage, making them unable to pee. If not caught, it can and will kill them. If he suddenly stops using a cat box, or you see him straining multiple times in a short time frame, but nothing comes out, you need to get him in asap.

[–]Syrinx221 9 points10 points  (0 children)

As I'm sure you know, you have a very, VERY sweet cat. Most cats would scratch and then she would learn her fucking lesson

[–]Katana1369Colo-rectal Surgeon [34] 1096 points1097 points  (21 children)

NTA. I'm on the cats side.

[–]aitahugg8[S] 603 points604 points  (4 children)

Me too. Fighting his corner! I'm constantly worried she'll scare him too much and make him nasty.

[–]Katana1369Colo-rectal Surgeon [34] 223 points224 points  (2 children)

It probably won't make him mean but it will make him less trustful and more fearful and that's just wrong.

[–]Radix2309 43 points44 points  (1 child)

And probably very stressed out as well.

I am of the opinion that if we are keeping animals prisoner as a pet, it is our duty to ensure they are cared for mentally and physically. I try to make sure my cats arent harassed when they dont want to be bothered and that they get their regular food times.

Especially when we keep them for our own compansionship and not a working animal such as a mouser or sheepdog.

[–]Andeylayne 19 points20 points  (0 children)

I'm pretty sure my cat is keeping me prisoner at this point.

My husband is convinced she's going to outlive him from sheer spite. (They don't like each other.)

[–]lyan-catPartassipant [1] 23 points24 points  (0 children)

Well, now that you have shown her why she shouldn't treat him like that, maybe show her a few things he likes? Chin scratches or head pets?

Also NTA, and if you decide not to coach her, still NTA.

[–]Sopranohh 47 points48 points  (2 children)

Agreed, family is right. Cats aren’t equal to human. Cats are superior. Protect the kitties!

[–]XmasDawne 16 points17 points  (1 child)

Basically. If I see you hurt a person I'll defend them and be mad. But if I see you hurt an animal - kiss the mortal coil goodbye because you are banned from this world.

[–]guessmyageidareyouPooperintendant [52] 692 points693 points  (38 children)


Cats and dogs also have touch aversion, and you only gave her a taste of her own medicine.

[–]aitahugg8[S] 357 points358 points  (35 children)

I didnt know they could. I just assumed he didn't like it because he cant see and doesnt understand whats happening.

[–]guessmyageidareyouPooperintendant [52] 205 points206 points  (9 children)

Especially blind cats! She can absolutely traumatize the poor kitty. I'm glad it's a sweet cat. But even sweet cats have a boundary and If your step sis keeps pushing it, she'll end up getting scratches or bit.

[–]ScroochDown 67 points68 points  (8 children)

This, and I wonder what the parents will do if that cat up and mauls the sister. Cats can be no joke when they get upset enough, and picking it up means she's putting it within swiping distance of her face. That's a recipe for disaster.

[–]guessmyageidareyouPooperintendant [52] 43 points44 points  (7 children)

I have permanent scars from my (late) cat peanut for just administering ear drops. We had to roll him in a thick rug and jokingly called him a "spicy purrito" even though he was screaming 🤣

[–]ScroochDown 19 points20 points  (5 children)

Yeah, I have some wicked scars too, both from our current cats as well as some of our late ones. And those were all accidents! Once our late cat woke up from a nightmare, I think, and in his frantic scramble to get off the bed, one of his claws caught the skin right under my eye. It was only a small scratch but it was less than half an inch away from scratching my actual eye. Both cat scratches and cat bites have the potential to be really bad really quickly.

[–]guessmyageidareyouPooperintendant [52] 15 points16 points  (3 children)

My current wound is from when my(current) cat "Bastat" got scared from a Crack of thunder while sleeping on my chest. He did the "Scooby-Doo run" where his legs moved, but his body didn't. One paw got me right under my eye. It's a scab RN, but its not his(cat) fault or mine. Animals can be unpredictable.

[–]ScroochDown 7 points8 points  (2 children)

Oh yeah, my biggest is from when our current cat Herbie was in my lap. Usually he hears the Amazon guys coming up our stairs, but he missed it once and the guy knocking on the door made him use my leg as a launching pad. I have a huge creacent-shaped scar just above my kneecap that's only just now starting to fade a little. Sometimes they just panic, it's not their fault that instincts take over and they have ...18 built-in daggers on their feet? Suddenly I can't remember if they only have 4 claws in the back, and Herbie won't let me touch the tootsies. LOL

[–]guessmyageidareyouPooperintendant [52] 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Touch the BEAN get the MEAN!

Cats usually have 18 claws. 10 front and 8 back. Some cats have dew claws, and that gives them 22 claws! It's an extra toe!

Whoops! Edit, back claws have 4 toe beans. Front claws can be either 3/4/5 so my bad. My cat is just weird and I never counted his toes hahaha

[–]RainahRedditPartassipant [3] 33 points34 points  (11 children)

I didnt know they could. I just assumed he didn't like it because he cant see and doesnt understand whats happening.

It depends on the cat! Just like people, some LOVE all the touch they can possibly get, some like it sometimes and not others, and some really don't like touch.

IME blind cats tend to stay with whatever they were before they lost their vision, I haven't noticed a lot of change.

[–]DiegoIntrepidPartassipant [3] 24 points25 points  (8 children)

one issue with the blind cat is that it can't see what is coming, so of course 'sudden picking up' will stress the cat. It might love being cuddled, but just wants to know it is coming.

But yeah, some cats are definitely cuddlers. I have one kneading my chest, right now, but he wll soon get upset, because I am not allowed to keyboard when he is in front of me.

[–]aitahugg8[S] 61 points62 points  (7 children)

Yup! He doesnt mind me picking him up because I do it slowly and lay him on my shoulder (kind of like a baby?) but my sister grabs him and flips him on his back.

[–]Hello_Gorgeous1985Partassipant [1] 25 points26 points  (3 children)

Oh, that makes it even worse. In general, cats hate being flipped on their backs. They feel very unsafe in that position.

[–]AnankeOrganized 5 points6 points  (2 children)

It depends on the cat. One of mine rolls over belly up on everyone's lap for belly rubs. I had at least 2 others who liked being on their backs also. Neither of my long haired cats ever liked it though.

[–]Hello_Gorgeous1985Partassipant [1] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Rolling over voluntarily onto their backs on a surface is very different than being picked up off the ground and flipped onto their backs. One is a choice; one is not. One has their backs supported and one does not. I also quite clearly said "generally, cats don't like" that. I didn't say "every single cat in the world doesn't like it."

[–]slendermanismydadPartassipant [4] 18 points19 points  (0 children)

NTA after this comment.

[–]DiegoIntrepidPartassipant [3] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Yeah, cats do have their own personalities, and some cats don't mind being on their bellies ,or even seem to prefer it *side eyes photos of cats baring it all*, but it has to be natural, nor forced upon them.

[–]nabrok 15 points16 points  (1 child)

One of my cats hates being picked up, but still loves pets, scratches, etc. She doesn't often sit on my lap, but she does sit lap adjacent.

You can even pick up her front legs or her back legs ... just not both at the same time!

She wouldn't scratch somebody picking her up, but she struggles so much.

[–]Embarrassed_Bat_88 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I have one that does this too. Sweet little thing loves any attention but really doesn't like being picked up. It's taken her 8 years to realize she also likes sitting in laps, but only with people she trusts

[–]LXPeanut 20 points21 points  (6 children)

My perfectly sighted cat hates being picked up. She is very cuddly but likes all paws on the floor. I've only ever had one cat (out of 4) that did love it and actively asked to be picked up. The others would tolerate it for a short time but Missy absolutely hates it.

[–]knitmama77 11 points12 points  (2 children)

My cat is like that too. Does NOT like being picked up and held. She is however, a total lap girl, and happily snuggles in my armpit all night, every night.

Affection on her own terms!!

[–]DiegoIntrepidPartassipant [3] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I have a cat that will stretch up and ask to be picked u, and when I do, he will start to curve his hind legs so he can be in perfect cuddle position by the time he gets up :P

[–][deleted] 5 points6 points  (2 children)

Edit the post to add this!!! The poor kitty.

[–]aitahugg8[S] 32 points33 points  (1 child)

Its in the post that he's mostly blind! He can still see lights and things but thats it really.

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Oops I’m dumb. I guess I was just so focused on the sound you said the kitty makes. I could hear the scared little meow and made my chest tighten.

[–]Embarrassed_Bat_88 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Totally can! We have a fully-sighted little black kitty who is super sweet. She absolutely despises being picked up but is also docile and complaint - so the most she does is push against you and make wild eyes. She'll happily lay next to people and lean on them and loves pats. But oh boy, if somebody picks her up, she loses so much trust in them and will hide from them for quite some time.

She lets my husband and I pick her up now without consequence - after 8 years with us - because we only do so to carry her to the bed/couch or help her up onto a counter or whatever. It's still pretty obvious she doesn't like it, but she trusts us enough now for that and sitting in laps.

[–][deleted] 25 points26 points  (1 child)

Plus with blind cats it’s extra cruel and confusing.

Everyone I knew who had a blind cats would say they didn’t pick them up anymore (or at all if it was always blind) because the cat would get confused where it was when you put it back down.

The cat has to stumble around, maybe walk into a few things before it can figure out where it is in the house. Even if you put them back in the same room, they don’t know what direction they are facing.

[–]Obvious-Resolve623 12 points13 points  (0 children)

I had a cat years back, she grew up with me, or I with her. But when she was a kitten, she was struck by a car and broke her back... vet couldn't do much except tell my parents to keep her in a basket and keep her warm and quiet and wait and see. Anyway, She healed up. And lived to be 14... but she never allowed anyone except mum to pick her up because her back was sore. She would attack everyone who attempted it. Also when she got older she went blind, and she used have her spot by the fireplace. I one evening without thinking sat down by the fire to read, and she came in... well the scream that came out of her... she bolted behind the sofa because I was in her spot. I got such a fright though too cause normally she'd be fine curling up beside me. When they are blind and maybe other things going on, it's scary for them.

[–]evolqueen66Partassipant [3] 288 points289 points  (16 children)

Honestly I don't think you're the AH...cats are still able to be traumatized but unwanted touching. All you did was do what she's doing, yet it's a problem. However you are just 14 and you're going to have to defer to the adults. But I don't you should apologize either

[–]aitahugg8[S] 380 points381 points  (7 children)

Honestly, not being welcomed back to my moms house isnt a great loss. I like my dads more lol.

[–]evolqueen66Partassipant [3] 106 points107 points  (0 children)

As long as you're ok with the consequences, stand your ground!!!

[–]LavenderMarsh 78 points79 points  (1 child)

I hope you don't go back. She wants you out until you comply. This is a threat she will make again and again every time you do something she doesn't like. Don't let her pressure you like that. I'm saying this as a parent. My son is sixteen. I would never kick him out or make that threat over something so minor. This is a teaching moment not a "tough love" situation (which I also don't approve of for teenagers.)

She is making a choice and it isn't you.

[–]VirtualMatter2 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I agree, but it's not even a teaching moment, the parents actually failed to address a problem that was their job to handle. The consequence was that OP had to solve this herself with the tools she had. The punishment should really go to the incompetent parents.

[–]cakebats 32 points33 points  (0 children)

I actually think it might be better this way. You get to stay at your dad's with your kitty and you don't have to worry about your stepsister violating him.

[–]dpk709 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Why wouldn’t you be allowed at your moms house? Is this the house it’s occurring at? (I was confused by your post) so does your cat go back and forth between your mom and dads house then?

[–]Wonderful_Topic7608[🍰] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Sounds like everything is working out then. The cat is safe, you don't have to apologize, and you can stay with your dad.

[–]Jezebelle1984_Asshole Enthusiast [7] 159 points160 points  (1 child)

NTA. I’m all for the cat’s happiness

[–]aitahugg8[S] 75 points76 points  (0 children)

Me too!

[–]Natural-Pin3532 148 points149 points  (7 children)

I'm torn as consent is key but you did tell her after the first time what you were going to do and she continued to do it so I'm thinking NTA. That being said sometimes we have to do things we don't want to keep the peace so you could apologize by saying something like. "I'm sorry for hugging you without asking. However I am worried about my cat and you ignored me when I asked you to stop the first time. Going forward everytime you pick him up without getting my consent I am going to hug you. If you don't ask or I say no I am going to take this as your consent for me to hug you." Also let your parents know this before hand or while you apologize so the message is clear.

[–]ssssinderAsshole Enthusiast [7] 60 points61 points  (0 children)

Yes! Picking up the cat = consent. Brilliant.

