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Why Doesn’t My Cat Like Me Anymore? Effective Tips to Fix It

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on June 19, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

kittens training

Why Doesn’t My Cat Like Me Anymore? Effective Tips to Fix It

Have you ever caught yourself wondering what you’ve done wrong to get on your cat’s bad side? We all know that our beloved felines can sometimes be moody creatures, but is their newfound dislike actually based on what you think it is?

If your cat shows negative behaviors toward you, you’re probably scrambling to find a solution, but the answer is not always so clear and varies from pet to pet. Sometimes, it can seem like they dislike someone, but it’s simply their personality. Each cat is an individual with their own quirks and preferences. That said, here are a few explanations that might make things a bit clearer.

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What’s Really Going On With Your Cat?

Chances are that your cat’s new mood didn’t start without reason—something triggered the response. Honestly, it’s probably not that they don’t like you anymore. It could be an external cause that they are projecting onto your relationship.

Even though it might feel like they’re vindictive or stubborn, it could be something that they can’t help. It’s essential to look at all of the different factors in your everyday life to give you more clues.

angry cat hissing
Image Credit: Fang_Y_M , Pixabay

Feline Body Language

Unfortunately, our felines can’t speak to us to explain their sudden change. However, if you can look at their basic body language, it can tell you a little bit about what’s happening. If your cat is feeling upset, you might notice behaviors such as:

  • Hissing
  • Growling
  • Swatting
  • Biting
  • Attacking
  • Ignoring

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Additional Factors to Look Out For

All of these behaviors indicate that your cat isn’t happy, regardless of whether it’s stemming from something that’s in your control or not. Now, the reasons are left for you to decipher since you know your cat better than anyone. But ask yourself if any of these factors play a role.

1. Personality

Just like human beings, cats have all sorts of different personalities. Some cats will be more affectionate than others. That doesn’t always indicate that they don’t like you, but rather that they prefer different levels of interaction.

If your cat has a cantankerous personality, it might very well be nothing personal. Some cats prefer having their own space without too much interference. If you are the cuddling type who wants to snuggle with your cat, they might not desire the same things you do.

Understanding and respecting your cat’s boundaries can lead to improvement. You have to get to know your cat and how they interact and respond to their desires, including personal space.


2. Connection

Connection is critical when you interact with your pets. That can mean different things depending on how your cat responds to your affections. Bonding is a necessary aspect of overall care. You just have to find what works best for your cats and try to meet them where they are.

Once you learn about your cat, you can develop a special connection that is equally beneficial to you both.

woman resting with cat in sofa at home
Image by: Yuriy Seleznev, Shutterstock

3. Negative Experience

If your cat has had any negative experience with humans, it can severely impact your relationship. For example, if your cat once liked you, but you scolded them for doing something wrong, they might hold a grudge against you for a bit.

Also, just like children, animals can react based on trauma. So, if they previously lived in a lousy home situation, it can take them quite a while before they learn to build trust with their new owners. Just remember that you might not know the whole story.


4. Underlying Illness

If this behavior is sudden, it could be likely that there is an underlying illness that is causing the behavior to happen. If your cat is in pain or undergoing any brain changes, it can severely impact their typical actions. The issue could be bone, joint, or surface related. It could also be an organ problem. Your vet can check externally and through blood work.

Medical causes of aggression or behavioral changes include:

  • Aging
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Sore spots
  • Joint issues
  • Bone pain

If you see any other accompanying signs that strike you as odd, you need to get your cat to your veterinarian for a checkup.

cat close up
Image by: photosforyou, Pixabay

5. Environmental Changes

Cats are routine creatures, and many of them don’t like when their normalcy is disrupted. If you have recently moved homes, brought home a new baby, or welcomed a new pet, your cat may be showing signs of disapproval. The same may be true if you left them for a quick getaway over the weekend. They may feel slighted by abandonment and want to retreat in isolation.

If this is the case, it can take a bit for them to warm up. But before too long, the dust will settle. Just be sure to make introductions slow and ensure all parties are safe and comfortable during the process.

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Potential Solutions

Don’t give up on your kitty just yet. Before you start taking it personally, make sure that you look at surrounding environmental factors to gauge what is going on. Even if you have done something to upset your cat, you can regain the bond eventually.

Time

If your kitty is being a little bit frisky, just give them some time to adjust. It could simply be a phase, and they need to work it out themselves. Plus, putting a little distance between you and your feline could allow you to observe what’s actually going on that could be a potential trigger for your cat.

woman stroking her Maine Coon cat
Image by: Liza Kras, Shutterstock

Space

We all need a little space so we can recharge our batteries, and our cats are no different. If they are being overstimulated, they might just feel smothered. Try to put a little more distance between them for a few days, and see if they warm back up to you.


Positive Reinforcement

Maybe, without knowing it, you’re putting a lot of negativity toward your cat. You might shout, the house could be chaotic, or some other negative thing could be causing them to want to steer clear of you. Every single time your cat starts to misbehave, make sure to use positive reinforcement tactics, such as treats or other means of appeal, after you’ve steered them toward the correct action.

cat being fed a cat treat or cat food by hand
Image by: Jakub Zak, Shutterstock

Socialization

What it could really boil down to is that your cat is lonely. Make sure that they have socialization. If your cat is alone a lot during the day and you feel like this might be stemming from that, maybe it’s time to adopt a new kitty friend.


Respect

Respect is paramount when you own a cat. Cats can be very particular about things, so showing them that you appreciate them is a critical building block.

If your cat doesn’t want to be held, simply don’t hold them. If they require more attention, provide them with stimulation. If you understand their likes and dislikes, you can appreciate their wishes.

cat toys
Image by: Christian Bodhi, Pixabay

Environmental Enrichment

A lot of times, the excessive pent-up energy can lead to acting out. If your cat is bored and life seems pretty uneventful, it can cause aggression.

Like anything else, cats can get down in the dumps or bored if their lives lack activities. Make sure to give your cat lots of toys, places to scratch, and other means to keep them occupied.

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Wooing Your Cat Again

Once you uncover why your cat could be giving you the cold shoulder, you can improve the relationship and make the adjustments where you see fit.

Remember, if your cat suddenly starts acting out and shows other accompanying signs, it could very well be an illness or some internal issue causing this reaction. If you think it could be medically related, always consult your veterinarian to get to the bottom of it.


Featured Image Credit: Anatoliy Cherkas, Shutterstock

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