There’s no doubt that cats are mysterious creatures. Even though they’re adorable in their own way, they’re known to be temperamental, with a long list of things they aren’t keen on. Here at Webbox, we’ve put together the top 15 things cats absolutely hate, so that you know what to expect and have the tools to be the best pet parent for miles around!
As a general rule, cats are sensitive when it comes to smells, but there are a few scents they hate that might just surprise you. They can’t stand citrus and as much as you might love the smell of fresh herbs, cats hate rosemary and thyme. Banana and mustard are a big no-no too, as well as lavender and eucalyptus. Many essential oils are toxic to cats so it stands to reason that they instinctively want to run the other way when they get a whiff of your bath oils. They also aren’t a fan of strong menthol smells.
2) Too much attention
If you’re a cat mum or dad then you’ll know that cats are independent creatures. They can’t stand over-aggressive petting and many of them just like doing their own thing. Respect your cat’s boundaries and don’t try to force them to spend time with you if they don’t want to- they will let you know when they need love and affection!
3) Not enough attention
We know, we know, cats are confusing. One minute they seem to hate you and the next they want all your attention! While cats like to have their own space, they do enjoy affection from their owners- on their own terms. Your cat will brush up against your legs when he/she wants to be petted so make sure you respond to their cues for affection. Even though cats like to be independent, that doesn’t mean that they want to be alone all the time. If you have to go out for an extended period of time, make sure you have a friend or family member pop round in your absence so that your cat doesn’t start to feel lonely.
If you have a feline fur baby, you’ll know that cats HATE having to take medicine. Whether they have to take liquid medicine or medication in the form of a pill, giving your cat what they need to stay healthy is easier said than done. What it comes down to is that they don’t understand why and being forced to take medication can seem very intimidating to your feline friend. If you want to avoid getting a million scratches, wrap your kitty in a towel, give them their medicine and hold their mouth closed (gently, but firmly), which will encourage them to swallow. As much as they might hate it, it has to be done! You could even mix the kitty meds with a tasty Lick-e-Lix treat for a more palatable experience.
5) Spoiled food
This one kind of goes without saying but cats hate spoiled food. As mentioned above, cats are sensitive to smells and if something seems a bit off, they won’t want anything to do with it. Wet food goes off quicker than dry, so if your cat is a grazer you might want to consider opting for dry food. Food spoils quicker when it’s warm so it’s worth considering how long your cat’s wet food has been left out if they don’t seem keen during the warmer months.
Cats are competitive by nature. Your cat is likely to not be very impressed if another feline shows up on the scene and this can sometimes result in aggressive behaviour. If you already have a fur baby and you’re introducing another cat into the family, do your best to keep them apart until they get used to there being another kitty in the house. If your cat has suddenly marked a neighbourhood feline as their sworn enemy, keep an eye out for aggressive behaviour on either part and try to break it up if things turn sour.
7) Loud noises
Does your cat give you a dirty look whenever you drop something? There’s a very good reason why they do this; cats hate sudden loud noises and excessive noise can be very frightening for them. As much you might enjoy blasting your favourite spotify playlist, it’s probably worth considering how this might be making your pet feel. If you find your cat hiding under the sofa, it’s probably best to keep the volume down.
8) Tummy rubs
Unlike their canine companions, cats hate belly rubs. Cats are protective of their stomachs as instinctively they know that this is a vulnerable area. For this reason an unprompted belly rub may result in them lashing out with their claws. Do yourself (and your cat) a favour and stick to the spots under their chin and behind their ears.
Ever tried to bathe your cat? You have our sympathies. There’s just no other way of putting it, cats hate baths and most will fight you every step of the way. Cats self-groom and lick themselves clean, but every now and then, a bath may be necessary if they’ve rolled in something they can’t get off. If you plan on bathing your cat, make sure you have plenty of clean towels and pet shampoo and conditioner to hand. Turn the shower head on to a gentle stream and ensure the temperature is warm but not too hot. Cats are used to being rained on so a shower is likely to be less stressful for them than a bath. Apply the shampoo confidently but gently and use a soothing voice throughout the process. You never know, you might just come out of it unscathed!
10) Being groomed
Just like kids, cats don’t really appreciate their fur being brushed. Some longer-haired breeds need a helping hand from their owner to keep their coats in check, so if this is you, there are a few things you can do to make the experience less difficult. Choose a time when your cat is calm and in the mood for a cuddle. Start by petting your cat and when they’re fully relaxed, gently start to comb through their fur. Take a break if your cat starts to get agitated and then resume the process once they’re calm again.
Cats are wary of strangers. If someone they don’t know suddenly walks into your house (which to your cat, is actually their house), they might feel frightened and confused. Make sure your guest is aware of your fur baby’s feelings and try to stop them from petting your cat. Keeping a distance will help your cat suss out the situation and allow them to make the first move if they’re feeling friendly.
Cats are creatures of habit and they don’t really appreciate change. This change could be something small like a change in litter tray, or something big like moving home. Either way, your cat probably won’t be a big fan. If you have no choice but to make changes that will impact your cat, make sure you’re there to reassure them if they find the change stressful. Sometimes, all they need is a good cuddle with their owner to get back on track.
13) Being stared at
Ever tried a staring competition with your cat? If the answer is yes, we’re guessing it probably didn’t end well. Prolonged eye contact can be seen as a sign of dominance and aggression, which is intimidating for your fur baby. It’s probably worth keeping this in mind the next time you’re home alone and can’t find anything to watch on Netflix.
14) Low temperatures
Cats like to be warm and cosy and aren’t a fan of the cold. Even though they have lovely fur coats, these are more to protect their delicate skin than to keep them warm. So crank up the heating in your house and make sure you maintain a comfortable temperature for your fluffy prince/princess.
15) Being cradled like a baby
We know that your kitty is your baby but they really don’t like being cradled. Some cat owners hold their cats like they would their newborns and this can be quite stressful for them as it puts your cat in a position where they can’t get away. Always let your cat come to you for cuddles and make sure they have the option to leave if they want to.