Having a pet is a big responsibility and, at times, there will be negative emotions and conflicts between you and your cat.
This can be overwhelming and sometimes it feels like there is no solution to the problem.
However, in the majority of situations, there are ways to repair the relationship between you and your cat.
Use this guide to find out how to redirect unwanted behaviours, train new behaviours, and build a strong relationship with your cat.
Reasons You May Grow To Hate Your Cat:
- Constantly meows
- Scratches furniture/ clothes
- Won’t use the litter box
- Scratches or bites you
- Runs away from you (and won’t cuddle you)
- You think your cat hates you
Is It Ever Reasonable To Hate A Cat?
Feeling frustrated with your cat and occasionally experiencing negative emotions is completely normal but it’s important to look for solutions rather than let the issues build up into resentment.
If you feel like you hate your cat, the chances are it is not your cat you hate but instead, it is something specific they are doing.
In most cases, the issues can be resolved and pet owners can enjoy a positive relationship with their pets.
Be patient as you work on building your relationship with your cat and know that it will get better.
In some situations, the best thing to do is rehome your cat but it is important to try to resolve the problem first.
What To Do If Your Cat Is Making You Miserable
The first thing to do is think about what it is that is making you miserable.
Is your cat waking you up early in the morning, or maybe they meow constantly and it is driving you up the wall?
Once you have established exactly what it is that is making you miserable, you can begin to find a solution.
Below we discuss various problems and solutions so you can start to build a more positive and trusting relationship with your cat.
What To Do if You Hate Your Cat:
1. I Hate My Cat’s Constant Meowing
Firstly, you need to figure out why your cat is meowing all the time.
As there are many potential reasons for this behaviour, it is best to take your cat to the vet for a check-up to ensure they are not experiencing any health issues.
Once possible health issues are ruled out, the cause could be boredom so try to increase the amount of playtime and attention you give to your cat throughout the day and take steps to help keep them mentally and physically stimulated.
If your cat isn’t trying to get attention from you, they may be meowing at you because they want food.
In this case, you will need to teach them that meowing and whining do not get them food.
To do this, follow these steps:
- When your cat is meowing at you, say “no” and ignore them until they are quiet.
- Once your cat is quiet for a moment, reward them with attention and a piece of kibble.
In the beginning, they may only be quiet for a couple of seconds but it’s important to reward this short break in meowing as it’ll help your cat learn that being quiet is good.
- Continue ignoring your cat when they meow and rewarding them when they are quiet.
They will learn that being quiet gets food (or attention, playtime etc.).
2. I Think My Cat Hates Me So I Hate Him
Although you may feel your cat is acting in a way that shows they hate you, they don’t hate you.
There are many possible reasons your cat is behaving in this way; they may be hurt, injured, need more attention/ play time, need more stimulation, or they might find the environment they are in stressful.
As cats are not able to communicate what is wrong, they will act out to try to show you there is a problem.
The first thing to do is identify the problem.
From there you can fix it and take steps to build your relationship with your cat.
Always start with a check-up at the vet to rule out sickness or injury as the cause.
Once health issues are ruled out, you can consider the other possible causes and take steps to resolve them.
An easy place to start strengthening your bond is to feed your cat and play with them every single day.
If there are multiple people at home, make sure you are the one feeding and playing with your cat for now as this gives you the perfect opportunity to help your cat like you more.
Play with your cat more often and for longer too, this will help them release energy and will reduce the chance of them acting out later.
Other things you can do to help improve your relationship include:
- Find cat exercise toys that will help stimulate your cat mentally and physically
- Put toys that your cat can play with alone in the area they like to spend their time
- Start training them to do specific things (training will help you and your cat build a bond and understanding of each other while also helping to resolve unwanted behaviours)
- Identify possible causes of stress around the home and reduce them where possible (e.g. increase the number of litter boxes around the house, make changes at home slowly to avoid stressing your cat)
As you become happier with your cat’s behaviour, your cat will become happier too.
3. I Hate That My Cat Wakes Me Up Early Every Morning
If your cat insists on waking you up in the early hours of the morning every single day, you’re going to become tired of it after a while.
Most of the time cats do this because they are hungry and they know that when they wake you up you will give them food.
Follow these steps to stop your cat from waking you up in the morning:
- Get an automatic feeder and set it a little bit earlier than your cat would normally wake you up.
Every few days, set the automatic feeder slightly later so your cat will gradually be getting up later to eat.
Your cat should start going to the feeder instead of bothering you in the mornings.
- If your cat still tries to wake you up, ignore them.
You may want to close the door to your bedroom when you go to bed so they can’t get into the room in the morning.
It will take a bit of time for your cat to learn that you aren’t going to wake up and give them food when they meow at you first thing in the morning so the first few days may be challenging.
