Cat looking irritated
Cat Behavior

12 Things Cats Hate

Intro: Things cats hate

Let’s not pretend that cats don’t have something of a bipolar reputation. People who have yet to discover the magic of their own pet cat often regard them as uncaring, moody, hard to please and more.

The thing is they’re very often correct.

However, it’s worth considering that the problem doesn’t necessarily rest with the animals themselves, but rather with us as humans misunderstanding some of their feline signs and signals.

Which is why it’s worth looking at the following 12 things that cats hate and dearly wishes you would just stop. Yes, I am being held hostage by my cat. Yes, he is forcing me to write this article. Please send for help.

Cat Baths

Let’s start with the obvious, shall we

It’s no secret that most cats despise getting wet. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of the furry fiends knows that attempting to bathe a cat is usually going to result in a cocktail of blood, tears and soapy water.

The thing is, cats generally don’t require our assistance when it comes to bathing and grooming, unlike dogs or other pets. They’ve got it under control, so let them get on with it!

Note: Of course, as we all know: cats excel at knocking things over – paint, root beer, a bottle of foundation. Curious kitties get in messes that often demand a bath – find out how to give a cat a bath (and survive).

Dirty or neglected litter boxes

Following on from number one; cats tend to be very self-sufficient and clean animals. Unfortunately, they also apply this feline philosophy to their litter boxes? if they find that you haven’t cleaned it out for a while, or it hasn’t met their high standards, they might just start looking for another location to do their business.

(A cat’s sense of smell is over ten times more powerful than a human’s ? worth considering if you’re prone to delaying cleaning out that stinky litter tray!)

Being ignored

Again, no surprise: all cat-owners are already highly familiar with the love-hate relationship with regard to your cat’s need for attention. It can be absolutely adorable on a lazy Saturday afternoon, or incredibly irritating on a busy Monday morning.

There’s no getting around it, though ? if they want that attention, you’d better give it to them.

Abrupt changes in their environment

This one can range from the trivial to the rather serious. Cats tend to hate any upset in their routine or general environment. This can mean the introduction of a stranger/new pet in the home or more direct aspects such as furniture, loud noises, a change in diet and so on.

Indeed, cats have been known to exhibit signs of feline stress? when they live in a home without some stability or consistency. Just like humans who are regularly stressed, cats can develop stronger symptoms as a result of this; illness, restlessness, disruptive/unpredictable behavior etc.

Try to keep your cat’s home calm, stable and quiet!

Rough petting

It can take a long time to work your way into a cat’s good books, even longer to be able to stroke and pet them whenever you please. So, don’t throw this feline trust back in their face by rubbing or petting them too hard!

Cats love it when you rub, pet, stroke or scratch them delicately.

Tummy rubs

Perhaps a controversial one, following on from the previous point? Cats? stomach and belly areas are their most vulnerable place. Often it takes a lengthy and trusting relationship between cat and owner before he or she will be comfortable enough to let you rub their belly.

But even then, some cats just do not like it. Naturally, they’ll tend to let you know, but it’s important that you don’t see this as a challenge or a temporary mood. If your cat reacts badly to belly rubs, then don’t keep pestering them!


It’s easy to forget that cats are inherently predatory creatures, with centuries of instinct crammed inside them? Especially when we dress them up as little Christmas elves (more on that later).

When they hide their belly, or sleep in quiet, safe places, they’re behaving as their ancestors did ? and what were their ancestors? only source of weaponry and defense? Their claws. It’s small wonder that most cats react very badly when we try to trim their nails down; we’re effectively stripping them of their protection.

Dressing them up like dolls

A great many animal lovers could write whole, angry books on the concept of pet-owners dressing their animals up in funny little clothes. A cat isn’t naked ? its thick fur is its clothing.

A cat wearing angel wings and a little halo might make for an adorable Instagram photo (alright, it unequivocally does make for an adorable photo), but chances are that your cat hates it and feels incredible uncomfortable.

All the cute jackets in the world can’t cool the wrath of an angry cat? It’s just not worth it.

Old food

If you’re guilty of serving up an aged dinner for your cat from time to time, you shouldn’t feel too guilty. It’s quite an easy mistake to make, especially when we buy cat food in bulk and lead busy lives outside of our pets (ha!).

You might wonder why your cat sometime seems to turn its nose up at a canned meal that it loved just days ago ? it might very well be that you’ve left it sitting out for too long, or that the food itself has been on a shelf for a few days too many; dried, old, stale food will not be tolerated by the furry culinary critic.


A lot of cats like to be the center of attention and lord of their domain. This means that when you introduce another cat, or a neighbor’s cat approaches your own, there might be some trouble ahead.

Often, if you own more than one, you will find that a natural chain of command seems to form. Failing that, you might find that a natural battle royale takes place on a daily basis.

That being said, this isn’t always the case ? some cats get on very well with their siblings and can form loving bonds with other felines. It’s all a case of knowing your cat through and through before making any sudden additions to the family.

Not respecting their privacy

It’s a difficult balancing act sometimes. We tell you that on one hand cats crave attention, and then tell you that sometimes you need to give them their space and not coddle them every minute of the day.

There’s no quicker way to irritate your cat than to pester them when they want to be alone. A good rule of thumb, however, is to let them approach you. When this occurs, it’s time to cuddle and fawn until he or she gets bored? Otherwise, it might be best to go your separate ways for a few hours.


Don’t let their weird habit of sleeping under cars fool you; cats hate them. Felines are very prone to motion sickness and stress/anxiety ? remember when we talked about changing their environment? Cars are the biggest example of this.

Try to avoid ever transporting or taking your cat along for a ride wherever possible. It’s best for all parties involved!

Follow these 12 simple rules and you’ll not only have a happier cat, but a much happier home life too.

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One thought on “12 Things Cats Hate

  1. I had a cat that loved car rides and thought he was a dog. N the siblings part, I have three that are inseparable brothers

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