18 Things Cats Don’t Like About Humans

Cats are wonderfully chaotic creatures that can get along great with humans under the right conditions. However, if cats could talk, they’d definitely have a thing or two to tell us about how we could improve our relationship with them. On behalf of our feline friends, this list reveals 18 things cats don’t like about humans.

Loud Noises

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While some people don’t mind loud noises such as yelling, clapping, or banging, it’s a whole different story when it comes to cats. Cats are sensitive creatures with an acute sense of hearing. As noted by Hidden Hearing, a cat can hear noises around three times higher in frequency than humans. Therefore, loud, sudden noises can easily startle them and stress them out.

Forced Affection

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Most cats value their independence and alone time. This means they don’t always want to be held, petted, or forced to interact with people. If your cat is showing signs of discomfort, such as squirming, flattening their ears, or flicking their tail, it’s best to leave them alone and approach them another time.

Disrupted Routines

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Just like most people, cats typically do best when they have a consistent routine they can depend on. Frequent changes in feeding, playing, and rest time can cause them to become stressed and confused. As such, it’s best to maintain a stable, consistent routine and environment to keep them relaxed and content.

Strong Scents

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According to Animal Wellness Magazine, a cat’s sense of smell is 14 times more powerful than a human’s. So as much as we may love perfumes, essential oils, or other fragrances, these products can be extremely overwhelming for our feline friends. This is why it’s best to use unscented products or keep strong smells away from cats.

Lack of Personal Space

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Cats need their own space and time by themselves, so they won’t always appreciate being forced into close proximity with humans or other animals. You should always approach a cat slowly and check whether they seem receptive to your presence or uncomfortable before getting too close.

Rough Handling

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Cats are sensitive and delicate, so they don’t appreciate rough handling and petting in the way some dogs do. Instead, it’s better to approach and pet them gently. Monitor their reactions to your touch to find out where and how they most like to be petted.

Being Ignored

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As much as cats value their space and alone time, this doesn’t mean they want to be ignored or neglected completely. Many cats love attention and won’t like it if you shut down their attempt to show affection towards you. Pay attention to your cat’s attempts to communicate, and give them the love they deserve when they seem to be receptive.


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As noted by PDSA, like other species, cats can perceive prolonged eye contact as a challenge or threat. So while you may be looking your cat in the eye out of love, they may not be getting the right message. Instead, it’s better to gaze at them softly with long blinks to communicate trust and friendliness. If they give you a long blink back, this means the feeling is mutual.

Intrusive Petting or Touching Sensitive Areas

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Cats can be very particular about where they do and don’t like to be touched. Many cats can’t stand people touching their bellies, paws, or tails. Therefore, it’s important to see how your cat reacts to your touch and stop if they appear to be irritated or uncomfortable.

Sudden Movements

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Because cats are sensitive and naturally attuned to signs of danger, sudden, unpredictable movements can easily startle them and cause them to feel unsafe. It’s much better to move slowly and predictably around cats to help them feel relaxed, safe, and happy.

Being Dressed in Clothes

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While many dogs are okay with being dressed up, cats are much less likely to appreciate the uncomfortable feeling of clothes. Most cats will feel stressed or constrained being out of their natural state, so it’s important to check them for any signs of discomfort if you do try dressing them up.

Inconsistent Feeding Schedules

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As mentioned previously, cats are creatures of habit who thrive on consistent routines. This rule also extends to their feeding times. Frequently changing up your cat’s feeding schedule can cause them to feel anxious and stressed, or even cause aggressive behaviors in some instances. If you’re busy, consider investing in an automatic feeder to ensure they’re always fed on time.

Neglecting Litter Box Cleanliness

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Cats are very hygienic animals who appreciate a clean environment. This is especially true when it comes to their bathroom needs. If you don’t keep your cat’s litter box well maintained and clean, they may avoid it and end up relieving themselves in other areas of the house.

Excessive Noise from Electronics

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All loud noises can be particularly bothersome to cats, who are known for their sensitive sense of hearing. Constant buzzing, humming, or high-pitched noises emanating from electrical devices can be irritating and unsettling for many cats. It’s best to provide your feline friend with a quiet, comfortable area where they can relax by themselves.

Interruptions During Sleep

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Cats can sleep up to an incredible 16 hours per day, so their rest is very important to them. Disturbing that rest time can make cats feel anxious, stressed, tired, and unsafe, so you should ensure they have a quiet place where they can sleep without being disturbed.

Ignoring Health or Grooming Needs

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Cats are very particular about their grooming needs, so you should ensure they always have a healthy, well-maintained coat. This is especially true if your cat has a long coat with higher maintenance needs. You should also check them regularly for any health issues.

Lack of Stimulation or Boredom

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Cats are pretty good at entertaining themselves, especially when they have access to the outdoors. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t need your help to keep them mentally stimulated. Cats thrive when given a range of toys, puzzle feeders, and other play options to keep them satisfied.

Overlooking Their Need for Vertical Space

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As you may have noticed from observing cats outdoors or in home videos, our feline friends love jumping and climbing onto high objects. A study by Emma Desforges et al. confirms that vertical space is an effective form of enrichment for cats. Therefore, it’s a good idea to give them vertical space options such as cat shelves, trees, or perches to help them feel safe and happy.

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