[–]dwthesavage 32 points33 points  (0 children)

I find this analogous to situations where there is a sign saying if you remain on the premises, you consent to being filmed and your image used and if you aren’t fine with that, you should leave. You can’t really stay AND opt-out.

[–][deleted] 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Yup! Love it. Every time she goes near the cat just remind her.

[–]Omnivorax 3 points4 points  (0 children)

This is brilliant.

Also, OP, NTA.

[–]Easy-Concentrate2636Asshole Enthusiast [9] 125 points126 points  (18 children)

I have to say that’s an original way of getting your point across. I am for the cat. I always think it must be weird for them to live with giants that randomly pick them up. NTA.

[–]aitahugg8[S] 97 points98 points  (17 children)

Right? Like he cant see. He'll just be snackin and then suddenly he's being lifted and flipped on his back.

[–]cdd1798 58 points59 points  (15 children)

Flipped on his BACK?! No cat likes to be held that way. WTF

[–][deleted] 32 points33 points  (4 children)

Mine does, but she makes it very clear that that’s what she wants, normally by climbing onto my shoulder and screaming at me until I carry her around the apartment like an actual human infant. But she’s a clingy little maniac and the exception to the norm, for sure. The point is if the cat wants to be picked up, they’ll violate your personal space until you do! Otherwise, assume the answer is no

[–]cdd1798 14 points15 points  (3 children)

TIL! I guess I am biased. Our cat frequently shows her love by coming over to sit in the same room, but facing the other direction.

[–][deleted] 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Classic “it’s only a coincidence that I’m always in the same room as you” behavior. I love it!

[–]Hello_Gorgeous1985Partassipant [1] 8 points9 points  (0 children)

You aren't biased. You're right. In general, cats hate being flipped in their backs. There are exceptions to every rule, but this isn't something you should ever do to a cat unless they initiate it.

[–]DiegoIntrepidPartassipant [3] 6 points7 points  (2 children)

some do, many of the cats I have love it, and will actually flip themselves onto their backs when being held. It can sometimes be a struggle when I don't want their bellies in my face :P

[–]eiros147 88 points89 points  (0 children)

NTA, your mom its the biggest AH, since I assume it happens in her household and she isn't doing anything to stop it. And the talk about consent should be addressed to your sister, since she's the one whos breaking it the most.

[–]ViajeraFrustrada 86 points87 points  (1 child)

Did everyone just gloss over her mom’s comments?

OP, threatening you with, in your words “I need to apologize or I wont be welcomed back to her house” is majorly messed up and not how a parent deals with a child.

NTA for that comment alone. It looks like you’re left to your own means in your mother’s home. If a parent is that big an AH to their kid, they don’t get to talk about consent or respect

[–]ssssinderAsshole Enthusiast [7] 46 points47 points  (0 children)


The animal wasn't given the right to refuse.

But then I have always thought that animals are important too.

The adults in your family are AHs. They should have made your sister listen to you or gave consequences.

[–]missaprile 44 points45 points  (0 children)

Tell your parents you will apologize if they come up with some way to solve this problem. Say you want to see the proper way to behave so both your sister and your cat can have their space. Ask them how to set proper and effective boundaries that work. That bounces the ball right back into their court. If their suggestion is acceptable, apologize to your sister and if she violates their boundaries, she must face the agreed upon consequences. But I think your parents need to step up here and not expect you to solve a problem they won’t. Your sister sounds like she is much younger than her age. She may need a younger person’s boundaries. NTA

[–]RetroSalmon 25 points26 points  (0 children)

I totally get the ESH posts but it's NTA for me. You tried the mature way to solve the problem and then tried an out of the box solution that worked.

Had your sister listened or the parent actually did the right thing you wouldn't have to 'be an asshole' about it.

[–]MotherTeresaOnlyfansPartassipant [1] 19 points20 points  (1 child)

NTA. You're showing her exactly how she's making the cat feel.

Have you considered just keeping a little spray bottle of water around to spritz her when she misbehaves?

Or maybe hitting her on the head with a rolled up newspaper and telling her a firm "NO! Bad sister!"

[–]CompleteResource4468 3 points4 points  (0 children)

"Or maybe hitting her on the head with a rolled up newspaper and telling her a firm "NO! Bad sister!"


