It’s one thing to joke about cats hating you, and quite another when you suspect your own cat genuinely has it in for you. Cats are not the easiest creatures to read in the first place, they’re certainly not as clear about communicating how they feel as dogs, and so while it may be difficult feeling like your cat dislikes you, you may find it even more difficult determining whether your intuitions are correct.
We all know that each and every cat has a different and distinct personality. Some cats are simply more grumpy, stand-off-ish, or bad tempered than others, making it even harder to read the behaviour of any particular cat. This difficulty is compounded if you haven’t had your kitty for very long. If you’re a new cat owner, there’s a chance you might feel like your personality and your newly adopted cat’s personality just aren’t meshing well – and you may even be beginning to regret your decision to adopt. Hold off on your worries for a second, because I wholeheartedly believe that even if you and your cat aren’t currently on the same page, there are plenty of things you can do that will remedy the situation – strengthening your bond with any cat, or building one where none previously existed.
If you’ve had a cat for a while and you feel like he or she only recently began to hate you, if there’s been a distinct personality shift, there is 100% something up with your cat, and it’s important you find out what that is and take steps to fix it. Once the problem is identified and fixed, your cat should go back to normal.
I will never believe that a cat will act in a way that resembles hatred toward a human for no reason at all. But I also believe that most of the issues that spring up haven’t got much to do with the human, and have a lot more to do with a cat’s needs not being met. There is always something happening behind the scenes, something that triggered a cat to behave in such a negative way toward a human, and therefore there’s always plenty that can be done to rectify the situation. Identification is the first step, then fixing the problem. After that’s done, there’s no way in my mind a cat will continue to act like he or she hates you. But let’s start at the very beginning..
Does My Cat Hate Me?
Misinterpreting Regular Cat Behaviours
There are quite a lot of behaviours that are true to some extent of nearly all cats that could lend themselves to making a human believe a cat doesn’t care for them. These include:
- Not responding at all when called,
- Running away from you when you go near him/her,
- Not making an effort to be near their owners,
- Frequently disliking cuddles, affection, and petting,
- Only becoming excited when food is involved,
- Not looking you in the eye,
- Scratching and potentially destroying furniture,
- Hissing or biting when you try to rub a belly or other sensitive body part,
..and of course there are plenty more. If you’ve got a cat who’s acting in a “normal” cat way and you’re attributing these behaviours to your cat disliking or even hating you, please don’t. Cats are a unique species, and if you’re looking for a pet that shows you constant affection, dedication, and an obvious form of love, you probably should have opted to adopt a dog.
Obviously, not every cat will ignore his or her owner when called, will viciously scratch up furniture, and will dislike being pet on his or her belly. But many cats will have some or even all of these traits, especially when you first take them in.
Over time, it’s completely possible to get your cat to be more snuggly, to scratch much less if at all on furniture you don’t want scratched, and your cat may even come around when it comes to being pet on his or her tummy. But these things take time and training. More on this will be discussed in the last section of this article, “How Can I Get My Cat to Like Me?”
When Something Might Actually Be Wrong
Now, if the first section is irrelevant to you because your cat is actually showing signs of hating you that exceed normal, “anti-social” cat behaviour, you may have a case that your cat currently dislikes you strongly, or that something else is wrong. If so, what’s wrong needs to be identified and then remedied.
Behaviours that aren’t normal for a cat and likely indicate something is wrong include:
- Hissing at you without instigation (without you having done something that might have bothered your cat first),
- Being aggressive: biting, scratching, or hitting you, again without instigation,
- Peeing outside his or her litter box, like on objects around the house,
- Coughing up a lot of hairballs,
- Vomiting regularly anywhere in or out of the house,
- “Trying to escape” by attempting to run out the door,
- Wreaking havoc on things in your house,
- A dramatic personality shift, from well-tempered to ill-tempered in any way, &
- A sudden dislike for being cuddled and petted, where your cat used to like this treatment before.
If any of the above or similar are reflective of your cat’s behaviours, your cat is upset over something, which you need to discover. You may feel that your cat hates you, but what you need to understand is that…
Why Would My Cat Hate Me?
Cats don’t really hate you; what they hate is something about their particular situation, living environment, or physical status/well being, and in response to that frustration, they are acting out at you.
What could be wrong?
- Your cat could be sick.
- Your cat could need more play/need more exercise.
