“I hate cats!” We’ve all heard this line being thrown around at one point or another, as somehow, even in this obviously feline-obsessed digital world, there seem to be many who are still not fans of cats at all. What are the reasons some people hate cats? What’s the thought process behind this hatred? That’s exactly the topic I’m going to try to tackle here.
I’m going to start this article off by stating the obvious: I’m a cat person. Even if you’re here for the first time, you’ve probably noticed that already just taking a look around, or considering the name of this website is “KittyClysm.”
That being said, if you stumbled over onto this page because you hate cats and were curious about what I had to say, I assure you, I’m not here to judge you. Cats just rub some people the wrong way. I understand that. Others have completely valid reasons for writing off cats completely (and yes, while we cat-lovers may never want to admit this, there are some highly valid reasons for truly disliking cats).
But I want to note at the start of this article something that should be completely obvious – I myself, being a cat person, am not personally capable in any way, shape, or form, of accurately putting myself in the head space of a person who hates cats. I’m aware that this article is based on assumptions I have about those who hate or just really dislike cats, and I’m not claiming these points to be otherwise. If I do get some of these reasons for hating cats wrong or misrepresent some of the reasons in my descriptions of them, I do want you to take to the comments section and correct me where I’m wrong.
I don’t think people who hate cats are bad people for hating cats, let alone “evil,” and I don’t believe anybody should think this way about them. I think if you understand why a person hates the things he or she does, you’re more likely to see them as the whole person they are, and not just one-dimensionally as a “cat hater” or something silly like that. People should love and hate what they like and not be judged for it, unless they are causing harm to the things they hate, of course.
On the other hand, being a cat person, I obviously do think most hatred toward felines is misplaced. I’ve met a lot of people who really disliked cats who have grown to love them after meeting a very special one. My own father fits into this category.
But while I think hatred for cats can often be reduced at minimum to indifference toward them, I don’t think that absolutely everybody is going to jump on the bandwagon of basically worshiping felines, the way we “cat people” do.
Again, I’m obviously a cat person, so you shouldn’t be surprised I have this line of thinking. I just want my biases firmly acknowledged at the start of this article. Now let’s get into it…
8 Reasons I Believe Explain Why Some People Hate Cats
1. Some might hate cats because they’ve been attacked by a cat before.
This is probably the single most valid reason to dislike cats there is. Are cats dangerous? They can be. And a scared or anxious cat is almost certain to make a bad impression on a human. I know a number of people who were bitten by dogs as children, and I would never judge them for not giving dogs a second chance after that experience. Those who have been attacked by cats should certainly be given the same courtesy. Biting, scratching, or any other kind of attack by a pet may have been an accident or a part of an unlikely and unfortunate chain-of-events, but still, if it happened, that’s of course a good enough reason to not be a fan of that kind of pet from that point on.
2. Some may hate cats because they’ve seen or heard stories of others being attacked by cats.
The fear, anxiety, and distrust a person can develop in a species of animal because of the potential to be attacked doesn’t necessarily have to take place because one was themselves attacked. Often times, it’s enough to just see someone else attacked or hear a secondhand story from someone who was attacked to feel that distrust.
Have a mother or father who had a terrible experience with cats and recounts it so well you almost feel like you were there? It’d be hard not to be swayed to dislike cats if you were regularly told this kind of a story growing up. Not sure why you hate cats but realize close friends or family members have had issues with cats in the past? Maybe this is a part of why.
It’s also not impossible to develop a distrust in a species without any firsthand experience or any close secondhand experiences with them. Think about snakes, for example. Many fear them, primarily because they worry about being attacked, even though they have no first or direct secondhand experience with snakes. Neither is necessary to develop a fear that you may be attacked if you go near even a pet ball python. Some may develop a fear or anxiety about cats scratching or biting them without even being attacked or having known someone who’d been attacked personally.