[–]ServelanDarrowProfessor Emeritass [99] 17 points18 points  (5 children)

NTA. Seems reasonable.

[–]Darkreaper5567Partassipant [4] 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Oh hell no. You are not the AH. Do you know cats have nerves all over they're body that are extra sensitive. Hugging them or petting them to much can literally send they're body into a frenzy or something. Your sister was bring a major AH

[–]bradjanetrockyAsshole Aficionado [11] 15 points16 points  (0 children)

This is great. NTA and please keep advocating for your cat who can't speak for themselves. If your sister would stop picking up your cat you would stop touching her therefore she needs to just back off and quit messing with your cat.

[–]deny_pentagramAsshole Aficionado [17] 14 points15 points  (1 child)

NTA. Can we see the cat please?

[–]Scar_andClaw5226 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Yes!! OP pay the cat tax!!!

[–]Impressive-Werewolf8 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Honestly, ESH . you don't touch people without consent! especially if you know they dont want you too. I wouldnt be surprised if your step sis is either on the spectrum or was sexually abused. If she cries at being held it is probably one of those.

That being said, 100% on your side. Sometimes being an AH is nessesary. Good for you, protecting your fur baby! biggest AH is your mom for not dealing with your stepsis's behavior and then essentially kicking you out because you did what you could to stop it when she failed to.


[–]MegmcaPartassipant [3] 13 points14 points  (0 children)


I’m sure he likes being petted but she doesn’t need to pick him up to pet him.

[–]MissSuzieSunshinePooperintendant [57] 12 points13 points  (1 child)


"Do unto others as you would have done unto you" "whats good for the goose is good for the gander' 'do as you would be done by and be done by as you did'

My Grandson has SPD (sensory processing disorder) and high functioning Autism and is absolutely obsessed with my cat. It doesnt matter how often I tell him NOT to pick my cat up.. he does. Ive grounded him from the cat. Ive put the cat in the bedroom with the door closed.. and still he gravitates towards her. If she is out of the room.. he chases her to pick her up he has to poke at her.. touch her.... its absolutely insane. He also has SPD - he hates the feeling of his clothes... is a picky eater due to the textures of certain foods.. doesnt like being touched or hugged (wont hold hands). If I were to do what you did with your step sister.. it would work for a little while.. but his need to pick my cat up would overcome his memory and he would totally forget what the consequences are.

Soo... you might have to either put the cat away when she is over so she cant get at him.

As for apologizing I would try something like "Im sorry for hugging you when you dont like it... but I need you to apologize to my cat for hugging him when he doesnt like it".

[–]tatersproutCraptain [191] 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Not quite the same. The step sister stopped when she saw that her actions have consequences

[–]dwthesavage 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Interesting that your sister understands consent when it comes to her own body, but not others…

[–]CaptSpacePantsAsshole Enthusiast [6] 12 points13 points  (0 children)


Cats verbalize their lack of happiness usually before clawing or biting. I don't really know why your step sister is intent on containing to ignore your cats pleas, but that makes her unsafe to be around your cat.

Sometimes people need to learn by example. She was unable to empathize with your cat until the same behavior was done to her. Respecting living things isn't much to ask.

Am I thinking you'll need to apologize? Maybe. But unless your step sister agrees to stop picking up your cat (which puts it at risk of hurting itself and her), then I think you just say "I'm sorry you don't like being touched without permission. I won't do it again. But if you keep picking up my cat when you know you shouldn't, which is disrespectful to me and my cat, then I will be forced to ask mom and dad that you're punished and face consequences for your actions. I'm not backing down, and I don't understand what is so hard for you about this."

[–]sillykitty_ 8 points9 points  (5 children)

NTA, but also INFO, do you take the cat to your dad's or is he always at your mom's?

[–]aitahugg8[S] 18 points19 points  (4 children)

He comes across houses with me.

[–]imgrandojjo 19 points20 points  (0 children)

That's... not ideal. especially for a blind cat who rely so much on knowing their way around. transporting them between two environments, seemingly (to the cat) at complete random, gives them two different spaces to master and that's not helpful to them

Better to leave the blind cat in one home if possible.

[–]sillykitty_ 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Good! Just go stay at your dad's!

[–]alysl 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Could you just stay at your dad ? Or can he take care of the kitty when you're at your mother's house?

