Things Cats Hate That Humans Do

By Jungla Luque, Ethologist and dog trainer. February 9, 2021
Things Cats Hate That Humans Do

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Cats are excellent companions who will treat us with love and affection, but only if we do the same for them. This means we should do everything we can to make them happy. It also means we need to avoid the things that make them unhappy. Unfortunately, even for loving cat guardians, there are some things humans do to cats which we aren't even aware they hate.

As their caregivers, we need to understand our cats. For this reason, AnimalWised reveals 15 things cats hate that humans do. We show you what to avoid so that our cat has the best chance at the happiest of lives.

You may also be interested in: What NOT To Do To Your Dog

1. Don't respect the basic freedoms of animal welfare

Adopting a cat into the home requires great responsibility. The basic of this responsibility is something we need to understand before we bring any animal into our family. It is essential to ensure the well-being of our companion animals and it is not something to take lightly.

While the extent of our responsibility will only really be known as we develop our relationship with an animal, the basics can be well understood. This is why we share the five freedoms of animal welfare. Animals need to be:

  1. Free from thirst, hunger and malnutrition.
  2. Free from discomfort.
  3. Free from pain and disease.
  4. Free to express yourself.
  5. Free from fear and stress.

2. Don't take them to the vet

Regardless of whether your cat appears healthy or your observe signs of illness, we need to take them to the vet for regular checkups. This is because many diseases in cats can develop for a long time without presenting evident symptoms. A professional veterinarian can detect many potential health problems in a cat we can easily miss.

Generally, cats should be taken to the veterinarian for a checkup at least once a year once they are adult cats. Kittens will have a schedule given to them by a veterinarian for developmental checkups. Once a cat becomes senior in age, they will likely need more regular checkups, usually about every 6 months.

In the event of a clear indication of a sudden change in a cat's behavior or well-being, it is likely something is wrong. In these cases, we need to take a cat to the veterinarian immediately. Deferring diagnosis can seriously harm prognosis. Cats are good at hiding pain, so if we see symptoms of pain in cats, it usually means it is acute.

Things Cats Hate That Humans Do - 2. Don't take them to the vet

3. Punish or scold them

There are many situations which can cause frustration when a cat lives with us, especially in the early days. This can cause us to lose patience and even yell at our cat when they do something we perceive as wrong. However, doing so is incredibly counterproductive, especially if we punish them after the perceived wrong deed is committed. This is because the cat won't be able to connect cause and consequence.

Regular punishment and shouting will cause the cat to lose trust with their human. Eventually, behavioral problems will develop and it will make it very difficult to repair our bond.

4. Not paying enough attention

Although it may seem obvious, another mistake humans often make with cats is to not spend enough time with them. Taking responsibility of a cat means more than just providing their basic care needs in terms of food and other practical provisions. Although cats are somewhat independent, they are actually social animals. They both need to spend time with others and also be positively cognitively stimulated.

For the above reasons, it is necessary we dedicate time daily to our cat in which we can either play with them or pamper them. Spending time with our cat and playing games which improve their mental well-being are important factors in a cat's basic care needs.

If you think your cat may be understimulated, you can take a look at our video on symptoms of a bored cat below:

5. Not respecting their boundaires

One of the most common issues in the relationships we have with cats comes from misunderstanding. The communication we have with a cat is based mainly on facial gestures and body language. We can see this with guardians who are excessively affectionate with cats to the point they overwhelm them. We might think we have only upset them when they scratch or bites us, but actually they have already sent many signals they are not happy.

Some cats are more tolerante than others, but all will have times when they want to be left alone. Although we may simply want to show our cat how much we love them, we need to respect their boundaries. We need to provide sufficient stimulation, but we shouldn't overstimulate them either. As with us, being annoyed when they want to be left alone is something cats really hate.

6. Declawing cats

While the above things cats hate can be amended by improving our relationship with our cat, declawing is an irreversible procedure. It is a surgical intervention in which the end of the digits on a cat's finger are removed. This includes the claw and the bone which attaches it to the paw, as well as nerves and blood vessels. This is done for the purpose of stopping behaviors cat guardians find annoying such as scratching the furniture.

A cat's claws are very important for their well-being. While domestication has meant that a cat's behavior will have to adapt to living with humans, it doesn't mean we can simply stop the cat from acting out their true nature. A cat's claws allow them to climb, defend themselves, mark territory and perform other important behaviors. While scratching can be a nuisance, we need to educate them and redirect these behaviors, not disable them.

Declawing cats is an inhumane practice. It has a strong negative impact on their physical and emotional well-being. Physically, it is a painful process which causes unnecessary harm. Emotionally, the cat will be confused and unable to express themselves freely. The stress and anxiety caused by this process can lead to behavioral problems such as excessive meowing or even aggression.

Things Cats Hate That Humans Do - 6. Declawing cats

7. Humanize them and not let them be a cat

You will need to be aware that one of the best ways you can show a cat your love them is to let them express themselves as cats. One common mistake, and one of the less obvious things cats hate about humans, is to treat them like humans. It can be fine to speak to our cat when interacting with them, but we shouldn't expect them to understand us or get annoyed when they don't do what we want.

The needs of a cat and a human are not the same. For this reason, we need to identify what it is which make a cat a cat and cater to these needs. One example is to understand a cat's hunting behavior. We need to give them toys and play games with them which help them to express these behaviors properly. If we think it is gross that a cat keeps chasing a bug, we are looking at them incorrectly.

