I have a 9 month old cat. I have had him since he was about 6 to 8 weeks. I have a 9 year old step daughter, when we first got the kitty he took to her well. There was a time where my step daughter did not come around for a long time. She is now spending weekends with us, but now he (my kitty) does not seem to take to her. He hisses at her even if she is just sitting there. I don't know why he is doing that and how to correct it. I am afraid that he will try to attack her. What are your suggestions? one more detail, when he was a kitty my step daughter tripped and fell on top of him, he was slightly injured but he turned out ok. Could it be that he remembers that incident?
spot on, your diagnosis of the problem sounds correct to me. Your cat obviously associates your daughter with pain and fear and his hissing his way of showing fear. it does not mean that he will attack her, it is his way of saying I am scared of you stay away. A cat of course will defend itself if she got too close and he was scared so at this time tell your daughter not to try and touch him and not to corner him in any way, tell her that over time he will come to her.
the next thing you have to do is to build the cats confidence in your daughter, this will be a slow process but if handled calmly will allow your daughter and the cat to have a future relationship with each other.
Your daughter needs to bond with the cat but it has to be done on your cats terms and time scale. i have written a web page about bonding with a cat it describes the process. here is the page /new-cat.html
Basically you will be showing your cat that your daughter is a friend and a good person to have around because they play together and she may give him treats from time to time.
Best wishes kate