Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Cats > Does My Cat Hate Me? 5 Signs to Look For

Does My Cat Hate Me? 5 Signs to Look For

owner petting a hissing angry tabby cat

Cats aren’t exactly social animals, which means they act very differently than dogs (or humans) do. Very few cats will greet you at the door with their tail wagging!

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your cat hates you. These interesting animals simply act differently than others. Behaviors that we may consider rude (or signs that our cats hate us) aren’t necessarily seen that way by our cats.

However, cats can dislike certain people, just like any other animal. Here are some signs that your cat may dislike you:


The 5 Behavior Signs That Your Cat Dislikes You

1. They Hide from You

cat hiding under the bed
Image By: zossia, Shutterstock

When cats hide from you, it could mean that they are not comfortable in their environment or with you. Cats are very sensitive creatures, and they need a safe and cozy place to relax and feel secure. If they don’t have that, they may retreat to a hiding spot where they can avoid any potential threats or stressors.

If they consider you to be that stressor, you may notice them hiding when you come into the room specifically. Of course, cats hide for all sorts of reasons, and not all of them are bad. For instance, cats may hide because of the following:

  • They are new to your home and need time to adjust to the unfamiliar surroundings and smells.
  • They are sick or injured and want to protect themselves from predators or pain.
  • They are scared of something or someone in the house, such as a loud noise, a stranger, a dog, or even you.
  • They are stressed by changes in their routine, such as moving to a new place, getting a new pet, or having guests over.
  • They are bored or lonely and need more stimulation and attention from you.

However, if your cat seems to hide every time you end the room, then there may be something to that. Cats tend to hide more when they are injured or sick. If your cat suddenly starts hiding more, you should seek help from your vet.

2. They Hiss at You

When cats hiss at you, it could mean that they are scared or defensive. Cats use hissing as a way to communicate their feelings and warn others to back off. Hissing is a natural and instinctive behavior that cats inherit from their wild ancestors.

Cats are more likely to hiss at people they don’t trust. After all, if your cat trusted you, they may not feel as scared. Therefore, if a cat always hisses at you, there is a chance that they may not feel safe around you.

However, cats also hiss whenever they are injured. Even if they do trust you, they may hiss at you because of an injury. Petting or touching may cause pain, and hissing at you is the best way they can keep you away.

That said, if the cat only hisses at you, then it may be that they don’t feel comfortable around you in particular.

3. They Don’t Make Eye Contact

orange cat in close up photography
Image By: Valeria Boltneva, Pexels

Cats use their eyes to communicate a lot of things. Cats often make eye contact as a way to invite close physical contact (like petting). Therefore, if your cat never makes eye contact with you, then there is a good chance they may not want you to touch them. They’re avoiding signaling that they want to be petted, in other words.

That said, some cats do communicate with their eyes more than others. Some hardly ever make eye contact with anyone, while others look everyone in the eye.

Therefore, you need to consider how much your cat makes eye contact with you versus other people. If they’re constantly making eye contact with everyone else but not you, it could signal that they don’t feel comfortable asking you to pet them.

4. They’re Aggressive

Cats can be aggressive for all sorts of reasons. However, one of them is that they just don’t feel safe with you (or whoever is interacting with them).

Aggression can take many different forms. Some cats may simply “poof up” and back away. Others may hiss or scratch. All of these are signs of aggression. Active avoidance (where a cat does everything it can to not interact with you) can also be considered a form of aggression.

Of course, cats can be aggressive for other reasons, too. Therefore, it’s important not to assume that your cat hates you just because they scratched you. Sudden aggression indicates pain or an underlying health problem, and you should seek help from your vet. Aggression towards everyone may be a sign that the cat wasn’t properly socialized as a kitten and can indicate the need for behavioral intervention.

It’s important to rule out other reasons for aggression before you assume that your cat just doesn’t like you.

5. They Clean Themselves a Little Too Much

cat licking itself
Image By: Rapeepan Chamnong, Shutterstock

Cats naturally try to mix their scents with people (and animals) they like. In a natural setting, mixing scents was how a cat figured out who was in their group and who wasn’t. In our homes, cats will still try to mix their scents with those they consider part of their family.

Cats do this through rubbing and “mutual” grooming. When your cat rubs against your legs, this is what’s going on—the cat is trying to keep you firmly as part of their family. When your cat doesn’t do this, it can mean that they don’t consider you part of their family at all.

Worse, cats may actively try to get rid of your scent by grooming themselves after you touch them. Grooming is a completely natural behavior, of course. But, if it tends to happen right after you touch them, then it may be a sign that they don’t want your scent hanging on them.


Final Thoughts

Cats rarely hate someone throughout their whole life. In most cases, cat behaviors are simply misinterpreted as hate when they may really indicate an underlying health problem or lack of contentment.

For instance, cats show each other affection by avoiding each other. It’s a matter of “I stay out of your way because I respect you.” Therefore, just because your cat seems to ignore you doesn’t mean they don’t like you. It may be that they do like you and they’re just showing you that by ignoring you!

The best way to tell if a cat likes you or not is to compare how they treat you to other humans. Sometimes, cats may treat all humans in an aloof manner—that may just be their personality. However, if they go out of their way to avoid you particularly (and get aggressive or hide when you do come close), it’s likely that they don’t like or trust you for one reason or another.

Featured Image Credit: Anna Kraynova, Shutterstock

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets