Here’s something I don’t think you likely wanted to read if you looked this article up because you happen to be in the particular situation yourself: I don’t think every cat will warm up to every human. No matter how good a human happens to be to a particular cat, I still think it’s possible that the cat may not like him/her, though he or she may greatly appreciate their physical needs being taken care of.
I feel as though cats are a lot like people, and it’s true that not every human being on earth will get along with every other person on earth. No matter how caring one person is to another, that second person may still not reciprocate and respond to the affection granted in kind.
I think people do tend to like those who are nice and kind to them, just as cats also tend to like those who are nice to them and take care of all their needs. Still, there are a number of times in my life where I’ve seen humans reject, dislike, or even disdain those who are kind, self-sacrificing, and giving to them. I don’t think cats can ever really hate a person who has never mistreated them. I think cats act like they hate people when something is wrong with them and they don’t know how else to communicate it. That being said, I do feel they still at times reject and are incredibly indifferent and dismissive toward those who would do absolutely anything they could for them.
It sucks when this happens, but I feel if you put it into perspective – that some humans are like that, too – it takes the hurt off the edge a little bit insofar as it becomes a touch more understandable. Some cats just have personalities that don’t mesh with the human or humans in their lives. It’s absolutely horrid when it happens, especially if the human wanted more out of the relationship with the pet they would do anything for, but I don’t think any of us can deny it sadly does infrequently happen.
Personality’s Role in Cats Disliking Certain (Or All) People
Most cats seem a lot to me like introverted humans. They typically like spending time with their favourite people, rather than being okay with a large number of humans, yet even after spending time with their “chosen ones,” most cats still seem to need alone time to recharge, or at least unconcentrated attention rather than intense one-on-one time.
In my opinion, all cats do enjoy human company, though to varying degrees. I think many cats definitely grow to depend on human companionship over time, though some cats may feel even simply having a nap a few feet away from a human counts as interaction, while others may need more contact – cuddles, petting, and naps on top of mom and/or dad for instance. Not many humans would count just being in the general vicinity as any sort of interaction, but I think this passive sort of company does qualify as interaction from the perspective of a cat.
Exactly how much attention a cat needs depends on the particular cat in question. Some humans actually struggle because they feel their cats want/need way too much attention – more than they can offer. But if you’ve stumbled on this article because you think your cat doesn’t like you, my guess is you’re probably dealing with the opposite issue – your cat seems to need and want way less of your attention than you hoped, wanted, or even needed emotionally from a pet under your care.
Still, some cats just don’t ever want that much attention, and never will no matter how desperately you try to have a more cuddly, affectionate relationship with them. I feel like the lack of match up between a pet and the owner’s desire to give attention is highly frustrating. It can be even more agitating when others in the household seem to be obsessed over by the cat in question, and yet that individual doesn’t seem to give the cat as much attention or love as he or she would want. Almost human, in my opinion, but it does seem to me like some cats love the chase, and really only want they can’t have.
How Can I Tell If My Cat Doesn’t Like Me?
I think it’s really hard to decisively say that a cat dislikes you, but this is especially true if there’s no other human being your cat is showing affection to in a more intense way than to you. If your cat simply doesn’t show a lot of attention, affection, and love to anyone, it makes more sense to me that your cat is not all that sociable – rather than that you are disliked.
If your cat vies after the attention of another human being in ways you are never pursued – if a cat follows after a different person, tries to get cuddles, affection, and attention from them in ways they never pursue you, I think there’s a good chance that person is better liked by that cat than you. That doesn’t mean your cat dislikes you, maybe just prefers to have different wants and needs fulfilled by different people. This could be for a slew of reasons.
My cat, Avery, for instance, never used to like to sleep with my husband at all, and always chose to sleep in my lap or with me at night over my husband, Thomas. That being said, I always knew this was never for anything more than the fact that Thomas doesn’t normally sit still enough for Avery to be happy resting on him. Recently, things have changed, as Avery’s more okay with fidgeting and slight movement if he’s happily sitting or sleeping on a person. He now sleeps (quite literally) right smack dab in the middle of us both – on purpose – as he’ll typically wait ’til we’re settled in to watch a TV show or in bed, then waltz over, find a spot where his body will fit between or on top of both of us, then curl up for a nap.
Avery obviously didn’t dislike Thomas, he just hated too much movement while he napped. Personality quirks and preferences might be a large part of the reason a cat prefers to do certain things with one human or another. Your cat may just so happen to like the way that one individual pets and strokes just below his or her chin, the way that individual never tries to pick him or her up, the fact that the person always sits still enough for the type of cuddling they like – it could be one thing, it could be many, but you may never know.
