What Don’t Cats Like?

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  • Change in routine

    Cats are creatures of habit, they like to know when they are going to be fed when you will be home from work and where to find their litter tray. Any changes around the home or to their routine can throw them off balance and result in a stressed cat who possibly develops undesirable behaviours (such as inappropriate urination). Some cats are fine, but many don’t like change.

    Older cats especially need things kept relatively simple and routine. Senses begin to diminish in old age, and they are especially sensitive to changes.

    Being ignored

    Well, most cats don’t anyway. Some are more friendly than others and need constant attention. When selecting a cat, it is always a good idea to consider your current situation. Are you out of the house for long periods of time? If so, a more independent cat may be better. Do you want a cat who will follow you around the house and “help” you, or would you prefer one who is content to snooze by a window and doesn’t need much attention?

    Many cats owners will attest to the fact that the moment they sit down at the computer to study, pick up a newspaper, talk on the phone, it’s virtually a cue for your cat to come along and start demanding attention. This may include sitting on the computer, newspaper, weaving in and out of your legs or just flopping on the floor at your feet with the expectation that you immediately stop what you’re doing and give the cat a stroke.

    Loud noises

    A cat’s sense of hearing is by far superior to ours. They don’t like loud noises, sudden noises, bangs, and crashes, high-pitched sounds. Many pet owners have noticed how fearful cats become on fireworks night.


    A few breeds including the Toyger, Bengal, and Turkish Van are said to like it, but the majority of cats would prefer to avoid water at all costs.

    Cold food

    Who does like their food cold? Well okay, cold pizza for breakfast is pretty nice but most of us enjoy our food warmed up, it makes it more palatable. This is the same for cats. Not all cats mind eating food straight out of the fridge, but if yours turns his nose up, try microwaving it for 30 seconds, remember to stir it up prior to giving it to him to avoid hot spots.

    The veterinarian

    Most cats dislike a trip to the vet and who can blame them? I can’t say I’m a fan of visiting my doctor either, even though they are both there to help us. Unlike humans, though, cats don’t understand that the vet is there to help. It really can be quite a stressful time for a cat. Getting cats used to the cat carrier, transportation and a veterinary examination from a young age is important.

    A spray of Feliway on the hands can help relax a nervous cat. This is a synthetic version of the feel-good pheromones the cat has on his cheeks; it helps to calm the cat down.

    In extreme cases, you can look for a vet who does house calls, but this has its limitations. It’s okay for things like general check-ups, vaccinations etc., but for more complicated conditions or surgery etc., the cat will still need to visit the veterinary practice.

    Boarding catteries

    Similar to the vet, minus the poking and prodding. Most cats dislike change, and that includes being taken out of their home environment. Different smells, sounds, routines, people all work against your cat. They do eventually seem to begrudgingly accept the boarding cattery but be prepared for the sulks when you bring him back home.

    Being stared at

    Direct eye contact with a cat is seen as a dominance issue and most cats don’t like it. If you want to win your cat over try looking at him and blinking very slowly. If he returns your stare with a slow blink, he loves you.

    Back to eye contact, have you ever wondered why your cat is immediately attracted to the one person in the room who doesn’t like cats? People who don’t like cats won’t make eye contact with them, so they are seen as non-threatening. The cat lover, on the other hand, sits down, stares your cat directly in the eye and calls him over. Most cats don’t like that and will opt for the non-threatening person who’s sitting in the corner hoping the cat will ignore him.

    Dirty litter trays

    Cats are fastidiously clean animals and do not like to use a dirty litter tray. Many will find alternative places to go to the toilet if their litter tray isn’t clean. Scoop out solids at least once a day, and thoroughly empty once a week. As a rule of thumb, have one tray per cat, plus one spare.

    Cats also don’t like to eat where they go to the toilet.

    Being pilled

    Who hasn’t had a mighty battle with their cat to get them to swallow a pill? It’s almost as if they sense what’s about to happen. We talk to them soothingly, approach them and they run for the hills.

    Read here for more information (and video) on how to pill a cat.


    • Julia Wilson, 'Cat World' Founder

      Julia Wilson is the founder of Cat-World, and has researched and written over 1,000 articles about cats. She is a cat expert with over 20 years of experience writing about a wide range of cat topics, with a special interest in cat health, welfare and preventative care. Julia lives in Sydney with her family, four cats and two dogs. Full author bio