What Do Cats Love And What Do Cats Hate?

By Hannah Baker October 14, 2018

Reading our cat's mind is hard. Some say it’s impossible, but we beg to differ. While it may not be the easiest task in the world, some cats are pretty straightforward about what they like, and more vocally what they don’t like. Every cat is unique, like we always say, but there are many things that the majority of cats love, and likewise things that the majority of cats hate. Let’s explore. 

What Do Cats Love?

  • Sleeping

You guessed it. If there’s one thing that, quite literally, every cat on the planet enjoys the most, it’s sleeping. Cats of all ages love to get cozy and take a nap, but particularly as cats get older, sleeping becomes the primary motive for existence. And who can blame them?

  • Grooming

While cats hate baths, they love grooming. It’s quite the conundrum, isn’t it? Perhaps it’s because they love to be self-sufficient. One of a cat's favorite things to do is to groom. They groom themselves, they groom other cats, and sometimes they even groom us (because they haven’t quite discovered that we are not covered in fur.)

  • Being Groomed

Likewise, cats love to be groomed. This is likely a pattern from kittenhood, when kittens’ mothers would groom them as a form of bathing. It is both practical and comforting, and cats love this action much into adulthood.

  • Eating

You didn’t think we’d forget one of the most essential ones, did you? Much like their doggie counterparts, cats love to eat. Each cat, like a human, has a different palette and prefers different things, but if cats have one thing in common it’s their love of food. Bonus points if you give them treats throughout the day.

  • Running Water

This is not to be confused with bath time (see the list of hates.) Cats love running water for drinking. Call them what you will (we call them divas), but cats love a good flowing water stream to lap out of. While some owners fork out cash for a drinking water fountain just for their feline friends, other owners choose to indulge their kitties by turning on the sink and letting the cats drink from there. They weirdly love it.

  • Scratching

They’ll scratch a toy (cats love our toy, by the way), they’ll scratch your favorite piece of furniture, they’ll even scratch you! One of their favorite pastimes is scratching. It’s important to let them do this in a healthy way. Declawing should only be considered as a last resort; instead, cleverly divert their attention from furniture or other important things and encourage them to scratch on a Petozy scratching toy or a scratching post.  If you want to learn more about cat scratching behavior and ways to divert them to scratch appropriate areas, take a look at our cat scratching behavior article.

  • Playing

Kittens, especially, enjoy playing to let out energy. As cats grow up, they play a little less. If you have a keeper, though, many of them enjoy having play sessions well into cat adulthood. You can facilitate playtime with the use of a wand toy, fake mouse, laser pointers, and many other creative toys.

  • Bird Watching

A little-known fact is that cats are some of the most sophisticated bird watchers on planet Earth. In fact, their attention is so laser-focused that they could not only tell you what breed of bird is up in your neighbor’s tree, but exactly what that bird would taste like if you’d just let the cat outside long enough to snatch it. Okay, so cats might not be in it for the leisurely and scientific recreation. If you’re lucky enough, though, they’ll probably bring you a bird present one day.

  • You!

Cats love you. Yes, you heard that right! As much as cats love to scratch, play, and hunt birds, at the end of the day, one of the things that has a big place in their heart is their human friend that they can cuddle up next to.

What Do Cats Hate?

  • Baths

While cats love a lot of things, there are a couple of things in life that they despise. Baths are one of them. Cats prefer to do the grooming on their own, and they especially prefer to do their grooming outside of a large standing tub of water. But, if you’re lucky, some cats will tolerate baths for you. And let’s admit it. Post-bath cats are some of the cutest wet creatures on earth.

  • Feeling Lonely

Dogs aren’t the only ones who look forlornly out the window while their human is away at work. Cats, too, get lonely. In fact, if your cat meows often, it might be craving more attention. Cats tend to get lonely when in a separate room from their owner, and oftentimes, their favorite place to be is next to you in bed or in a chair. When their human is gone, cats can experience separation anxiety.

  • Dirty Litter Boxes

Cats do not like an unkempt litter box. Even those who have a hard time covering up their mess once they’re done using the litter box still would prefer the litter box to be clean next time they enter. Cats are prima donnas. We never said they weren’t!

  • Medicine

Our cats are like our toddlers, no? They never know what’s good for them. Cats, like children and dogs, hate taking medicine. Luckily there are ways around it so that our feline friends can stay up-to-date with their vaccines and routine medicines.

  • Incorrect Petting

While most cats enjoy petting and cuddling, it must be done the right way. Generally, cats don’t like petting that is overly-aggressive, so humans beware of too much pressure. Likewise, cats do not like tummy rubs (as much as we wish they did!) It’s important to know what type of petting your cat does and doesn’t like because they may be inclined to let you know. They will scratch or bite you when your petting crosses the line.

  • Competition

Some cats are strictly one-cat-household cats. They hate competition. Even those who do well with other cats are probably still a bit selfish in terms of their humans and their territory. Cats do not like to feel encroached upon, so once they have their scent in a communal space, they probably won’t enjoy another feline coming in. They also love to be the center of attention when it comes to petting, playing, and cuddling.

  • Loud Noises

You’ve probably heard that cats are skittish, and that’s the truth. Cats hate loud noises. This can be anything from a thunderstorm to an accidental item dropping or an argument among humans. It’s important to be aware of your cat when you are going to be making a loud noise because they can get scared and act out.

  • Car Rides

Unlike dogs, cats hate the car. This is because cats like to have their balance, and they cannot find their balance while in a car. If you must take your cat somewhere like to the vet or to a new home if you’re moving, it’s a good idea to have them in a carrier so they do not get scared. In fact, in some states, it’s illegal to have a loose pet in your car for safety reasons.

While cats may seem mysterious and aloof, we actually know much more about them than we think. Every kitty is unique, and we celebrate everything that makes them so especially with the things they love and the things they hate.

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