You can be an animal lover or be a cat lover, but you can’t be both. I’m kidding. The person who loves cats understands that this is a whole independent being with its own ideas in the body of a small and furry ball of hair.
Cats know exactly what they like, but most importantly, what they dislike. They hate many things, and some of those are strong smells and loud noises (they are very sensitive in that sense), too much or too little attention, being touched in inappropriate places, baths, and cold weather.
Cats being so independent have created a unique way of living where humans are the intruders. Sometimes it feels as if we have to offer an invitation to our homes, and they will decide whether they think of adopting us and not the other way around.
Why does my cat hate…?
- A cat’s sense of smell is like a superpower. Even though it is one of the smallest among felines, they’re still related to some of the world’s strongest and more dangerous animals (tigers, pumas, etc.). Cats often experience smells more potent than other breeds and more intensely than humans do. Because of this, there are some smells that they are not a fan of, such as:
- Citrus. Oranges, lime, or grapefruit.
- Flowers. Lavender, geranium, and eucalyptus.
- Herbs. Rosemary, thyme, and rue.
- Food. Banana and mustard. The fun fact about that is that they can and most likely eat them; they just don’t enjoy the smell of them.
- Spices. Pepper, curry, and cinnamon.
- Mint derivatives. Mint, menthol, wintergreen, and peppermint.
- Wood. Pine and cedar materials.
- Dirty litter box. Cats hate the smell of their own waste and others’. Completely understandable if you ask me.
- Cats are the type of animals that enjoy jumping on tables and high places, the feline instincts in them; they also love to scratch things with their paws, and it is entirely natural to them. It is also conceivable that people may have things or areas in their homes that would rather be off-limits to their little bundles of fur, and what you can do for that is to use those things with texture cats don’t like.
Cats don’t like to walk on textures they find unpleasant so if you don’t want them jumping onto the kitchen counter, put some aluminum foil in there. To stay away from the office desk, put some plastic in place. Going into the baby’s room, cover it with a plastic carpet runner.
- The cat’s palate is unique; since cats only have 480 taste buds, they can only identify salty, sour, and bitter. The reason behind your cat walking away from a bowl full of food is not a reflection on you as a provider. With cats being pack animals, their survival in the wild comes from hunting, so when you put something in front of them that they are not fond of, they won’t eat it.
Although they don’t have a particular preference for food, they do enjoy protein and fat. Cats hate the bitter taste but enjoy rich food more than bland and will be more prone to eat different textures if available.
- Why is the cat not drinking water? It is probably dehydrated by now. It’s not. It just doesn’t like water sitting in a bowl all day. There are some theories on why cats don’t like drinking water from a bowl, and it may be because they don’t like still water (sometimes they tip the water with their paws to make it move). They could also feel drinking moving water may prevent them from getting sick, so they go for the water on the ground or running water, let them. In the end, remember cats don’t need to drink a lot of water, especially if they eat a lot of canned food.
- Cats, just like humans, like consistency and routines, their behavior can be affected the same way people do. There are some things that humans do or don’t do that cats don’t like:
- Sudden changes. Cats can be sensitive to the changes in their environment. Training your cat in situations that will most likely be part of their lives (Vet visits, staying at other people’s homes, or getting into a carrier) will give a sense of security that may be less stressful for your pet down the road.
- Forcing social interactions. Cats are not as social as other animals, such as dogs. So when strangers or members of the same household attempt to play or pet with them, they might not be keen on participating in this interaction. If you love your cat, give it some space; they’ll appreciate it.
- Be gentle. Remember, cats are a different species. As humans, we enjoy hugging and touching but cats not so much; they don’t like it when you are holding too tight. If you attempt to pet your cat and he runs away, read the room. You could also try to touch it when it comes to you and only in places you know your cat won’t mind. Go for the head, face, back, but stay away from the legs, the tummy area, and the tail. If you are not 100% sure where to pet your cat, let your cat pet you instead.
- Punishment. Don’t punish your cat for behavior that is entirely normal to it. Cats jump on top of things, scratch surfaces, bite things, and bring dead animals to you. If you feel like you are not ready for that, then maybe a cat is not the best choice for your home.
- Cats are not dolls or toys. They don’t like to be dressed up in clothes or wear a costume. They won’t enjoy it as much as you might.
- Feeling lonely. Cats are very independent; they don’t like a lot of social interactions or people in their space, but they also don’t want to be left alone for long periods. Loneliness can cause sadness, apathy, or even depression, so set aside some time every day to give some attention to your cat.
- A clean litter box. Your cat expects to have its litter box cleaned daily. Nobody likes to relieve themselves on top of some old waste. If people find this gross, so do cats.
- Fresh food. Nobody likes to eat spoiled food; cats having that powerful sense of smell can easily detect when something is past its expiration date. Please do yourself a favor, read the label before giving it to your cat; it’ll appreciate it.
- Loud noises. Cats hate loud anything so if you like to have an active nightlife, remember that you have some guests in your home that may not be very keen on it.
Does my cat hate me too?
No! Your cat probably loves you and can’t imagine living without you. Your cat can’t speak, but there are many things your cat does that communicate how it feels about you. Some things that show your cat likes you are headbutts, tail twitching, curling up around your legs, tummy showing (for petting purposes), purring (the sound of love), licking or nibbling, and the grossest and hardest to accept; when your cat brings you gifts in the form of dead animals!
Cats, like any other pets in your home, are family and should be treated as such. This means that you need to accept what they like and dislike. The moment you bring them into your home, you’ve decided to take them as they come.
If you treat them well, feed them, and pet them when they let you, they’ll like you more than themselves.
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Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.