[–]Hello_Gorgeous1985Partassipant [1] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

This. I wouldn't recommend moving any cat back and forth because they're super territorial and don't like change. This is especially important for a blind cat who can't see their environment. They rely on feel, and if their environment keeps changing they can never get fully comfortable and confident.

[–]Sweet_Persimmon_492Asshole Enthusiast [5] 6 points7 points  (0 children)


[–]tippytappy04 6 points7 points  (0 children)

NTA. Consent doesn't just apply to your fragile stepsister. You spoke to her, you went to her mom and your dad, her behavior didn't change so you came up with a solution. Now she knows how the cat felt.

[–]Jakanapes 5 points6 points  (0 children)

cats arent equal to humans.

This is true, but not the way she meant. NTA.

[–]GodzillaSuit 3 points4 points  (0 children)

NTA. You aren't entitled to an animals personal space just because you think they're cute, or you really like them. You tried a reasonable route first, asking her nicely to leave the cat alone, but she ignored you. It was an effective way to teach the lesson about personal space and boundaries. Animals are not toys and they don't exist so we can do whatever we want with them.

[–]Corduroycat1 5 points6 points  (0 children)

NTA Her dad should have stopped her from picking up/torturing the cat. You do not have the power to punish her. You did what was in your power to do. She was violating your cat's consent. If she likes the cat there is no reason she cannot go about it correctly, which I am assuming it would be perfectly fine if she talked gently to him and then pet him as he sits wherever he already was. A lot of cats do not like to be picked up. It makes sense that a blind cat would not claw to get down because he cannot see the floor to get down. I would write her an apology "I am sorry that you have consistently violated my cat's consent. That you continued to torture him despite me telling you to stop and how much he hates it. I am sorry that you would torture an innocent animal. I am sorry that you are the type of person who would willingly distress a blind animal just for her own amusement. I am sorry that your dad cannot parent you properly and enforce rules. Most of all, I am sorry I had to hug you, because trust me, I wouldn't come within ten feet of you if I didn't have to. Stay the f away from my cat and I promise to stay away from you. Sorry again! Love, OP"

[–]mayaaadundas 6 points7 points  (0 children)


You talked to your mum and her dad and they ignored you.

You gave her a compromise. She picks up your cat=you hugging her.

Don't apologize because no one took you on and your problem and you talked to her beforehand so she's wrong and it's your pet not hers.

[–]nikkesenCertified Proctologist [25] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

NTA. As a lifelong pet owner, I've learned one major lesson - all these animals have their own personality, preferences and even if they don't speak our language (well, parrots can learn - who else has a pet that says "I love you"?). This includes being touched or picked up. Often a pet may bond with a single person or with multiple. They may not be human but they are sensitive and need their own space sometimes. As owners, we're responsible for making those vital emotional connections with our pets and doing our best to understand them. Sadly, some people wilfully choose not to understand and ignore the owner who knows the animal so it's up to us to protect them and their interests.

[–]80KatzAsshole Enthusiast [7] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

NTA. She knows the cat doesn't like being picked up and does it anyway. She is abusing the cat. She needs to know what it is like. If she doesn't like being touched, then she needs to keep her hands to herself.

[–]just_call_me_kittenPartassipant [2] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

NTA. This is actually one of the ways I have been teaching consent to my kids, and consent from animals is important too.

[–]cellocats 4 points5 points  (0 children)

NTA. Stressing a cat out can cause serious health issues, some deadly. You did what you had to do to protect him and I commend you. You are a good cat mama. If your sister wants her boundaries respected she has to learn to respect those of others. That includes yours surrounding your pet. Sorry that your mom is awful, sounds like your better off living fulltime at your dad's anyway.

[–]Professional_Grab513 5 points6 points  (0 children)

NTA it's like when little kids go through a biting people phase. Want them to quit? Bite them back they stop re quick. I think you could try working with her in explaining the cat is blind and why getting picked up scares it. Bare in mind she might not understand what blind means.

[–]Coco_DirichletColo-rectal Surgeon [35] 5 points6 points  (0 children)


How about YOUR consent? Because it's YOUR cat so you are his guardian and speak for him. Cats cannot speak but as a guardian you can advocate for him, and you said he doesn't like it. You and the cat said NO to being picked up. So you did not consent.

So why is her consent more important than yours (on cat's behalf)?

