Jennifer Wilber is a life-long animal lover. She currently has two black cats and has had many dogs and small pets throughout her life.
You May Be Annoying Your Cat and Not Even Realize It
Many people share their homes with furry, four-legged feline friends. Though humans and cats have been living together for hundreds of years, humans don’t always completely understand these creatures. There are many things that cat owners often do that their cats can’t stand. Here are some things that you might be doing that your cat hates.
1. Not Keeping the Litter Box Clean Enough
Cats hate it when they don’t have a clean place to relieve themselves. Many cat owners neglect to keep the litter boxes as clean as they should. If the litter box gets too dirty and smelly, your cat may begin looking for other places in your home to relieve themselves, such as on your bed or in your shoes.
Many owners only scoop the litter box once a day, or worse, once every couple of days. You should be scooping each litter box multiple times a day, preferably whenever you notice that it has been used. Be sure there are enough litter boxes for your cats (at least one per cat, plus one extra), that the litter boxes are big enough, and that you are using a litter that you cats like (preferably a natural variety, not the cheap clay kind, which is terrible for the environment and can lead to respiratory problems for your kitty).
2. Feeding Them the Same Thing Every Day
Just like people, your kitties prefer variety in their diets. They can get bored if they are fed the same thing every single day for years on end. It is best to rotate a variety of different brands and flavors of high quality, grain-free wet food for your cats. If you have the time and can afford it, consider looking into a raw diet for your cats.
A diet consisting of a variety of different foods is healthier and more enjoyable for your cat. Your cat is less likely to become deficient in any particular nutrient if you feed a variety. It will also be easier to find something they will eat if a certain brand becomes recalled or discontinued, or if they suddenly decide they don’t like a certain brand or texture if they have several types they are used to eating.
Many people believe that cats need to be fed a consistent diet of one type of food every day and that changing to different types of food needs to be done slowly. This is only true if your cat has been eating the same thing for years. If you start feeding a variety when your cat is young, you won’t need to change their diet slowly. My cats get a different type of food for each meal and were used to several different brands of grain-free foods (none of the low-quality grocery-store brands with nothing but fillers and byproducts).
3. Petting Them the Wrong Way
Many cats have very specific preferences for how they want to be pet. Most cats hate it when you pet them too aggressively or pet their fur the wrong way. Many cats also hate it when you pet their tummy. As soft and irresistible as a fluffy kitty belly looks when your cat is laying on their back, this is usually NOT an invitation to rub their tummy. The stomach is their most vulnerable part, so they might not like belly rubs (there are some exceptions; if your kitty enjoys it, go ahead).
If your cat starts showing signs that it isn’t enjoying the way you are petting it, such as cowering away or trying to escape, stop. Try simply putting your hand down in front of your kitty and letting them rub up against your hand to show you how they want to be petted.
4. Leaving Them Alone Too Long
Though cats have a reputation for being aloof loners, they still enjoy company and are still social creatures. Cats enjoy spending time with their humans and with other cats (as long as they were properly introduced). You will likely notice that your cat tends to follow you around from room to room wherever you are, even if he keeps his distance.
It is a good idea to get two kittens if you are thinking about getting a cat. If you get two at the same time, they are more likely to accept each other and get along. If you have more than one pet, they can keep each other company when you are away at work or busy.
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5. Not Playing With Them Enough
In addition to spending time with your cat, you also need to play with them regularly. Show your cat you care by making a point to play with them for at least 15 minutes every night at around the same time. Though cats are masters of finding ways to entertain themselves, it is important to play with them too to keep them active and prevent them from getting depressed.
6. Hugging Them Too Much
Cats have sensitive ears and hate it when their humans make too much noise. Too many loud noises from your television or other loud activities can cause excess stress for your cat and may cause health or behavioral problems in your furry feline friend. Effects of stress in cats from too much noise can include aggression, depression, lack of appetite, hair-loss from over-grooming, and skittishness.
7. Not Giving Them Enough Personal Space
Cats have it if you don’t give them a safe place where they can hide if they are feeling overwhelmed. Your cat should have a safe space, such as a space under a bed, or in a closet, where they can retreat if they feel scared or want to be left alone. This is especially important if you have visitors that your cat isn’t very familiar with.
8. Not Grooming Them Often Enough
Though cats spend much of their days grooming themselves, it is still important to make sure they are properly groomed. Be sure to brush your kitty often to prevent their fur from getting knotted or matted. Brushing regularly may also help to prevent furballs. It is also important to keep their nails trimmed to prevent them from getting caught in things such as the carpet or blankets. If your cat will allow you, try to brush their teeth daily or several times a week as well to prevent tartar buildup and dental problems down the road (be sure to use toothpaste specially formulated for pets).
9. Dressing Them Up Like Little Humans
As adorable as a cat in a costume or outfit is, cats hate being dressed up. If your cat seems bothered by outfits, don’t try to put clothes on them. Clothing can make cats feel restricted and trapped. If you must put an outfit on your cat, don’t leave it on for too long. If they fight you, stop and don’t force them to wear the outfit, as it could be traumatizing for your furry friend.
Stop Doing Things Your Cat Hates
If you realize that you have been doing these things that your cat hates, don’t feel bad. There is still time to stop doing these things and mend your relationship with your pet. Be more careful to pay attention to your cat’s body language so that you can be the best pet parent you can be!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: How much personal space does a cat need?
Answer: How much space each cat needs depends on the cat. Some cats may do fine in a small apartment, while others may be more comfortable in a larger home. Others may be happy to share their space with other cats, while others may want the entire house to their self, regardless of how much space there is.
Some experts recommend at least 500 square feet per cat, though many people have one or more cats who do just fine in small studio apartments. You can greatly increase the amount of space your cat has to roam in a small area by adding vertical spaces for them to climb, such as cat trees.
© 2018 Jennifer Wilber
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on December 26, 2018:
I love cats and dogs both also. I have had a cat for 12 years, and he is the most affectionate cat I have ever owned. The facts you state are true, particularly the ease in training them when they are young.