What Do Cats Hate? - Cat Kingpin

What Do Cats Hate?

Everyone who has a cat knows that each cat has their own unique personality. All cats have their preferences, whether it is different foods or different places where they like (and don’t like) to be stroked.

But what do cats hate?

Like, really, really hate?

Well, the answer will depend largely from feline to feline. However, there are a few things that most cats generally dislike, other than the two obvious ones: dogs and water.

In this article, we’ll cover the following:

  • Feline Discontent: Can Cats Hate?
  • What Do Cats Hate the Taste Of?
  • What Smells Do Cats Hate?
  • What Textures Do Cats Hate?
  • Cats and Cars: A Complicated Relationship
  • Why Do Cats Hate Cucumbers?

Feline Discontent: Can Cats Hate?

While cats definitely have emotions, they probably don’t “hate” in the same way that people do. While human beings can hate everything from traffic to their neighbors, cats usually reserve their feelings of intense dislike to things that make them physically uncomfortable.

If your cat hates something, you’ll probably know because they’ll probably tell you! Cats can show their discontent in a variety of ways, from simply avoiding a stimulus, hiding, pulling back their ears, or even hissing or “hitting.”

What Do Cats Hate the Taste Of?

Cats’ preferences for food are varied. For example, while some cats love peanut butter, others can’t get away fast enough.

Generally speaking, cats dislike bitter and sour flavors. Here are a few tastes that the vast majority of cats can’t stand.

  1. Whether it is peppermint, spearmint, or the menthol found in many cough drops, cats generally turn their noses up at minty tastes. This is actually a good thing because many mint-flavored foods for humans can be toxic to cats if ingested.
  2. Most cats really don’t like the sour taste of citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemon, and lime.
  3. Some spices: the vast majority of cats don’t like the taste of rosemary and cinnamon, both of which are commonly used in the kitchen. If you’re cooking with either of those spices, you don’t have to feel bad about not sharing with your feline friend!

And then there are some cats that hate the taste of everything, apparently.

What Smells Do Cats Hate?

Since taste and smell are so connected on a sensory level, most cats dislike the smell of things that they don’t like to eat.

  1. Mint & Menthol: most cats really don’t like minty smells, such as peppermint candies, mint essential oils, or different types of chewing gum. This is actually a good thing because mint can be toxic to cats if ingested.
  2. Citrus: most cats really dislike the smell of citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemon, and lime. This may be because they give off a sour odor.
  3. Some spices: the vast majority of cats don’t like the smell of rosemary and cinnamon, both of which we use a lot in cooking.
  4. Lavender. While lavender can have a soothing effect, many cats really hate it. It seems to be a love or hate thing, either your cat will be obsessed with lavender or they’ll really hate it.

This cat wants you to get that disgusting mint away from him. Now.

What Textures Do Cats Hate?

We know that cats love comfortable things, such as your bed or your couch. Cats also tend to like rough surfaces where they can sharpen their nails. But what textures don’t appeal to our feline friends?

  1. Smooth Textures: Some plastics and metals don’t appeal to cats. Cats have a hard time walking on their slippery surface, and there is nothing to scratch their nails on.
  2. Most cats don’t like the feel of aluminum foil or the noise it makes when you crumple it. Actually, lining your potted plants with aluminum foil can be a great way to keep your curious cat away from them.
  3. If you want to discourage your cat from scratching your couch, buy one made of microfiber! Because it’s not an appealing fabric for your cat to scratch (which is the main reason they like fabric to begin with, other than for cuddling) microfiber is definitely not a favorite amongst felines.

Cats and Cars: A Complicated Relationship

If your cat runs and hides as soon as they see their carrier, you’re not alone! Plenty of cats don’t like taking a ride in the car, and the reasons are pretty straightforward:

  1. Many cats only ever go in the car when they are headed to the vet. Once your cat makes this association, they’re likely to try and hide when they get wind of an impending car ride.
  2. Some cats get carsick and they come to associate the cat with nausea
  3. Cats don’t like leaving their environment. Unlike dogs that are generally delighted to get out of the house, cats are creatures of habit. They may feel very stressed an anxious in the car.
  4. The unfamiliar noises, new smells, and sounds of the engine may really scare your cat.

One way to combat the fear of the car is to choose a carrier that is comfortable and which provides limited visibility for your cat. The less they can see, the better!

Why Do Cats Hate Cucumbers?

Ever since videos began circulating online of humans scaring their cats with cucumbers, we’ve all asked ourselves: what’s the deal?

While seeing cats freak out over cucumbers is funny, it’s actually not a very nice thing to do to your cat! We do not recommend that you try this prank; it’s just not nice and can stress your cat out.

The good news is that cats aren’t inherently frightened of vegetables, cucumbers or otherwise. Rather, cats are frightened by unexpected elements that are introduced suddenly into their environment.

So, when you put a cucumber behind your cat while they’re eating, and then they turn around and jump 5 feet into the air, they aren’t so much afraid of the cucumber as they are nervous about the fact that something totally unexpected just showed up out of nowhere!

Cats are very in-tune with their environment and will react to even the slightest changes. The same reason cats are freaked out by unexpected cucumbers are the same reasons why cats generally don’t like it when you buy new furniture, move things around, or change homes.

What does your cat hate? Does your cat love any of the things that cats generally really dislike? Let us know in the comments, we want to hear all about it!

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Amanda K.

After moving to New York City from Rome, Italy, I began working in the nonprofit world. Despite my day job, my passion has always been animals, especially dogs and cats, and writing. What better way to combine the two? I've been a pet owner for 15 years, and my menagerie includes dogs, cats, hamsters and the occasional hermit crab. My beloved cat, Mozart, who I found as a newborn kitten, sparked my love for felines and is now nearly 15 years old. I am an enthusiastic volunteer at the local ASPCA, where I enjoy spending time with the cats and cleaning up after the dogs. I've been writing about pet ownership and care for the past five years.

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