What do cats find offensive?

  • Date: February 5, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Cats are mysterious creatures, often hard to read and difficult to understand. They may seem calm and content one minute and then abruptly change their behavior the next. While cats have many likes and dislikes, there are certain things that they find inherently offensive. From certain sounds to being handled in certain ways, cats may display signs of discomfort or aggression if they are exposed to certain stimuli that they don’t like. In this article, we will explore what cats find offensive and how to avoid offending them in the future.


Cats are a beloved pet among many households, but it can be difficult to gauge what they like and don’t like. As felines, cats are known to be independent, aloof, and picky, so it can be hard to tell what they might find offensive or unpleasant. Depending on the cat, certain things may be more likely to set them off than others, and this can range from certain smells to certain words. It’s important to be aware of these potential triggers so that owners can avoid them to keep their cats stress-free and happy.

Sudden Movements

One thing that cats find offensive is sudden movements. Cats are naturally curious and independent, so when something startles them, they may become defensive or aggressive. It’s important to be mindful of how you move around cats, especially if you’re introducing a new pet or person into the household. Cats may not always be aware that someone is coming into the home, so sudden movements may cause them to become agitated. This can include loud noises, yelling, or sudden movements such as waving your hands around.

Certain Sounds

Another thing that cats find offensive is certain sounds. Cats have very sensitive ears, and they may not like certain noises that humans make. This can include loud and high-pitched noises such as yelling or screaming, as well as certain types of music and singing. Some cats may even be sensitive to the sound of a vacuum cleaner or the sound of a running water. If your cat is particularly sensitive to certain sounds, it may be best to avoid them or use them sparingly when your cat is around.

Strict Schedules

Cats also don’t typically like strict schedules. While humans may be used to having their lives run on a strict schedule, cats are more used to having their own sense of freedom. This means that they don’t like having their lives regulated by strict times for eating, sleeping, or playing. If you’re trying to get your cat used to a certain schedule, it’s important to do it slowly and gradually so that your cat doesn’t become stressed or agitated.

Certain Scents

Cats also have a very keen sense of smell, and they may not appreciate certain scents. Cats are typically sensitive to strong smells such as perfumes, cleaning supplies, and air fresheners. It’s important to be aware of the scents that your cat may not like so that you can avoid using them in the home. Additionally, cats may not like the smell of other cats, so it’s important to keep the home clean and to avoid having too many cats in the same space.

Unfamiliar People

Cats may also find unfamiliar people offensive. Cats are territorial and may not appreciate the presence of someone they don’t know. If you’re introducing a new person into the home, it’s important to do it slowly and to give your cat plenty of time to adjust to the new person. Additionally, if you’re visiting someone else’s home, it’s important to be mindful of the cats in the home and to not startle them.

Unwanted Attention

Finally, cats may not appreciate unwanted attention. While cats may love to be petted and cuddled, they can also become overwhelmed if they’re given too much attention. It’s important to observe your cat’s behavior and to be mindful of how much attention they’re getting. If a cat appears to be overwhelmed or agitated, it’s best to leave them alone until they seem more relaxed.


Cats can be a joy to have around, but it’s important to be aware of what they may find offensive. From sudden movements to unwanted attention, cats may become stressed or agitated if they are exposed to certain triggers. By being mindful of these potential triggers, owners can ensure that their cats remain happy and stress-free.

### Common Myths about What Cats Find Offensive

1. Myth: Cats hate being petted.
Fact: Cats actually enjoy being petted when done correctly. If they are uncomfortable they will usually indicate this with their body language or by vocalizing.

2. Myth: Cats hate loud noises.
Fact: Loud noises may startle cats, but they usually become used to them over time.

3. Myth: Cats hate other animals.
Fact: Cats can get along with other animals, such as dogs, with proper introductions and socialization.

4. Myth: Cats are afraid of water.
Fact: Some cats may not enjoy getting wet, but many cats do enjoy swimming or playing in shallow water.

Frequently Asked Questions

What noises do cats find offensive?

Cats are most likely to be offended by loud noises, including screaming, yelling, or sudden loud noises.

What smells do cats find offensive?

Cats find some smells offensive, including strong perfumes, cigarette smoke, and certain cleaning products.



Cats are beloved pets, but it can be hard to know what they like and don’t like. Owners should be aware of potential triggers such as sudden movements, certain sounds, strict schedules, certain scents, unfamiliar people, and unwanted attention. It’s important to be mindful of these triggers to keep cats stress-free and happy. Additionally, owners should observe their cats behavior and be aware of how much attention they get.

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