If you own a cat, you are probably very well aware that they all have their own unique personalities and preferences, and that there are certain things that invariably make them happy and others that they will want nothing to do with! However, because cats tend to be fairly private animals who take it as a matter of pride to remain enigmatic and not let you know what they are thinking, there are a whole range of things that you may do inadvertently or have happen within your home that your cat dislikes, even if you don’t realise it!
We looked at five things that cats really don’t like at all in this previous article, and if that helped you to get a head start on ensuring that your home and behaviour are cat friendly, read on for a short primer on five more things that cats really don’t like, in this article.
Cats tend to be very particular about the type of petting that they like in terms of who is doing it, how they are being stroked and how long it goes on for-after all, we have all had the experience of petting a cat that was purring away happily one moment and that then turned in a flash and attacked before running off in a huff!
However, if your cat has decide that they want some attention and you do not respond immediately, they may well get rather pushy about it, plonking themselves in your path, rubbing against you and even tapping you with their paws in some cases, and they are likely to persist until you give in and talk to them!
Cats don’t like being ignored when they decide that they are in the mood to be sociable, and as most of us spend a lot of time trying to pet our cats and encourage them to come over for a hug when they are ambivalent about it, it is likely confusing to your cat when they do decide that now is a good time but you are concerned with something else!
On the other side of the coin, if a cat does not want attention or has had enough of your petting them, they will be quick to back off or give out other signals that they wish to be left alone now, such as swiping you with a paw or grabbing you with their teeth!
It can be hard for us as humans to know when a cat is getting tired of being petted, does not like what we are doing or otherwise wishes to be left alone, but if you learn to read the often subtle body language of cats and how they indicate pleasure and displeasure, you might be able to get a head start on getting your hand out of the way before they take a swipe at you!
It can be quite funny to see two strange cats meeting and greeting each other for the first time, due to the looks of abject horror on both faces and the amount of hissing, grumbling and other negative responses that this tends to generate.
Cats are actually more territorial than dogs when it comes to liking their own space and viewing strangers as invading enemies, and territory, personal space and mutual respect between competing cats are the basis of ensuring that everyone gets along!
Introducing a new cat into the home is something that should be managed very carefully and slowly, and even a new cat moving into the neighbourhood can throw the existing status quo into disarray until the new pecking order has become established and everyone settles down to tolerate and politely ignore each other once more!
We’ve all faced the scenario in which the cat does their best “Lassie” impression to get you to follow them as a matter of urgency to their food bowl to fill it up because they are clearly wasting away, only to find that when we get to said food bowl, it still has plenty of food in it!
This in fact is likely to be the problem-cats are extremely picky about their food in terms of both what it is and the condition that they find it in, and if your cat has a bowl of kibble that is kept full and simply topped up when it runs low, it will likely not be as fresh as your cat wishes it were. Even long life dry food becomes stale when exposed to the air for a few hours, and every time your cat grazes from their bowl they will add a little saliva, further speeding up the process of staling.
It is a good idea to allow your cat to graze throughout the day, but even with dry food, only put out as much as your cat will eat that day and wash, replace and replenish the bowl daily to keep it fresh.
Cats really are a lore unto themselves when it comes to deciding where they want to sleep and relax, often rejecting lovely and expensive beds and activity centres in favour of perching on the top of the wardrobe or the keyboard of your computer!
While you will sometimes have to enforce rules in this respect in order to keep a seat for yourself or get any work done, it is a better idea to see where your cat likes to sleep and put a bed there, because cats seek out places where they feel comfortable and safe, and will feel put out and unsettled if you continually move them on from them!