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'My boyfriend is so mean to our cat that I'm reconsidering children.'

Many couples consider getting a pet a kind of practice run for future parenthood. Pets bring new responsibilities, unexpected bills and a hungry mouth to feed again, and again, and again.

A woman has turned to the anonymous forums of Reddit for help after she witnessed some concerning behaviour between her boyfriend and their newly adopted cat.

The 29-year-old explained her boyfriend, 30, seemed unable to discipline the animal without resorting to extreme measures.

“His reactions are generally pretty aggressive and he will spank his cat or pick her up and yell at her,” she wrote.

“I grab her from him and tell him that this behavior will only trigger more anxiety in the cat.”

The line between pets and children can often be blurry. Listen as we discuss on our Mamamia Out Loud podcast. Post continues after audio.

The woman said these aggressive episodes generally occurred hours after the incident in question.

“He gets after the cat hours after the event happened, and you HAVE to catch the cat in the act or right before for them to get the point. He knows this. He just doesn’t care,” she wrote.

“He says that I’m babying her and that she’s just going to think it’s okay.”

The violence inflicted upon the cat was said to have become so extreme, the woman was reconsidering the option of children in their future.

“We have been together long enough to talk about marriage and kids, and based off his reactions to having a cat, it makes me reevaluate wanting children with him,” she wrote.

When the pattern of violence was brought to his attention. he was said to have commented that “cats aren’t the same as kids”.

The concerned girlfriend went on to share how she can’t share this view.

“If you can’t be patient enough to deal with a cat, what makes you think you can handle a kid? It’s a really big red flag with me, but he dismisses it entirely,” she wrote.

Celebrity cats who outshine their owners (post continues after gallery).

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The woman ended the post with a request that readers offer their advice on whether she was making a mountain out of a molehill or if these behaviours were worth noting.

Readers were furious with the man and encouraged her to take herself and the cat out of his life.

“Anger management issues are an ENTIRE red flag all on its own, and it is a ball-game of misery. There are no winners in this game, only various degrees of loss – from material things to time to chunks of your dignity and self-esteem,” one user wrote.

“This is a huge red flag. He is mistreating an animal because he can’t tolerate doing the basics of pet care correctly and is physical with them for no reason. Being concerned how he would treat a child is legitimate,” wrote another.

The concerned girlfriend responded to some comments but is yet to reveal if a solution has been found.