When a cat doesn’t like something, it usually shows it quite clearly. However, there are some things that are hard to tell that a cat really hates them. We can hardly avoid some, others yes.

21 things cats hate:

Being touched (against their will)

Children in particular make the mistake of always wanting to touch cats directly. Of course, the little ones simply don’t know any better, which is why we adults should definitely intervene in such situations.

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It is also usually uncomfortable for a cat to be stroked for too long in the same place. You can read how to properly pet cats in this article: Pet your cat like this from now on, result: no more bite attacks!

To be fixed

Staring is a threatening gesture among cats. Whoever does it shows: Not so with me, my friend! Direct, long-term eye contact should therefore be avoided if you don’t want to mess around with your cat.

A slight blink of an eye, on the other hand, is considered a gesture of sympathy among cats. We humans too can adopt this means of communication as our own: how to simply tell a cat “I love you”.

Essential oils

They provide relief during the cold season, but it is mainly eucalyptus and peppermint oils that cats particularly hate.

To drive

The combination of unusual smells, loud noises and unpredictable movements is just too much for most cats. Some even get sick with movement and have to vomit or empty their bladder even on short car trips.

Deodorant and perfume

Deodorants and perfumes are supposed to give off a pleasant smell, but this can quickly become too much for our cats’ noses. The more intense a perfume, the more unpleasant it is for animals.

Cat lovers should therefore pay attention to the use of slightly more subtle fragrances.

Be photographed

Almost all cat owners are familiar with the phenomenon: as soon as you took out your smartphone (or camera) to take a snapshot of your cat, when he turns his head, bored.

It is not known exactly how this effect occurs and why cats hate being photographed so much. Aligning the camera lens likely creates an uncomfortable feeling similar to staring at it.

Take a bath

Cats actually clean themselves and, unlike most dogs, they don’t smell unless they are bathed at least occasionally.

In a few exceptional cases it may be necessary to bathe a cat. This is the case, for example, with severe diarrhea. It is not known exactly why cats don’t like water. Since their ancestors were desert dwellers, there may be a connection here.

Odors of strangers

Cats are initially skeptical of anything they don’t know. They are particularly irritated by the smells of strangers. It is therefore normal for a cat to try to mark a stranger with its scent.

Cats usually do this by touching the person’s legs and rubbing their head against their trouser legs. This way they manage to cover up the strange smell with their own.

Closed doors

Another phenomenon that almost all cat owners are familiar with: there is hardly anything in the apartment that cats hate more than closed doors. Many caretakers have even installed cat flaps within their four walls so the King Tiger can move from room to room comfortably at any time.

If a door is locked, you can expect a meow concert lasting several minutes. Some cats express their indignation by clapping insistently at the door.

To be awakened

Hardly anyone likes to be awakened from their sleep. In cats, unpredictable awakening can lead to violent reactions, especially if the animals have just been in deep sleep.

This phase is for the regeneration and processing of impressions in humans and animals. It is accompanied by dreams (or nightmares). By the way, cats can dream too.


You may have heard of cats rumored to be terrified of these vegetables. The rumor is actually true!

Experts suspect that the color and shape of the green cucumber remind animals of a (poisonous) snake, even if they have never met one in their life. This information can be in the file collective unconscious saved by cats.

Collars with bells

They look cute, but they’re a horror to any cat’s ear – you shouldn’t expect cats to wear bell collars, as they can significantly damage their sensitive hearing!

The jingle is often used to warn birds of the cat it is stalking. However, environmental experts repeatedly point out that this works only inadequately: especially young birds that are not yet able to fly are victims of cats. You can hear the doorbell, but you cannot escape the aggressor and panic, which in turn causes you to draw attention to yourself.

Be ignored

Cats hate being ignored. It is therefore also a good way to show a cat that he has done something wrong (like repeatedly scratching the background).

However, if a cat wants something, it is almost impossible to ignore it. If you want to try it, you need extremely strong nerves.

Waste box (dirty)

It is possible that a cat may refuse to use an excessively dirty litter box and then go about its business elsewhere.

Cats are extremely clean animals and regular cleaning of the litter box is therefore essential. Cat urine and feces are at the top of the list of smells that cats hate.


Spending the day and night in owners’ homes can be stressful for cats, especially when they are very young.

House cats, in particular, need to be challenged on a regular basis to be properly used. Otherwise they recognize the contempt for their needs with appropriate behavior. It can easily remedy the situation Intelligence toys.

Funny costumes

There are numerous photos of cats in funny costumes on the Internet. The whole thing is really fun to the maximum for the viewer, because animals are not fashion dolls!

While dogs can usually be forced to wear costumes with little tricks, much more stamina is to be expected with cats. Cats absolutely hate it when we try to put on sweaters, hats or jackets. Anyone who tries should still be able to handle the echo.

Reproaches, noise, loud noises

Cats have extremely sensitive ears and hear a lot more than humans. Even if you are rightfully angry with your pet: a strong reprimand can seriously upset your cat!

Screaming is not necessary and at worst it can not only scare a cat but also damage its hearing. It is more than enough to speak to the animal in a more rigorous and decisive way.

vacuum cleaner

The vacuum cleaner is definitely one of the household items that cats hate the most. However: there should be some domestic tigers who really like to be sucked into a vacuum cleaner. These cats are probably more of an exception.

Cats should therefore be moved to another room while they are nursing, or at least be able to flee elsewhere at any time if they feel uncomfortable.

In this article, you will read how you can eliminate a cat’s fear of everyday noises.


Cats are extremely habitual creatures. Big changes, like moving to a new apartment, mean a lot to them. Even small changes, like buying a new sofa, can irritate and upset you.

For this reason, once the rituals are introduced they should be kept as much as possible. Basically, rituals promote balance in cats – those who feed their cats at the same time every day create structure in the animal’s life.

In short-term stressful situations, the use of special comfort hormones for cats has proven very helpful. However, these products usually only work for a certain time and are not necessarily designed for continuous use.

Cigarette smoke

Cats in smoking households are exposed to high levels of toxic substances. Cigarette smoke is not only inhaled, but poisonous substances inevitably settle on the cat’s fur. During cleansing, it absorbs these substances into its body. In this way, cats in smoking households are exposed to an incomparably greater amount of toxins than many other pets.

You can read more about the effects of cigarette smoking on cat health and behavior in this article.


Maybe you love citrus fruits like limes, lemons or grapefruits. Unfortunately, your cat feels completely different: if you hold a piece of lemon in front of his nose, he will turn around in disgust and may even hide for a while.

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what cats hate

Photo: Ivan Radic / Colorful kitten / CC-BY


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