Cats are funny creatures. You never can tell just what’s going on in their brains.
Now, I have a cat myself and, intellectually, I know he can’t help shedding his coat. But there are days that I swear he sheds directly onto my favorite pair of pants — on purpose.
Here’s a cheeky rundown of 7 signs that your cat might actually hate you (but probably not, right? Right?).
1. Coughing Up Hairballs
Your cat is strategically depositing fresh hairballs in places where you will narrowly avoid stepping on them. Chances are, though, it could be that your foot traffic area is simply tagged with a scent.
Cats tend to use carpeted areas when having to cough it all up (yay) because the regurgitation process requires a bunch of different muscle groups, and carpet provides traction. So while you might accidentally step in a hairball (I sympathize), it’s probably not a targeted attack.
2. Marking and “Missing” the Litter Box
Cat urine has to be one of the most pungent odors around, and it’s notoriously difficult to get rid of.
Finding areas around the house that your cat has “marked” can be stressful. But don’t fret — cats are territorial predators. Marking territory is part of their instinctive makeup.
And, besides, you know your cat doesn’t belong to you — you belong to your cat. And so do all your (their) possessions. Spaying and neutering can help lessen this marking behavior, as well as making sure to get every last bit of scent out of the area that’s been marked.
Perhaps you’re not cleaning out his litter box enough. If you lift the lid and the stench blows you away, it’s a pretty safe bet that you need to start cleaning it out more regularly.
3. Picking a Fight
Hissing, spitting and swiping — the not-so-subtle approach. Your cat is either steamed at you, afraid of you or just doesn’t want to leave that patch of sunlight you’re trying to nudge them out of.
Harrison usually subjects me to this sort of behavior after I apply his monthly dose of flea medication. Seriously — we’re mortal enemies for about an hour afterward.
If this is constantly happening with your cat, consider things like whether you have recently changed your scent or if your cat is injured or ill. Continued aggressive behavior, especially when the behavior is sudden, can indicate pain or illness.
4. Gifting Dead Prey
How’s this for a fun scenario? You discover a dead mouse splayed out in a place where you spend a lot of time — say, by your bed or in front of doors — so you’re sure to see it.
As gross as this is, it’s how your cat is actually saying that they adore you. Just praise your cat, then glove up and discard the mouse when the cat isn’t watching.
5. Always in Your Face
The days when you’re running behind and frantically typing up a research paper or work proposal are the days when your cat is going to mischievously want to derail your plans the most.
Bumping their head against your leg, crawling into your lap and kneading all indicate affection, so it’s hard to shoo them away. The thing is, your cat actually loves you if they’re displaying these actions. Show them some affection and take a quick break to play with them a bit, and they’ll probably be satisfied.
Or you can do what I do: Bust out the treats and bribe them off.
6. Excessive Shedding
Break out the lint roller — your cat has managed to cover your favorite sweater with a fine coating of their hair while you weren’t looking.
The explanation is simple enough: You probably wear your favorite sweater a lot, so it has your scent all over it. Your cat likes it and wants to smell you when they lie on it.
7. Stealing and Hiding
Does your cat steal your stuff and hoard it in unimaginable places? Harrison does this to me all the time with my hair elastics.
It can also be highly inconvenient when whatever your cat stashes is incompatible with the vacuum cleaner, which may break on contact with said stuff. This could indeed be premeditated on cats’ parts because I can’t think of any cat who enjoys the sound of the vacuum.
So do you really think your cat hates you when he does these things? It may very well be the opposite — they may absolutely adore you and try to capture your attention any way they can.