Cats are finicky creatures. Most of the time they're cute, sleepy, and playful. But other times, they're on the hunt and make it quite obvious that they do not want to be messed with.
Although we may think it's cute to play with our cats and pick them up every chance we get, there are some things that we just love doing with them (and to them!) that they just don't enjoy.
Here are seven things you might be doing that your cat secretly hates.
Your cat secretly hates being held like a baby.
Some cats like to lay in your lap, or to be picked up and cuddled when you come home from work, but one thing cats hate is to be held like a baby.
Being picked up makes cats feel insecure and eager to return to the floor, according to Healthy Pets. When they're held like a baby, it makes matters even worse than when they're held with good support. While it might be cute, it's really not their favorite thing.
If you're not willing to give it up, at least only hold them up for a few seconds, rather than a lengthier period of time that will likely make them even more stressed.
Your cat secretly hates having their picture taken constantly.
You might like to take photos of your cat, but what you might not realize is that your cat might now want your phone in their face 24/7. The camera's flash can be jarring for them. Too, it's particularly cruel to lure them with a toy or treat, get the photo you want, and then leave them be.
Reader's Digest suggests that "a little play time is the least we can do" in return for their photo-op participation.
Your cat secretly hates eye contact.
Cats communicate with their eyes. For them, eye contact is a means of establishing dominance; if you avert your eyes first, your cat will think they've got the power, but if you keep eye contact for too long, it's seen as aggressive behavior and they may prepare to pounce or “hunt” you, according to Feline Forever.
If they blink or wink, it's a sign good sign — a sign of affection, indicating that they do not feel threatened.
Your cat secretly hates when you meow at them.
Cats meow solely to communicate with humans, not with each other, but they don't expect us to do it back. According to National Geographic, cats “vocalize to get our attention.” Whether it's a need for food, water, fresh litter, to play, or even for cuddles, there's a variety of meows they'll use just to get our attention.
According to Dr. Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of the San Diego Humane Society and the SPCA, when we meow back and forth with our cats, “It's really just a bonding experience.” He goes on to say that while it's typically a positive interaction, they don't know the specifics of what we may be asking of them, or what we're trying to relay to them.
Your cat not-so-secretly hates when you dress them up.
If the squirming and fighting back against you as you try to put them in clothing didn't give it away, this statement will: most cats don't like to play dress up.
According to Wide Open Pets, cats don't like having something against their fur, mostly because they don't need it, but also because it's uncomfortable and restrictive. If your cat doesn't mind being put in sweaters and hats, or you simply must dress them up for some reason, be sure that they can still move around comfortably and use the bathroom.
To be safe, skip trying to put your cat in cute little outfits because they secretly hate it.
Your cat secretly hates when you give them milk.
According to cattime.com, most cats are lactose intolerant, so the notion that cats like milk is actually a myth.
Milk will cause most cats a lot of discomfort and stomach problems within 8-12 hours of consuming it. This isn't to say that they won't drink it when it's placed before them, but it'll likely cause them more harm than good.
Your cat secretly hates change.
Buying a new type of food, taking them on a trip in the car, moving, having guests over, and taking them to the vet, all constitute as change and are stressful events for your cat.
Changes to any parts of a cat's environment should be gradual in order to help acclimate them, and desensitize them to stressful situations, according to Cat Health Network. If it's stressful for us, it's just as stressful if not more stressful for the smaller, furry members of our household.
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