Cats have so much love and cuteness to offer. But, as much as you love and care for your furry friend, sometimes she might not reciprocate your affection in the way that you expected.
There might be times when Fluffy walks out of the room the minute you come in. She might also bite your hand or hiss at you when you try to reach out to her. And the worst is if she allows everyone to pet her except you.
Is it possible that your cat secretly hates you but loves everyone else?
If it seems like you are having trouble building a loving relationship with your cat, it might be because she is not really fond of being around you. Read on to learn the reasons your cat seems to hate you, and what you can do to earn her love.
Why is my cat mean to me but nice to everyone else?
You love your furry friend to bits. You feed her healthy and delicious food every day. You bathe her, clean up her mess, buy her toys, and spend your savings on her veterinary care. Yes, you do everything in your power to keep your fur baby happy and healthy.
And yet, she loves everyone else in the family more than she loves you.
Your pet might run away whenever you are near but become affectionate with other people or household pets.
It sucks to feel rejected and ignored by your furry friend. But the truth is, that cats never dislike their humans without a valid reason. They will remember any past trauma or unpleasant experience, and it can make them resentful towards you or other animals.
Why does my cat hate me?
Cats are notoriously independent creatures. Unlike their canine counterparts, they thrive on a solitary life. Thus to humans, they may appear aloof, cold, and stubborn.
The truth is that every cat is unique. Some are loners while others are clingy, and most cats fall somewhere in between. Their demeanor is also often affected by their experiences as kittens.
But, if your cat seems to ignore you while being affectionate to other people, the problem might be you. Cats have good intuition and are smart enough to avoid anything or anyone they perceive as a threat.
If it seems that your cat loves everyone but you, it could be for one of these reasons:
1. Overstepping your cat’s boundaries
Your cat might not like you because you do not respect her boundaries without realizing it.
Do you often bother her when she clearly wants to take a nap or be alone? Do you force her to cuddle or hug you when she obviously does not want to?
Most cats are very sensitive when it comes to their personal space. You need to respect what your pet considers safe and permissible behavior towards her. This is especially applicable to rescue cats who have experienced past trauma and neglect from their previous owners. The key is to make your furry pal feel safe and comfortable so she can happily mingle with you and other people or pets.
2. Doing something that upsets your cat
Cats have excellent long-term memories, and can easily remember their human owners and animal companions, even after long periods. Unfortunately, they can also recall bad experiences that annoy or frighten them. They have an associative memory, especially for certain events, people, or animals that have abused or hurt them.
So, if your cat is avoiding you, it might be because you have done something recently or in the past, that upsets her. She might remember you yelling at her or swatting her, or the times she needed some space but you forcibly picked her up. Or perhaps she remembers a time when you tried to restrain her to give her medicine.
Whatever the reason, your cat now associates the discomfort or frightening experience with you.
3. Your cat prefers female companions
Experts believe that cats can be picky when it comes to their human companions. For cats, a female guardian is generally preferable to a male owner, so if you are a male cat parent and your furry pal is not fond of you, it might be simply your gender. If you are the only male in your household, there is a higher chance that your cat will select the company of female family members over yours.
Obvious signs that your cat hates you
If you feel that your furry companion does not reciprocate your affection, she is probably not your biggest fan.
Below are some of the obvious signs that your cat secretly hates you:
1. Your cat bites you
One clear sign of a cat’s displeasure is biting. While most cats enjoy giving their humans a love bite every now and then, a cat that bites you hard enough to cause injury is a seriously peeved cat. Sometimes, the bite is followed by hissing, growling, or slashing, especially if you try to reach out to them.
2. Your cat walks away from you
Does your cat show no interest when you try petting and playing with her? If she gives you the cold shoulder despite your effort to reach out to her, she is probably not happy being around you. Even if you bring her toys, she will probably turn you down and pretend that you do not exist.
3. Your cat’s tail is low-hanging or puffed-up
A cat’s tail can tell you a lot about how they are feeling. If your cat shows you a lowered or puffed-up tail, she is likely feeling annoyed or fearful.
