Are you wondering if you’re doing any of the common common things cat owners do that can break a cat’s spirit (and heart)?
You might if you’ve noticed that your cat seems mad at you or sits and stares at you with sad eyes.
None of us wants to make our beloved feline friends feel bad, right?
So, keep on reading to discover 10 common things that we do that really hurt our kitty’s feelings.
10 Common Things Cat Owners Do That Can Break A Cat’s Spirit And Its Heart
People often say that cats are uncaring and don’t care much about their owners.
While cats aren’t as expressive about their feelings as dogs, they get emotionally attached to those that care for them.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to break a cat’s spirit and heart without even realizing what you have done.
Cats can’t talk to complain or say, “Don’t do that again!” They’ve got only body language, which often humans misinterpret, and their claws.
So, let’s see the most common things that cats hate, but owners often do them without knowing that they’re rubbing a sore spot.
Do you know how sensitive feline ears are? Cats hear frequencies up to 64 000 Hz, compared to the mere 20 000 Hz of humans, and can detect the sound’s location from three inches apart to three meters apart.
Imagine how your cat feels when you shout at them. The noise is so awful and loud that it’s bound to terrify your kitty and send them into hiding.
Arguing with other people at full volume is also scary and unpleasant for a cat.
Fireworks and other loud noises can also freak a cat, especially shy and timid ones.
Don’t use fireworks around cats and isolate your kitty in a room away from loud noises during the holidays to keep them calm.
#2 Not Cleaning the Litter Box
You might think that it’s not a big deal if you don’t scoop the litter box before you go to work.
However, cats hate the smell of dirty litter the most and won’t do their business in the box because it’s too disgusting for them.
You can’t blame your kitty for avoiding the litter box and leaving “presents” around the house. You wouldn’t use a dirty bathroom, right?
Unfortunately, once cats get comfortable urinating/defecating on other surfaces, they might stop using their box.
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As such, it’s in everybody’s interest if you keep the litter boxes spotless clean.
#3 Ignoring Signs of Pain
Cats have strange ways of asking for help and are very good at hiding discomfort until the cat’s condition turns critical.
However, sometimes it’s evident that something is wrong with your kitty.
Excessive licking, frequent litter box visits, meowing loudly, hiding – all these might indicate that your kitty is feeling under the weather.
It might be something as simple as the discomfort of hairballs, but it also could be a urinary tract infection, a virus, an infected tooth, or a trauma injury.
I always advise owners to go with their gut. If you feel that your cat is in physical pain, you should consult with a veterinarian.
Moreover, don’t ignore any sudden changes in your pet’s behavior. You’re the only one that can get your kitty the help they need to get better.
#4 Lack of Mental Stimulation
Leaving your cat alone with no toys or mental stimulation can crush your feline’s spirit and make them depressed and withdrawn.
Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to make your indoor cat happy:
- Place a window perch so that your kitty can watch the birds
- Leave some music on to keep your cat’s company
- Provide plenty of enriching toys
Moreover, make sure that you spend quality time with your feline when you’ve got the time. Cats love it when there’s someone around to watch their shenanigans.
If you need a fun DIY way to keep cats mentally stimulated, check out the neat video below!
#5 Keeping Doors Closed
Cats hate closed doors, so it’s easy to break your cat’s spirit when you don’t allow them access to their favorite room.
Indoor cats also have a small territory to explore, and limiting it by closing doors can make your cat unhappy.
Imagine how you’d feel if you’re confined to your room for days on end.
Moreover, cats are curious and social creatures. They want to be around humans and don’t like it when you trap them.
Naturally, you might get angry at the cat, especially if they break or destroy something valuable.
However, there’s no point in punishing your feline or shouting “bad cat“!
Cats don’t make a connection between your scolding and their actions.
All your cat knows is that you’re angry for some reason and will become afraid because they don’t understand what’s happening.
A “light tap” on the nose or other physical correction methods aren’t effective as well.
All you’re going to show your cat is that they can’t trust you.
I also don’t recommend using a bottle of water to discipline your cat either. It teaches your cat to be wary when you’re around, but it won’t stop the undesired behavior.