3. Some may dislike cats because they just don’t understand their appeal as pets.
A lot of people who don’t like cats can’t see what there is to like about them. What kind of a pet walks away from it’s owner, won’t “put up with” cuddles and petting all that frequently, and is intelligent, but doesn’t even bother to respond to its own name? Who could sign up for owning a pet like that when there are more cuddly, loyal pets to be had?
Personally fall into this camp of people? Take a look at this article if for a better understanding of why cat lovers love cats.
4. Some people probably just haven’t spent enough time with cats to like them.
When it comes to food, some flavours are simple, while others are more complex, meaning it may take you some time to develop a taste for them. As far as pets go, I feel like dogs are equivalent to simple flavours – you get their appeal on the first go and don’t need any time to develop a liking for them. Cats are more like complex flavours that may have to grow on you over time.
I’m convinced some never get to the point where they love cats simply because they haven’t spent enough one-on-one time with them, never gave their complexity a chance to grow on ’em.
Some cats take a lot of warming up to before they open up to you and begin to be the kind of pet you’d love to have. They need to trust a human before you see this side of them. Some cat people just have a way with cats that makes this kind of familiarity happen instantly, but it’s not true of all cat people and not true with all cats – even if you love cats it may take a specific cat time to warm up to you, and thus time to really be the kind a pet you absolutely love.
I think that most of those of us who love cats started off liking them and really grew to love them over enhanced time with them. Versus dogs, which I’d say it’s usually a love-at-first-sight kind of experience considering their incredibly friendly, loyal, attention-appreciating personalities.
5. Some people may not yet have met a cat they liked.
Listen, some cats are a**holes, plain and simple. I once house-sat a friend’s cat, Weiss, for a month – that cat drove me up a wall. Never was content to let me pet him, let alone hold him. Listened when I said, “No,” long enough to get me to be distracted by something else, then *boom* – 20 min later, doing the same naughty thing again. He pried into places he wasn’t allowed in, jumped on counters when we weren’t looking… Needless to say, I was not a fan of Weiss. And I’m a cat person.
Ironically, this jerk of a cat was the most sugary sweet fella around my friend’s sister, who he practically seems to have imprinted on like a duckling. I have never in my life seen a cat who’s so rude and ridiculous around everybody besides the one person he deems to be his favourite, but I know that many cats are something like this.
Avery, on the other hand, has a personality I’ve loved since I met him. He’s cuddly, but not overly needy (usually). He’s the type of cat who quickly understood and respected the word, “No,” stays out of what he knows to be trouble, and, while he’s not the best company with new people, he’s sweet, considerate, and will actually let them pet him for a while, even upon first meeting them.
There are also cats that swing the hyper-friendly way, and are practically dog-like (my brother‘s cat Beau is like this), but most are somewhere in between, really being wary of strangers and those they’re not all that familiar with, but not outright being a**holes to them.
If you’re not a fan of the special kind of jerk that a few cats are, and don’t like how most cats are indifferent to you – if you’ve never met a truly affable cat with a personality you’ve liked, there may yet be a cat you’ll love out there. Could even be hidden in plain sight – a cat you know yet (#4) haven’t spent quite enough time with for them to show you their true colours.
6. Some people’s personalities just don’t mesh with a cat’s personality.
Scientific studies have proven that different personality types gravitate to cats over dogs, or dogs over cats as pets. Obviously, this doesn’t exclude people from liking, loving, or even cohabiting with both of these two most popular pets at once. At the same time, we’d be crazy to deny the truth of the matter: that feline personalities are just not going to appeal to some people.
No one person is going to be liked by everybody, and no one type of animal is going to be liked by everybody either. Some people just, plainly put, will never be all that fond of a specific flavour, scent, subject, hobby, or personality type. People like different things and some will just never be fond of cats because they’re not their kind of thing. End of story.
7. Some people may hate cats because they have cat allergies.
Having allergies is no reason to write cats off completely, but since, as I’ve stated, cats are an acquired taste at times, a cat allergy may in fact make it impossible or at least very difficult for a person with cat allergies to spend enough time with a cat to get “over the hump” of hating or disliking cats, so to speak.