Although, the automatic feeder should help to redirect your cat’s energy.
Other things to do:
- Leave food puzzles and toys out for your cat at night
- Play with your cat before bed to help encourage them to sleep for longer
4. I Hate My Cat Because They Won’t Use The Litter Box
If your cat is refusing to use the litter box and they have been to the vet to rule out health issues, use this list to help encourage your cat to use the litter box:
- Keep the litter box clean
- Position the litter box away from your cat’s food and water, and place it in quiet parts of the house where your cat spends their time
- Don’t use strong disinfectant or plastic liners in the litter tray as this may deter your cat from using it
- Try a few different litter types until you find one your cat likes
- Try an open litter box and a covered litter box to find which type your cat prefers
- Make sure there is at least one litter box per cat plus an extra one
- Place the litter boxes away from each other to give your cat(s) space and privacy
- Thoroughly clean any accidents that happen outside of the litter box
- Make the places your cat often goes to the toilet less accessible and appealing
Stress and anxiety can result in your cat not using their litter boxes.
Cats often find changes to their routine or new people/ animals in the house to be stressful so think about things that may have triggered your cat’s behaviour.
5. I Hate My Cat Because They Constantly Scratch The Furniture
You may be getting frustrated because your cat is ruining your furniture by scratching.
Your cat is not doing this to be spiteful, scratching is a natural behaviour and furniture is an attractive scratching post to many cats.
Help redirect this behaviour onto something more appropriate by:
- Investing in a scratching post
- Rubbing catnip on the post to make it more appealing to your cat
- Rewarding your cat for using the scratching post
- Placing spray or anti-scratch tape on the furniture they scratch to make it less appealing for your cat
6. I Hate My Cat Because They Run Away From Me
If your cat is running away from you they may feel uncomfortable or threatened.
You need to work on building trust and making your cat feel more confident around you while also respecting their space and boundaries.
Remember that not all cats are going to be cuddly and there are many reasons your cat may be keeping their distance.
For example, your cat may be running away from you due to traumatic experiences they had before you owned them so don’t take it personally.
You can encourage your cat to be around you by rewarding them whenever they approach you.
This will be a slow transition so be patient and work with your cat a little bit each day to build the trust between you.
Never force your cat to sit with you or spend time with you.
Hate Your Cat & Want To Get Rid Of It?
There are some situations where giving up your cat may be the only reasonable solution.
Every situation is unique so while many issues can be resolved, this is not always the case.
If you want to get rid of your cat because you are experiencing problems with your cat’s behaviour, it is important to first talk to the vet about the behaviour.
Understanding the behaviour and what is causing it may help you resolve the problem without needing to get rid of your cat.
If you do need to get rid of your cat, these tips will make it as painless as possible:
- Ask friends, family and colleagues if anyone would be interested in meeting and taking in your pet.
This is the best place to start as giving your cat to someone who you trust and who you know will give them a good home is an ideal situation.
- If you don’t know anyone who may want to take in your cat, reach out to a charity such as Cats Protection or RSPCA about rehoming your cat.
These organisations are experienced in finding good homes for animals and will be able to find the right home for your cat.
If your local branch cannot help immediately, they will be able to point you in the right direction.
Why Do I Hate My Cat While Pregnant?
When you’re pregnant, you may find the things that you previously didn’t mind about your cat are now driving you crazy.
This is likely due to a combination of the hormones you are experiencing through the pregnancy and behavioural changes your cat may be exhibiting in response to you being pregnant.
Some cats respond to their owners’ pregnancy by being needy and asking for attention more than usual.
You may also find that you’re more sensitive to your cat’s normal behaviours and habits.
This can be irritating and can leave you wanting some space away from your cat.
Don’t worry, this doesn’t make you a bad cat owner and the feeling won’t last.
Many women find that they begin to relax and feel affectionate towards their cat again, even after suggesting getting rid of the cat during the pregnancy.
Be kind to yourself and your cat during this time and know that the negative feelings will pass.
Why Do I Hate My Cat After Having A Baby?
This is something quite a few new mums experience. They get home and feel negative toward pets they have loved for years.
This could be because your cat has started acting out in response to the new family member and this is causing you additional stress or frustration leading to you disliking your cat.
It could also be due to the hormones new mums are experiencing and the fact they want to put all of their time and energy into their newborn baby rather than their pets.
When bringing a baby home, you can help your cat adapt to the big changes by:
- Using a Feliway diffuser to reduce your cat’s anxiety and help them to relax
- Continue giving your cat treats and attention (ask your other half to give your cat more attention than usual so you can also enjoy some cat-free time too)
For many mums, once the newborn phase passes they feel more positive and affectionate towards their cat.
Having a baby is a huge adjustment for you and for your cat so give it time and try to be patient.