If your cat never gets on your nerves, you’re either incredibly lucky or your cat isn’t real. Cats are rambunctious, curious creatures who have huge personalities. They also don’t believe in boundaries … well, they don’t believe in your boundaries. They also don’t understand that you don’t want to play with them at 1 a.m. or pet them while you try to use the bathroom.
Here are five of my cat’s most annoying habits:
Toby has multiple ways he tries to wake me up at night. If I had all of the time in the world to just go back to sleep, this wouldn’t be such a big deal. However, I’m already running off four hours or less at night with a newborn, so his squeaky toy/rattling bell ball/door-shaking routine is quite unwelcome. Since he’s also started getting on the dresser and knocking things off, I’ve had to kick him out of our bedroom at night. Of course, he finds other ways to wake me.
In our bedroom, I have a cute tree that sits on my dresser that holds all of my earrings. I’ve never had a problem with cats messing with them before, mostly because the dresser doesn’t have a wide ledge. I’ve also never had a kangaroo cat like Toby. I have yet to see the limits of how high he can jump vertically.
It doesn’t matter where he is, if I go to open a door to a room, any room, Toby will come running. Even if he’s been in the room time after time again, it’s as though he thinks something magical will be behind the door every time, and it will disappear if he doesn’t dart in there fast enough. If he didn’t pick at the nursery rug with his claws, destroy things in the laundry room, or knock everything off my dresser in the bedroom, I would let him in those rooms. On the flip side, he’ll dart through any door that’s closing as well, so it’s pretty easy to get him back out of a room … unless he knows I’m about to leave for work and need him in his “safe room,” aka the guest room.
My feet, my hair, the ties on my pajama pants — if it moves, Toby is attacking it. Of course, that means teeth and claws will likely be meeting flesh in multiple mini flash attacks. I always warn visitors to be very still if Toby gets the “crazy eyes.” He’ll get this look on his face and one of his eyes will cross, and then he’s on you before you can say, “Oh my cat that hurts!”
This is possibly the most annoying thing my cat does. While I was pregnant and until I could gauge exactly how much Toby needed to eat each day, I used a gravity feeder. After a few weeks with it, he started digging the food out, making a huge mess on the floor. Of course, he would then mew and cry that he "had no food" until someone would put the kibble back in the feeder. After munching down a bit, he would proceed to repeat the process. I took the gravity feeder away and gave him a bowl, thinking that would solve the food issue. That’s when he went after the dog’s food.
At first, I thought he was just curious to see if dog food was something he would welcome into his diet. Oh, how wrong I was! Instead of eating the food, he would pick one piece out and bat it around the house until it got lost under a door or appliance. Then he would scurry back to the bowl and pick out another piece. Some days, he would do this so often that the bowl would be nearly empty before the dog had even taken one bite.
I’ve tried covering Axle’s bowl and even feeding him in a Kong Wobbler instead, but he wasn’t happy with either situation, so Toby still has access to the food. He bats it under the heavy appliances, so I have to vacuum it out, leading to wasted food. He chases it under the rugs, so he rumples them up trying to get it back. He knocks it under our bedroom door, so it gets ground into the carpet when we step on it in the morning. It rolls behind the TV, so he messes up all of the wiring as he runs after it.
Seriously, some days I wish I didn’t even have a cat, but then I remember how cats, like people, often get better with age. Old curiosities are satisfied and they find pleasure in just a few habits that are usually easy to live with, like lounging on your bed all day (yay, cat hair!). I think these annoying obsessions so many cats have as kittens are what drive so many people to give them up before they are even a year old, never knowing how great the cat would have been if they had just given him a chance.
Does your cat do annoying things? Tell us about them in the comments!
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About Meghan Lodge: Fits the Aquarius definition to a fault, loves animals, and is always pushing for change. Loves ink, whether it’s in tattoos, books, or writing on that pretty sheet of blank paper. Proud parent of Toby (cat) and Axle (dog). I’m a former quiet nerd who’s turned bubbly animal-obsessed advocate.