Be kind to your cat, and you’ll receive kindness in exchange. That’s the right way to bond with your cat.
People often tease each other as a form of endearment. However, cats don’t understand that you’re playing with them, and you can hurt their feelings.
Avoid doing things that you know that your cat hates, such as petting them while asleep, riffing their fur, and scratching their bellies.
Also, don’t scare your cat to film their reaction and post it on social media. It’s very stressful for your cat and might break your kitty’s trust in you.
It’s humiliating and a little bit scary, so you shouldn’t do it unless necessary.
Moreover, don’t allow your children to tease your cat by pulling on the cat’s whiskers and tail.
Some cats are very understanding around small children, but others are likely to become aggressive.
If you have your kids and cat’s well-being in mind, you should explain to your children how to behave around animals.
#8 Neglecting Your Cat
You can cause your cat emotional pain if you neglect them on purpose.
Cats aren’t toys that you can forget about when you’re too busy.
They’re social creatures that need company, no matter their aloof reputation.
You should play with your cat whenever you have the chance and spend quality time with them to make them happy.
You can also talk to your cat, sing to them, scratch their ears, or pet them for a few minutes.
#9 Not Washing the Bowls
Another way to crush your cat’s spirit is to forget to clean their bowls.
You won’t eat or drink from dirty dishes, so forcing your cat to do so isn’t right.
Wash your cat’s food bowl after each meal to prevent bacteria build-up.
Use hot, soapy water to rinse the bowls and change the water in the water dish every day.
Cats enjoy fresh, cold water, not one that’s been sitting for days.
That’s why they’re so fascinated with your glass or the bathroom sink.
#10 Missing the Small Stuff
Finally, to avoid breaking your cat’s spirit, don’t forget the small stuff:
- Brush your cat to remove dead fur, reduce the likelihood of hairballs, and minimize shedding around the house.
- Provide a scratching post to satisfy your cat’s natural desire to scratch and save your furniture and walls.
- Don’t ignore excessive ear scratching. Have your vet check your kitty’s ears for mites and other parasites, such as fleas and ticks, and clean the ears regularly.
- Take care of your cat’s teeth. Dental disease is common among pets, and tooth trouble can make it hard for your cat to eat. See video below for tips.
- Talk to your cat and use words of kindness to show your cat how much you love and value them.
How Do I Say Sorry to My Cat?
Even when you mean well, you can still hurt your cat’s feelings or break their heart.
Sometimes, you also accidentally step on your cat’s tail or catch them at the door.
Other times, you have to take your kitty to the veterinarian, no matter how much your cat dislikes traveling.
So, how do you say sorry when you’ve done something to make your cat mad or anxious?
First, let your cat cool down if they’re angry at you, and don’t try to get them forcefully to come out of hiding.
That’s only going to make your cat twice as stressed/mad.
Then you can make up for your “offense” by spending more time with your cat. Give them tasty treats as a bribe and offer a new toy to cheer your kitty.
Saying “sorry” is also a good idea. Your cat might not understand what you’re talking about, but it will you feel better.
Cats might have a rep of being cold and reserved, but it’s easy to hurt their feelings and cause stress/anxiety. That’s why you have to pay attention to your cat’s body language and treat your kitty fairly.
What do you think about these 10 common things cat owners do that break a cat’s spirit? Have you done any of them, and how did you make up to your cat after? Tell us below!
I’ve grown up surrounded by animals – dogs, cats, cows, goats, sheep, and horses and that has shaped me into what I am today – a crazy cat lady who always has a place for one more cat (or a dog). I’ve got two female cats – Kitty and Roni, and two tomcats – Blacky and Shaggy, but I also feed my neighbors’ cats when they come for a visit. I just can’t say no to them.
I discovered that writing is my vocation early in my school years. Since then I’ve taken part in several literature contests – writing horror and fantasy short stories and novellas.
For the past three years, I’ve been an ELS teacher, pouring my heart into showing children and teenagers how important English is for their future and trying to educate them how to treat their pets with care.