If you suspect your cat dislikes you, in my opinion, the important thing is not to figure out whether it’s really true. To me, what’s to note is that you’re feeling this way because you’re not getting what you want out of the relationship with this particular pet. Even if your cat doesn’t dislike you, ultimately the way you feel likely will not change because your relationship will still probably feel less than ideal. Thus, regardless of how your cat feels, if you feel your cat may dislike you, there’s a few pieces of advice I have for you…
What to Do If You Think Your Cat Doesn’t like You
1. Try to encourage your cat to like you better with some of these techniques.
Obviously, there are a few different things you can try to make sure your cat likes you as well as he or she can. The typical advice involves exclusively being the one to feed your cat (rather than a machine or another human) if it’s possible, playing with your cat frequently, as well as spoiling your cat with lots of treats, catnip, and other favourites regularly so your cat begins to associate you with happy, lovely things.
A couple of articles I’ve written up have a slew of other tips, so if you’re looking for more you can do or try in this department, browse through some of these:
If your cat seems stressed and anxious, and seems to dislike everyone and everything, is maybe even hissing, and is just quite frankly not at peace with the world, your cat probably doesn’t dislike you. It’s more likely your cat is anxious or stressed about something in particular. It could be a recent change in his or her environment or even illness. These articles may be relevant if you’re in this camp:
- If you suspect your cat hates rather than dislikes you, possibly because of hissing or aggression.
- If the change in personality appeared after getting a second cat.
- If your cat’s personality changed after an illness.
Now if you feel you tried everything you could and things just aren’t working out – your cat just doesn’t seem to be taking a liking to you, my advice is this…
2. Try adopting in a new cat – this time making sure you have a bond before you take the new cat in.
There does come a point where you really do have to call it quits and throw in the towel on trying to get your cat to like you in the way that you want. I think you’ll likely know when the time has come because you’ll feel as though there’s not much hope left, if there’s even a shred at all, and you’ve done everything in your power, but things just aren’t working out right.
It is absolutely dreadful and sucks so much when you have to admit this to yourself, and yes, while there’s still in my mind absolutely always the chance that some preference change might happen over a few years of mellowing out into adulthood, getting comfortable in your home, or whatever else – it’s not a good idea to bank on it, and really, if you have emotional needs that aren’t being met by the pet you’ve got, in my opinion you should absolutely be trying to look to have the desire to have a closer relationship with a cat met by another cat.
Obviously, this time, I would recommend trying to forge a bond of the type you were looking for with a cat you want to adopt before you adopt the new kitty – say by talking to someone who fosters kittens about your situation, what you’re looking for in a cat, asking him or her to keep an eye out for you for a kitty that might be a good fit, then visiting the kitten regularly to try to form the bond you want when a good personality match shows up. You may not be able to have the perfect relationship by your standard with every cat, but so long as you have at least one cat who’s got a special bond with you, my guess is it won’t bother you so much that the other cat under your care seems to be a bit standoffish and indifferent toward you.
The new cat could go a long way in helping, not just you, but even the first cat in your household. Why? As horrible as it is to think about, when our feelings get hurt, bad emotions pile on, it is possible to begin to resent or even hate our own pets for not responding in kind to our affection. This can create stress in the household that you may unwittingly may pass on to your pet, and maybe even feed back in a way that makes your cat actually begin to dislike you when really he or she did not before. It’s better to solve the problem, fulfill your need of being in a close relationship with a pet, by making sure you have that kind of relationship with at least one furry in your household.
Your Stories & Opinions on Cats Disliking Humans?
What do you think about cats disliking humans?
Do you agree or disagree with my assessment that some cats will just never come around to really liking a human no matter how wonderful a human being is to them? Have you ever been in this situation yourself or known someone who’s been in it?
I know a lot of pet parents who have stronger bonds with certain cats over others. I don’t think this is anything to be sorry or ashamed about. So long as every pet has all emotional, physical, and physiological needs being met, that’s what’s important for the cat at the end of the day, so it’s okay to have “favourites,” which are really just closer emotional connections, in my books.
If you’ve had multiple cats or been close to multiple cats, did you ever feel some liked you much better than others? Did you feel a stronger liking for those that liked you more strongly?
If you ever had an experience with a cat seeming to dislike you more than other people in your household, did this bother you? Do you think my solution of adopting in a second, pre-bonded to cat is good advice? Do you have any advice for those who find themselves in situations where they feel their cats dislike them?
Would love to hear your opinions and stories in the comments down below!