Watch out for other signs, such as lashing or dragging the tail on the ground – these are also clear signs that you need to stay back. Never force interactions with cats if their tails look mad; otherwise, you risk getting scratched or bitten.
4. Your cat hides from you
Have you noticed your furry friend disappearing every time you come into the room? Then she is probably avoiding you on purpose!
Most cats tend to hide when they are in pain or feeling stressed. Hiding is also their natural reaction if they see something or someone that they perceive as a threat. So, if your cat frequently disappears when you are near, she is probably wary of your presence.
5. Your cat refuses to engage with you
As much as you want to show your love to your furry companion, there are times when she is simply not in the mood to cuddle or play with you. But a cat who outright refuses to engage with you or reciprocate your affection might be frightened or annoyed.
Often, this is a clear indication of fear or mistrust. Perhaps you have done something in the past that upset your pet, such as punishing her, yelling at her, or hitting her. Or you might be hugging, kissing, or picking her up against her will, causing her not to engage with you.
How to make your cat love you
Before you judge your kitty for hating you, make sure that you have her checked by the vet for a clean bill of health. Cats’ personalities can be influenced by pain or illness that you may be unaware of.
If your cat is perfectly healthy but behaves differently around you, then the problem could be you, and you might need to make some adjustments to help her trust and love you.
1. Understand your cat’s body language
Cats are subtle creatures, and sometimes their actions or behaviors can be difficult to decode. Hence, it is very important to understand your cat’s body language so you can more easily form a bond with her.
For instance, observe her posture or the motions of her tail, eyes, and ears, so that you know whether or not she is feeling comfortable. You can also try listening to her vocalizations, especially if you have a chatty cat.
Although cats cannot speak our language, they can definitely give you clues if they need something from you.
2. Feed your furry friend on time
Cats are creatures of habit. A routine-driven life is preferable to them because it makes them feel safe and confident.
So, no matter how busy you are, you must make sure that your cat’s daily routines are not disrupted. Try to engage with her around the same time each day, and feed her on time with nutritious food. Never forget to spend quality time with your four-legged friend to strengthen your relationship, and hopefully, in the future, she will learn to reciprocate your love and affection.
3. Respect your cat’s privacy and boundaries
Recognizing her boundaries is crucial to developing an emotional bond with your cat. Give her the choice and control from time to time, especially if she wants to be left alone. Sometimes your affection might be too overwhelming for her, so make sure not to overdo it. If your cat does not want to sit on your lap and prefers to do something else, let her be.
Remember that cats used to be solitary hunters in the wild, while humans thrive on being sociable and affectionate through close proximity and touch. Not all cats might be able to appreciate these interactions. While some cats might be tolerant of our social advances, others might react aggressively. It is best to learn to understand your cat’s cues and respect her when she needs her space.
Another important thing to understand is when it is appropriate to stroke your cat. The moment you see her cute face and big, round eyes, your first reaction might be to touch her. As a rule of thumb, keep these touching sessions short and sweet. Also know where your cat enjoys being touched, such as the face, the base of the ears, or under the chin, and avoid sensitive areas such as the belly and whiskers.
Finally, pay close attention to your cat’s reactions during your interactions with her. Try to learn her signs of enjoyment such as purring, kneading, and gently waving her tail. If she shows signs of tension or discomfort, such as turning her head away from you, flattening her ears to the sides, biting, or batting her paw at your hand, stop the interaction right away.
Wrapping it up
Everyone wants an affectionate kitty – but what if your cat hates you while loving everyone else? This experience can be hurtful for a fur parent who provides everything for their cat’s well-being.
If your cat refuses to engage with you, try to determine what triggers this behavior. Have you forgotten to feed your cat on time? Or perhaps you pick her up or pet her even when she obviously feels uncomfortable? Get to the bottom of this as soon as possible, and then try to resolve the problem right away. By being more attentive to your cat’s language and needs, you should soon earn her trust and love.
Image: istockphoto.com / Denis Valakhanovich