Expert shares four things cats hate — and steering clear of them will help you build a stronger bond

Woman kissing grumpy-looking cat
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As a pet parent, it's likely you're doing your absolute best to keep your kitty happy with lots of love, grooming sessions, treats, and play sessions using your bundle of fluff's favorite interactive cat toys. But is it working?

While we humans often have good intentions, sometimes we can end up doing things that inadvertently upset our feline friends. 

If you've noticed signs your cat isn't getting what it needs to be happy, fear not. Often cheering them up and strengthening your bond is as simple as understanding what your kitty hates and avoiding these things.

There are some common themes when it comes to what makes cats unhappy, and the team at Tuft and Paw have put together a TikTok video where they explain what these are.

You can check out the clip below, or read on as we spill the beans on the four things cats hate!


♬ Kemuel Kulosa cover sped up version - Kemuel

1. Forced pets: "Cats are not like dogs and you should approach them differently," the team at Tuft and Paw say. "This also applies to picking your cat up. Cats prefer to feel free and never restrained."

2. Water: "While some cats are interested in water, they do not like being fully submerged. And they especially like to play with water on their own terms. Cats are highly agile animals and being wet can weigh them down, restricting their motions. This is also why using a spray bottle as punishment is really cruel."

3. Loud noises: "Cats are pretty sensitive to loud noises since they're pretty jumpy. If you have a cat, then you already know that the laundry machine or the vacuum is their worst nightmare."

4. Interfering with their personal space: "Cats prefer to have a few safe spaces in their home and not respecting their boundaries can make them really upset," explain the Tuft and Paw crew.

The above tips are super helpful when it comes to being mindful of some of the most common things cats hate. But, it's also worth remembering that every kitty is unique.

By watching your feline friend's body language and how they behave when you're engaged in certain activities and experiences together, you'll quickly be able to create an accurate list that's specific to them. 

Steering clear of the things your cat dislikes won't just give their wellbeing and happiness a huge boost, it will also help you strengthen your bond with them — making it a win-win all round! 

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.