Trying to eliminate natural behaviors including meowing, playing or scratching will only suppress their nature, something which can cause them stress. Instead, redirect these behaviors so we can live with them harmoniously.

8. Playing with them inappropriately

Cats have reactions which can be enjoyably exaggerated. When we sneak up on them with our hands, they might get a little fright and make an adorable jump. Or we might tickle them on the belly since they feel so soft, only for them to wrap their arms around our hand.

While these reactions may be funny or even cute, they are practically tortuous to the cat. Felines are very sensitive animals and hate to be played with roughly, something many dogs may enjoy more. If we persist on doing things to our cat just because we find them funny, it would be no surprise if they start to associate our presence with negative experiences.

An example of a common game humans play with cats which they may grow to hate is making them chase a laser pointer. While it may be fun to us, the cat can become very frustrated since they will never be able to actually catch the laser dot. Instead, it is better to play with toys which they can catch and gain some level of satisfaction. If you want some help on knowing what games to play with a cat, take a look at our video below:

9. Abandon them

Unfortunately, many pets end up in homes with people who are simply incapable of meeting the responsibility of their guardianship. Whether the guardian is aware of this or not, the result is often that they become bored of living with a cat. If they are completely irresponsible, they can even abandon them.

The frequency with which cats are abandoned is depressing. It is the reason why so many cats are currently living in the social care system. Many do not end with a happy ending. Being stuck in a cage in a cramped shelter is not only one of the things cats hate, it is one of the biggest indictments of human treatment of cats. It needs to be avoided at all costs.

Things Cats Hate That Humans Do - 9. Abandon them

10. Do not educate them

Education is an essential part of a pleasant coexistence with a feline. Without it, cats will learns habits which we understandably consider a nuisance, such as defecating outside their litter box. The reasons why these behaviors happen are myriad, but if a cat is never taught how to avoid them in the first place, we have no right to be upset when they do then.

Cats are intelligent animals. With proper guidance and appropriate positive reinforcement, they will be able to learn the rules of a home and behave correctly. Such peaceful cohabitation will prove beneficial to all members of the family.

11. Smoking near cats

Smoking is a bad habit which affects people's health. Too often, cat guardians are inconsiderate of the negative effects of passive smoke on their cats. If we smoke inside the home or even outside the home near the cat, they can be affected by it.

Smoke is very harmful to a kitty's lungs. Since they are much smaller than our own, if the concentration of smoke in the air is high, it can lead to serious health problems. Additionally, cats need to groom themselves by licking heir fur, causing them to ingest nicotine, tar and other harmful chemicals from the cigarette. This is why smoking in their presence is another thing cats hate.

12. Let kids treat them like toys

While cats and children living together can have many benefits, this will only happen when the cat's boundaries are respected. Especially with infants, respecting these boundaries can be different. To a baby or toddler, a cat may not appear all that different to their favorite plush toy. Although the child doesn't have any bad intentions, the result of annoying the cat may be the same as if they were.

Older children will also need to test their own boundaries. When it comes to animals, they simply may not know how to handle them correctly or they may push their play a little too far. Although they may not know it, they can be causing trauma to the cat with rough play. For this reason, it is very important we set out guidelines for children able to understand them. For younger children, their interactions will need to be well-supervised. This will help to protect both the safety of the cat and the child.

Things Cats Hate That Humans Do - 12. Let kids treat them like toys

13. Give them inappropriate food

Although we often want to treat our cats at any given moment, doing so is not always the best idea. This is especially the case when they petition for food when we are eating. While there are human foods which we can give to a cat, many forbidden foods for cats are not always as obvious. For example, while we may think it obvious not to give our cat chocolate or candy, a grape can be one of the most toxic foods for them

There are many different kinds of treats available for cats which are specially prepared. They do not have spices, additives, sugar, salt or any of the harmful foodstuffs which cats should not eat (even if they may want to). However, even healthy treats for cats need to be given in moderation.

14. Exposing them to loud or annoying noises

Cats have very acute hearing. For this reason, it is very stressful for them to be exposed constantly to loud noises. Although there are times when we might cause a loud noise in the home, we need to ensure they always have somewhere quiet and safe to rest when this occurs.

For similar reasons, it is advisable not to give a cat a bell around their collar. The sound of constant tinkling can be particularly annoying and cause them underlying stress.

Things Cats Hate That Humans Do - 14. Exposing them to loud or annoying noises

15. Dress them up in annoying clothes

We stated earlier that humanizing them is something which your cat hates. Dressing cats in clothes and accessories is an extreme example of this. More and more accessories and clothing for cats are available on the market, but this doesn't mean they are necessarily good for them.

This doesn't mean that all cats will hate wearing clothing in the same way. Some may be very relaxed and happy to wear something as long as it doesn't cause a choking hazard or is otherwise uncomfortable. However, many cat guardians find it funny or cute to dress their cat up in various outfits and take photos of them. This usually requires them to sit still in a certain place for extended periods, something cats generally do not like.

If you intend to purchase clothing for a cat or a fancy dress costume, you will need to ensure it is something which does not restrict their mobility. We also need to use materials which will not cause them any skin problems. We also need to respect their movement and not hold them in one place against their will. This should only happen when strictly necessary, such as when at the veterinary clinic.

If you want to read similar articles to Things Cats Hate That Humans Do, we recommend you visit our Extra care category.

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