We love our cats. But let's face it; they can do some annoying stuff like, getting woken up at 6 am on a day off, or pooing right next to the litter tray (rather than in it). It feels like a calculated power move designed to show us who's really in charge.
But did you know it works both ways? You've also got a few annoying character quirks? So to help every cat owner stay in their kitty's good books, here's a look at things that annoy cats.
Things you do that secretly annoys our cats
Are your dreaming to become your cat's best friend but he royally keeps ignoring you most of the time? Maybe you are doing things your cat hates and you don't know it. You might be making a cat wear a costume against their will for Christmas and Halloween is a surefire way to annoy them! A long car ride, a new brand of cat food, and an unfamiliar environment will also test a kitty's nerves.
Here's a quick overview of our little habits that cats don't like at all (but like not at all).
1# Stroking your cat's belly
Cats aren't so keen on a belly rub. In fact, it's one of their biggest pet peeves. The hair follicles on a cat's belly are super-sensitive, which makes petting feel uncomfortable. Stick to cheek and chin scratches instead!
2# Loud noises
Cats have a highly tuned sense of hearing. It's great for keeping them safe out in the wild, but it's not so great for housecats with owners who like to play loud music. And resist the temptation to speak to your fur-baby in that high pitched baby voice. Cats can hear higher-pitched sounds 1.6 octaves above the human range. So what sounds cute to you might sound like a high-pitched screech to your furry friend.
3# Eye contact
Do you enjoy gazing lovingly into your cat's big, beautiful eyes? If so, then it's time to stop. There's a good chance your cat hates it. Within the animal kingdom, sustained eye contact is a direct threat. Rival cats engage in staring contests to assert dominance. And if no kitty looks away, then they usually scrap it out.
4# Pick them up without asking
The majority of our feline friends enjoy a cuddle with their favourite human. However, you should always wait for a cat to come to you. After all, you'd feel pretty anxious (or just annoyed) if some giant scooped you up without asking. So be patient - consensual kitty cuddles are always the best kitty cuddles.
5# Stroking their tail
A cat's tail contains thousands of sensitive nerve endings, which is why most felines would prefer if you left this part of them alone. The large concentration of nerves makes the tail feel hyper-sensitive to touch. It also increases the risk of injuries, and damage to a tail can cause all kinds of problems. These include reduced balance, spinal injuries, and a loosening of the muscles that control urination.
6# Using air fresheners
Smells are super important to cats, and familiar scents signify comfort and safety. As such, switching up air freshers or home fragrances can disorient your cat. It's like if you popped out to the shops and came home to find someone had moved all the furniture around. So use fragrance-free disinfectants when cleaning cat beds, litter boxes, and their favourite blankets.
What do cats hate the most?
There are three things that almost all cats seem to hate: lemon smells, cucumbers, and balloons. Cucumbers are thought to stimulate a cat's instinctive fear of snakes. This theory makes sense, as a number of cats display fear around other snake-shaped objects, including bananas. Cats have an extremely sensitive sense of taste and smell, which probably explains their dislike of sharp citrus fruits like lemon. The feline phobia of balloons remains a mystery.
What noises annoy cats?
Loud and aggressive noises really annoy cats. That's why kitty finds a quiet place to hide when you get the vacuum out or decide to do some weekend DIY. Sibilant sounds can also make cats feel anxious. Sibilants are the elements of human speech that create hissing sounds, such as sh. Again, this is probably linked to a cat's natural fear of snakes. Our cuddly housecats still carry the genes of their wild ancestors, and snakes are dangerous predators.
Every cat is unique. What one cat hates, the next one loves. In other words, paying attention to your cat's responses is the best way to find out what they like and don't like. So if your cat purs away during a belly rub, then keep doing it. They clearly love it! But if they run off every time you try to pick them up for an unexpected cuddle, give that furry guy or girl some extra personal space. They'll come looking for some snuggles when they're ready.