We all know cats are finicky creatures. Touch their tail when they’re not ready or scratch their head for a second too long, and you’ll find out first-hand what your furry friend does when she’s annoyed. Some cats keep it simple by giving offending humans glaring looks of disdain. The feistiest of the felines respond with teeth, claws, and raised hackles. And if your cat is a true pro, she’ll simply throw you the cold shoulder every time you get too close.
Either way, it’s pretty easy to figure out when your cat is annoyed with you. The tricky part is knowing exactly what you did to trigger their ill will. To find out, you need to dig deep into the feline psyche.
Lucky for you, we’ve done most of the hard work. Here are a few common human behaviors that cat’s hate.
1. Make Loud Noises
Cats are like your elderly neighbors who are always ready to call the cops when the noise on your side of the fence gets too high. Loud music, yelling, living room karaoke, obnoxious laughing–it’s all too much for a little kitty cat’s ears. Cat’s hate loud noises, and they hate it even more when those loud noises happen unexpectedly.
It’s also important to know that cat ears are tuned to pick up high frequencies that humans can’t hear. Their ears are even better than dogs when it comes to hearing high-pitched sounds. This makes them extra sensitive to sounds, and they appreciate their humans turning down the volume.
2. Slack on house chores
Ahhh, the life of a cat. Days are full of napping, sunbathing, licking, and more napping, while nights are defined by crazy zooms through the house and nocturnal explorations. They relish their lives free of responsibility, but that doesn’t mean their human family members can get off as easy. Cats rely on their caretakers to keep up with all the chores that make cat life clean and care-free.
The most important of these tasks is cleaning out the litter box. If the litter goes a few days without being cleaned, trust us, your cat will not be happy. Our feline overlords also expect their meals to be served promptly, their water bowls to be refilled regularly, and their dishes to be cleaned with soap and water to protect them from germs.
3. Wake them up
This one is pretty obvious. Do you like it when someone bursts into your bedroom and ruins your sleep? Of course not. Cats sleep between 15 and 20 hours a day, and they value every single one of those z’s. They need to rest up so they have plenty of energy for their 2 A.M. zoomies. Waking a sleeping kitty is never a good idea.
If you must do it, we suggest doing it slowly and with sweet head scratches. Unfortunately, this rule doesn’t go both ways. Cats have no qualms about jumping on your face or attacking your feet when you’re trying to sleep. Sigh.
4. Smother them with attention
All cats are different when it comes to how much attention they prefer. Some cats are complete cuddle bugs and are only happy when they’re being pet–or at least touched. Those felines aren’t exactly the norm, however. Most cats have stricter rules relating to how and when they’re touched. They don’t like hugs, and they absolutely despise kisses. Head pats and butt scratches are okay, but only as long as they allow it.
If you smother your cat with love, she’s more likely to retreat in annoyance than purr with returned affection.
5. Dress them up in clothes
We admit that a cat wearing a tutu or a pun-tastic t-shirt is hard to resist. That’s why when we see those cat clothes hanging at the pet store, we can’t help but check them out. The problem is, cat’s hate being forced to wear clothes. Most think it’s super uncomfortable, not to mention embarrassing.
You can go ahead and dress up your cat on a special occasion, but making clothes a regular thing will only strain the human/feline relationship.
6. Introduce them to new kids
A lot of cats love kids. From babies up to teenagers, cats and kids can have great relationships. Even if your cat doesn’t instantly love the littles in your life, they can at least learn to tolerate them. The trouble comes in when you treat your cat like a free petting zoo.
Little hands aren’t always the best at interacting with animals. They pull, push, and pat too hard. Kids like to chase and scream, and all of that can seriously freak out your cat. It’s okay to introduce kids to cat, but it’s best to do it slowly. Make sure the kids know the rules on how to properly play with a pet and respect an animal.
7. Work long hours
Even though your cat hates to be smothered, that doesn’t mean they don’t need attention. All cats deserve your time and attention, and they don’t like to be ignored. Being left home alone while you work is okay (they’ll probably sleep all day anyway), but most cats can’t wait until their humans finally come back.
They see you as not just their caregiver, but also their best friend. Being away from you for too long makes them sad, and they’d much rather you be available to them whenever they feel the need to cuddle.
8. Spray smelly stuff in the house
We get it, cats can smell. Keeping that litter box stench from taking over the whole house takes work. And even then, we humans like to think that a quick spritz of air freshener is exactly what the space needs. But for cats, those artificial smells are offensive.
Even your perfume and hand lotion can irritate a cat’s sensitive sense of smell. They like your natural smell, and they get annoyed and confused when you try to cover it up. If you insist on using an air freshener or perfume, your cat would prefer you choose a scent they actually like–something like salmon or catnip.
9. Interrupt play time
In your cat’s opinion, if you’re going to initiate a play session, it better last a decent amount of time. Cat’s hate it when you get them all excited and then take it away with no warning. Their little hearts start racing at the first twitch of a feather toy, and it’s no fun when that energy is staunched after only a few minutes. Cats don’t understand why their humans have to stop playing so suddenly–they want to be in charge.
10. Buy the wrong food
Nothing gets on a cat’s nerves like a human who insists on buying the wrong food. Cats are picky eaters, and it might take a few tries to find a brand and recipe of cat food that satisfies their stomachs. Some cats have allergies and food sensitivities, and a lot of others just have explainable preferences. The point is, your cat wants you to figure out what food they like and stick to it. That goes for treats too.
11. Make spontaneous changes to the routine
If your cat is used to the same people coming and going at certain times and receiving meals at designated meal times, they want you to keep that routine. Cat’s hate surprises. They’re not likely to react well to visitors (unless they’re super outgoing and looking for love), and they despise waiting around for dinner.
You’ll stay on your cat’s good side if you keep life as predictable as possible. That doesn’t mean your cat won’t appreciate a new toy or enriching adventure. You just have to learn what’s acceptable and what isn’t.