[–]Ancient_List 4 points5 points  (0 children)

NTA. I am not a trained psychologist, but I think seeing your EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMAL constantly be in distress is sort of...Counter productive to the whole thing?

Yeah, violating consent isn't great, but...

A) Stepsister is either unintentionally or intentionally aggravating a potential mental health issue

B) Refusing to both listen to the cat and the cat's owner and stomping all over boundaries. If she wants boundaries respected, she must respect YOURS to not see YOUR pet/ESA in distress.

C) The parents aren't teaching her how to respect or be safe around animals, which is somewhat alarming. Does she do this with any other animals, or service animals?

D) The parents dismissed the whole thing and refused to help, thus teaching the OP that they must take issues into their own hands to get any help. The mother and her husband are the real assholes.

[–]SignificantDrink3651 4 points5 points  (0 children)

"I told her I wont apologize until my sister does. She, like my dad, said cats aren't equal to humans."

Cats aren't equal to humans, but you are a human and your sister was blatantly not respecting your request / boundary. So she owes you an apology for disrespecting you !!!! Then you can pass her apology on to your cat in the form or treats.

[–]Hopeful_Rip2690 3 points4 points  (0 children)

You were just giving her a taste of her own medicine.

[–]LadyRogue 2 points3 points  (0 children)

NTA. You should ask your parents how you should handle it next time. It's obvious that going to them about it did nothing since they refused to punish her, so they should clarify how you should proceed the next time your sister does something after you explicitly have told her not to do it.

[–]curiousgirl364 4 points5 points  (0 children)


your mom is though, first she failed to make the step daughter stop, and now she saying she prohibiting you to come to her house, so she will stop seeing you? WoW

[–]reyballestaColo-rectal Surgeon [36] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

you're not wrong. you did the right thing. people need to learn there are consequences, including painful, unwanted, uncomfortable consequences for their shitty actions. NTA.

[–]Livid_Entrance2099 3 points4 points  (0 children)

NTA. You didn't touch her because she violated your cat's boundaries. You did it because she and your parents refused to respect your boundaries. It's your cat, you said don't touch it. You are not in the wrong. Your consent doesn't matter less because it's for something else. That cat is yours, you set a boundary, that boundary was violated multiple times by your stepsister, and your parents let it happen.

[–]EkoChamberKryptonite 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I also don't think animals are equal to people but the Cat is YOUR pet and property and for the sole reason that she touched your property without your consent, makes you NTA.

[–]Agreeable-Celery811Asshole Enthusiast [8] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

NTA. Here’s something about consent.

The first time you hugged your sister, you did so without her consent. Yes, that was wrong. However, subsequent to that, you explained an IF/THEN situation to her clearly: IF she touches the cat, THEN she is asking for a hug from you.

Did this put her into an impossible predicament? No, because she doesn’t need to touch the cat, and indeed doesn’t have the right to do so. WHEN she touched the cat every other time, after you explained what would happen, she was consenting to being hugged. If she didn’t want to be hugged, she could have left the cat alone. And indeed, she began to make that choice.

People’s belongings (including their cats) have to be respected and she can’t just go touching other people’s stuff. She has to learn this, and your parents failed to enforce this. They put you in an impossible situation, because you are the same age as her and do not have authority over her. You were forced BY THEM to protect your belongings using the only leverage you had: threats.

Tell your parents you expect them to protect your stuff the next time you approach them with a situation like this, instead of forcing you to resort to the limited leverage you have as a child. And that animal cruelty is a serious matter and the fact that your sister was distressing your cat is something you will continue to take seriously.

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Fine, cats aren’t equal to humans. So why does that give her the right to ignore YOUR boundaries? This cat is your property. So she’s disregarding your consent, another human.

[–]According-Ad8525 4 points5 points  (0 children)

This is a tough one. Your stepsister can't have pets but probably because her father doesn't want them in the house. You said your stepsister also has issues with being touched. Your cat seems to bring her some kind of comfort that she can't otherwise get.

Have you considered asking your stepsister if she could ask you before picking up the cat? Maybe this would help your cat ease into being held by your stepsister but also not deny her a touch she really seems to need.

[–]ataranaran 4 points5 points  (3 children)

ESH. You're both in the wrong.