8. “I’m a dog person.”
Obviously, this is what I’d consider to be the true cop out excuse for hating cats. Why the heck would you liking dogs have anything to do with you hating cats? Does your love of chocolate ice cream prevent you from loving vanilla? Obviously, you likely mean something else when you state you’re a dog person to somebody who asks why you hate cats (maybe one of reasons #3-6?). If you get asked why you hate cats and start to recite this phrase as an explanation, pause for a second and reconsider. Offer up a description that more adequately explains your dislike of cats instead.
9. “Gross! Cats SMELL!”
Brought up by Darin in the comments, I felt like I had to address this. Hating cats and cat owners because they smell is something I quite frankly feel like I haven’t heard in a decade. Everybody and their mother with a cat, two, or 5 that I know personally hasn’t got a house, clothes, or even litter boxes that reek. The reason for all the stinky cats and cat owners, in my opinion, has something to do with the fact that litters that don’t clump well leave that terrible cat pee smell lingering in the air (which then gets all over the house, clothes, and everyone and everything else). But if you’ve got a half decent clumping litter, which I think most options you can get your hands on fit into the category of these days, you won’t get that cat stench anywhere, not even near your litter box.
Personally, I found the cat litter I currently use, World’s Best (reviewed here) to be the most ideal in terms of keeping cat pee smells away. The last litter I had Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh, did the trick well enough, but not quite as well. If you’re a cat owner and have issues with litter smells, do yourself and those who sniff ya a favour – switch to a better cat litter! I personally always buy the multi-cat formulas when they’re available, even though I have a single cat. It feels to me like multi-cat formulas do a hell of a lot better at smell reduction than “standard” single-cat formulas. There are also usually scented options, but I’d recommend buying one bag to test those, as you or your cat may not like the fake lavender or whatever other scent they happen to use to make those smell “better.”
This is a bit of a ridiculous thing to hate cats and cat owners for, but I can see why the negative bias exists. Like I said, though, smelly cats & owners just shouldn’t be around anymore, really, especially in this day and age of options, options, options when it comes to litter!
10. Some people may hate the idea of owning a cat because they think cats cannot be trained.
Another one I added to the list because it was brought up in the comments; not just on this post, but on many others. I firmly believe that the statement “Cats can be trained” is outright untrue. Not only do I believe it’s possible to train every pet cat, I also believe every cat owner should be doing it: and I give my explanations for why here.
Don’t believe you can train a cat to stop running away from humans, quit scratching furniture, or even keep off counters and tables? It is possible, and if you do it right, the cat won’t simply resort to bad habits when your back is turned, when you’re not in the room, or as soon as you leave the house. I can attest to this having trained my own cat in these (and many other) ways.
If it’s possible to train cats, why aren’t more pet cats trained? I think it just plain comes down to the fact that most cat owners are indifferent to what many (including myself) believe to be annoying or unsafe/unhygienic bad behaviours. Either that or pet owners don’t know how to train their cats, which is why I’ve taken up the cause of writing as many full on guides about different things you can train a pet cat to do, and I’ll continue to do so on this blog.
In my opinion, blaming a pet cat for poor behaviour (like crying and begging for food all day) is as bad as blaming a pet dog for poor behaviour – it’s not fair on the cat just like it’s not fair on the dog. Dogs need training to behave well and if they behave poorly, it’s because their owners did not train them at all or did not do a good job of training. Same with cats, in my honest opinion. And again, I do believe every cat owner should be making an effort in this department (for so many different reasons), as uncommon as this opinion may be.
Why Do You Think Those Who Hate Cats Dislike Them?
Do you personally hate or dislike cats? Why do you hate or dislike them? What explanations have you given to people who have asked about your feelings toward them in the past?
Are you a cat person who’s met or spoken to people who have told you they hate cats? What were the reasons they gave? Why do you think some people hate cats? Can you understand why they might feel this way about them?
The one thing I ask is that if you leave a comment down below, you’re respectful of those who hold the opposite preference (like or dislike) toward cats from you.