- Your cat may be hurt/injured.
- Your cat may dislike a change in his or her environment.
- Your cat might be bored.
The only way to remedy the situation is to figure out what’s wrong and resolve the issue behind the acting out. How can you do this?
- Take your cat to the vet and have him or her checked out. Make sure to tell your vet about the specific behaviours that worry you, as these can be enormous clues that help your vet discover what’s wrong. Cat peeing outside the litter box, for instance? Your cat may have a UTI. Vomiting a lot? There may be something less than ideal about your cat’s current diet. Taking your cat to the vet is an enormously important first step to making sure nothing is wrong with your cat from a health perspective.
- Check your cat’s body to determine whether he or she has a cut or bruise. Especially in cases where your cat used to be happy to be pet, but is recoiling from your touch all of a sudden. Most cats aren’t a fan of being touched if they have a scrape or bruise somewhere on their body.
- Try playing with your cat more frequently, and for longer bouts of time to see if the behavioural issues disappear once enough exercise and play time is increased. This can often help resolve hissing and bouts of violence, as if your cat isn’t getting his or her hunt on during play time, he or she may begin hunting you.
- Think of any changes that may have happened in your cat’s environment. Did you move? Kitty may not yet be comfortable in his or her new home. Did you get your cat a sibling? Your old cat may not like the fact that there’s a newbie in the family. Try to resolve the specific issue by looking up exactly the change that’s been made in your environment. Need help fixing an issue, but can’t find any resources? Leave a comment down below and I can help by doing the research for you.
- Fix any boredom your cat might be feeling by using any of the cat entertainment tips in this article you find easy to implement. Also try adding as many cat toys kitties can play with by themselves to your cat’s environment, and again, upping play times.
- Cat starved for attention and misbehaving to get more of it? Learn how to identify whether your cat simply wants more attention and how to remedy attention-seeking here.
How Can I Get My Cat to Like Me?
As I’ve stated many times in this article, identify and resolve the issue behind your cat’s negative behaviour and your cat will be well on his or her way to liking you again. Imagine having a massive problem – with your health, with a lack of exercise, with way too much boredom, or whatever else the problem may be – that is completely out of your control and you personally cannot fix. I’m guessing you’d be pretty grumpy and act like you hate everyone around you, too.
Cat behaving in a “normal” cat way, but you’d prefer it if your cat was less anti-social and/or more well behaved? Time to start training!
Here are a few articles that discuss specific things you can train your cat to do to make your life and even kitty’s life one heck of a lot happier and/or easier:
- Train your cat to stop running away from you.
- Train your cat to be more cuddly.
- Train your cat to stop destroying furniture with scratching.
- Train your cat to stop crying and begging for food.
- Train your cat to be less stressed about being in his or her carrier.
Looking for even more ideas on ways you can train cats? Check out the cat training section of this blog. Want to learn how to train a cat to do something specific, but haven’t seen an article published on this blog about it? Leave a comment down below and I’ll do my best to get a post up!
Remember, training cats to behave the way you want takes time and repeated effort on your part, and you’re in no way guaranteed any cat will ever behave just the way you’d like.
At the same time, I think it’s important to try training your cat if there happen to be behaviours he or she has that you absolutely cannot stand and there’s no other way around. If your cat has the habit of kneading in your clothes and you cannot stand it, put your clothes away and stop leaving them out! But if your cat is scratching up couches and furniture you or another family member really wish would be left untouched, it’s time to get the training process underway.
Same with cuddling. Training a cat to be more affectionate is completely possible. Will every cat be a lap cat? Probably not, but over time, every cat can grow to like being petted and cuddled much better than when they first came home with you – even if they never do let you stroke their adorable little bellies.
The happier you are with your cat’s behaviour, the happier and less stressed your cat is likely to be, and the happier the household is as a whole. I’m convinced every cat can get better at what you’d like him or her to do, even if he or she will never behave exactly the way you’d like.
What Do You Think About Cats Hating People?
Have you ever felt like a cat hated you? What types of things did that cat do that made you believe this?
If you think your cat currently hates you, what steps do you think you might take/try to figure out and remedy what’s frustrating your cat?
Have you ever experienced a cat’s personality change? What happened? Was there an issue behind the scenes that caused this personality change? Was it resolved? How did the cat behave afterward?
Would love to hear your stories in the comments down below!