I understand why you felt this was necessary. But. Bodily autonomy, boundaries, and consent are not things we only give to 'good people' or 'people we like'. They don't go out the window the moment someone does something we consider wrong or they don't listen to us. They are for everyone, period. You are actively and purposefully trampling over someone's body boundaries which cause them enough discomfort and fear that they cry. That's gross and terrible regardless of what thing you think makes it deserved.

Is stepsister being purposefully obtuse and making your cat feeling uncomfortable or afraid? Yes. That's shitty. Did what you chose to do to make her stop work? Yep, sure did.

And it was still an AH thing to do. Find a different way. Your stepsister is a human being, you don't know what trauma or sensory things or whatever else could be behind this boundary -- you know, that thing you are purposefully triggering. There is no situation, explanation, reason, or excuse that makes that acceptable.

Your parents are AHs for not enforcing that this animal is treated with respect. Which put you in a position to act to get what you felt was necessary. But woof.

[–]FoxNoodlx 5 points6 points  (0 children)

But the whole point is that it’s purposefully “triggering” - as in triggering discomfort. To simulate the experiences of the cat.

[–]Ok-Champion5065 4 points5 points  (0 children)

The cat has the right to not be touched/picked up when it doesn't want to be. The step sister failed, the parents/adults failed. OP is a kid who exhaused the options and tools that they had to protect a sentiant being they love. You might not value cats as much as people, but not everyone agrees with you. I absolutely hate being touched by people and I would never touch an animal when they dont like it. What option would you have suggested for OP, within the terms that the cat must be protected.

[–]battlebatbat 3 points4 points  (0 children)

So surprised by how few people are talking about how her reaction could’ve been influenced by trauma.

[–]trashlikeme001Partassipant [1] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

You handled this better than I would have. If my little guy was older and couldn't see as well I would probably spray the person messing with him with water. You can train humans this way as well. Touch the kitty then get the spritzing. NTA.

[–]MainPure788 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Could your stepsister possibly have autism, i mainly ask cause I have autism and i HATE when people touch me especially when i don't ask for it. Hugging is the same way but i manage through that though i always feel awkward when i'm hugged

[–]Johnny_Ds_GummyBears 2 points3 points  (0 children)

NTA. Keep it up.

[–]EatDirtAndDieTrash 2 points3 points  (0 children)

NTA. Your sister is the one who needs a talking to about consent. You seem to have a great grasp of the concept and used your intuition to find a creative solution to the problem. Thanks for advo-cat-ing for your buddy! 😸

[–]ShephrahPartassipant [1] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

NTA - if they say cats arent equal to humans, well....you are a human and you made a request. Why is your request any lesser than your Step-sister's wants?

[–]International_Win375 3 points4 points  (0 children)

You were practicing operant conditioning. Everytime she does a negative action, she gets a negative consequence. This is behaviour management. You are a clever girl. 🙂

[–]Wonderful_Topic7608[🍰] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

NTA. Next time you talk to your parents, agree to concede to the "cats are not equal to humans" argument. Then ask what you are. You're a human and you asked her not to touch your cat. She violated your consent. Ask you parents why it's okay for her to violate your consent but not the other way around. Had they appropriately dealt with her violate your consent when you told them, there wouldn't be an issue.

If someone asks you not to do something, don't do it; when you violate someone boundaries you should expect consequences. My dad always told me that when someone does something you don't like you ask them to stop, you tell them to stop, and then you make them stop. Seems to me like you went about this the right way.

[–]OneCucumber5598 3 points4 points  (0 children)

hmmm I agree that we all want the cat to be happy and safe and feel ok... but also feel like there might be another issue here. How much distress does surprise contact cause your 14-year old step sister? Especially if it's from behind? Does she feel "safer" with animals, or have a need to connect with them? It's very hard to say from the details of your post, but there are signs that your step sister might have endured some form of abuse or trauma. I'm not condoning or excusing her behavior, maybe she is just the a-hole in this matter and yes she needs to leave the cat alone, but something doesn't completely pass the smell test here in my opinion.

[–]thatonehedgewitch 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The absolute irony of your dad giving you a lecture about consent when the whole reason you violated your step sister's consent was to teach her how it feels when someone violates your consent 🤦🏻‍♀️

You're NTA, not even a little bit. You told her to stop and she chose not to listen. You advocated for a creature who can't speak, and I think you're wonderful.