Some cats are warm and cuddly and purrrrr just at the sight of you, their beloved owner.
Some cats…aren’t like that.
Vets get asked some variation of the, “Does my cat hate me?” question all the time. It’s normal, in fact, to wonder whether your cat spends every evening plotting your demise. But do cats really hate people, and if so, why? Let’s break it down.
Do Cats Hate People?
Well, yes and no. Just like humans, all cats have distinct personalities. Some cats are naturally more outgoing than others, and some cats are probably just kind of grumpy to begin with. But by and large, cats don’t hate their owners, particularly if the owner’s regularly providing food, shelter, and love.
The trouble comes when cat owners expect their cats to express their adoration in the same way people do. Cats are unique animals, and they’ve got complex emotions bubbling right there under the surface.
Yeah, But My Cat Actually Hates Me!
You sure? Let’s look at the signs people usually interpret to mean their cat hates their guts, but are actually just being overly sensitive about.
- Ignoring: Your cat can hear you…she’s just actively choosing not to respond! Cats actually prefer to initiate interaction, TBH. It’s just the way they are.
- Snubbing: Can’t get any respect from your cat? That’s because she actually thinks you’re a cat, too, and that you’re her equal.
- Scratching: Does your cat scratch you when you try to pet her? She doesn’t hate you, she just hates being petted! Petting actually stresses some cats out.
- Selective Purring: Cats can match their purr to their situation, so when she’s withholding purrs? She’s manipulating you, just like she does when she gives you that “love me” purr.
Hmmm. Okay. What About All the Other Stuff She Does?
You mean like hiding your things in impossible-to-find places? “Accidentally” missing the litter box? Barfing up hairballs all over the house? Yup, those are actually just things cats do. They all tie back into her primal urges, but they don’t mean she hates you. They just mean you have a cat.
How Can I Get My Cat to Warm Up to Me?
You’ve just got to take it at her speed. Cats love to play hard to get, so the best strategy is to just sit back and let her come to you. Be cool, is what we’re saying. It’s hard: We know you want your cat to fall asleep in your lap, but that may just not be the kind of cat you’ve got. Get yourself a stuffed animal and move on.
Remember, if your cat’s always been a little standoffish? That’s probably just her personality. If she’s suddenly become aloof, aggressive, or otherwise unpleasant to be around? It could be a sign something’s going on physically. It’s a good idea to call your vet for a checkup to make sure there’s not an underlying issue that needs addressing.